clouded

Peter had me at murmuration, his perspective sealed the deal.

Life Unscripted

murmuration of starlings

The photo is a murmuration of Starlings surrounding the Statue of Liberty but it made me think about the way in which the values that made this country what it has become have themselves been clouded and obscured.

Society seems no longer to care about values.  I blame that on the movement to deny any absolute values that began with questioning religion and religious morality.  Once we began (as a society) to question whether “right” existed, or whether “wrong” was something that could be applied universally it became easy to say that “no one” was really altruistic, that ethical matters only really applied in… well… maybe they don’t… oh, heck, lets’ throw ethics out anyway, who needs to be judged….  You see how it all goes pear shaped once you start questioning.

I wonder, can you question things and still uphold some set of values? Speed limits for example —…

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10 thoughts on “clouded

  1. Things would have been pretty awful if we had never even questioned “religion and religious morality”. For example, the Bible “teaches” that slavery is moral and homosexuality is immoral (among many other ghastly perversions of morality), and during the time when Christianity dominated the West, society did operate on the basis of those “values”. Fortunately we did indeed question the religious version of morality, and by rejecting it, made the world much better.

    The most secular countries such as Japan, Britain, and Scandinavia are the most peaceful, humane, and crime-free, while the most religious are the most violent, cruel, and crime-infested — see the Middle East and much of Latin America. You can see the same pattern with the less-religious and more-religious states of the US.

    Today it’s the fundamentalist Christians who are the strongest supporters of Trump’s cruel and amoral regime.

    Religion is the opposite of a source of morality. In practice it mostly serves as a source of excuses for immoral behavior.

    Question everything. Blind fealty to whatever random taboos happen to be enshrined in some holy book leads only to stagnation and mental slavery.

    • Do you have specific examples to support your claims about Trump supporters being immoral and part of a cruel and amoral regime?

      “…national surveys find that Donald Trump voters who attend church regularly are more likely than nonreligious Trump voters to have warmer feelings toward racial and religious minorities, be more supportive of immigration and trade, and be more concerned about poverty.”
      https://www.voterstudygroup.org/publications/2018-voter-survey/religious-trump-voters

      • Trump supporters are, by definition, immoral and supporters of a cruel and immoral regime. And most fundamentalists are Trump supporters, whereas most non-fundamentalists are not. That is a specific example of how fundamentalists are statistically much more likely to be immoral than non-fundamentalists.

  2. If I may weigh in – sweeping generalizations regarding any demographic are perilously flawed, no reasonable person would consider all persons within that group to be of like mind. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that polls are equally flawed. For every poll that paints Trump church attending supporters as warm and fuzzy toward racial tolerance, another surfaces to prove otherwise.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-race-idUSKCN0ZE2SW

    • True, but no one is making assertions about every single member of any given demographic, only about the existence of general statistical correlations. If a claim is being made that religion makes people more moral, it’s legitimate to point out that almost always, the more secular a culture is, the more peaceful and moral it is — and that the most religious demographic in the US is the most supportive of a cruel and immoral regime.

      • Many sources cite China as the least religious country in the world (with 90% of residents claiming no religious affiliation.) Personally, I’d say China is a far better example of a ‘cruel and immoral regime’!

      • China is rife with religious persecution, it doesn’t mean its citizens aren’t followers of religion. If you consider Islamic fundamentalist countries in the scope of cruel/immoral regimes, it becomes clear that religious fundamentalism left unchecked becomes unimaginably oppressive, dictatorial and restrictive.

        It bothers me when faith and morality are used in the same sentence. Morality doesn’t belong to religion, faith didn’t create it, doesn’t own it, certainly doesn’t live by it at all times. People are good or bad – rapists don’t stop because God wouldn’t approve, nor do thieves, murderers, adulterers, pedophiles, fraudsters or racists. Human nature, not religious morality determine how individuals conduct themselves.

        Back to fundamentalist Christians – they overwhelmingly pass judgement based on Biblical, not constitutional law. Same sex unions, gender identification, abortion rights – any legislation outside their belief is voraciously opposed. In their mind America is one nation under God, freedom of religion only extends to their God given right to vilify citizens whose lifestyle, race or lack of faith contradicts their interpretation of piety.

        A “good Christian” took issue with my support for abortion rights. He wished all my children, everyone I loved, murdered in front of my eyes to “teach me a lesson”. He was extremely specific, as an act of Christian charity, I would be murdered last (he expressed this reluctantly but wanted to offer a chance to ponder my loved ones murders and repent before I was murdered).
        Obviously he had a screw loose, but my point is this man honestly believed his faith justified his actions. That’s the trouble with fundamentalism, it black and white, no middle ground, no inclusion, extension of compassion for conflicting ideals or sense of equal justice for all regardless of faith. Sigh.

      • It seems like you are describing religious bigotry. The lack of understanding or compassion for conflicting ideals isn’t just a fundamentalist reaction. It can be attributed to people of other faiths, and people of no faith.

      • China isn’t a comparable case. The Chinese regime is totalitarian and its subjects have no say in its policies, nor can they freely express their views. There’s no way of knowing how many Chinese people, religious or otherwise, really support the regime. And even if we did know, this wouldn’t be very dispositive in a situation where state-controlled media and propaganda can gin up higher levels of support than would exist if the Chinese people had access to a wider range of views in the media.

        Looking at truly comparable cases — less vs. more religious Western democracies, and less vs. more religious US states — there’s a very strong correlation between a less-religious population and lower levels of crime, violence, inequality, and general social dysfunction.

        In the US, for decades fundamentalists have been the strongest supporters of the Republican party with its racism, anti-gay bigotry, and callousness toward the poor and disadvantaged. The most secular people overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

        There’s simply no empirical evidence supporting the claim that religion makes people more moral or better human beings in any way. All the available evidence points in just the opposite direction.

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