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: 25 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 on Tuesday. 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

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Comment by Joseph P on August 28, 2016 at 11:34am

In Christie's defense, Trump wasn't talking about Mexicans in general, just the Mexican rapists that they were sending up to America.  Totally different, right?

Comment by tom sarbeck on August 28, 2016 at 11:30am

Bert, das ist subtil.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on August 28, 2016 at 11:08am

Winston Smith is waiting on line two.

Comment by Joseph P on August 28, 2016 at 10:50am


Yeah, the big problem with the arguments that people like Penn make isn't that they aren't validly constructed arguments.  They often aren't validly constructed arguments, but even when they are, they aren't grounded in reality.

To go to one of my favorite, obscene examples, there's Adolph Hitler.  If Hitler's rhetoric was correct, and the Jews, down to a man (and woman), were a monstrous race that was intent upon the destruction of society, then the extermination of them would have been a positive act to save the rest of humanity.  But of course, Hitler was wrong, or at least he was a vicious, sociopathic monster who was willing to use the demonization of a minority group to advance his own ends ... you know, sort of like Donald Trump and Muslims.

There's then the further issue with Penn's argument, in that a removal of taxation would destroy society as we know it.  There has to be a certain consequentialist element to any moral argument.  The consequences of stopping mandatory taxation are too great to allow it.

His equation of taxation with theft/holding-a-gun-to-your-head is also bullshit.  You don't have to use US currency.  Using it requires the acceptance of the social contract that goes along with it, though, ie. taxation.

There are people who manage to go completely off the grid.  They live off the land and are self-sufficient.  There are plenty of places out west where you can do that, and the government will more or less leave you alone.

The absolute, libertarian position that Penn and others are supporting is one of the purest entitlement.  They want the benefits of society without the costs of living in that society.

They like being able to drive on public roads and highways without having to pay for the public roads and highways.  They want to live off of the labor of the poor without supporting the needs of the poor.  I find it very disgusting.

And no, I don't care if he moderates his arguments a bit, in the second half of the video, as a concession to reality.  I couldn't make it past 4 or 5 minutes, myself.  The fact that his ideals are represented by the first half of the video is the important part.

Comment by Joseph P on August 28, 2016 at 8:57am

So, let me see if I have this straight, Tom.  You don't think that there are ... let's see:

voter-suppression laws
state-level theocratic laws
anti-sodomy laws
gay-marriage bans
abortion bans

Are you really saying that you don't think that those things exist?  Dude, they're all active laws in my own state, as well as all throughout the southeast, southwest, and mid-west.

The North Carolina constitution bans anyone who doesn't believe in a god from holding public office, and conservatives tried to enforce that ban as recently as 2009 (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/effort-to-remove-atheist-from-city-coun...) when an Asheville city councilman was open about his atheism.

I explicitly mentioned the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court ruling, which took place in 2003.  Up until that ruling, it was perfectly legal in most of the country to arrest people and throw them in jail for having gay sex.  Police in many parts of the country are still doing it, despite it being long-settled at the highest level of the court system.

My state only recently had it's voter suppression law struck down (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/30/us/federal-appeals-court-strikes-...), which was the most oppressive such law in the country.  It targeted racial minorities and college students.

Organized prayer in public schools is only illegal because of a Supreme Court ruling against it, along with many other theocratic elements which have similarly been struck down at the federal level.  And schools all over the country are still doing it.

And we have many states trying to shut down every abortion provider within their state.  The so-called personhood laws and constitutional amendments would completely ban abortion, and Oklahoma even passed a law that would revoke the medical license of any doctor who performed an abortion, except for within a very tiny set of circumstances (http://www.dailydot.com/layer8/oklahoma-house-bill-total-abortion-ban/).

I remember which questions I asked, but I couldn't believe that you were actually so oblivious to the world around you that you thought they weren't a thing.

So, Kim Davis refusing to issue marriage licenses, as well as the head of the Supreme Court of Alabama directing judges in the state not to issue gay marriage licenses, isn't good enough for you?  Do you even keep up with the news?  You won't see news stories about this sort of stuff, if you don't pay any attention to the world around you.

What do you even mean about people being arrested for violating those laws?  How would someone even be arrested for violating a voter-suppression law?  If they can't comply with the restrictive laws, they simply can't vote.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 26, 2016 at 11:34pm

Joseph, you make your point very well, and I change my mind about what I wrote. I was wrong, in part, that I made the assumption that choosing to flip burgers and have babies would satisfy one who passed the entrance tests of an institution. A bright person or one who desires a quality of life different than the one flipped hamburgers will supply will use intelligence and perseverance to do better. 

I stand by what I said that both men and women fall into a trap when they can't leave to go to school or follow their bliss. When two people decide or by accident have a child, that too often cuts off their ability to take advantage of exploring a dream. 

It was interesting to watch my three children, and nieces and nephews who had lofty dreams of being pilots or doctors, and when their hormones kicked in they abandoned their dreams. Too many of them never did find a new idea and felt angry at their children because the parent felt trapped. What a  situation. 

My daughter fell into that trap. She had a baby girl, and the father was a lay-about, incredibly immature. Laura supported all three of them, studied under a tutor to develop her computer skills until she could make a change. She left with her baby and created her own business. She is 52 now and very successful, with a handsome husband who works incredibly hard, she has two lovely girls and six bright grandchildren.  

Not everyone has the intelligence or the determination to make good on her/his own. 

I know that people such as Laura need to have help, financially. It is to the society's benefit to provide assistance for those who struggle to create better lives for themselves. I am not willing to pay taxes to enable someone to be a layabout. I willingly pay for self-improvement. I need talented plumbers, electricians, carpenters, accountants, medical personnel, legal professionals, more than I need hamburger flippers. I am willing to help someone develop his or her skills. 

Comment by tom sarbeck on August 26, 2016 at 11:07pm

{   When people have violated which laws, Tom?

Joseph, the laws you mentioned in your long post 17 hours earlier than this one.

Your long post, my reply 11 hours ago that you have questioned, and a bit more inspired me to start the discussion on disposing of mental clutter.

Did you forget what you posted?

Comment by Joseph P on August 26, 2016 at 10:22pm

When people have violated which laws, Tom?  The Voting Rights Act?  Those have been violated, man.  The day after the SCotUS decision.

If you mean other laws, then please specify.  What are you talking about?

Comment by tom sarbeck on August 26, 2016 at 1:49pm

Bert, that MIGHT not be so.

The Republican Party before Reagan invited the evangelicals to join was more Libertarian and favored small government,

After the evangelicals joined at his invitation the Party became authoritarian and favors big government.

The Libertarians still in the Party don't care when or where people put body parts and the rest. The authoritarians don't have minds able to handle much else.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on August 26, 2016 at 12:10pm

The funny thing about people who push for "smaller government" is they want government to stop taxing and regulating business, but they tend to be just fine with government dictating when and where you can stick body parts and preventing people from using contraception, getting abortions, etc. It boggles my mind that people don't see through this hypocrisy and hiss them off the stage.



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