Saturday, June 25, 2016

Self-Honesty and Emotions

The most important thing in my inner life is not my feelings, but self-honesty. Many times I've acted as if my feelings were more important than my values, and suffered for it. All that's OK now, for I have learned to question every feeling I have, and to check the premises of the thoughts those feelings are based on. Self-honesty! Thoughts are at the basis of all emotions, and it is very beneficial ( although not always easy) to take a good, self-honest look at why I think what I think about something. This will help me (and you) deal with troublesome emotions, for often they're based on an irrational thought or  two. It's worked for me. Do I really value x, or am I just giving mental lip service to x? Or worse: pretending to value x in order to manipulate others.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Legalized Marijuana-What's the Problem?

I have absolutely no tolerance for the opinions of people who condemn the use of marijuana-medical or recreational-but have absolutely no problem with alcohol. Alcohol is a dangerous, addictive drug; marijuana may be addictive to some (isn't everything addictive when it's pleasant?), but it certainly isn't as dangerous as alcohol. Not by a long shot. The state of Wyoming is warning Coloradans about bringing their newly legalized pot into their state-an ironic situation, to say the least. What is legal and not criminal in one state could fetch you a hefty fine and jail sentence in another. And meanwhile, people are free to drink all the booze they can afford (and not afford) in Wyoming, killing innocent people when they get behind the wheel of a car, physically abusing spouses and children, losing their jobs and homes from abuse, developing hideous diseases like cirrhosis, and generally being a public nuisance. These are not the type of behaviors associated with pot use or even pot abuse-marijuana smokers mostly tend to be a peaceful lot. I will concede that my evidence for this assertion is mostly anecdotal and from personal experience. I am sure there are incidents out there were someone stoned on pot did something stupid and/or criminal-but I'm willing to bet that these cases are statistical anomalies, and not the norm. Being tolerant of alcohol but intolerant of marijuana is strange, a blatant moral contradiction and a largely emotional issue. Marijuana may not be as safe as mother's milk, but it is no way nearly as dangerous as opponents tend to claim. It produces a mild feeling of well-being-much like having one or two drinks of alcohol, and then stopping. It heightens sensory perceptions, increases creative activity, and has very significant medical benefits for glaucoma, nausea sufferers,  and chemotherapy patients. On the down side, excessive marijuana use makes the user slow and stupid ("stoned"), and can lead to the abuse of other drugs. But yet, this is true of alcohol, as well-in fact, drunk people infamously have a lowered sense of judgment and discernment, are prone to impulsive actions, and take foolish risks. For those afraid that legalizing pot is a slippery slope that will eventually lead to the legalization of the truly dangerous drugs like cocaine and opiates, I get it. But we need not fall down that slope if we are vigilant. Having marijuana legal and readily available is really just a matter of giving people a safe alternative to Demon Rum-and as such, I heartily approve and concur.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How To Profit From The Death Panels (Repost)

A Horrible Consequence of Socialized Medicine!

"How to Profit From Death Panels", by forensic psychologist Helen Smith

Dr. Smith's latest blog entry goes into chilling detail about one of the consequences of a free lunch, er uh a free health care system.

Dr. Smith's blog is interesting, well written and designed, and informative.

Seniors should take note here: the death panels will be an objective reality.

Love Is Not Cheap

I do not hate people; I have an almost automatic attitude of goodwill towards strangers. I do, however, dislike most people after talking to them for a few minutes, and find them ridiculous, preposterous, and often boring. There are very few exceptions.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Group Think

Some individuals value their ideals more than they do human lives. "You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet", they say, meaning that some will be sacrificed (or outright killed, in some historical cases) for the sake of their ideals. But human beings are not eggs, and at the precise moment whenever any idealist talks about such sacrifices, he has left the realm of rationality, reason, and good will towards ones fellow man. No ideal is greater than human life.

Furthermore, no ideal is greater than any one man.

It is necessary to be precise here. For example, if you claim that the rights of society trump the rights of the individual, the obvious questions are: what are the rights of society? Who determines what rights society has? If society's rights consists of whatever the majority in that society considers to be rights, then rights become a matter of vote, to be granted or taken away at the whim of whatever group is in the majority. But consider the implications of such a view:  individuals exist at the permission of the group; the right to life is granted by those who are living; no one man is of any importance by himself, but only as part of a group. If this is so, then men are not free. They are dependent upon society. They are, we are so often told, "social animals". Again, who decides what is in the best interests of society...if it is not the mob currently in majority, is it not some dictator who issues proclamations that all must obey (or become an omelet)?

I know what freedom is. It is independence. It is being alive and beholden to no one for one's right to be alive. It is independence from others, part of which is simple self-sufficiency. I need no one's permission to live, and in a perfect world, I would need no one's permission to keep whatever I earn or make.

Sacrifice for the greater good is one thing-but it is I, as an individual, who makes that decision and no one else has the right to tell me what or who I should sacrifice my life for. And besides, if I give my life for what I consider a greater good, that is not a sacrifice at all. But if I die for "society's" (i.e., someone else's) concept of a greater good, and I don't agree but do so out of a sense of duty, then that is a sacrifice. I am a slave when I make sacrifices of such a nature, at the mercy of society, a mere serf with a bought soul.