Jan 21

My Shout into the Universe

In Brief—The author’s random views on what he thinks and holds dear. [Written in February-March 2017.]

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Everything Has An Expiration Date—

Zap! I suddenly awoke in the wee small hours with my brain in overdrive. Sparks sprang from the fuse ignited by a good friend in California. When I opined that I was considering ending this blog because it’s not growing, she insisted that I continue writing about whatever interested me…that my little blog was my shout into the universe that I once existed. Thus, the title to this piece.

What you are about to read are my unordered random thoughts. They may be incomplete and require explanation, but they are the core of my being. You may disagree with some of them; you doubtless have your own, but it is important to remember that it’s a mistake to think that anybody else thinks as you do. Whether you agree or disagree, take some time to let me know. I will explain and clarify in my replies.

Random Thoughts Spring Forth —

  • Logic and rationality are my lodestones.
  • We all evolved from pond scum and are related to African creatures who came down out of the trees to spread throughout the world.
  • Skin color relates to where our ancestors settled. Isolation and evolution determined racial differences, appearance and language, but all humans are essentially the same.
  • Humans are flawed creatures with sometimes deeply-seated biases directed toward humans and creatures not part of their group. “The Other” became a threat. Divisiveness grew.
  • Religions and belief systems grew out of survival mechanisms that early humans needed to explain what was feared or unexplainable. If a stone tripped them or the grass moved, then the stone may be inhabited by a spirit or the moving grass might be a predator.
  • Flawed human nature, genes and environment resulted in some seeking power, some being peaceful, some pursuing wealth, some believing in one form of deity while others believed in different or no deities.
  • Gender became a power struggle as much as a means of procreation. Although modern research and medical science clearly show that all humans fall somewhere on a spectrum of gender identification, political and religious groups see gender as both a threat and a means to assert power. This is evident today throughout the world.
  • Humans are responsible for changing the face of the planet and Earth’s climate. While the former is obvious, some remain ignorant about the latter and seek to get others to believe as they believe either for financial gain or through simple ignorance.
  • “Ignorance” is defined as lacking knowledge. “Stupidity” is defined as willful ignorance. Some people are ignorant, but some people are stupid.
  • Nations are political entities created by humans and are flawed like their human creators. National rulers want belief from the people ruled and subject them to propaganda or force.
  • Some national rulers are relatively benign while others are brutal, but all are power-seekers. Doubters are sidelined or killed.
  • National founders are flawed as are their founding documents. Some form of force is used to pacify or even exterminate undesirables. All nations change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Democracy can become oligarchy, oligarchy can become autocracy. These forms can be mixed. Citizens become pawns.
  • The justice system of America is largely unjust. Police commit perjury; judges turn a blind eye. “Plea bargaining” is part of the unjust system in which lawyers are complicit. Innocents are often imprisoned and sometimes deliberately killed.
  • The death penalty is both wasteful and counterproductive. It is a political sham used to appear tough or to advance careers.
  • The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is part of the political system in which politicians in black robes may spend years deciding a case. Personal beliefs color the decision process. Conservative justices display blindness to reality while all reveal their backgrounds in their decisions.
  • The Republican Party looks backward to an imagined glorious past. The Democratic Party elite glorifies the status quo while progressives look forward to a more enlightened future. The GOP is illogical and often racist. Both parties are subservient to the wealthy and to the military.
  • So-called pro-life Christians — possibly excepting some Catholics — believe unscientific nonsense and oppose abortion, but they usually believe in the death penalty.
  • Females must be the sole arbiters in deciding whether to get an abortion, not the state or a religious group bent on forcing other people to believe their way.
  • All drug use must be approved without penalty as long as the informed user decides whether to use the drug. Coercion must not be allowed. Sound informed medical and scientific reasons must guide the law.
  • Atheists and other non-believers must be granted the same rights as those who believe. Strict separation of church and state must be recognized as the law of the land.
  • Taxes must be levied without regard for wealth and status. All benefit from taxation and must contribute to beneficial social programs.
  • Marriage must be acknowledged as a contract, not be required, and plural relationships free of coercion must be permitted. Every state must assure that all genders, races and religions are entitled to just and equal treatment.
  • Every person must freely be allowed to decide his/her death as long as the decision is rational, free of coercion and the person is competent to decide.

As I said at the outset, it’s possible some views will get overlooked, but these reflect my position. Feel free to add to, disagree or challenge any of this.

The Weekly Sampler—

As a reminder, go to the Archives on the right side of the page and click on the month and year of that week’s featured Sampler. If you wish, go to the January 15, 2017, blog (“A Simple Reading Assignment”) for more thorough instructions.

If you want to read the entire piece, simply click on the box titled “Continue Reading.” When you want to read the next piece, simply swipe your cursor across the one you have been reading and you will find the next one. Do this every time you want to read the next piece.

Don’t miss the Comments and my replies. Even though the Sampler pieces are from the past, feel free to comment…or not.

Go to the Archives on the right side. Click on September 2013.

8 comments

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  1. Interesting, and I wouldn’t argue with any of this. Thanks for your thoughts.

      • Don Bay on January 21, 2018 at 18:39
        Author

      It seems you agree with my views, so I would be foolish to argue with your taste. My dear friend led me to share my views with you and any other readers who choose to tune in. Thanks to her for the push and to you for being my friend.

    • Susan on January 21, 2018 at 17:04

    Dear Don,
    I believe in you and your blog
    I agree that it’s a shout out to the universe.
    What about God? Do you believe? I’m not talking religion when I say God.
    Hope we get to see you soon!
    Susan

      • Don Bay on January 21, 2018 at 18:29
        Author

      My blog is an acquired taste. Apparently your taste buds are attuned to my ruminations.

      You say that your mention of God isn’t religious. Then what is God if not religion? Your saying that God isn’t religion is confusing. I believe there’s no evidence for a deity and, thus, I’m an atheist. My numerous blog pieces state the reasons for my atheism. The important thing you imply is that you believe in some sort of entity, so what is your belief?

      I look forward to seeing you and Marty whenever you can make it happen.

    • Dave Meyers on January 21, 2018 at 18:00

    All reasonable thoughts, Don. Hard to argue with any of then.
    However, your last thought concerning a right to end one’s life…..that one will hit a wall.
    Just as abortion is a real bone of contention in this country (US) so will be a right to die.
    You say, “as long as the decision is rational”. Well, there’s the kicker. Who gets to decide that?
    How about the method by which to end one’s life? A drug, hanging, gun shot, plastic bag, etc. Anti-abortion folks paint a gory picture of the abortion process. They describe the fetus being torn apart while it’s little heart tries to beat on. Wait until they start describing a suicide!
    I stand on the side of my right to end my life when and how I see fit…..however, there is one issue that haunts me. For many people on the brink of suicide there is one truth; nothing is forever. I have found myself, on at least two occasions while in the depths of depression, considering the end. Only to have chickened out and had my life turn around a short time later and my mental health return. When I look back on those times I feel a sadness come over me. What if I had pulled the trigger back in my 20’s while fighting serious anxiety and depression? I would not have fathered my two sons, I would have cancelled a list of adventures that I now would not trade for anything! That is my fear when it comes to endorsing a right to self destruction.
    You can argue that many people find themselves in a situation that will not improve and to stay in that situation is intolerable. I get that. But for many others who find themselves in a place that they feel is beyond their ability to cope…..there may will be a solution and return to a meaningful life.
    I am conflicted on this one.

      • Don Bay on January 21, 2018 at 19:08
        Author

      You agree with me, but say you are conflicted. Although I said rational and free of coercion, I understand your being conflicted, but depression isn’t rational. I believe that death with dignity requires considerable thought and a measure of bravery, but death with dignity isn’t an impulsive act as suggested by suicidal depression. It is the product of long consideration.

      Not mentioned is where one lives and whether a death with dignity is allowed or not. Here in Sweden, they haven’t yet arrived at a place that allows a doctor to prescribe an exit drug or assist in the death of a patient.

      That said, I offered my view. What you believe must govern your actions, but I ask you to give thought to what you would do if a loved one in pain asked you to assist him/her to depart this vale of tears in dignity.

      I spoke for myself. You must do what you think is right.

  2. It’s said that suicide is meant to kill two people. That means that a person kills themself partially to punish another. I totally think that it is a form of cowardice to do that. Similarly, while I believe anyone has the right to terminate his/her life, I think it should be done with as little harm as possible to the other(s). I had a friend who shot himself in the living room of his house while his wife and two young daughters were out of the house, so that they all walked in on all that blood and gore. He had a right to die, but not to do that to the three people he presumably loved above all others.

    If you need to do that, do it with the least possible harm to others.

      • Don Bay on January 22, 2018 at 06:57
        Author

      Many people call death with dignity “suicide.” Death with dignity is rational and well-thought-out while suicide is impulsive and usually based on depression. “Let my pain end now!” are the usual last thoughts.

      Without knowing all the facts, I believe your friend who committed suicide was depressed, that he hadn’t thought it through rationally. If his act was because of a serious illness, a rational person would have discussed it with his wife. That aside, neither you nor I are privy to the facts: his mental state, his physical state or his relationship with his wife. Unless someone knows the facts of the man’s death, it’s all speculation.

      Based on what you have reported — and since we don’t know the facts — his act may have been shocking and hurtful for his wife and children. Unless you KNOW more than your report, we simply don’t know what drove your friend.

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