Posts Tagged ‘evangelicals’

IS THE GOLDEN RULE REALLY THE BEST IDEA?

May 28, 2010

What is today known as the “golden rule”, is found in similar form in at least 37 often non-connected cultures.  Thus, the laws of God are clearly written on the conscience of humanity, as the Bible claims and as Jefferson echoed in the Declaration of Independence.

According to Jesus, “Therefore, whatever you want people to do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the prophets”.  The added, “for this is the law and the prophets” in the society of Jesus, meant similar to as if today someone said, “this is the foundation of human rights and the sum and purpose of all reason, wisdom, philosophy, science, education, morality and ethics.”  Is this really the best idea for achieving human rights in the modern age?

Upon closer examination, most of the so-called “golden rules” found in other societies, including the one attributed to the Jewish teacher Hillel, are considerably different than that taught by Jesus.  A similar one to Jesus is found in a saying attributed to Mencius.  But unlike Mencius and all of the other known sages of history, only Jesus gives this positive, pro-active version the all-important status of being the foundation for all that matters towards positive human enlightenment and achievement.

So-called “golden rules” found in most societies instruct us not to harm others as we do not wish them to harm us.  But Jesus teaches us to reach out and help other people, even if they do not first help us. Consider how much less effective it is to tell a child not to harm someone, than teaching the same child to pro-actively treat others as they like to be treated.  For example, is a homeless widow better off if someone just doesn’t harm her or, if someone provides her food and shelter?  Isn’t it far more effective to teach us to help each other than just saying we should do no harm?

Some modern intellectuals claim we should instead, treat other people as “they” wish to be treated.  This supposed “improvement” contains at least two significant flaws:  1) It is rather difficult to know how another person wants us to treat them unless we first befriend them as we wish to be treated.  2) If we treat others as they wish to be treated without any measurement against our own well-being, we will soon be extremely tired, penniless and destitute.

Today, the term “empathy” is favored by many, apparently because it is less religious sounding than the idea of loving our neighbor as ourself.  Although it is a good idea to empathize with others, is this idea really an improvement over teaching us to pro-actively love our neighbor as ourselves?

Is the Jesus version of the golden rule the best idea?  Does anybody else have a better idea for curing what ails a race called “human”?  Do we want less than the best for our children?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

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IS AMERICAN MEDIA REALLY LEGITIMATE?

October 20, 2009

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that American media habitually fails to address issues at a fundamental core level that would actually serve to achieve legitimate reform? Instead, we are treated to a giant merry-go-round shell game of opposing pundit charades; both “sides” belittling and whining about the other and neither offering any coherent plan for actually achieving reform.

For example, amidst growing public outrage over corporate bailouts and other corrupt political shenanigans, why aren’t political pundits on either the so-called “liberal” or “conservative” side calling for a national cap on interest rates at a reasonable 5%? This would do far more to stimulate the economy, insure the long-term health of the banking industry and actually help the average citizen, than all of the trillions tossed down the historical sewer and all of the nonsensical cosmetic “reforms” offered up by both “sides” combined.

In the debate over universal verses private health care, why is there no discussion regarding the obvious immediate and long-term ramifications of contagious diseases? If conservative mothers actually knew how severely in danger their own children are, even if insured, we would have had universal health care long ago, like any reasonable and sane government today should and does provide.

Amidst much feigned “outrage” over political corruption, why is nobody on either side calling for a constitutional amendment banning all political contributions of any and every kind except by private individuals and, limiting individual donations to 1% of the median income? Given the historical track record of the Supreme Court siding with business interests against any and all legitimate political reform legislation, it should be obvious even to someone without fancy degrees attached to their name, that the only way to achieve true political reform is by constitutional amendment.

And, when obviously crooked and entirely corrupt leaders in White House and congressional halls decide to engage in foreign wars of aggression, obviously designed to consolidate political power and enhance corporate bottom lines, why is the American media in total lock-step mentality, found proudly “embedded” in flag-waving “patriotic” support of such atrocities? CBS featured the oft-maligned supposedly “liberal” Dan Rather embedded right on cue in real time during Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq, whispering in hushed, reverent tones, describing in detail how adept our military is at invading and bombing a completely out-gunned city full of civilians into “democratic” submission?

American media has long focused on the so-called “health” of the stock market as the leading indicator for whether our not the economy is doing well. This in spite of the well known historical facts that often during a prolonged bull market, the majority of Americans continue to lose economic ground. Whether or not the market is doing well in the short term Wall Street reality has little to zero bearing on the economic lot of the majority of American citizens.

Media would be informing us far better if it focused on rising energy, food and housing costs relative to the median wage and better yet, the minimum wage, as leading economic health indicators. What good is it to average Americans, if a few more billionaires are created, when less than zero percentage of growing market prosperity “trickles down” on the vast majority of our citizens?

What is the real agenda behind the carefully controlled piece-meal information dolled out by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal? Is CNN, Fox News and MSNBC giving us the information we really need? Why aren’t mainstream media outlets informing us correctly and adequately regarding various major issues of the 21st Century?

Is American media really legitimate, or is it just a big waste of everybody’s valuable time? Would we be better off burying our radios and televisions in our backyards, that is, those of us who still have a backyard to bury them in?

You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for above article