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  1. #11
    bruce.b's Avatar
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    Religion: None. Areligious. Nontheist probably says it best. I don't believe in any personal gods or deities. I have no idea if there are any higher order intelligences in the Universe and no idea how the Universe/we came into existance. I'll always take the scientific skeptical viewpoint.


    Politics: Mostly apolitical. Rational Anarchist, definition below. I was 12 when I first read this and it still is my primary belief (It's actually a code of personal conduct and not so much a political belief)


    As far as my world views; we're screwed. It's simple, there are far too many people for our little planet to support. The only reason we were able to get our population so high is because we're drawing down the resources that have built up over geologic time scales and stealing from our children. We're running out of cheap energy, fresh water, destroying our soil, acidifying our oceans, destroying our fish stocks, cutting our forests, killing off genetic diversity, running out of precious metals.....


    If we don't willingly get our population under a billion people, war will eventually do it for us.


    bruce b.


    >>In his 1966 novel, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress(1), science-fiction Grand Master Robert A. Heinlein relates how the inhabitants of a colony on the moon carry out a revolution with the aid of a self-aware computer.. During a discussion leading up to the start of the revolution, one of the characters, Professor De La Paz, describes his political philosophy to fellow conspirators, Manuel O' Kelly and Wyoming Knott.


    De La Paz states that he is a rational anarchist:


    “A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame . . . as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. But being rational, he knows that not all individuals hold his evaluations, so he tries to live perfectly in an imperfect world . . . aware that his effort will be less than perfect yet undismayed by self-knowledge of self-failure.”

    Mannie: “Hear, hear!” I said. “‘Less than perfect.’ What I’ve been aiming for all my life.”


    “You’ve achieved it,” said Wyoh. “Professor, your words sound good but there is something slippery about them. Too much power in the hands of individuals—surely you would not want . . well, H-missiles for example—to be controlled by one irresponsible person?”

    Prof: “My point is that one person is responsible. Always. If H-bombs exist—and they do—some man controls them. In terms of morals there is no such thing as a ‘state.’ Just men. Individuals. Each responsible for his own acts.”<<


  2. #12
    egmutza's Avatar
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    bruce.b, have you read any Ayn Rand? She&#39;s not an anarchist of any sort, but I suspect her take on rationality and individual rights might be of interest to you.


  3. #13
    merm's Avatar
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    Religion - Atheist. Not an easy gig in this part of Texas. The wife and I are surrounded by very evangelical Christians. I was raised Catholic and even went to a Catholic college but I cannot ever recall actually believing in a god.


    Politics - Liberal. I come from a long line of D&#39;s on both sides of my family. I am considering getting into local politics soon. Either city commissioner or school board member.


  4. #14
    FlyNavyWife's Avatar
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    merm, I completely understand your religious situation. I grew up in the "bible belt" in South Carolina. I actually had kids on the bus in HIGH SCHOOL telling me I was going to hell because I&#39;m an atheist. Way to let God do the judging, right?


    One fun thing to do is bring up the issue of ... "Well if I&#39;m a good person and live a good life, would I still go to heaven even if I don&#39;t believe in God?"


    Their answer, "If you don&#39;t believe in Him, why would He invite you into His house? You&#39;re going to hell."


    My reply, "Well if I don&#39;t believe in the devil, why would he invite me into HIS house?"


    Of course, this isn&#39;t all Christians - and most of my good friends are VERY religious Christians. This is just the viciously evangelistic ones who try to scare people into joining their church.


    Another thing that bugs me (which has happened to me several times) is when an evangelist acquaintance finds out about my lack of religious beliefs and ceremoniously gives me a bible. "Here, read this just to make sure you know what you&#39;re missing out on."

    I&#39;ve read most of the bible and grew up going to church and Sunday school... I&#39;m not ignorant. I just don&#39;t believe it.


    Sorry for the rant, y&#39;all.

    Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.

  5. #15
    Shine's Avatar
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    Merm, where in Texas? I&#39;m about an hour and a half north of Austin, so I can relate to the feeling of drowning in evangelicism. I also grew up in a very Catholic family; even if I were to adhere to the religion of my upbringing, I would still not be sufficiently "saved" to satisfy the fervent dogma of the local evangelical sects.


    @FNW: Ha, I also find myself the lone atheist/agnostic at my public, yet predominantly Christian, school. Although the issue doesn&#39;t usually arise, I definitely felt on my own in a philosophy course last spring. Needless to say, attempting serious discourse over morality and reality quickly dissolves into an exercise in futility when the opposing viewpoint constantly cites the bible as an infalliable resource. It is impossible to have a meaningful discussion when faith, the romanticization of ignorance, is exalted over logic, reason, and rationality. (I hope that doesn&#39;t sound inflammatory; I don&#39;t mean to use ignorance in a negative connotation. I mean to say that faith is a way of making "I-don&#39;t-know" sound prettier and feel better.)


  6. #16
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    Persistent and widespread beliefs in magic today, in the middle of the 21st century, makes me want to lose the little hope on humanity I have left.


    Religion: Atheist

    Politics: I used to be a libertarian, but the more I read about psychological determinism and free will, the more I think that we need a state to compensate inequalities based on luck, not effort. So I am not sure anymore...

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  7. #17
    bruce.b's Avatar
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    bruce.b, have you read any Ayn Rand?


    A long time ago I did. I should check her out again.


    Recently finished The Paleo Diet, Primal Blueprint and Good Calories, Bad Calories; all good. GCBC is sometimes a bit of a slog but worthwhile. Interesting discussion of the rampant bias and bad science in the field.


    I&#39;m currently reading adventure books. Just finished Born To Run. I found it very enjoyable. I&#39;m reading Crazy For The Storm by Norman Ollestad right now. Great book! The story of an 11 year old who is the only survivor of a plane crash. It&#39;s also about his childhood and his adventure seeking dad (surfer, skier, FBI agent, lawyer). Into Thin Air and Shadow Divers up next.


    bruce b.


  8. #18
    alejandro's Avatar
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    Atheist/agnostic


    Libertarian(minarchist)


  9. #19
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    bruce.b - Shadow Divers is a great read. Read it last year after a friend recommended it. Ever read "Endurance" (about Ernest Shackleton&#39;s crew)? Also a fantastic adventure and survival read.


  10. #20
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    Religion: A/non-theist

    Politics: Federalist/Libertarian


    Serial, I&#39;m really curious about your statement regarding psychological determinism and free will. Care to expound? You can start a new thread so we don&#39;t threadjack.


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