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My Radical Ideas and Opinions

This is yet another collection of various ideas and my opinions on a variety of different topics. If you are offended, keep it to yourself. But if you feel that something important was overlooked, or want to expand on an idea here, feel free to send an email (see the contact page for our address). Moving on...

Duty

We're told that we have a duty to do this or that based on the family or country we happened to be born in. Little else is said to justify this assumption, and when justification is offered the reasoning is weak to say the least. It seems the real purpose for the existence of the concept of duty is to create power over others by way of imposing unlimited and unending obligations which are always defined by those wielding the word.

There is such a thing as cause and effect. Without laws anarchy would prevail, and without taxation we would not be able to support an army. But cause and effect does not imply any obligation on any person unless, at the very least, the person agrees with and desires a certain effect. Duty was just invented to control other people's behavior.

Success

So-called "success formulas" are over-hyped. Yes, there are formulas that increase the odds of success, but there are none that guarantee a given outcome.

Interestingly, the more certain formulas are those that lead to failure. For example, you can be more certain of a formula that says "do nothing in order to fail." Doing something, even the best things, only gives you the probability of succeeding, but no guarantee. So avoid actions (or lack of action) that leads to failure, do what seems to work for a goal, and hope for the best. If that doesn't work, try again. It may not be the most inspiring message, but what else have you got to do with your time on Earth than to keep trying?

Idolatry

Here are some probably-true stories: Jesus farted, Mohammed wiped his runny nose on his arm, Ghandi kicked a dog and the Buddha yelled cruel things at someone who woke him up too early. What's the point of saying these things? It is to humanize these historical characters and to shock some people into seeing how unrealistic their ideas about them are. Until we can see all humans as the humans that they are, we are engaging in idolatry. The message matters, and though a man or woman may matter, he or she is still human, and so is fallible. To believe otherwise is to engage in idolatry.

Knowledge

Knowledge is of the mind and body. You can know how to drive a car through books and teachers, yet fail to drive well at first, because you only have mind-knowledge. Your body needs to learn be feel how far to turn the steering wheel, how hard to push on the gas or brake pedal, what to watch for on the road. Such skills are the knowledge of the body. That which is in the mind is not enough.

Another example: A man can know about hammers, and even read about how to properly use them, but if you needed a house built, would you trust this man to do it over a man who cannot read yet has been a carpenter for years? Reading about how to build a house doesn't get it built.

The brain is part of the body, and so even here we see that learning theory is not enough. A salesman, for example, will not be a good salesman until he has the experience which alters the brain and makes the process more fluid and effective. We can learn from books, but we need to learn from life as well.

Intelligence

An IQ test measures something, but it also suggests more than it should. Intelligence is just too limited a part of who a person is to think that it says much about a person by itself. Even when it comes to academic success it has been shown that self-discipline is more predictive than intelligence.

Here's an analogy to consider; temperature measures heat, but the very fact of measuring can mislead us. I can tell you from experience that a summer day in Michigan can be a hotter and less comfortable than one in the dry deserts of the Southwest, because of the humidity. In other words, any given measurement addresses just one aspect among many. Look beyond the measuring to other measures (and sometimes to what cannot be measured).

Maturity

It is not mature to mindlessly cooperating with authority, but mindlessly rebelling against authority is also not a sign of maturity. A mature person thinks, has his own opinions, and chooses when it is best to cooperate or not cooperate with authorities, according to important self-determined criteria.


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