Category Archives: Ethics

An imagined conversation with my abusive, narcissistic father

I haven’t spoken to my father in over ten years, and I’ve often imagined how our next conversation may go, if it ever happens. I needed to vent this for a while, but I didn’t because it’s TMI. I’m doing it anyway, not to be emo or fish for sympathy. My hope is that, if anyone else raised by an abusive, narcissistic parent reads this, it might make them feel less alone and less crazy.

If you identified with this post, you may enjoy the Reddit forum, “Raised by Narcissists.”


Two Feminist Ladies #1

Yesterday I read an essay by a radical feminist whose blog I’m subscribed to because she makes a lot of lucid observations on society. However, in her latest post she said she believes the majority of men in America want Donald Trump to become president because he embodies the pathological hatred and disrespect towards women that all men feel, which makes him the ideal candidate to lead our never ending quest to ensure every aspect of society is designed to oppress and degrade women.

A claim that ludicrous doesn’t warrant a response, but I had to vent, because using white men as a scapegoat is becoming a pet peeve of mine. It’s as insulting as it is unproductive. Reading this latest hate letter, it occurred to me that the arguments radical feminists use against white men is strikingly similar to those used by Fox News hosts to create the liberal straw man they blame the world’s problems on.

The only thing Fox News will ever accomplish by demonizing the liberal straw man they invented is dividing the American public. The only thing radical feminists will ever accomplish by demonizing the white devil straw man they invented is discrediting the feminist movement, and that’s not good for anybody.

Several years ago I made a series of 3-panel comic strips about two conservative ladies who discuss Fox News talking points in a way that reveals the absurdity behind the rhetoric. Since the format applies equally well to radical feminists’ talking points, I re-purposed the comic into another dark mirror to show what their rhetoric makes them look like to the men they seem to be trying to incite violence against:

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American cops are delusional if they don’t understand why civilians hate them

Hate is a strong word, but that’s the situation on the streets of America. Don’t shoot the messenger, bro. America has always had a love/hate relationship with its police force, which was morbidly exemplified on July 8th, 2016, when a sniper in Dallas, TX shot 14 police officers, killing 5 in revenge for the hundreds of unarmed civilians police kill every year. In a show of solidarity towards the police and condemnation towards the killer, thousands of people lined the streets along the funeral procession for the slain officers.

Those men deserve sympathy and credit for the good things they did, and they deserve for their deaths not to have been in vain, but they will be if America can’t have an open dialogue about why people hate the police.

The inconvenient truth is police provide the civilian population with an assembly line of reasons to hate them. The animosity they receive is blowback for the unacceptable things they constantly do.

At the top of the list is the aforementioned body count of innocent civilians. To add insult to injury, police regularly deflect ownership of the problem by blaming the victims. One police officer recently summed up their argument in an article, “Following Commands: A Lost Art,” which, unfortunately is no longer on the internet.

“I am going to say what no one else is saying.  From the President of the United States to every local news reporter in the country, no one is saying it, ‘Follow the commands of a police officer or risk injury or possibly worse…’ You can debate all day long about what proper police force is, when it should be used and if the entire criminal justice system is racist but there is one thing in common with every so called “excessive force” video you have seen in recent years. The suspect is not following commands… The way I see it, we have two options to stop police use of deadly force. Police stop being police or citizens can do what an officer says to do.”

obey or die

There’s some truth to this argument, but if the author can’t see why civilians would be underwhelmed by his logic, he’s crazy. “Obey or die” isn’t the social contract Americans were promised, and it’s not one they can accept. And if that’s really how police see civilians, as sheep to be controlled with violence, then citizens would have to have  Stockholm Syndrome  to love police unconditionally. The police may not realize that, but the people do, and they resent cops for expecting them to celebrate their subjugation.

It’s hard to look at police as good guys when the the police aren’t even trying to look like good guys anymore. Police cruisers are intentionally designed to appear intimidating. How can the police more clearly brand themselves and communicate their intentions than by painting a big sign on their cars that says, “We don’t want you to feel safe when you see us. We want you to feel intimidated.” By dressing like Nazi Storm Troopers from a dystopian future and acting ones. That’s how.

i was told i was paying you to protect me

nazi storm trooper cops

Anytime a police officer gets caught doing something immoral, the rest are quick to concede there are a few bad apples among them and counter that 99% of the time, all police do is protect people. That argument sounds good on paper, but it fails to sway law-abiding citizens who live in constant fear under the thumb of all law enforcement.

A black comedian, whose name I can’t recall, once said, “I’ve always resented the fact that I don’t feel safe when I see a police car behind me- I feel scared.” He’s not being irrational, and neither is the rest of the civilian population. Everyone feels the same way, and they’re right. A police cruiser behind you is like a shark hunting for prey.

It’s common knowledge the reason police write so many traffic citations isn’t because drivers are that bad or cops are overzealous. It’s all about revenue. Cops are highway robbers shaking down well-meaning people for mostly inconsequential technicalities. And the cost of a superfluous ticket can equal weeks or months of an unskilled worker’s wages. On top of that, police regularly seize civilians’ assets without trial, and getting your stolen property back can cost more money than what was taken.

Heaven help Americans who screw up and commit a legitimate crime in a moment of desperation or incoherence. The cost of paying bond, court fees, legal representation, fines and probation quickly add up to years of wages for minor offenses, let alone big ones. The legal system makes it as hard as possible to pay off these fees by requiring you to take time off work for multiple court appearances and probation meetings, which is almost impossible since American employees get less time off than any other first world country.

This assumes you can even get a job after a conviction since you’re required to divulge your criminal record to potential employers and most landlords. It also assumes you have transportation to get to court, work or your probation meetings. Police regularly confiscate people’s cars and revoke their drivers licenses  for crimes not even related to driving. If you were arrested for having sex with a 17 year old, the law prevents you from living anywhere near anything.

If you can’t pay your fees after the police destroy your career, your fees will increase relentlessly until they bankrupt you, after which, you’ll be sent to debtors’ prison, which was outlawed in 1833. Since jailing people for not paying fines is breaking the law, that means cops are breaking the law, which makes them criminals. Since they’re also government officials who are violating the founding principles of the government, they fit the exact definition of tyrants. That’s not being hyperbolic. This is the exact kind of situation the word “tyranny” was invented to describe.

The total cost of bond, court fees, legal representation and fines for major criminal offenses can add up to decades of a poor person’s future earnings, but less than 1% of a rich person’s savings. Without being hyperbolic, that literally constitutes economic oppression, which makes the police foot soldiers of economic oppression. So when cops say their job is to “serve and protect,” that might be true for rich people but definitely not for poor people. You’ll notice poor people shoot more cops than rich people.

In addition to economic oppression, the police’s job description also includes the regular taking-your-freedoms-away-against-your-will kind of oppression. Again, this isn’t exaggerating. It’s spelled out in black and white letters in America’s law code, which contains thousands, if not millions, of laws against inconsequential victim-less crimes.

I know a man who had a warrant issued for his arrest for not mowing his lawn and then not showing up to court because he didn’t receive the summons. I know another man who walked home from a bar because he was too drunk to drive, and he was arrested for public intoxication. I know a girl who was arrested for drinking a beer one hour before she turned 21. I went to a concert at a major venue, where the law required the bar staff to pour all their drinks out of single-serve bottles into plastic cups that you couldn’t take out of the designated drinking area, resulting in mountains of trash at every event and zero crimes prevented. I went tubing at a river, and the cops were standing in force at the exit point arresting anyone who brought open containers of alcohol out of the river because it’s legal to drink on water, but not on land. In a separate incident, I was ticketed on a river for drinking alcohol when I was 20 years old, which my European friends find hilariously sad. Americans aren’t even free to walk across the road without getting a ticket, and women aren’t allowed to take their shirts off. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are still dumber things you can arrested for in America.

Nobody is protected by any of these laws. The only outcome is control for the sake of control. If you think these laws aren’t a big deal, then you’re implying freedom isn’t a big deal. You’re also ignoring the fact that a threat to freedom anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere. Minor losses of liberty set the precedent for bigger ones, and the justice system has already taken advantage of this fact.

Prostitution and recreational drug use are strictly illegal to say nothing about how hard it is to buy life-saving drugs. Sex and drugs are nobody’s business but one’s own, and a government created “of the people, by the people, for the people” has no place regulating them, especially when the majority of people don’t want the government to. That goes double when every study done on them has proven them to cause more harm than good, and triple when other countries have already legalized them and proven in practice that criminalizing them does more harm than good, and legalizing them does more good than harm.

America’s own police force knows better than anyone how futile and damaging the war on sex and drugs is. Yet they go out everyday and keep fighting even though they know that ultimately, all they’re accomplishing is war. And they wonder why people don’t like them. The people are equally baffled by how the police can sleep at night and go to work each day to wage war on their family again.

Lawmakers justify the war on sex and drugs by saying they’re protecting people from themselves, which is confusing, because everyone knows it doesn’t. But the argument is moot for at least two reasons anyway.

First, nobody agreed to pay the government to protect themselves from themselves. When the government tells you that you can’t do something you want to do (that doesn’t hurt anybody), and you don’t have a choice in the matter, that’s the opposite of freedom. It doesn’t matter what a lawmaker’s justification is for doing their job wrong.

Second, sending people to jail for sex and drug related crimes is like shooting them in the head to protect them from shooting themselves in the foot. American prisons are the most inhumane of any first world country. In addition to the lethally low quality of food and hygiene, the frequency of murder, rape, abuse and humiliation that happen inside is the stuff of legend.

So forgive the civilian population for not being excited to see a cop. The smartest advice you can tell a child is never talk to someone who starts the conversation by announcing, “Anything you say  can and will be used against you in a court of law to throw you into pound-me-in-the-ass prison.” That’s not something a friend would ever say or do to you. Cops are the opposite of friends, and it’s regrettably responsible to forewarn your children of this truth.

In an unbelievably more dystopian twist, American prisons have sweat shops that use inmates as slave labor for private corporations, and there are more black men in prison than there were in America before the Emancipation Proclamation. Private corporations even own prisons and sell shares on the stock market, creating a financial incentive to incarcerate as many people as possible and provide the lowest level of care to them as possible.

Compton is the new Slave Coast, and business is booming thanks to the police. America has the highest prison population in the world. By definition, it’s factually inaccurate to call the country with the highest incarceration rate “the land of the free.” The architects of America’s legal system should be held accountable for taking this title away from America, but so should the people with their boots on the ground who are rounding up victimless criminals and sending them to the meat grinder that is America’s prison system. The police who are complicit in this crime against humanity aren’t public servants. They’re corporate mercenaries who enforce slavery, and that’s not something to be proud of.

On top of all this, civilians have to put up with the TSA sexually assaulting them, the NSA spying on them, the CIA pushing drugs in ghettos, and using civilians for science experiments and the FBI covering up corruption. Every member of the American law enforcement system should be ashamed of themselves for more reasons than I have time to list here.

Last but not least of those reasons is how law enforcement behaves when the American people exercise their First Amendment right to protest against the lethal injustices they suffer. Anytime protests get large enough to make a difference, police are sent in with military gear to brutally crush the demonstration with tear gas, tasers, batons and bullets. That’s a guaranteed outcome of a well-organized protest, and it doesn’t matter what age, race or sex the protesters are. There will be blood. At the end of the protest, the government will use it as an excuse to further militarize the police, which will require more money, which will require the police to rob more people, which will require them to come up with more excuses to make criminals out of well-meaning people. This makes law enforcement officials the vanguard of oppression. 

It can’t be said enough, America isn’t the land of the free, and saying it is, is Orwellian doublespeak. Americans are oppressed all to Hell, and the first line of oppression is the police civilians pay to protect them. In that regards, the police force is, by definition, the bad guy.

To be fair, police do some good, but patting them on the back is like patting a Gestapo agent on the back for helping an old woman across the street. If you want to fault me for breaching Godwin’s Law and using too many Hitler references, I would counter that the police have already exonerated me. Police often deflect responsibility for their crimes against humanity by saying things like, “I was just following orders. The law is the law. If I don’t do my job I can’t feed my family. The justice system isn’t perfect, but I have to respect the system.” Using the Nuremberg Defense doesn’t demonstrate integrity or courage. It completes the Nazi comparison.

As intolerable as the actions of the police are, I can’t condone reciprocating the violence they inflict on the civilian population. In addition to being unethical, it would only result in justifying further militarization of the police and erosion of civil liberties as per the status quo. If you want to protest income inequality, government corruption, or excessive force, the most logical place to stage your protest is in front of your local police station. Put their guilt on their front door. If they respond to the protest the way they always do, at least they’ll have to walk past the spot where they beat down little girls every day they come to work. Maybe that will get them thinking enough is enough.

It shouldn’t have to come to that. The people shouldn’t be working up the courage to stand up to the police. The police should have the courage to stand up to the system. The people shouldn’t be organizing to figure out what they’re going to do about their cop problem. The cops should be organizing a gigantic internal meeting and fundamentally reassess their approach to helping people. If the system won’t facilitate an official meeting, the cops need to organize their own. The alternative is to keep digging their own graves, and that doesn’t help anybody.

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My theories about cheating on tasks and lovers

My theory about cheating on tasks:

My theory on ethics is that the meaning of life is to fulfill your potential, and anything which helps you do that is good, and anything which hinders you is bad. Furthermore, it’s equally good to help other people fulfill their potential as it is to fulfill your own, and it’s equally bad to hinder other people as it is to hinder yourself.

Completing the overall goal of fulfilling your potential requires you to complete trillions of little goals throughout your life. Often times in life you’ll be assigned these tasks by people, like when a teacher gives you an exam. If you need to know the information on that test to accomplish a more important goal in the future, then cheating doesn’t benefit you. However, if the information being tested isn’t important, and the test is just a formality then it would behoove you to pass the test by any means necessary regardless of how you’re told you’re supposed to pass it.

Sometimes rules are best practices and should be followed because they guide you to success. Sometimes rules are just obstacles individuals put in your way for their own reasons. Rules exist to serve people. People don’t exist to serve rules. So if a rule doesn’t benefit you, then it negates its authority. You have no moral obligation to follow arbitrary rules. In those cases, the best thing you can do for yourself is to think outside the box, ignore the rules and take the shortest path from Point A to Point B.

cheating is taking the shortest path between point a and point b

However, just because you can cheat, and just because a rule may be illogical, that doesn’t mean it’s always in your best interest to cheat, because rules usually come with consequences. Anytime you take a risk, you need to do a cost/benefit risk analysis. If you stand to lose more by getting caught than you stand to gain by succeeding, then it’s illogical to take the risk. Sometimes, the quickest shortcut is years of hard work and dedication.

My theory about cheating on lovers:

Marriage/commitment isn’t commanded or ordained by God. It’s a cultural practice that gives structure to people’s lives. Marriage laws are just rules people thought up and wrote down on paper.

It’s only right to follow a rule when it represents the best instruction to follow to accomplish a goal that helps you fulfill your potential without harming anyone else. When the rules become obstacles between you and your potential, then they’re not a moral imperative. They’re bad ideas, and it would be irresponsible to follow them.

This doesn’t mean you have permission to do whatever you want as long as you justify it by saying you’re fulfilling your potential. The reason we fall in love and make commitments is because it helps us fulfill our potential. It’s a tactical decision we make subconsciously. Our brains analyze other people, size them up, and determine if their assets can help or hinder us achieve the goals that are most important to us. 99.9% of the people we meet fail Cupid’s cost/benefit analysis. Those who score the worst, we ignore, avoid, dislike and even hate. Sometime we don’t even know why we dislike a person, and we may feel guilty about it, but the reason is because a little “angel” on our shoulder whispered in our ear to beware of them.

Falling in love is the most selfless thing you’ll ever do in the sense that you’ll have to share your destiny and all your worldly assets with another person. On another level, it’s the most selfish thing you’ll ever do, because you’re not just giving away all your stuff to a stranger as a gift. You’re investing your resources in an opportunity that your subconscious speculates will give you the highest return on investment.

This may sound like a stoic speech on love from Ayn Raynd, but the difference between my philosophy and hers is she believes selfishness is the greatest good, and other people are only valuable to the extent that they can help you. I say everyone is equally valuable. Doing things that help you is the definition of responsibility, and being completely selfless is throwing the baby out with the bath water. Virtue lies in finding a healthy balance. So if you and your lover decide you can achieve more together than on your own, then join forces. Just don’t delude yourselves; b honest about the symbiotic nature of your relationship and make the most out of it.

selfishness is responsibility

If you take a lover as an ally in your quest to achieve your goals, be wary of the fact that everyone’s goals change as they grow older. The best life-partner for you as a teenager isn’t necessarily going to be the best life-partner for you as an adult. When culture and laws dictate that relationships have to last forever, and partners should endure whatever miseries it takes to stay together, people end up staying in relationships that aren’t good for anyone. We should be consciously analyzing our lovers to make sure the cost/benefit analysis of staying together continues to add up, and when it doesn’t, we should move on.

If you find yourself in a relationship that is holding you back more than it’s moving you forward, your subconscious Cupid will start whispering in your ear, telling you to leave. No matter how hard you try to consciously convince yourself you’re still in love, your subconscious already did the math and determined you shouldn’t want to be with this person. If you don’t just die inside and accept a life of unfulfilling cold comfort, your heart and hands may stray to another person.

If the new person really is better suited to you than the last, then you should give into temptation and be with them, but you should formally end your previous relationship first. Its purpose for existing is over. So staying with them isn’t helping either of you, but betraying your ex-ally just hurts them and wastes your time by making your life unnecessarily complicated. Yes, breaking up hurts too, but the benefits outweigh the cost.

If you do decide to cheat, and you feel guilty about it afterwards, then you’re hurting yourself unnecessarily, and you’re not going to be able to give your all in your existing relationship, which hurts your partner and lowers their ability to give their all, which leads to a downward spiral of dysfunction and unhappiness.

You may be able to cheat guilt-free and never get caught, and you may tell yourself as long as your partner isn’t hurt by the knowledge of your infidelity, then you can have your cake and eat it too. It may look like you’re maximizing your potential happiness, but if you stand to lose more than you have to gain by cheating, then cheating is illogical. Plus, cheating isn’t free. You have to sacrifice time, effort and honesty to pull it off. If monogamy isn’t your thing, then you should just be with someone who is polyamorous, polygamist or a swinger. Then you won’t have to pay anything for your cake. Or maybe we should all lighten up a little and give each other some leeway.

If you’re single, and someone who is already in a relationship tries to cheat on their partner with you, technically you’re not breaking any divine law by giving into temptation. However, if your actions hurt the person being cheated on, then you’ve undermined the purpose of life, which is bad and thus wrong. Even if the partner never finds out, the cheater might return to their lover stressed, guilty and distant, and if that doesn’t cause conspicuous pain, it can still degrade the quality of both people’s lives. In that case, the cheater is guilty for their part in the crime, and you’re guilty as an accomplice.

But life isn’t always so simple. If someone wants to cheat on their partner with you, then their heart doesn’t belong to their partner. They’ve already got one foot out the door, and cheating is just a formality that confirms what was already true. Their relationship could have been dead for years. Their partner could be an abusive cheater themselves, in which case, why should you honor a social contract that they don’t? If the contract they have with their partner isn’t important to them, then it’s not important. Fidelity is just a rule someone else told them they have to follow and they pay lip service to but otherwise ignore.

If you fall in love with someone who is perfect for you, and you’re perfect for them, but they’re committed to a terrible person, then by all means, take that lover for yourself. But do it in a way that causes the least harm. Sneaking around with a married person isn’t good for anyone, and neither is waiting for the situation to blow up when the jilted lover discovers the truth.

Life is complicated, and every moral decision needs to be made on a case-by-case basis. Cheating isn’t wrong because someone once wrote in a book that it is. The morality of your actions is based on the fact that life is valuable, and if you value people, then you should help them maximize their life as much as your own. Staying with your lover may not be the quickest path between Point A and Point B, but infidelity tends to be a much longer route… but there are exceptions to every rule.

P.S. Every person I’ve ever known who was a serial cheater, acted extremely possessive of the person they were cheating on. They would constantly check up on them and accuse them of wanting to cheat because they were projecting their guilt and paranoia onto their victim. If you know someone who acts like that, they’re probably cheating.

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American Christians, you don’t believe or practice what the Bible says about marriage. So stop acting like it’s the moral authority on the subject.

It’s absurd that Americans still quote the Bible at weddings and believe marriage is holy because the Bible says so. America’s beliefs and laws regarding marriage are so starkly different from the authors of the Bible they’re irreconcilable.

In America, marriage usually works like this:

Two people of any gender, who are over the age of 18, pick someone freely, get to know them, have sex, fall in love, and move in together. One person then asks the other to marry them, and they go to a court house where they pay for a marriage certificate, pay someone with a marriage-granting credentials to preside over a ceremony where vows are exchanged, and then both parties’ assets become legally tied to each other. If the marriage is heterosexual, the woman will usually replace her last name with her husband’s last name, though she’s under no obligation to. They can get divorced for any reason, but they have to apply for a divorce license and jump through so much legal red tape they have to hire a lawyer to manage all the paperwork until they finally stand in front of a judge who legally terminates their marriage and often sets new laws for one or both parties to follow such as child visitation schedules, child support, alimony, etc. Courts tend to rule in favor of women more than men.

In ancient Jewish culture and the Torah, marriage works like this:

Any woman who has sex before marriage is stoned to death. Depending on the circumstances, any man who has sex before marriage will either be stoned to death, or he’ll have to pay the girl’s father a bunch of shekels of silver. If a man rapes an unwed virgin, he has to buy her for fifty shekels of silver and may never divorce her.

There’s no legal age of consent. When a man wants to marry a girl or woman, he goes to her father and asks if he will sell his daughter to him. They agree on a price, and the groom pays the father. There is a ceremony, after which the husband takes his wife to his home and has sex with her. If she is a virgin, her hymen will bleed when it’s broken. After consummating the marriage, the husband will bring the bloody bed sheet out of the house for the community to see, and they’ll parade it through the streets in celebration. If it’s found that the bride is not a virgin, she’ll be brought in front of her father’s house and stoned to death by the community. Then the bride’s father will have to return the groom’s money and pay him more shekels of silver to make amends for selling a used product that was advertised as new.

Men are allowed to buy multiple wives, and they can own female slaves who aren’t their wives and have sex with them legally if their wife is barren. When the baby is born, the mother lays under the slave as she gives birth so that the wife is giving birth symbolically. If you’re the king of the theocracy God intended to rule the world, you can own as many wives and sex slaves as the nation’s taxes will pay for… as long as your wives and slaves are of Jewish decent.

Also, if a man has sex with a woman who is on her period, then they both have to be exiled. If anyone has sex with an animal or a member of the same sex, they’re to be put to death.

There are a few circumstances where divorce is legal, like adultery. Though, it’s not really divorce since the adulterer will be stoned to death. But if a woman manages to leave her husband, she probably won’t be able to remarry since she’s no longer a virgin, and since she’s a second class citizen with almost no rights, this pretty much leaves her with only two career paths: forager or slave.

Deuteronomy 22: 13-29

Leviticus 20:13

Leviticus 20:18

1 Kings 11:1-3

So when Americans say marriage is holy because the Bible says so, they prove two things: One, they don’t know what the Bible says about marriage. Two, their moral code is an un-researched, unconsidered assimilation of pop culture, which is ignorant but still better than Biblical dogma.

American Christians can try to justify their apostasy by saying Jesus made the Torah obsolete, but just because he forgave us for breaking the law, doesn’t mean he abolished the law. The only two things Jesus changed about marriage are that you shouldn’t kill adulterers anymore, and the only justification for divorce is adultery. He and his followers did, however, reconfirm that slavery is still the natural order of life.

John 8: 1-7

Matthew 19: 3-8

Matthew 5: 17-19

Dozens of passages from the Old and New Testament that condone slavery

American Christians only follow the rules in the Bible that coincide with their modern beliefs. They ignore and excuse the rest. The fact that they believe in customs and laws that contradict the Bible proves they don’t believe in the Bible.

Not only is it possible to use common sense and secular reasoning to create moral rules outside of divine intervention, but Americans have been doing it all along. That’s how our modern customs and culture evolved from the primitive barbarism of Jewish theocracy, and the world is better since Jews and Christians stopped obeying the Bible. The less they pretend to, the better the world gets. Imagine how much better life would be if they just dropped the whole charade altogether and let us all be free to do whatever works best for us.

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Why are there transsexuals? Why are they suddenly so popular, and why do conservatives loath them?

Sexual norms have been changing rapidly in America over the past few decades. In a country that used to have laws against sodomy, homosexuality has become so accepted that gays have been granted the right to marry and serve openly in the military. As shocking as this was to conservative Americans, they’re now having to cope with the fact that transsexuals are being accepted as mainstream celebrities, and the federal government is defending their choice to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.

Some Americans view this sexual revolution as a sign of progress. Others view it as a sign of the apocalypse and predict God is going to burn down America like He did Sodom and Gomorra as punishment for becoming such a perverse society. Others believe sexual tolerance is a liberal conspiracy to erase conservative culture in order to eliminate conservatives as a political opponent. Most Americans aren’t that dramatic or articulate about why they’re unaccepting of transsexuals. If you ask them their opinion, they may say something like this:

“I just don’t get why someone would want to chop their dick off.”

“How is chopping your dick off, not a sign of mental illness?”

“God made us how we’re supposed to be. You can’t change that.”

“If these people are so miserable with who they are, why don’t they just kill themselves?”

“Anyone who wants to dress up like the opposite sex is just a pervert. Plain and simple.”

“A lot of these people saying they identify as another gender just want attention. They’re just doing it because it’s popular.”

America is confused by transsexuals, but the explanation is actually quite simple. It’s just not something conservatives want to hear. Gender is determined by genetics, not by a decision you make. Gender identity isn’t a moral or philosophical question. It has everything to do with DNA and chromosomes. This isn’t a conspiracy. Nobody made up or reverse engineered the evidence for this conclusion. Impartial scientists tweezed apart the building blocks of the human body and reported the facts they found, and anyone can repeat the same experiments and find the same evidence that supports the same conclusions.

Everyone’s DNA is a little different by nature, and everyone has unintended genetic anomalies. Sex chromosomes aren’t black and white. We all fall in a grey spectrum. At the far end of the spectrum, some people are born with the genes of one sex but the body of the other. They have the wrong operating system for the hardware they’re using.

Transsexuals didn’t ask to be born the way they are, and they don’t like being trapped in the wrong body. Coming to terms with having a mismatched mind and body (let alone living in a society that won’t accept them) is so agonizing that almost half of all transsexuals will attempt suicide at some point in their life. The decision to alter their bodies isn’t something they do flippantly.

Granted, some people with normal chromosomes may choose to identify as the opposite sex because of events that happened to them in childhood or personal preference. Even if sexuality isn’t biological, and it’s only a choice for everyone… people should still have the freedom to do what they want.  Freedom isn’t supposed to be comfortable for anyone expect the individual exercising their freedom.

America has always had its own transgender members. If conservatives didn’t notice, that’s because they ignored, dismissed and oppressed them into oblivion. Conservatives aren’t facing a new enemy. They’re seeing their family for the first time.

There have always been transgender people in every country in the world. Historically, most cultures have treated their transgender members like outcasts. In India and Hawaii, they belonged to the lowest caste, but at least those societies acknowledged the existence of the third gender and incorporated them into the culture.

Christians are having a hard time accepting their transgender kin because the Bible never mentions DNA, genes, chromosomes or the third gender, but it says in black and white that homosexuality is a sin, and transsexuals are close enough to homosexuals to lump them together.

In Christianity, sin is a matter of life and death. So to Christians, it’s a matter of life and death that everyone acts Christian. From one point of view, taking away other people’s freedom to sin is saving their life. From another Christian perspective, sinners made a decision to turn from God, and the path they’ve chosen leads straight to Hell. Accepting sinners is accepting evil, and officially granting them legal freedom to sin is tantamount to electing Satan for president.

It should seem suspicious that Christians are so invested in oppressing homosexuals and transsexuals for not living Biblically, because Christians have been abandoning the teachings of the Bible since it was written. As clearly as the Torah states homosexuality is wrong, it also states homosexuals should be killed. Polygamy and slavery should be legal. It’s immoral to eat shell fish, wear clothes with mixed fibers, get tattoos, pull your penis out of your wife when you ejaculate, have a wet dream or go to church if your testicles are mutilated. It also say in black and white that you should kill adulterers, disobedient children, witches, and anyone who stands in the way of the Jewish theocracy.

Modern, American Christians don’t believe in these laws or follow them, and they justify this by saying Mathew 5:17-29 made these rules obsolete.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Some people would argue this passage clearly endorses the laws of the Torah. Either way, Christians still pick and choose which rules they follow in the New Testament, which clearly states that slavery should still be legal, and slaves are morally obligated to obey their masters. Adultery should still be illegal, but God no longer wants adulterers stoned to death in the streets. God no longer wants you to divorce for any reason except adultery. Women should not wear fancy jewelry, speak in church or hold management positions above men. It’s bad to be rich, and it’s good to give away everything you own.

There is not one single Christian in America who follows these laws. They can’t follow a hardline interpretation of the Bible, because its moral code is barbaric. It has all the trappings of a primitive mythology. Christians know this, but they base their identity on Christianity so strongly, they can’t completely let go. So they create excuses to justify why they don’t follow their own rules. They pick on homosexuals and transsexuals because it’s easier to attack other people who don’t follow Christian rules than it is to live by Christian rules themselves.

American Christians have already stopped believing in so much of the Bible that they’ve created their own modern, watered down version of Christianity the Bible would condemn as being lukewarm. The Judeo-Christian God is dead, and Christians killed “Him,” which was inevitable, because Christianity is absolutely, 100% verifiably mythology. The truth was always going to go mainstream. It just took the invention of the internet to let the genie out of the bottle.

While Baby Boomers are still deluding themselves into believing they’re Christian, Millennials are not. The world has already woken up from history and is moving on past Christian mythology. When the Baby Boomers die, the era of Christianity will be over. There will still be Christians, but they’ll be an irrelevant, impotent shadow of what they once were. Eventually they’ll fade away into the history books.

In the meantime, Christians are left watching in horror and confusion as their culture disappears. Their fear of America becoming a secular nation is validated every time the government passes laws that give homosexuals and transsexuals equal rights. When the government sides against Christianity, it officially declares Christians have lost the culture war. These rulings are nails in Christianity’s coffin.

It’s natural that Christians are frightened by Post-Biblical America and are frustrated with being pushed to the sidelines. It’s to be expected that they would lash out. No matter how many homosexuals and transgender people they harass, it won’t bring Christianity back. Violence and hatred was never going to solve anything anyway.

Now is not the time for hatred. Now is the time for everyone to pause, take a deep breath, and humbly consider the possibility their religion might be mythology. You owe it to yourself to do a few Google searches challenging whatever ideas you refuse to question. If your beliefs stand the most rigorous test of truth, you’ll just strengthen your faith. If you discover mountains of evidence that you’re wrong, you could free yourself from a lifetime of misguidance.

Christians who can’t let go of their modernized, watered-down version of Israel’s ancient mythology, will just have to find some way to cope with the fact that transgender people are here to stay, because there aren’t enough haters left to successfully oppress them.

When the federal government puts the next coffin nail in Christianity, and Christian anger flares up again, I urge Christians to pause, take another deep breath and ask yourself if you should really be angry that the world won’t accept your prejudices. Maybe you’re not the victim. Maybe you’re on the wrong side of history. You don’t want to be the bad guy. You owe it to yourself to question the beliefs that led you to screaming at people in bathrooms.

If you liked this post you may like these:

The Bible is mythology

Christianity is bad for you and society

Churches and Christian Culture


Reasons to be kind outside of religion

A cosmic appreciation for life

Think about this. Everything that exists in the universe is made of atoms, which are made of energy vibrations, which have been rearranging themselves according to brilliant mathematical equations for about 14 billion years. This energy is inanimate, and yet it possesses the instructions and power to assemble itself into living, breathing, reproducing, feeling, supercomputers that are supported by a growing, healing frame that’s wrapped in layers of pulleys and levers that work in tandem to create an acrobatic range of motion. Human beings are cosmic mysteries, 14 billion years in the making.

Reality is amazing. If you’re not impressed by life or the universe then you’re not paying attention. To anyone who is paying attention, it’s blatantly obvious that life is infinitely valuable. You don’t need a prophet to tell you that it’s wrong to hurt or kill people. You just need to open your eyes and appreciate life.

We’re all we’ve got.

Healthy babies will die in their cribs if they’re never touched. Solitary confinement is considered cruel and unusual punishment even for violent criminals.Nobody wants to spend the rest of their life alone, and everyone’s best memories are of times they spent with the people they loved. We need each other to survive, and we’re all we’ve got.

Sam Harris may have said it best when he said, “Consider it: every person you have ever met, every person will suffer the loss of his friends and family. All are going to lose everything they love in this world. Why would one want to be anything but kind to them in the meantime?”

If you’re looking for a reason to care about people, just go look someone in the eyes, and watch them looking back at you, affirming your existence. If you ever get lonely, you can go talk to that person, and they’ll share a whole universe of ideas and stories with you. They’ll make you laugh, cry, shout, relax, orgasm and all around live. They’re a reflection of yourself and a portal to another world. As cruel as people can be, we all know from personal experience that people are worth living for and protecting.

The war debt

Countless soldiers have died horrific, selfless deaths protecting your ancestors. Countless civilians have dedicated their entire lives to studying the universe, solving problems and improving the world those soldiers died protecting. Everyone who has ever held a job is a cog in the machine that turned the savage wilderness into cities with electricity and plumbing. Granted, there have been a lot of horrible, selfish people who left the world a worse place than they found it, but that just means we owe even more of a debt of gratitude to the people who carried the slackers’ share of the burden.

Even if our actions don’t have any consequences in the afterlife, it’s still logical to be grateful when someone does something nice for you. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and we owe a lifetime of gratitude to every one of our ancestors who fought, worked and died so we could have a better life than they did. The best way we can show our gratitude to them is to continue their legacy and improve the world for future generations. The very least we can do is not be mean and tear down the world we were given.

Fulfilling humanity’s potential

It’s not a burden of responsibility to strive to make the world better by doing things as small as being kind to strangers or as big as devoting your life to curing cancer. It’s an opportunity to be a part of something amazing and meaningful. Look at how far humans have come in 10,000 years. We went from living in caves to flying to the moon. Humanity’s knowledge and skills have been increasing at an exponential rate, and we’re very close to reaching a tipping point in technology that will revolutionize civilization more than the invention of the steam engine or the internet. That’s worth being a part of just because it’ll be fun, and it’s not like we have anything better to do. Why not play a part in fulfilling humanity’s potential?

Sure, we might not personally reap all the benefits, but at least we can enter eternal sleep with a clear conscience, and we can rest well knowing our descendants will have a better life than we did. And if you’re having trouble finding meaning in life outside of religion, or you’re still a little worried about your actions being judged after death, you can find relief in making the world a better place. If it turns out that life really is meaningless, and nothing matters, at least you’ll have spent your life feeling good about your actions.

A spiritual but not religious apreciation for the divine

Agnostics and people who are “spiritual but not religious” are willing to concede that there may be some force somewhere in the universe that fits some definition of the word, “God.” If there is a God, it would be nice to know it’s true name, but we play the hand we’re dealt, and agnostics are comfortable with appreciating The Artist’s work without knowing The Artist’s name. That simple, general sense of gratitude and respect for a vaguely defined, theoretical God still tends to inspire half-believers to treat God’s creations with respect and reverence.

Many half-believers also speculate that God is everywhere and that humans are a reflection of God. Without outright believing in those two statements, the mere possibility of them being true still motivates some nonreligious people to respect life as much (if not more) than anyone who believes in ancient mythology.

Pascal’s Wager (modified)

Blaise Pascal posed the question (and I’m paraphrasing), “Isn’t it safer to believe in Jesus and be wrong, than to not believe in Jesus and be wrong?” This question is illogical for at least two reasons. First, Christianity is easily falsifiable. It’s blatantly mythology. Being a Christian doesn’t require faith in the absence of evidence. It requires active denial of reality in the face of overwhelming evidence.  Secondly, believing in Christian mythology is no more logical than believing in Buddhist or Hindu mythology. So there’s no advantage to picking Christianity over any other random mythology.

Still, the question raises an interesting point. Anything could have happened before the universe came into existence, and anything could happen after we die. We don’t know for sure that our actions will have any repercussions in the afterlife, but why not play it safe and try to behave while we’re here on Earth, just in case?

Of course, that raises the question, how do you know what’s immoral if you don’t have an instruction book written by a prophet? The answer is to think and talk about ethics using the brain and mouth you were given. There are logic-based moral codes out there that are far more humane and productive than mythology-based moral codes.

Atheists may laugh at agnostics for trying to guess what their vaguely defined, theoretical, laissez faire God wants them to do. I’m not saying atheists are wrong, but they’re faulting people for hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Hope doesn’t cost anything, but hopelessness can literally kill you. And if fear of the unknown motivates people to do what they were supposed to be doing anyway then… that’s convenient.

Immediate karma and karma ghosts

Our actions may not determine our quality of afterlife, but they do determine the quality of our experiences in the immediate present. If we spend all day being mean to people, we’ll experience an angry, ugly day. If we spend all day being nice to people, we’ll experience a full day of pleasantness. If we’re mean for 20,000 days straight, we’ll have a lifetime of painful memories to look back on. If we’re nice for 20,000 days straight, we’ll have a lovely life to look back on.

There may not be a supernatural incentive program at work that magically causes good deeds to come back to good people and bad deeds to haunt bad people. However, we do live in the world we create. If you piss off everyone in town, you’re going to live in an unfriendly town. If you’re nice to everyone in town, you’ll inspire everyone to be nice to each other, and everyone will keep “paying it forward,” creating a self-perpetuating cycle of kindness. If we keep being nice to each other, eventually we won’t have to lock our doors at night or carry weapons for self-defense. So, without even getting philosophical, kindness is just practical.

Humility

Religions tend to divide mankind into “the chosen” and “the unworthy,” “the good” and “the evil,” “the saved” and “the damned.” Scientific thinkers don’t have any reason to divide humanity into any such categories. From a scientific point of view, everyone comes from the same place. Everyone had their ass wiped when they were children, and everyone’s shit stinks. Everyone’s body breaks down, and in the end we all die. You can’t level up into a more transcendental being. No matter what we do or believe, we’ll always just be walking, talking puddles of dirty water.

At the same time, we’re also cosmic miracles. We’re biological robots with supercomputers in our heads that are smart and strong enough to reshape the universe itself. A lot of care and effort went into designing us. The evidence points to the conclusion that we’re all equally, infinitely valuable…. puddles of dirty water.

As smart and powerful as we are though, we were born existentially blind. We don’t and can’t know the final answers to life’s mysteries. We’re just stranded in this cold, lonely universe to stand or fall on our own. Since we don’t and can’t know what the point of life is, it doesn’t make sense to punish the hell out of people during life or after death for getting the point wrong. We’re all equally beautiful, and we’re also equally big screw ups. At the end of the day, we’re all family too. The only logical conclusion to come to in life is that we should celebrate, forgive and help each other.

However you felt about this post, you’ll probably feel the same way about these:

Biker Philosophy

Ethics

Thinking

Atheism and Agnosticism


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