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Hang With Friends

Location: Earth
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Come on in, pull up a chair!

Picture yourself spending some time with congenial friends, sharing your lives and pictures from your cell phones." They're curious about that cool game, song, movie, camping trip, art show, or other event that fascinated you. You talk about all kinds of stuff, poetry, styles, personal achievements, relationships, and bad days. You can share your inner child, and laugh together. They sympathetically listen to your feelings about serious topics like politics or climate change, even when they don't agree.

Personal validation comes from paying attention to one another, giving more than you get. Everyone respects you and themselves, despite our amazing range of personal tastes and interests. They'll tell you they don't agree with an idea or behavior without implying you're a bad person or somehow deficient. It's an "I'm OK, You're OK" kind of fellowship, where nobody tries to make himself look better by picking on somebody else.

Nobody here is into mind games. A discussion started with a loaded guilt-throwing question will be deleted.

This group is not intended to compete with other groups on topics they cover but to "fill in the cracks." Whenever a discussion dwells at length on a topic for which there's an existing group, we urge you to provide members a link to that group to continue along their tangent.

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Please start a discussion to share stories, photos, and videos. Replies will pop up in your "latest activity" and a conversation can develop from the feelings and thoughts you contributed. Groups are built on discussions.

Discussion Forum

Yasmine Mohammed - Confessions of an Ex-Muslim (The Thinking Atheist)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Idaho Spud Jul 7. 6 Replies

Yasmine Mohammed is not your average ex-Muslim.  Not only did she get shut of Islam, she also managed to escape what was at one time the most notorious of radical Islamist organizations: Al Qaeda.  She has since documented the story of her apostasy…Continue

Tags: Islam, Al Qaeda, Yasmine Mohammed, The Thinking Atheist, Seth Andrews

Ignorance is Bliss: Why Religious People Seem Happier Than the 'Nones'”.

Started by Joan Denoo Jul 6. 0 Replies

“Highly Religious Volunteer More, Lie Less, and Claim to Be Happier”~ Houston Chronicle; “Strongly Religious People are Happier than Non-Religious”  ~ Christian Daily."The study determined that 40 percent of highly religious adults—defined as those…Continue

Tags: Nones, happiness, non-religiosity, religiosity, bliss

Afrodisiacs – African Aphrodisiacs

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jun 26. 4 Replies

Am I so old and not know the definition of aphrodisiac, and its historical definition being based on Aphrodite, that her name came from the African drugs that Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used for sexual enhancement? Dhu!  Aphrodite, ancient Greek…Continue

Tags: Africa, Lady, Victorian

Degrees of Doubt: The Claims and Credentials of Ravi Zacharias (The Thinking Atheist)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Chris May 17. 1 Reply

Anyone here ever run onto an apologist by the name of Ravi Zacharias?  I've seen his name dropped multiple times on YouTube as supposedly being THE ONE APOLOGIST that no atheist wants to cross swords with, because of his facility with christian…Continue

Tags: Ravi Zacharias, Steve Baughman, The Thinking Atheist, Seth Andrews

The Most Hated Woman in America (The Thinking Atheist)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Gary S Apr 19. 7 Replies

Before Aron Ra and Matt Dillahunty, before Dawkins or Dennett or Harris or even Hitchens, there was Madalyn Murray O'Hair.  In the midst of an America where Christianity was being flaunted as a defense against the godless communists of the Soviet…Continue

Tags: Frank Zindler, The Thinking Atheist, Seth Andrews, Madalyn Murray O'Hair

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Comment by Ian Mason on July 19, 2016 at 1:19am

Joan, there is no guaranteed basic income in the Scandinavian countries. All unemployment benefits and social security are being eroded one piece at a time. First was a 50% cut for refugees on "integration allowance" with other small changes for the rest of us but we'll also be losing more as time goes by. Norway could afford to be generous to its citizens by declaring a tax-free month per annum for several years but only because of the income from North-sea oil. That won't be happening any more.

A solution? Karl Marx said "socialism or barbarism." I think that Marx's analysis of capitalism is still the best to date but what to do next is another question. Some sort of co-operative economic system based on the common good instead of profit and without exploitation of the world's poor has to be within human capabilities.  We've come so far - let's take the next step.

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 19, 2016 at 12:11am

Alaska has oil revenues from which the guaranteed income receives funding. When there is not a source of financing, the taxpayers have to pay. As long as the wealthy do not share in the costs of maintaining fire, police, libraries, highways, and many other expenses of public expenses, middle-income people cannot fund basic income for everyone.   

I have two children and their spouses who work terribly hard to increase their standard of living, and pay for high medical costs and education; they can't take on any more expense.  

I have a physically challenged son who can not contribute to funding basic income for all. 

Somewhere in this problem is a solution that I have not been able to see. I appreciate any input on this challenge 

Comment by The Flying Atheist on July 18, 2016 at 11:09pm

Joan, I totally understand your sentiment that all people should have a job with a living wage.  However, the reality is that as technology continually replaces jobs once performed by humans (as it has been since the industrial revolution) and the population continues to grow, a sufficient number of jobs are just not available to all who need or want one.

The basic income concept brings about quite a few questions and challenges.  As we exit the industrial age and progress further into the information age, people need an income in order to survive even though their labor skills are no longer required.  At some point far fewer people will be doing manual labor jobs.  Will they alone be able to provide the funds to financially support a basic income for all others? 

As it is right now, we are using the slave labor of developing countries to manufacture our goods and luxuries.  One may argue that we should "bring those jobs back here."  Unfortunately, those jobs are gone for good.  Contrary to the mistaken belief that our jobs are being robbed from under us by immigrants, the reality is that corporations have given away our working-class jobs on a silver platter to the lowest bidder from other countries.  Those jobs are not returning.

Proponents of a basic income have argued that as people are financially provided for, they will have the time and energy to spend more time with family, to pursue travel, or to explore and partake in artistic abilities or humanitarian endeavors. 

But that all comes at a human cost.  As I mentioned above, the slave labor from other countries is providing for our first-world existence.  It's also important to note that being poor in a first-world country is VASTLY different than being poor in a third world or developing country.

There are many ethical and financial arguments to be made on both sides of the basic income issue.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on July 18, 2016 at 10:49pm

The basic income concept is quite interesting.  One of the political podcasts I listen to regularly, The David Pakman Show, has discussed this topic several times in the past few years.

Below are three clips from that show.

By the way, Swiss voters just voted down the basic income last month.

Comment by kathy: ky on July 18, 2016 at 2:29pm
I was reminded of that from Ian's prior post.
And the rich get richer !!
Comment by kathy: ky on July 18, 2016 at 2:26pm
You can't win in the USA. My b-i-l worked all his life. When he was laid off, at age 66, he found out he wasn't eligible for unemployment because he was drawing a small pension from a prior job. Even though he was taxed for unemployment insurance on every check he ever earned.
How screwed up is that??
Comment by Plinius on July 18, 2016 at 7:23am

You're right, Joan, there are so many aspects of a basic income for all - if we'd introduce it I guess the haves will have so many means to keep the not-haves poor that no one will be the better for it. To all your other points: YES!!

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 18, 2016 at 3:38am

Chris, I don't support a primary income because no one is owed a living; I do think everyone is owed a job with living wages. I also believe there should be a cap on wealth, although it would give migraine headaches to those who administer it. It is too easy to hide money, thus maintaining the broad gap between wealthy and poor. 

There should be universal: 

* income level for families with children and a disincentive to have more children, family planning services and abortions legal;

* education with required competencies to pass each level of education with a basic education of reading, writing and arithmetic; 

* health care for all members of the society; 

* retirement for each individual, not for a couple, that is, enough to keep each one living above the poverty level. 

With these basic needs of children and elderly, as well as education and health care secured for all individuals to their highest level of ability or interest, and with higher wages for wage-workers, there would be an incentive for people to work and there would be no need for the highly corruptible welfare system. 

My understanding is that Sweden and the Scandinavian countries have jobs with living wages for all citizens and are taxed to accomplish the cost with a progressive tax rate.

Ten Reasons to Support Basic Income

I can find reasons to not support a basic income. 

Comment by Ian Mason on July 18, 2016 at 1:32am

Chris, I really don't know about the 'citizen wage' idea. The same proposal has been aired in Denmark but vanished again.

Joan, I agree with what you say. A 'sub.proletariat' is now a reality and it's often looked down on in the media and by those in work.

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 17, 2016 at 7:10pm

Ian, I hear your frustration and share it. With fewer paid jobs and more workers, it creates the ability to generate a poverty class. If the wealthy cared about the poor, they would either invest in the projects to employ workers or the government would make work projects, such as road and highway repair and construction, improve schools and hospitals to the point of everyone who is willing and able to work has a paying job. And if the wealthy and the government had any sense of responsibility, the wages would be enough to draw all workers into the middle Class.

 

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