Category Archives: Political

Conservatives vs Progressives

liberalconservativeI think I’ve worked out why conservatives think progressives are hypocrites for supporting the rights of Muslims… and why progressives cannot see it.

Conservatives: We want to use our government to make moral choices for others. If people with a different morality to our own gain control of our government they will force everybody to have their morals. Therefore, we must make sure that people with different values to ours are never given a voice otherwise they will take away our way of controlling people and use it to control us. Give more power to the good guys so they can protect us from the bad guys.
The best way to stop other people from controlling what we do is to control what they do.

Progressives: We want to use our government to ensure that everybody has their basic needs met and is able to participate in society. There are people in our society who want to dictate to other people what their morality should be. Some of them are closer to our moral code than others, but all of them need to be prevented from gaining the power to control all of us. Give more power to the people so that we don’t have people forced into a situation of having to be good guys or bad guys.
The best way to stop other people from controlling what we do is to remove a social mechanisms for control and create a society where people are empowered toward self expression to the extent that they don’t use that to control others.

To the progressive, the conservative approach to human rights is heavy handed, short sighted and counterproductive. It is giving excessive power to the government to control people without consideration of the consequences when the government cannot be controlled by the people.

To the conservative, the progressive approach to human rights is naive and inconsistent. How can you support protecting the rights of somebody who doesn’t respect your rights? How can you be on the side of women’s rights while also being on the side of a religion which marginalises women?

I don’t have the answers yet, but I think I may be slightly closer now to understanding the question.

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Posted by on October 12, 2014 in Political, Religious


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Sodomy or Hospitality

tent-flaps-eveningFor the original readers, Sodom and Gomorrah was a story about hospitality and treating travelers properly.

Immediately before they go to Sodom, God’s spies pass Abraham’s tent which he keeps all the flaps up on so he can sit in the shade while scouring the 360 degree horizon for weary travelers. When he sees them he runs out, drags them back to his drafty home, brushes the sand off some food he had out when a sandstorm hit his unprotected tent, and is generally a lovely host.

Shift to Sodom and again there is a good host who meets the strangers in the town square and takes them in. When a mob of locals shows up wanting to rape the outsiders and put them in offshore processing facilities, Lot protects his guests to the extent that he is even prepared to offer up the virginity of his two daughters. By the cultural understanding of the intended audience, this would actually be a lot worse than a gang rape. The girls would consent because it is what their father told them to do, but it would destroy any prospects of respectable marriage and long term security after Lot’s death. Basically, Lot would rather end his own family line than allow harm to come to his visitors.

A lot of Christians think that the story of Sodom is about God punishing people for bumming. I’d say those people have an unhealthy anal fixation. The story is about hospitality. The fate of the daughters is meant to sound horrific. It is there as an exemplar of how far a good host will go for his guests.

This story is about how a town or country treats travelers who arrive in their lands unannounced and uninvited. Do they invite them in and share what they have or do they say “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come” and imprison them if they don’t arrive in the correct manner?

There is a moral in this story, but it isn’t “God hate teh gayz”.

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Posted by on March 23, 2014 in Political, Religious, sexuality


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Late term abortion

Abortion up to the day of birth does grate a little on me. But then, Ancient Rome allowed it for up to three years after birth. So my distaste for the notion is cultural rather than objective. It helps to be aware of stuff like that. Did you know that the Bible even includes instructions for a chemically induced abotion (Numbers 5:11-31) for women suspected of infidelity? Fascinating!

People love throwing around the word “science” as though that can provide some kind of moral guidance. Yes, the cells making up an embrio or zygot are a unique combination of their parents’ genes and therefore can be defined as a unique and individual human who is going to die some time in the next 100 or so years regardless of what laws we pass. Genetic science can show that conception results in a new and unique human set of DNA. It can also show that the majority of fertilised eggs are naturally passed from the body and die, and of those that do manage to attach the the ureteral wall, well over half self abort within a few weeks under natural conditions.

The question really isn’t “Is this life human?”, as it clearly is. The real question is who gets to decide whether this individual human life should continue? Is it the parents or is it the government?


Posted by on December 4, 2013 in Political, Religious


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If I Ruled the World

Charlie Chaplin from the end of film The Great...

If I ruled the world:

I’d have a reputation based currency where prosocial actions that benefit a community’s interests raise an individual’s reputation with that group. People can raise their own reputation by doing favours for reputable individuals and organisations in line with the values of those entities. This would take the place of both commerce and politics and merge the two into a single system of reciprocity. People who build roads, for example, would gain positive regard from motorists and could expect a certain degree of reciprocal benefits from anybody who owns a car.

Prisons would be replaced with education facilities with practical courses on managing lifestyles without impacting on the rights of others. Basically, instead of telling criminals that they are Bad, tell them that they are simply at a lower level of development and help them to grow to a place where they can function within society.

English: Multiple Intelligences

English: Multiple Intelligences (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The education system itself would also become less prison-like, with a focus on multiple intelligences (rather than Maths and English) and a framework and a goal of developing existing gifts to a level of specialisation and also raising areas of weakness to levels where they can adequately support areas of gifting. School grades and subject access would end up looking more like a computer game skill tree as competency in one subject opens new options for study and development.

Pain, sorrow, anger and all the other “negative” emotions would still exist, but society would learn to see them as equally beneficial and positive contributors to healthy lifestyle. Consideration of the shadow self would be normalised through movies and television shows sponsored by the People’s Republic of Jamin. Fear of the “other” would gradually be broken down. Racial differences, sexual differences, cultural and religious differences would all be accepted and embraced, while still being measured for values alignment.

All babies born in hospitals would be sterilised at birth in a procedure which could be reversed in later life after the individual has been means tested, childcare trained and obtained a parenting licence.

Mining of non-renewable resources would be capped at the current rate and mining companies would use free market economics to determine who could mine what and in what quantities. Any group or individual using technology which creates changes in the natural environment would be required to take responsibility for mitigating any damage caused at their own expense. Electricity prices would probably be temporarily inflated, causing research into genuine renewables to become commercially viable.

So… who is voting for me as global dictator?

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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Political


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Addressing some Common Arguments Against Gay Marriage

With increasing movement toward normalising homosexual monogamy by legal recognition of gay marriage, I have noticed certain desperation in the arguments for the opposition. My first instinct was to have a bit of a chuckle at the silly fundies, but I have begun to see some whom I would otherwise consider intelligent people spouting some of the most ridiculous reasons to block this move toward marriage equality. My goal in this post is to clarify some common objections and unpackage the assumptions made by these claims and try to understand how people can believe them… and hopefully set some minds at ease.

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Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Political, sexuality


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What is Money?

MoneyOne of the major themes I am seeing come up time and time again in discussions about the Occupy Wall Street protests is the nature of money. Some people want it evenly distributed. Some want it to represent mineral reserves. Most think that the banks have too much of it and the workers have too little of it. Some want more government control of it. There are demands for restrictions of its printing while others want a decentralisation of currency and the right to print their own money rather than being required to use debt based currencies. There are a number of complex issues here which I can go into detail with in later articles, but there is a single pressing question that a true Jaminologist must ask before proceeding into any consideration of these demands. The question is: What is Money… Really?

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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in Financial, Political


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Does the ‘Casually Pepper Spraying Cop’ Meme Undermine the Seriousness of the Issue?

just watering my hippies

The original image of Lt John Pike spraying students

The initial video is intense, but what seems to stand out is the casual nature of the action. The protesters being attacked are not screaming and chanting. They are quietly sitting on a footpath preparing to be sprayed. They know it is coming yet they still refuse to move. They are bound by their conviction to stay. The police involved also know what is coming. They are not granted the option of backing down. They have been charged with the duty of clearing the path at any cost. Neither side is here for fun. Both have a job to do. The officers prepare themselves and with grim determination, they carry out their obligation without rage, malice or mockery. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in Political


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