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.  

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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.

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Comment by Idaho Spud on August 25, 2016 at 6:45am

I've never read anything by Ayn Rand, so I don't know what she says.  I just like quite a bit of what present day Libertarians say, Such as Penn Gillette.  

I don't fully understand everything he or they say because I've not studied government well enough.  I just mainly think smaller government is a good idea.

One reason I think It's a good idea is because it looks to me like the history of the world shows that dictatorial people are always looking to force everyone else to do what they want them to do, so they try to get into governmental positions, where they will have the force of the government behind them.  To me, it seems a smaller government would make it harder for government officials to become dictatorial.

Daniel, it appears to me, that in the last half of the video, Penn backs-off of pie in the sky talk, a becomes more practical.

Comment by tom sarbeck on August 25, 2016 at 5:26am

... I kind of flinched. ... Gillette has more "heart".

Joan, if a skilled sociopath sets his or her sights on you, you will more than flinch. Those who are smart enough to avoid prisons have the skills to romance anyone out of anything. It's why they do so well in activities that require persuasion: sales, politics, military leadership, and especially in romance.

Comment by Joseph P on August 25, 2016 at 1:09am

Yes, Joan, I'm referring to Penn Jillette.

You're missing the larger picture.  He held up the example of a girl who got accepted to Stamford but who instead chose to get pregnant and flip burgers.

His example is pure bullshit.  That does not happen.  Someone who applied to and got accepted to Stamford is not going to decide to go and flip burgers instead.  No, it isn't an example of how people make bad choices.  It's insane, over-the-top, and complete nonsense.

The reason that he throws out an absurd example like that is because he's heavily implying that everyone who ends up flipping burgers, living in poverty, has similarly thrown away amazing opportunities to live fabulous lives of profound meaning and wealth.  That is not the case.

Most people working minimum wage jobs or working barely above minimum wage simply have not had the opportunities to do better or didn't recognize those opportunities when they arrived.  After all, how many apparent opportunities are actually hidden traps which will ruin someone's life?  We see examples of people who go in excess of a hundred-thousand dollars into debt for a degree that won't provide the kind of income that will allow for even a subsistence lifestyle, never mind ever paying off those student loans?

If someone dies during their college education or shortly after, any private loans for which the parents cosigned will not be discharged with the death of the primary signer.  Sometimes, the loan-holder will even demand immediate payment in full, upon the death of the student, seizing the parents' homes and other assets and garnishing wages.  That can ruin the lives of the parents with the recently-dead child.

Some of these people living in poverty don't have the foundational education, having grown up in poverty with a horrible home life.  Some simply don't have the raw intellect.  Many people end up in horrible circumstances, at no fault of their own, and Penn would leave them to live in poverty and possibly starve to death, since privately-run poverty relief is never enough.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 25, 2016 at 12:45am

Daniel, you experienced Gillette's comments very differently than I. 

I always write my responses before I read the others' and then read what others write. Sometimes I change my mind and make adjustments in what I publish. I enjoy when differences of opinions come up. In this case, I stand by my enthusiasm for the article and welcome any comments anyone has. 

Comment by Joseph P on August 25, 2016 at 12:40am

I consider the anarcho-capitalist libertarians to essentially be fundamentalists in their political positions.

There's no nuance.  No attempt to construct a society and political system that will benefit the most people of that society.  There's only the absolutes of a set of dogmatic positions.

One of the guys in my unit, in MechWarrior Online, is a Trump supporter.  I think he's pretty much the only one, in my unit of 75 people.

This guy cites Trump's position on immigration as his primary talking point.  Never mind how evil and inhumane Trump's rhetoric on the subject is.  This guy takes it to a much more simplistic level.

"Do you think we should enforce all of our laws?"

So, according to him, anyone who is in the country illegally should be prosecuted as a criminal, never mind if they've been upstanding members of society and have children who are citizens.

So, do you think that the police should ticket every single person who goes over the speed limit by 1 MPH?  Do you think that judges should have discretion in the prosecution of certain crimes, based upon extenuating circumstances?

More to the point, are we capable of enforcing a law, fairly and evenly, across the board?  Can we even make a start of the job?  If not, then it shows that there's something wrong with our laws.

But no, this guy has to have black and white enforcement of our laws, with no exceptions or consideration for extenuating circumstances.  That's evil, impractical, and insane.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 25, 2016 at 12:37am

Joseph, to whom do you refer when you write, "It's particularly a problem coming from someone with as much money as he has"?

Are you saying that Gillette has lost touch with the "middle class and poor"?

I think I understand what you mean when you talk about civil liberties although I am not as kind and generous about a bright girl choosing to flip burgers and have babies. I know what kind of hole that is and how hard it is to get out of it.

How is that a bizarre example of poor people? To me, that is a perfect example of how people make choices that lead to no future and a lot of avoidable grief.  Since when is it a responsible thing for a young man or woman to avoid developing a trade or profession that will support him or her and any children he or she may create?

I am not so generous about giving support for individuals who choose a poverty lifestyle when they have the capacity to carry their load. I don't want to work to enable someone else to choose poverty.

While I want people to be self-sufficient, I know there are some who do not have the ability to provide for themselves and their children. I want to help in ways that do not enable them not to work. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 25, 2016 at 12:11am

Tom, I wouldn't put Gillette and Rand on the same planet, let alone the same political philosophy. When I read your comment, I kind of flinched.

Yes, I suppose they do share a philosophy. To me, Gillette has more "heart".  

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 25, 2016 at 12:06am

Spud,  a great video! I like the way Penn sorts out the issues, looks at each candidate, and I especially like his emphasis on a discussion about what we want our country to do.  

I also like the way he formulated his ideas on Trump, Clinton, Sanders, Johnson, Libertarianism, and government; I like the way he framed issues of taxes, welfare, sex, and weed. 

Thanks for sharing the excellent video.

Comment by Daniel W on August 24, 2016 at 10:12pm

The Penn Jillette video makes no sense to me.  It's so vague and filled with artificial scenarios.  I can't listen to a monologue that long, quit at 9 minutes.

Comment by Joseph P on August 24, 2016 at 8:47pm

It's particularly a problem coming from someone with as much money as he has.  I think that people like him have completely lost touch with the middle class and the poor.  I'm with them on the civil-liberties side of things, but on governmental social programs and societal well-being, they just don't get it.

His example of the girl who chooses pregnancy and McDonald's over going to Stamford is particularly galling.  Those are exactly the sorts of bizarre examples that they use to represent everyone who is poor.



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