Politics, Economics, and Religion


Politics, Economics, and Religion

Religion has so many connections to political and economic beliefs, there needs to be a place to identify linkages, problems, goals, options, action plans and evaluation criteria.  

Members: 121
Latest Activity: 13 minutes ago

What is the purpose of life?

An eternal question, what is the purpose of life?, occupied philosophers’ thoughts throughout history. Stone pictographs reveal even primitive peoples reflected on this query. Each one has the capacity to define his or her personal thinking about politics, economics and religion.

Discussion Forum

Overton Window shifted toward burn everything down

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Oct 18. 3 Replies

"Breitbart's whole goal was to burn everything down...and Trump has gone full Breitbart."Ben Shapiro ( former Breitbart editor-at-large,  who has become a vociferous critic)…Continue

Tags: far-right echo-chamber overtakes national voice

Bill Maher on Donald Trump

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by tom sarbeck Oct 15. 8 Replies

Bill Maher has spared nothing on his Real Time program in repeatedly eviscerating Drumpf in every last available way.  Those assessments are usually focused on one particular aspect of Drumpf's behavior or personality, but to borrow from…Continue

Tags: Bill Maher, asshole, Drumpf, Donald Trump

Comment Wall


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Comment by James M. Martin on August 13, 2014 at 6:02pm

Well, Tom, we are not all cut out to be monks.

Comment by tom sarbeck on August 12, 2014 at 7:06pm

CC (newly devised texting talk for chuckle, chuckle. It's not yet in the Urban Dictionary).

When I dumped Catholicism I imagined myself facing a huge void and checked out several non-xian religions. As I recall one of Buddhism's requirements was that I have no attachments.

It was too much like Catholicism's self-denial. I was in my 20s and had a few things I wanted to do. They included doing what C'cism wanted me to quit doing: jerking off. Bye bye, Buddhism.

Comment by James M. Martin on August 12, 2014 at 6:54pm

You did, Joan Denoo, and the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali once inspired me. The kleshas make sense even if you do not believe in a deity (though of course a Hindu would find this unpardonable). Ignorant is what I call most politicians; egotists come in all colors and stripes; attachment plagues those in a capitalist society: we are attached to our food, our TV, &c. Aversion and clinging I always called the twin kleshas. Simply put, if you are attached to unhealthy foods, you better not count on clinging.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 12, 2014 at 6:20pm

Kleshas? OK I'll go on a hunt: 

"Within these key principles we find the five kleshas, or obstacles to the means to liberation:

"ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion and clinging to life."

~ Patanjali Revisited: A Run Down on the 5 Kleshas- by Bibi Lorenzetti 

@ James, did I fine the correct definition? 

Comment by James M. Martin on August 12, 2014 at 5:34pm

@Tom. I think so. I went through a phase in my occult years of devotion to the principles of the Hindu and Buddhist tantrics, although my version of sadhana was a lot more complicated. I loved the sayings of tantric sages. For example, and I have substituted my own substances for western simplicity: "There is no difference between a palm's worth of chocolate and a palm's worth of shit." (Maybe William S. Burroughs had this in mind when, in one of his routines, he had the wealthiest family in America -- say, the Waltons -- taking their new son into the family board room. Or maybe it's that hobby store. And the president, probably his grandfather, takes into the board room shitter and says, sit there until you dump, money's not worth the shit from your body.) I cannot imagine why any human needs a billion dollars unless it is to feed his kleshas.

Comment by tom sarbeck on August 11, 2014 at 10:33pm


I like existentialism. Therefore, the people you identify and the drunks or mentally ill sleeping under bridges have equally meaningful life purposes.

Comment by James M. Martin on August 11, 2014 at 10:18pm
Comment by James M. Martin on August 11, 2014 at 10:12pm

The only purpose of life is to do something worthwhile in it even if it doesn't directly help people, as with inventing an ebola vaccination. Poets contribute as much as epidemiologists, as do artists, composers, &c. All art is magic. All of our origins are chance events. What free will there is will always be helped or hindered by that one aleatory operation.

Comment by tom sarbeck on August 11, 2014 at 9:13pm

What Joan says about parents and children in different socio-economic classes is so very true. The consequences for the less advantaged children are tragically true.

And so:

1) the political conservatives' bootstrap talk, and

2) the religious rewarding-the-deserving talk,

are both euphemisms for social Darwinism.

They are correct in that giving effect to either or both will improve the gene pool.

The means they choose for that end horrifies liberals and perhaps progressives.

Do the opposing parties sit down and talk about issues that are not easy to talk about, or do they continue to attack each other?

Comment by Grinning Cat on August 11, 2014 at 5:35pm

Ruth, thanks for those very true cartoons and pictures!

On another note: people here might be interested in reading Joan's blog post "Not Everyone Has the Tools to Become Rich: How Our Childhood Shapes Our Ability to Succeed".

She discusses research with monkeys, and her own observations in teaching and counseling humans:

"Parents with resources, enough food, shelter, health care, education and discretionary money may have time to spend with their children, teaching them how to communicate, solve problems, resolve conflicts, they teach how to explore options, examine ideas, experiment with processes and take action that makes a difference. 

Parents without money resources, working several jobs, not spending time with their children, have difficulty learning these skills themselves and are unable to pass them on to their children. Some parents are so depressed and anxious that they may not work outside the home, and may not have the initiative to learn the skills themselves."

That's an important part of the conversation, with many political conservatives maintaining that everyone can and should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. (And there are the religious overtones too, god rewarding the deserving and all that....)



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