Compare and Contrast (religious and non-religious)


The following is a poem from the book Taste Your Emotions that relates to this:

“Rebirth”

I rub my eyes, Is it true?

I am smiling

Giddy with joy

I look at myself in the mirror

It is like a new me, looking back.

Warm sun sits on my face

Blue skies float inside my eyes.

Happiness of my smile glitters like the stars

I feel new, the mountains of my life did not landslide.

For now, I stand here growing strong.

My life came from a hard seed of hate.

Now changed and strong, I spring forth into a sturdy tree of love.


As a religious believer, I was a far cry from the individual I am now. Almost a complete opposite juxtaposition can be seen in most areas. Some of my past fanaticism mirrors my family’s’ membership in a strict religious Christian cult called “The Local Church”. Theologically, the Local Church is considered by most Christian apologists and counter cult professionals to be a cult of Christianity. According to cult leader Witness Lee, all are evil, even others in Christianity are viewed as blind, fallen, poor, and degraded. Witness Lee calls all other Christian denominational groups harlot daughters of the whore of Babylon (Apologetics Index, 2009). I was also uncaring as a result of my parents’ sexual, physical, emotional, and mental abuse and living in a community of aggression and violence. This oppression and empathy robbing happened both in the home as well as from being from tough schools and neighborhoods in southern california which exposed me directly to seeking approval through acting out violently as well. The topics that will be analyzed are love, cohabitation, sexuality, gender, divorce, working women, marriage, extramarital affairs, child-rearing practices, homosexuality, war, America, politics, family, religion, society, media, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, morals, and the American justice system.


My Views as a religious thinker

*Love: was a fantasy of the gullible few and what could be obtained was more akin to heavy liking than the conception of romantic love. This was also true with family or friends.

*Cohabitation: was okay, but not really what you should do because it was a sin.

*Sexuality: must be controlled, it was fun but if overt or out of the norm it was shameful or evil.

*Gender: was who we were supposed to be as designed by God and the bible’s understanding of gender told you how to correctly act.

*Divorce: was a sign of failure and showed you did not try. Marriage was to last forever till death do you part.

*Working women: should not have to work if they do not want to; unless it is required in order to earn the needed combined income to survive.

*Marriage: equals monogamy. It was meant to be forever good or bad and was between only one man and one woman.

*Extramarital affairs: sex outside marriage was totally wrong, sinful, demonstrated you did not love the other party, and if accrued will end a marriage.

*Child-rearing practices: I thought spanking should be limited due to his abuse by spanking.

*Homosexuality: I hated homosexuals; I thought being gay was totally wrong, sinful, and demonstrated perversion of the natural world.

*War: was a good means of bettering the world by killing all those who are against America or threaten democracy. I was all for war. I loved radical American nationalism and the thought of power through fear of war with America. In fact, I was so into war that when the first gulf war happened, he was thrilled and hoped the U.S. would bombed and killed the region back to the “Stone Age.” I almost joined the military just to have the opportunity to go to war, be masculine, and kill the enemy but was denied because he was too heavy.

*America: I thought America was the greatest country on earth, blessed by bible God and had a positive legacy of reason and justice; it was a spearhead of freedom for the world.

*Politics: I was a proud conservative republican and was active in politics. I felt it was a responsibility of every American to vote. At the age of 18, was the first time to vote, I was paid to serve in the voting booth operation. He served in the voting booth operation more than once and thought it was a demonstration of my staunch patriotism.

*Religion: I thought the only real true faith was Christianity and it should be pushed on others.

*Society: I thought society was a positive structure necessary to human advancement and god as well as religion were an important part.

*Media: was mostly helpful with a few negative themes.

*Racism: was not good but was mainly an issue of the past.

*Sexism: was mostly a man overexerting masculinity or women’s overreaction of men’s God given authority.

*Ethnocentrism: I saw it as cultural pride a positive love of one’s own kind.

*Morals/ethics: laws given by the Christian God.

*The American Justice system: could be totally trusted. It was simply one of the best judicial systems formed by man.


My Views as a non-religious thinker

*Love: is an amalgam of intertwined emotions and connectedness realized in expressiveness. It is not a one time event but a continually fluid reactional experiential relative multi-dimensional conception. Love can be experienced and shared by several different variations of women and men in any grouping they choose, be it homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, or group romantic partners. Love changed because I now have positive significant romantic relationships in my life which are different than those modeled by family in my past. Love is similar to maturity in that they do not simply reach some sort of plateau or final state; instead they are a lifetime process of becoming.

*Cohabitation: I think it is no different than not doing it. Cohabitation differs now from before because he has universal ethics, not morals.

*Sexuality: to me is now seen through universal ethics, thus is morally neutral. It should be openly expressed and experienced because it is a positive expression of life and holds no shame or negative orientations, if consenting and between adults. Sexuality differs now because I have universal ethics, not morals. Things like sex for fun, swinging, fetish, porn, prostitution, homosexuality, bisexuality, nudism, strip clubs, group sex, polyamory, polygamy, or polyandry, and even sex between consenting adult family members hold no preconceived negativity or innate wrongness. My universal ethics is a moral standard allowing sexual freedom up to the limit of coercive harm. Since universal ethics is independent of culture, societal standards, moral codes, religious laws, or personal ethical views “sex” or one’s sexual orientation and gender identity loses its right or wrong status; thus, it is morally neutral (Foldvary, 1980).

*Gender: to me is now is an oppressive somewhat invented categorization which forces a picking of one side instead of seeing all people having a varying expression of both masculinity and femininity and should not devalued those who do not fit a socially conceived ideal. Gender has changed because I learned it was not who we are, but who we are told to be. In acknowledging my true self, I realized I had both femininity and masculinity. I have a genderqueer identity; 40% female-typed and 60% male-typed, yet 100% straight.

*Divorce: to me is now is simply a separation that one chooses for personal reasons holding little ethical significance. Evolutionary psychologists contend that human beings are designed to fall in love but not stay in love (Crandell et al., 2009).

*Working women: to me is now are not different than other human beings in obtainment of rights. Thus, they should be wholeheartedly supported to work which includes childbearing without having to jeopardize their high-level career positions. Furthermore, women or the care giving spouse should not have to work if they do not want to unless it is required in order to earn the needed combined income to survive. High-level career positions are just as important for women to reach as men (Crandell et al., 2009).

*Marriage: my current marriage is defined under shared openness with my bisexual wife and their responsible non-monogamy. Thus, marriage is not so rigidly defined as in society. Marriage could involve monogamy or any other forms of chosen non-monogamy, it should also alough gay marriage as well as for all LGBTQI, I also support multiple marriage/poly marriage as long as it’s of free consent. If it is a committed partnership which could involve several different variations of women and men in any grouping they choose, be it homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, or group marriage. If adults wish to lawfully join no matter the grouping, they should be allowed to do so.

*Extramarital affairs: to me now may involve sex outside of agreed upon mutual relationship rules is not congruent with entered into marriage contract, though being that stringent monogamy is not suited to all, it is understandable even if not a highly valued practice buy some but I am in an open relationship practicing ethical nonmonogamy and have a happy marriage and life. Some adults do make distinctions in types or situations to either understand or justify infidelity which may include practicing ethical nonmonogamy.

*Child-rearing practices:  I am anti-spanking and am against physical, psychological or emotional abuse of children. I have never had children and by choice had a vasectomy to never have them. Though he feels there should never be any form of physical violence done to a child of which spanking falls under that category.

*Homosexuality: to me is now is a healthy sexual form of desire expression and simply another category of normal sexuality. In addition, homosexuality is both common and natural being observed in close to 1500 animal species.

*War: to me is now is physical harm and killing, this killing is murder of which is mostly illegal and unethical in other circumstances, unless involved for protection or a (just) war that is restrained, humane, and ultimately directed towards the aim of establishing lasting peace and justice (Colero, n.d.). Though some killing in war is necessary it must not be taken lightly being that it is still murder. Just reasons to go to war could involve restricted reasons, self-defense, and the rescue of another from an aggressor. Likewise, self-defense may be broadened from defense against actual attack to defense against threats, or against perceived threats, and it may be permissible to make pre-emptive strikes. My feelings about just war mirror Just War Theory which embraces principles about the way war may be conducted, generally ruling out gratuitous violence, war against civilians and innocents (Rigstad, 2008). I am for non-aggression but believe it is justified in self-defence or other-defence.

*America: I believe America was founded on a subjected ideal of freedom and had an often shameful, unethical even unjust past. Is there justice in the system or is it just us in the system? Though America had some good ideals and principles, it mainly supported the few such as white affluent Judeo-Christian men and not for the ethnic minorities, children, women, homosexuals, and non-Christians. America was slow to start or just recently began employing reason and justice to fight against ageism, classism, racism, religious intolerance, reverse discrimination, sexism, homophobia, ethnocentrism, and xenophobia.

*Politics: I am a eclectic Liberal and Leftist mainly involve Libertarian Socialism, Anarcho-Collectivism,  Anarcho-Mutualism, Natural Rights Libertarianism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarcho-Naturism, Green Anarchism, Dialectical Naturalism, Anti-capitalism, Progressive, Secularism, Democratic Socialism, Libertarian Municipalism, Radical Minarchism, and Anarcho-Mutualism Political Philosophies with Axiology.

*Religion: I does not believe in any gods nor do I feel favorable to any religion, as I am not just an atheist or even an anti-theist as I have stopped following or believing any religious mythologies. In fact, I am an anti-religionist. Not just Atheist, I am a proud anti-religionist. Religion is Conspiracy Theories of Reality, Not Worth Believing In. Those atheists who still like esoteric religions or religious philosophies that is not me at all. I reject it all, every religion or pseudo religion. Just so I am not misunderstood this includes buddhism, satanism, taoism, paganism, wicca, spiritualism, etc. Don’t get me wrong I am against ALL religion. I challenge your beliefs, because you won’t. To me, every religion was new at some point and had someone who made shit up, yes all of them, every religion. As an atheist, I am a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of god or gods. In my non-belief, I am also ignostic feeling that every theological position assumes too much about the concept of god(s). As an ignostic, I am a person who rationale no idea of anything from reality whatever to label as “a concept of god” thus I can say I have no idea of anything that can connect to the term god and no reason to think anyone else can either. As an anti-theist, I am a person who is active in opposition to theism: both the concepts of god(s) as well as the religions that support them. This is because theistic concepts and theistic religions are harmful and that even if theistic beliefs were true, they would be undesirable. As an anti-religionist, I am a person who can look at religion on the whole and see it is detrimental to the progress of humanity thus am in opposition to all and every religion, not even just opposition to organized religion. In case you were wondering, I am anti-pseudoscience, anti-supernatural, and anti-superstition as well. Yes, I am a proud anti-religionist not just atheist or even anti-theist. So, as as atheist, anti-theist, and anti-religionist; I am against flawed superstitious magical beliefs like god(s) and/or religion. However, I am not against people. I have many strong opinions and beliefs as well as challenge or am against many types of beliefs especially if they involve supernatural or superstitious. However, I am not against people nor am I against their free right to believe as they wish. To me everyone owns themselves and their beliefs are theirs as well. Thus, to me not I or anyone has the right to force people on what to believe.

*Society: can be both positive and negative. Though most of its themes require those in it, to fit in and not be too different or risk condemnation. It can stifle out of the box thinking, values, or reasoning since it is by nature a box bound in group ideas.

*Media: is bias both somewhat positive and can be detrimentally negative. It cannot be trusted; it has many distribution channels though the most influential across the board has been television. We are constantly exposed to thousands of images of violence, sex, and Americanism, sexism, as well as mostly Judeo-Christian values. Television’s free unrestrained teacher is advertising, often expected to push ideas that are highly biased and without being challenged. There are about 40,000 ads a year. But who owns the media, which companies or people shape our values, beliefs and decisions. Basically only five major companies own 95% of all the media (Hubpages Inc., 2009).

*Racism: is an oppressive reality with a long history and sadly still lingering today in many forms.

*Sexism: is one of the last frontiers needing to be tackled and I feel a strong anger that this is not being changed. We cannot use aggressive words towards someone’s race without censure or outrage but put down a woman or use negativity about women towards men and it is either unnoticed or laughed about. Many in middle adult hood feel they have a personal responsibility to make the world a better place (Crandell et al., 2009).

*Ethnocentrism: I sees it as limiting the acceptance of others. Its negative exclusion tendencies surround believing that one’s ethnic, cultural group, language, behaviors, customs, or religion are better that all other groups which teeters on bigotry.

*Morals/Ethics: are not universally just to all, but the best we can have is universal ethics. Atheist Morality = Scientific Morality? Atheist Morality to me is generally somewhat like universal ethics whether they know it or express it as such. Some atheists don’t really address the philosophical arguments of atheistic anti-humanism from atheistic humanism. I am and was dissatisfied with what to me was a lack of scientific core in secular morality. Thus, looked for and found what I was hoping for in Formal Axiology (scientific value theory) which is a social science. I wish to promote common sense, thus challenge thinking that is flated or in error and bad behaviors as well as promote positive humanism and wish for human flourishing as people have dignity and what they may believe has no dignity. And, as far as what I want when it comes to beliefs, I wish to inspire the ethics of belief such as that which is needed in ones increased accuracy of beliefs. We should be thoughtful in belief acquisition, be open in our belief. maintenance, and intellectually honest in our belief relinquishment. This Guardian link is a interesting article close to the dissatisfied way I think some who are atheists seem to avoid or struggle in navigating the difference between anti-humanism and humanism. Which if not we’ll defined confuses the arguments especially in clearly relating atheistic morality in general. To me, it seems many atheists either somehow adopt quasi religious moral thinking try with little substance to core out a moral middle or reject morality entirely in either a relativistic or nihilism way. I reject that line of thinking and see morality as originating outside of religion, involving evolutionary scientific and objective and supported by Formal Axiology which has been proven empirically valid. I mainly hold to objective morality but I do believe morality at times is a blending of subjective and objective factors. This spectator link offers a very interesting critique that is not that different than I would make saying why atheism if it wants scientific morality must adopt axiology (philosophical value theory) or formal axiology (science of value) or something like it or have to give a valid way to account for or navigate its morality, I think that for many and why I think atheistic morality has not fully done more than either use some leftover religious thinking use of idealism and hope is they lack some grounding. *Value theory (informal/philosophical axiology) encompasses a range of approaches to understanding how, why, and to what degree person’s value things; whether the object or subject of valuing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. This investigation began in ancient philosophy, where it is called axiology or ethics. Early philosophical investigations sought to understand good and evil and the concept of “the good”. Today, much of value theory aspires to the scientifically empirical, recording what people do value and attempting to understand why they value it in the context of psychologysociology, and economics. At the general level, there is a difference between moral and natural goods. Moral goods are those that have to do with the conduct of persons, usually leading to praise or blame. Natural goods, on the other hand, have to do with objects, not persons. For example, the statement “Mary is a good person” represents a very different sense of the word ‘good’ than the statement “That was some good food”. Ethics is mainly focused on moral goods rather than natural goods, while economics has a concern in what is economically good for the society but not an individual person and is also interested in natural goods. However, both moral and natural goods are equally relevant to goodness and value theory, which is more general in scope. Ref *Formal axiology (science of value) is a foundation upon which a scientific revolution of scientific morality can be attained or at least furthered. To position humanism even secular humanism or to say there can be a scientific morality can come one day, is not an account of a current fact or a true justification of not just how one lives there life or even believes that life should be lived but what empirical or philosophical evidentiary validation is offered? If you want to read about “Formal Axiology” check out this linkFormal Axiology, the science of value, has the distinctive difference of being based on deductive reasoning, a method by which concrete applications & interpretative detail are deduced from axioms, definitions and postulates. Hartman’s “Axiom of Value” provided us with a formal mathematical norm which can be applied to any field of study to structure the value parameters of that field, and then it weighs or measures individuals or teams against that scientific norm. Dr. Leon Pomeroy in his book, The New Science of Axiological Psychology (Pomeroy, 2005), has shown that formal axiology is also empirically valid. Value Science in a Nutshell: Science = Reason + Empiricism, “Formal Axiology” the science of value. Hartman was a philosopher who used the tools of reason, logic and mathematics to build his theory. He was not a committed empiricist and never tested the reliability and validity of his theory or the HVP. For this reason Dr. Leon Pomeroy had little interest in Hartman when Albert Ellis brought his work to my attention. Without plans or preparation, seven years later, fate intervened. Hartman’s friend, the Mexican psychiatrist Salvatore Roquet, M.D., demonstrated the HVP and convinced me to take another look at it and the theory behind it. The mathematical model Hartman used is “set theory.” Dr. Leon Pomeroy accepted it as a first approximation revealing the architecture of “value logic” or “value grammar” implicit in the mind’s native cognitive processing of values and valuations. Dr. Leon Pomeroy appreciated that this approach to values was an exploration of a world where no one had gone before. It was a creative frame of reference that struck me as “ripe” for empirical testing. Hartman called his theory “formal axiology.” This retained the old philosophical concept of “axiology.” Although understandable, Dr. Leon Pomeroy found it a bit confusing as a scientist. Because Hartman had developed a “new axiology,” he called his theory “formal” axiology to distinguish it from the philosophy of axiology. This invited more confusion among those who are not philosophers. No matter, the “new axiology” or “formal axiology,” is grounded in mathematics which distances it from the philosopher’s axiology. This precise construction of theory and HVP-testing inspired several Hartman students to become entrepreneurs marketing The Hartman Value Profile (HVP) to individuals and corporate clients. It also inspired them to view the theory in a way Dr. Leon Pomeroy found unacceptable. Ref *My quick definition of Axiology? Axiology is a philosophy (value theory) and a social science/science of value (formal axiology) mainly involving the “what, why, and how” of “value” the way epistemology approaches “knowledge” as in what is of value/good/worth/beneficial/ or useful? Why is the thing in question of value/good/worth/beneficial/ or useful? How should the value/good/worth/beneficial/ or useful be interacted with? “Axiological Atheism Explained”

*The American Justice system: is often quite fallible which offers criminal more rights, justice, and protection than victims. Victims need more protection, justice, and dignity.

References:

Apologetics Index. (2009). The local church. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from http://www.apologeticsindex.org/l40.html#overview

Bagemihl, B. (1999). Biological exuberance: Animal homosexuality and natural diversity. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Colero, L. (n.d.). A framework for universal principles of ethics. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from http://www.ethics.ubc.ca/papers/invited/colero.html

Crandell, T.L., Crandell, C.H., & Vander Zanden, J.W. (2009). Human development (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Foldvary, E.F. (1980). The soul of liberty: The universal ethic of freedom and human rights. San Francisco, CA: The Gutenberg Press.

Hubpages Inc. (2009). Mass media influence on society. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from http://hubpages.com/hub/Mass-Media-Influence-on-Society

Rigstad, M. (2008). Intro to just war theory. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from http://www.justwartheory.com/#INTRODUCTION