Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Dr. Joseph E. Lowery’s Benediction Transcript @ President Obama’s Inauguration

Can there be any question of the power of words?

Can there be any mystery why the sophisticated symbolism of words binds people to…

  • Others
  • Ideals
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Dogma
  • Superstition
  • Loss
  • Hope?

This learned set of symbols… these words… in whatever language they form… are powerful. Words have a value that connects people reading and hearing them as well as separates those not understanding those words.

Based on past histories and current contexts words rouse unforgettable warmth or irreconcilable anger which, in term, become learned by those experiencing them and watching others experience them. It is a reciprocal relationship; words represent traditions and traditions represent words (as we witnessed with the second swearing in of President Obama). When repeated over and over words morph oh so slowly while becoming ingrained in the fabric of civilization. Traditions, including those of religion, bigotry, superstition, inaugurations and funerals are indelible links between people all represented by words.

Sam Harris in “The End of Faith,” has many logical points concerning traditions, superstition and cultures as do so many others including this author. However, at one time or another we all miss another point that gets lost in emotional [ratio strain] self-righteousness; being right is a relative target and is not what everyone values. One thing for sure is that we all value some words organized in some order representing some experiences.

The changes Sam Harris and others search for will come only through a process of selection by consequences. The things that will replace bigotry and fear and traditions of hate must be learned just as the superstitions and belief systems they were based on were learned. If that is the case, and it most assuredly is, Sam and some of the others will not be here to celebrate a new form of enlightenment where understanding the elemental basis of how behavior works is a primary requirement of primary school graduation.

While we work for all those words describing the elements of understanding behavior in our culture we can appreciate Dr. Lowery’s words for what they represent: a plea to figure out what the heck is going on out there.

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The CNN article “Charting the psychology of evil, decades after ‘shock’ experiment” ought to be retitled “Charting the psychology of web reading on a Dull Friday

Stanley Milgram’s research was remarkable and valuable. It has been replicated. It has been quoted and interpreted to ad nausium. Now in an effort to sell copy during the hiatus between presidents some genius has resurrected it and given it a fancy name with “evil” in the title. Now it has a zillion hits and is replete with “coulds” shoulds” oughts, may, and other conditional phrases that allow the reader to be led down a path to a possible chance-finding of a new version of a car crash.

Words are powerful. It is a sign of Dumbness when people hoping to land on an island of absoluteness grasp on to anything that is presented as binary:

Good vs. evil

right vs. wrong

Chevy vs. Ford

normal vs. abnormal

Democrat vs. Republican

Worker vs. management

Muslim vs. Christian                                                           

etc. vs. etc

It’s here again. We use the research rather than this sadly disturbed illiterate interpretation to keep authority figures off alter boys, teachers off cheerleaders, bosses off new-hires and rent-a-dicks away from ‘civilian combatants’ in detainment.

But, because we have the 1890 concept of behavior as being based on religion, traditions, and good and evil, all these perverts continue to exist aided by the writers who need to finish off the month with a dippy article in order to look like they know how to read.

All this has to do with implied and explicit rules and a false sense of personal and divine responsibility that has been part of the teachings in schools and churches and synagogues for 400 years at least.

Pay attention to the consequences to understand behavior. Pay attention to the rules that the “other” person is working under to understand behavior. Pay attention to the knowledge that you have millions of rules you don’t know about and those rules are not likely the same as anyone else’s rules – at the moment they are your rules. Pay attention that the different rules you attend to on Monday don’t exist on Sunday.

When reading about “What the heck is going on out in the world? – consider that some grad students or volunteers got paid to be in an experiment 29 years ago. They wanted to do it right in front of all the PhDs and they wanted the money and they wanted to show they were smart and on and on.    Hundreds of rules were working including doing what you were told that our parents locked down early on.

When you define things arbitrarily – the things like evil, good, honest, hero, sinner, saint, patriot, freedom fighter, and all the other meta-terms keep their fuzziness so that you read what you bring to the article. (By the way, that is another experiment to read up on….) While having specific and empirical definitions is not going to happen, using your noggin for something more than a baseball cap rack can’t be beat.

As they say on ESPN’s NFL Countdown… “C-mon Man!

This site and this author will contribute by provided one of the many versions of “BALONEY DETECTION COLLECTION”… stay tuned…it’s coming to you and, as always, it is FREE…

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Playboy and the Virgin Mary?

Playboy and the Virgin Mary?

CNN and others have reported on the “offense” generated by the Mexican edition of Playboy.

Sanchez: We do. It’s right here. This is from the publisher of the magazine, Raul Sayrols. He says, “The image is not and never was intended to portray the Virgin of Guadalupe,” — which is the Virgin Mary — “The intent was to portray a renaissance-like mood on the cover.” Interesting. Let me bring in somebody for whom this hits home. He’s one of the best known priests in the United States. His name is Father Cutie. I worked with him in Miami many times, has his own show — actually he’s got his own book out now. It’s called “Real Life, Real Love.” Bestseller, by the way. Father, are we as Catholics just too sensitive when it comes to this kind — after all, it’s a beautiful woman being shown to represent what is, in our minds, to all of us, a beautiful woman.

Father Albert Cutie: Listen, there’s no doubt that she’s a beautiful woman. But a stained-glass window and the veil that looks like that, certainly there’s a reference to Mary. Whoever tells you there isn’t is simply being hypocritical or not very honest. And that’s what I don’t like about the statement from Playboy magazine. I think that they timed it not only with the Virgin of Guadalupe, as Glenda was saying, but also with the month of December. How many nativity scenes are out there this time of the year? How many times is Mary a central figure in this whole celebration? And this is offensive. This is very offensive. It’s blasphemous.


You read in this interview about all sorts of intentions and indications and meanings.  Folks, gimme a break.  Of course this sells magazines.  Of course this is “offensive”.

Really, though,  We’re asking Playboy to apologize for this and not other images?

What really are we objecting to?

What’s offensive?

And why this depection versus the Ivy League’s Hottest or heffner’s twins.

Or why isn’t the continued struggles (for various sexual issues) of the Catholic church constantly objected to?

These are rhetorical questions of course.

The Catholic image does more to sell sex than any other image, certainly online.  Think Britney Spears.

Sometimes when you reinforce something as a punishment (sex is bad) so long it becomes an reinforcer for other things (attention for breaking protocol).   The more you issue the punishment the more you reinforce the other behavior.

Sometimes the best approach is no reinforcement at all.

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Kathleen Parker: The abortion gospel according to Pelosi is just wrong


…and various newspapers around the country on 8/29/08

So there are several questions to be considered and answered, if possible, initiated by your swirl around issues of abortion, law and woman’s rights, not the least of which is free speech. Consideration of these type questions will hopefully allow some level of resolution, if not provide relief from the passionate but bullying finality you express in this referenced piece that has come to be the hallmark of the sound-bite society.

For starters, your writing behavior is an example that one can’t separate religious views from science and news interpretation – alluding to ‘science and religion in agreement’ comment at the end of your article. That is very myopic statement in that you appear to be referring to Catholicism and not Jainism or Shinto or Mormonism as ‘religion’.

There is no such thing as the instant when life begins. There is no immaculate spark or divine initiation. Fertilization takes hours and is the product of two or more living cells, and, like any cellular division, it is not created in any sense other than a religious sense of the term.

Human development begins with the process of the zygote, which is a single cell like the brain is a single organ. However, if there is no nidation and the fertilized cell is sloughed off, it is as if the conception and fertilization never occurred.

Brought to light that the fertilized entity represents never-to-be realized potential, would there be some nuts out there that want to bury menstrual products in some deification of lost human potential? Is the fertilized cell prayed for or is the women singled out as the guilty party due to lack of nidation? Is this type loss of potential members to the faith one of the reasons that some religions scorn women and treat them as secondary communicants?

How does the Catholic church reflect on this by-product of unrequited union? Menstrual products can’t be glorified (given the last rights because it wasn’t a cognizant being or baptized) because without some blood analysis, one can’t determine if it carried a fertilized cell or not.

New additions to your literary skills are duly noted in your review of the cogent legal issue references of Roe v. Wade as the rule of the land. You write as if people including Justice Blackmun conspired in some way to make you and your dogma look bad. I posit that what the justices saw and acknowledged was a convergence of difficult issues due to the lack of monocausality. You had no such inhibition and that appears to be a great comfort to you. However, your general foggy understanding of law, constitutional prevalence and neuroendocrinology based on two books you obviously didn’t read does stand out.

Heaven forbid (like that phrase?) that Pelosi has a right to speak her views as she did, while you, stand tall as a writer and courier of social banality, state rightness and wrongness while discounting her right to do what you are doing.

Please rise above absolutists and do some reflection before you write about non-dogmatic material. I have no problem with how you came to have your beliefs. I am contemptuous of pretenders to the thrown who pawn their beliefs off on others as substantiated facts.

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One of my great friends and confidants has pointed out, in a non-chiding way, that one of my favorite authors, Ben Stein, has been doing and saying some disturbing and annoying things lately. This phase of his career started to get weird with the movie he produced and starred in called “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.”

Six Things in Expelled That Ben Stein Doesn’t Want You to Know …

Apr 16, 2008 In the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, narrator Ben Stein poses as a “rebel” willing to stand up to the scientific establishment in
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=six-things-benstein-doesnt-want-you-to-know – 159k – CachedSimilar pages

The Big Picture | Farewell To Ben Stein

Let us not forget that Ben Stein thinks that Nixon could have won the Vietnam War, and defeated the Kamar Rouge, but not for the dastardly deeds of Woodward
bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/01/farewell-to-ben.html – 181k – CachedSimilar pages

Well, the movie was panned. It is not at all good or entertaining, or informative. But now his reinforcers come increasingly from Fox faculty and from those who have a lot to lose if things continue to move in several different directions…. In education, government, free speech, the courts, the reduction of the imperial presidency, science, etc.

He has some points of fairness but some of the reviews in Scientific America were scathing. He benefits by being on the shows of bull dogs ‘cause he is a known entity. But where is it going? He can’t be looking for another TV gig, can he??!! He has some agenda. Stay tuned…

The people that he, BS, pushes in academia have some good and some mediocre value to science… but, in a peer review based community they don’t do well at all so they don’t get the tenure tracks, the research $$, etc. The free speech argument is impotent if no one is listening! It’s like it was for the black panthers: People hear it but don’t listen twice… even if it was true.

Say that 5 or 15 scientist have a point…well, it is chalkboard science rather than electromicrosopy level stuff so the shock jocks are the only ones that BS gets to visit because a guest lecturer series at MIT would or U. of Kazakhstan would not be entertained. His movie assures that!

Free speech per se is not part of academic freedom any more than racial epitaphs are part of the schick in a comedy club. The guy that posed that World Trade center focus on 9/11 was retaliation for 120 years of subjugation and abuse in the Middle East by Westerners, from the U. of Colorado was bounced. Nothing to do with data… just research grants and academic respect.

It may be more about BS then the profs that question evolution. Like Darwin work churned for 150 years to get traction, these belly-ache-ers are being used by BS and will have to fight to make their point. A media blitz works against it, so… what’s his agenda? Stay tuned!…..

They know what they are doing in academia. BS knows what he is doing in media mud. Both are faced with an uphill climb and a) getting someone in science in some country that doesn’t recognize voodoo to bridge their work to what we know about that is basic to chemistry, anatomy, paleontology, etc. that is more powerful than man and money having 99.997% of the same DNA… and b) getting BS to account for his loopiness or give him a show on conspiracy theories in the vein of John Stossel on 20/20 on ABC.

I can just see it now… he gets on TV with a hard-hitting conspiracy angle… and starts in on ‘morality of stem cell research’, intelligent design, elder care and extension of life and then ‘Self termination criteria you can live with’ and the ratings go over the top…. New reality based TV… a series: CSI – Geriatrics, or “Make a Wish in Area 51” and… oh, the horror…..Oh, Ben… Don’t be that way…

Don’t ask… No, I didn’t see the movie. I also didn’t see “Ol Yeller.” I am as good at ‘suspending disbelief’ as the next guy but I didn’t need the practice that bad.

However, I was heavy into what was going on with him and the scientists.


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We all know that if you want to get your point across you need to begin teaching it early and with much fanfare and pomp. Families use holidays and traditions to cement the family unit and the values they collectively hold every time there is a birthday party, birth, wedding or death. Clearly getting to the youth early makes them become part of the unit early and potentially moves to maintain them in the fold for as long as possible.


It is not surprising then that the Catholic Pope Benedict XVI moved to get to the important stuff at the World Youth Day this week in Australia. I’ve been to one before and they are something to behold! Clearly the faithful and searching youth need to know what’s most important in their life. What great timing. He gets to tell the gathering eager searchers how to make the world a better place.


Worldwide AIDS/HIV fight…? No…

Condemnation of sexual abuse by priests…? No…

End to war..? No..

End of 43 years of impotence on genocide in Europe or Africa? No..

Return of art from the masses taken for “safe keeping”…? No…

Lead a simple life…? No…

Support of sex education in poor nations…? No…


The Pope attacked moral relativism! Right! The Pope made it clear what the enemy was and attacked – again – the idea that there are no absolute truths.


Nothing infuriates the Catholic Church and some less voracious church fathers as much as relativism (the denial of absolute truth which they, not surprisingly, are in charge of) that leads to moral relativism that leads to – according to their thinking – preventing ‘human minds’ from the ability to arrive at truth. For Catholics, denial of an absolute reference denies God.


But wait, there’s more. Some have referred to the subject matter as the “dictatorship of relativism” (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger). In this sense, any thinking is to be done, any evaluation, they will do it.


“Relativism… …has made ‘experience’ all-important. Yet experiences, detached from any consideration of what is good or true, can lead not to genuine freedom, but to moral or intellectual confusion, to a lowering of standards…”


Those would be the standards we’ve seen in the news for the last 20+ years (for actions of 60+ years) and that resulted in 3 excommunications out of the 244 priests that have been dismissed for inappropriate actions. Nineteen have served jail time. Oh, those absolute truths…!

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Boy, has that a lot of meanings….

But consider this version of ‘cosmos’…


According to Lawrence Krauss of NEWScientist magazine, David Brook wrote in The New York Times in May that


“…while we moderns see space as a black, cold, mostly empty vastness, with planets and stars propelled by gravitational and other forces, Europeans in the Middle Ages saw a more intimate and magical place. The heavens, to them, were a ceiling of moving spheres, rippling with signs and symbols, and moved by the love of God… The modern view disenchants the universe and tends to make it ‘all fact and no meaning’.” 


YIKES!  This is a world-view a 5 year-old would not embrace.


Brooks’s article reflects a popular view of science and technology shared the world over.  For too many and for too long, the complexity and majesty of the inner workings of the universe, a cell phone  or a blender – robs some of the ghostliness and the mercurial wonder fulfilled by myth, superstition and religion.  

Only the hopelessly lost and the cynical would suggest that medieval banter, hallucinations, and fantasy are of greater value to man today and our future than the actual workings of the universe.

This romanticized fantasy and yearning for the “good ‘ol days” is more frequent and pervasive in times of great change and upheaval when all the absolutes are evaporating in a short course of accelerated science. 

On the opposite end, the spiritual and mythical universe is anchored among our fundamentalist religious myths, along with virgin births, booga-booga incantations and other intellectually lazy creations of simple minds where answers must be keep equally simple rather than accurate or non-existent.  Brooks’s column referenced Barack Obama’s much-maligned statement that – some people turn to religion and guns for refuge from the inequities that abound.   From the response, Obama must have struck a note that many people would rather not hear.

Science is not necessarily a comfortable place to hang out.  It certainly is not for everyone.  For those that do hang out in the library, lab, or field explorations, it is laughable to have naysayers poo-poo science while they are clogging their brain arteries with cholesterol, The Simpson’s and Brittany Spears.  When it comes to an emergency cure for clogged arteries, some neurosurgeon with 25 years of science philosophy, practice, and imagination will be paged to save his life.  There is no current cure for The Simpson’s and Brittany Spears brain clogged arteries.

A lot has happened since the discovery of the new world.  Sailors from those ancient times mentioned above learned that the constellations in the sky were a ‘tool’ to navigate and an aid to their survival.  Many could only wonder if the same star constellations existed in the other hemispheres around the globe.  The light from the stars of other galaxies takes billions of years to reach us.  Those sailors saw light that is ceased to glow since then.  It seems that surely expands the imagination more than incense, fables and war-lording that’s provoked by religions feuding over who are the ‘delivered’ people.

The skies are not inhabited by mythical beasts, nymphs or fairies.  But, yes, their may be life out there or a version of it that some of us can agree on. 

Worldwide superstition is based on fear and lack of understanding of the relationships between entities in the universe.   Until we learn to separate mythical thinking from a knowledge base developed empirically, we’ll continue to invent alternative realities to justify whatever is the current superstition.  Thus, for now it is important that we get an accelerated perspective on what is imaginary and what is real.

Why does it matter if people cling to myths for solace from the confusion?  

It matters because real-world problems such as hate, hunger, disease, genocide, and climate change can only be solved by real-world thinking. That will require that people get uncomfortable.  Our “raison d’être” is survival. Nature doesn’t exist to serve humanity. It is ruthless.  It knows nothing about accounting or retirement or children in religious sects.  While it is hard today to abandon silliness, it will become even harder when consequences of superstition are racking every thing on earth – especially when our own survival is at stake. 

Recounting myths and calling it ‘tradition’ does the world a disservice.  Myths put humans at the center of everything.  That is a big error.  Be suspicious of those that promote human based logic. By acquiescing to some ‘harmless’ superstitious practices the weary and confused are distracted from selections about the future that even doom their wishful thinking that is the staple of supernatural thought.  

None of this is easy so lets get started right away.


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Polygamist sect conditioned girls from birth
Washington Times – 1 hour ago
By Valerie Richardson The 16-year-old girl whose phone call led to the massive raid on a West Texas polygamist compound was repeatedly beaten and sexually abused by her much-older husband, according to state documents released yesterday.
Teen mothers reported at polygamist sect’s compound
Los Angeles Times
Papers detail alleged abuse at sect’s compound
USA Today
New York TimesKGANThe Associated PressABC News
all 3,205 news articles »

There’s a shocker!   Didn’t see that coming.   Who would have thought that?  I wonder what they mean by ‘conditioning’ in this Google news article on 4-9-08 about those people in South Texas?   Are they claiming they were conditioned like rats or monkeys?   That’s outrageous!

I guess that religion is just weird…a cult or worse! Good thing it has been discovered so that we can ‘help’ save those members of the CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS people… After all, they used all the conditioning methods below.  Some are versions of other methods listed but those polygamists used them on their women and children…

Reward – Reinforcement

· I’ll reward you if you do it. “if you do this spread sheet I’ll pay you on pay day at this rate…”

· “Thanks! I’ll make certain your parents know how good you did in school today.”


· You won’t get an allowance if you don’t clean your room.  “If you don’t read the scriptures today, I won’t be able to speak to the mullah on behalf of your salvation.” “If you can’t recite the Catechism section in Church on Sunday God will not be pleased.”

Positive Expertise

· As your pastor, I can tell you that rewards will occur if you do X, because of the Gods love for you.  Or “If you start working out at our gym regularly, you’ll be thinner and will make a good wife to bear children with one of the elders of the community.”

Negative Expertise

· Speaking as an authority on the subject, I can tell you that punishments will occur if you do Y, because Y is a SIN!  “If you don’t recant, you may never get another chance—God’s patience in these matters is not infinite.”

Gifting, Pre-giving

· Giving something as a gift, before requesting compliance. The idea is that the target will feel the need to reciprocate later. “Here’s a little something we thought you’d like. Now about those reading the homely this Sunday? . . .”


· Calling in past favors. “After all I’ve done for you!  I request this small favor and now it’s a big deal all of a sudden….”

Aversive Stimulation

· Continuous punishment, and the cessation of punishment is contingent on compliance. “I’m going to read my Bible out loud in front of your friends if you insist on playing your rock music. When stop listening to that garbage I’ll stop reading out loud.”

Moral Appeal

· This tactic entails finding moral common ground on a set of rules, also conditioned, and then using the rule set of a person to obtain compliance. “You believe that women have a traditional importance in the family don’t you? You don’t believe that women ought to work as hard as men, do you? Then you ought to sign this petition! It’s the right thing to do.”

Positive Self-feeling

· You’ll feel better if you X. “If you join our kibbutz today, you’ll feel better about yourself because you’ll know that you’re improving and contributing your soul every day.”

Negative Self-feeling

· You’ll feel bad if you Y. “If you don’t marry this Zionist and bear him children, you’ll find it hard to live with yourself or your faithful parents who brought you up to obey the law of Punjab.”

Positive Altercasting

*    Good people do X. “The truly faithful people tend to volunteer for sacrifical training right after high school. Are you one of the faithful?”

Negative Altercasting

· Only a bad person would do Y. “You don’t look like an atheist.  Are you sure you won’t come to services with me if I go out with you?!”

Positive Esteem of Others

· Other people will think more highly of you if you X. “People respect a man who drives a Mercedes. No one cares about his _______ [fill in the nefarious type] connections.”

Negative Esteem of Others

· Other people will think worse of you if you Y. “You don’t want people thinking that you’re a loser, do you?”

I’ll bet the vile conditioning the polygamists used was a lot different than the ‘good’ ways that others condition their members, employees, children, citizens …














Baby sitting

Watching TV










Ok, you caught me… choking is not learned; it’s a reflex. The others are all learned though through consequences as feedback.  The polygamists were conditioned and we’re all conditioned using the same methods and procedures.  Good guys do it and so do bad guys.

It’s just that what we call bad is arbitrary and not absolute.  It too is conditioned.  Along the way we all come to value some things and not value others.  When some potentate says its bad some of us believe it and some laugh out loud.

What we believe gets conditioned and becomes our reference points – better known as our “biases” – which gives them their good, righteous, virtuous, and lofty titles and also their which give them their evil, sinner, heathen, crook, terrorist, bad biases titles.

So how were the West Texas women and children in the story different than other groups that do the same thing only aren’t…

· polygamists

· isolated them from other ideas and influences

There isn’t. Seems that the Catholics have their nunneries, the other religions have their missions, catechisms, bar mitzvah’s, etc.  The Hasidic Jews in New York area are particularly secretive about their practices with young people.  Why isn’t the New York state and US Marshall’s offices investigating them or raiding their temples?

Could it be that there are some biases going on…?   “If you are like us, we can look the other way but if you are not like us and we can find some reason to make you fit in, we’ll take a shot at disbanding your, vilifying you or making your practices illegal.”

No one is tolerating the abuse that was present. However, if that was the sole criteria for raiding a sanctuary of worship we’d raid the NBA training camps where spousal abuse is treated as a collateral damage for players having the pressure of making a lot of money.

There are a lot of double standards; let’s not wince but get a clear view of what’s going on. Then we’ll all meet at the other churches and high schools where similar abuses and sexual abstinence are conditioned.  That’s worked wonders hasn’t it!?

So the next time you see a heading in the local scandal sheet or city newspaper like:

“Polygamist sect conditioned girls from birth”

We’re all conditioned from birth…  So, you know that it is not about “conditioning from birth” but that something else is there that the editors don’t agree with or that will sell a lot of papers.

And oh, by the way, that behavior set is conditioned too.

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Lets consider a dying star. Any dying star. 

They are out there you know… dying, forming and changing as assuredly as Earth’s season’s change only their timeline is highly skewed toward the million year epoch.

On a gross level, all those stars out there dying do pretty much similar things when they die.   Eventually they turn into ‘white dwarfs’ and, as they cool from exhausting their nuclear fuel, they gain mass and become very dense cinders in the sky.  The consensus is that white dwarfs are the end stages of the evolution of low or medium-mass stars – like our Sun, which is why dying stars are interesting.

Once the hydrogen content of our Sun is exhausted, the Sun will balloon into a ‘red giant’ on the way to becoming a ‘white dwarf.’  Besides colorful and taking a long time, the Sun will slough off its outer layers for a couple million light years and in so doing will destroy the balance that used to exist in our space time continuum.  The dying star’s planetary nebula that forms will engulf everything in our solar system as far out as Mars.  Long before that happens of course, it will completely and irrevocably change everything in our solar system for a couple of million light years out. More to the point, it will envelope Earth.  That’s right.  Earth get’s zapped millions of years prior to the Sun’s end and there is ‘zip’ one can do about it.  It’s over. 

Long before the planetary nebula is sloughed off and changes our solar system, Earth will be destroyed along with all life and McDonalds.  Even cockroaches will be zapped back to energy stuff.

While we are all content today on watching the unfolding of the latest hockey standings or Brittany Spears’ faux pas, there are some things out there that are even more important than world peace and redistribution of wealth. 

Which brings up some interesting questions...

The first question I have is, “Whose god is going to intervene and prevent this from happening?”  I mean you can’t have it both ways… you can’t have subjects of your faith if you mess them up that badly.  If you call this end to everything ‘your’ omnipotent doing then you are some weird deity to what that to happen.  If you say it that is due to misbehavior mankind, then why zap my gardenias?   Why put an end to anteaters?  What I am suggesting to the gods out there, if you want a bunch of followers come up with a different solution than the Big Zap.  You may want to advocate a less drastic set of consequences. If you do you’ll get a lot of followers.   Just a thought.

If this is an Armageddon promised by some gods, I’d like to know which one because I am pretty sure me and my friends want to invest in a different one; one with a different value system or one that doesn’t view all everything (life and non-life) as cataclysmally irrelevant. Until the end is here or near I’ll put my efforts in that one and see if I can’t steer him or her or it to come to some middle ground.  So, find me that deity and I’ll become a priest. 

The next question I need an answer to is, “Who is going to discuss whose mystical work this is and what justification it has?”  I’d like to know. Today it would seem to be Islam vs. Christianity but that may not be the players in the future.  Maybe the players in the future will be some minor deities like minor gospels in Christianity that were passed over for various reasons.  If that is the case, now is your time to shine and speak up.  Then again, it seems like if you are going to start a new religion or overtake an existing one you’d have to do some planning on this topic.

Let’s move on…

I’d like to know what the actions are available to those that think empiricism and science can get us off Earth to a youthful and vital planet in another solar system related to a newer or younger star that will support my lifestyle.  So here is the question:  “Should I study religion or physics to make that happen?”  I mean, if there is a chance of a solution without solving some transporter problems to exoplanets that will support life, I’d like to take a shot at that or tell my tetra-giga-grandchildren to forsake nano-polymer mica-physics and take up numerology or Poly. Sci. courses so that we can talk this over somewhere down the road.

So, “If talk will not work then what courses do you suggest?”   “Should I go the way of philosophy and semantics of S. I. Hayakawanot the actor – or a minor scholar at a major university?”

Another question… “If things were to get really ecumenical, how will I approach it if I am here in the Northern Hemisphere and the deity or transporter headquarters is in Rio de Janeiro?” 

And a follow-up question or two…

“Will there be subjects or delegates if there is immigration to another planet?” 

“Is biotelemetry going to be involved or some other form of information transfer?”

“Will my lineage be a factor or is there going to be some other criteria?”


I think that anyone’s answers to these questions will help a lot and get me headed in the right direction so feel free to share what you know.



Mason Ross

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John H. Bryant writes:

Behaviorally speaking, what happened when Barack Obama spoke on religion yesterday?For some, like the way I approached the speech and later his presentation, Obama’s speech might have seemed to be about religion… or perhaps the American Black experience… or perhaps the generational tug of our past with what is important to us today. Well, it wasn’t about religion as much as we might think it was.

Yes, we’ve into a shift in religion (Religious Shift in America 2008), energy, globalization, business, etc.

I know what I heard but I noticed something else. My conclusion is there is no Hope for an undefined future condition called ‘a better America’. It has arrived.

What I heard was a shift and a loss of cues that we all have depended upon for so long. Behaviorally they are called SDs or “S – Ds” and stand for ‘discriminative stimuli’. You know, the things we recognize, the brands, the terms, the words, the stimuli out in the environment that we come to recognize as meaning good and bad, smart and dull, etc.; anything that allows us to discriminate one thing from another. While reading the speech that came out in the AM prior to the Barack’s presentation, I couldn’t tell who was speaking. We saw a difficult subject handled without acrimony: race.

Barack Obama speech laid waste to more of the SDs that we’ve all depended on but that are no longer dependable. What are we going to do now if we can’t depend on those old stereotypes? (SDs)

  • We lost the inflamatory rhetoric SD of White, Jackson, Farrakhan and others
  • We lost the ‘done me wrong’ SD
  • We lost the ‘one cause’ explanation for 300 years of bad behavior SD
  • We lost the ‘good guy – bad guy’ dichotomy SD
  • We lost the ‘quick fix’ remedy in my term claim SD
  • We lost the government can make it better pabulum SD
  • We lost the SD of when to have the gut wrenching sinking feeling

I’m a pretty smart guy so I need to figure out the consequences of losing my SDs.

  • How is this going to work if Barack Obama speaks and says things that are not purely Democratic, Republican or Washington centric?
  • How is this going to work if Barack Obama speaks and you can’t tell if he favors those that are white or black?
  • How is this going to work if Barack Obama speaks and he doesn’t instill fear of the future?
  • How is this going to work if Barack Obama speaks and he doesn’t try to make you mistrust those who want him silenced?
  • How is this going to work if Barack Obama speaks and you think he is talking directly to you rather than in lobbyist code?
  • How is this going to work if Barack Obama speaks and you can’t tell why he knows what you value?
  • How is this going to work if Barack Obama speaks and you don’t hear that government knows what is best for you?

Wow, this election is getting complicated. I am going to have to make other associations with Barack Obama when he speaks and that’s hard work because it involves changing my stereotypical SDs.

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