Monday, June 26, 2017

Distorting and Deleting History: Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee


The UGLY facts about Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee,
and the UGLY falsehood of current American actions:

#1 Both Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee were racists. Both thought Negroes were inferior to Whites.

#2 Both invaded another country.

#3 Both were convinced that God was the cause of war, etc.


#4 Both wanted ALL Negroes to leave the United States and move to another country. Even during the Civil War, Lincoln worked toward getting all Negroes to leave the U.S., and Lincoln kept Negroes enslaved in the Union during all of the Civil War until 1865!
Lee, following the will of his father-in-law, freed his wife's slaves in 1862. But Lee wanted the U.S. to be "rid" of Negroes, too.


#5 Both were responsible for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of humans, the wounding of millions, etc.

#6 Yet both claimed to care for their enemies.

ETC. (and other intriguing immoral similarities)

And they had some similar good points.

THE UGLY FALSEHOOD
of the U.S. NOW:

Americans are taking down the statues of Robert E. Lee
BUT
NOT the statues of Abraham Lincoln!

What hypocrisy and what misguided deleting of history. EVERY human leader is a mixed bag of good and evil.

It is very important to teach the general public and youth both their good points and their evil points.
We learn from history by studying it, not deleting it, not taking statues and memorial down.

From the ol' American literature-history teacher,

Daniel Wilcox

Saturday, June 17, 2017

What is True, Not "Politically Correct"

Part #2: What is True?

Honesty, Justice, Commitment, Reason, Goodness, Human Rights, Compassion, Duty, Kindness, Equality, Helpfulness, Peacemaking, Fairness, Patience, Fidelity, Generosity, Sharing, and so on...


What is False?

Dishonesty, Lying, Cheating, Injustice, Irrationalism, Fickleness, Cruelty, Torture, Rape, Enslavement, Abuse, Slaughter, infanticide, Violence, Theft, Racism, Promiscuity, Prostitution, Selfishness, and so on...

Many of these ethical truths, (and their contrary immoral actions) have been discovered by humans through experience, reasoning, and intuition and have been held up as ideals for thousands of years. Some of the ideals have taken much longer to become accepted by most humans than others.

But even way back in 250 B.C. one human leader in Western Asia banned slavery. And many of the virtues and ethical rights were emphasized even before then.

The POINT?

We humans, contrary to what many present leaders claim, don't need to reinvent the moral wheel of civilization over in every generation.

Instead, we reflect on the achievements of past moral leaders, sift and look for ways to improve on their lives and ideals. We finite individuals get to add in our insight and thinking, seeking greater and greater understanding of ethical truth. For instance, one topic that has come up in the last 50 years or so is the question of "animal rights." A deep topic to think about for the future.

CONTRARY to the many naysayers and negaters of the present, who claim that all ethics are "relative" and "subjective," and that no human has inherent value, and that there are no human rights,
we humans can live for
what is true,
what is good,
what is of inherent value.

NOW TO the "politically correct:"

So much of modern media has been touting catch phrases and words that many people adopt in mass, rather than test with previous ethical truths.

For instance:

Everyone is equal and that therefore those humans who have an orientation toward same sexuality ought to have the same right to commit to one other person to become his/her lover, spouse, and life-long partner.

Here's the 'socially and politically incorrect" part:

Terms and descriptions such as "GLBTQI" ought to be abandoned.

Why?

Because not only are such terms politically-charged catch phrases, they often aren't accurate.


#1 Same sexual is a more denotative term than the connotative terms such "gay" and lesbian."

#2 "Same sexual" explains how an individual human is orientated, but it doesn't define him/her in all of his/her complexity as do such popular sexual words such as "gay."

Opposite sexual individuals aren't defined by one term! There are many different sorts of opposite sexual individuals with widely different worldviews, life-stances, and perspectives.

That seems to be true for same sexual individuals, too.

#3 B stands for "bisexual," BUT this ambivalence in some humans ought not to be a defining description of them. If an individual feels emotionally and physically drawn to both sexes, that person needs to reflect deeply to which type of human he/she is most drawn. If it is 50-50, then he/she needs to make a definitive choice to go one way or the other.

If the person does choose, and then lives celibate until meeting his/her true love, and makes a commitment for life with that special person, then that is his/her chosen path.

He/she may still feel ambivalent, like a young adult might still feel torn some years later after choosing his/her career but usually continues with his commitment.

And he/she usually doesn't call themselves in an identifying term, such as I am a "bi-career";-) as if they feel so ambivalent about choosing to be a doctor or an engineer that they need to emphasize it to everybody!

#4 Transgendered is a very new field of study in human nature and ethics. Why do a few humans feel that they are caught in the wrong body? Sometimes the case is that when born, an infant is in the "middle" in his/her private parts and the obstetrician made a misdiagnosis.

This is tragic because it makes it so hard for the child as he/she grows up. However, transgendered individuals are of equal worth and inherent value as opposite and same sexual humans.

Again, why identify themselves centrally by their particular orientation?!

There is so much more to being human than sexuality, as important as that is to everyone of us.

#5 Lastly, another reason to stop using these catchy terms and "politically correct" phrases is that human sexuality ought to NEVER have been the political football it has become, where strident voices on all different sides of the issue yell at each other.

We need to focus on HUMANISM--the ideals, truths, and values that we all share.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox








Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Whole Human Versus the One-Angled Human


#1 Usually orthodox Christians, Muslims, Jews, and other religionists say they live only by faith (usually narrowly defined)-- belief in the divine, eternal truth of only their own ancient literature by which all other human values must be judged, that all other views are "made-up" or "demonic" or based in "human pride" and "selfishness."




According to them, each human has no “inherent” worth, value, and meaning. Every human and everything else is “worthless” except for whom and what God has given value to in his foreordination, sovereignty and hidden will.

All events in existence including natural disasters, disease, war, famine, crime, and evil etc. are the result of the sovereign will of God.

VERSUS

#2 Usually hard Atheists say they live only by science and reason (usually narrowly defined)--that all other human values are subjective, relative, “made-up,” “constructed,” only “ personal opinion” or “cultural preference” that there are no inherent ethics, no human “rights,” no “justice,” no valid aesthetics, no “better” culture or social framework.

According to them, each human has no “inherent” worth, value, and meaning. Every human and everything else is “worthless” because there is no essential or ultimate reality. Nothing but matter and energy moving eternally.



All events in existence including natural disasters, disease, war, famine, crime, and “so-called evil” are the result of a meaningless, purposeless rigid determinism. All humans are "puppets" and have no choice.

Do you see the irony of this double-mirror, each worldview, perspective negating the other yet almost exactly the mirrored reflection of the other in many significant ways?

FURTHERMORE:

Of course, most religionists don’t only live by “faith.”
They regularly live by “science and reason” when it comes to illness, mechanical failure, running their business, etc.

Most of them don’t live “only by faith.” When they are sick, they consult a doctor, go in for an operation, when their vehicle breaks down, they use tools or take it to a mechanic, when they start a business, they employ an accountant, etc.

And, of course, most atheists don’t live “only by science and reason.”
They regularly support the police and serve on juries which are allegedly based in justice, not subjectivity, that if criminals break into their house or assault their children, it’s not just “subjective,” “relative,” or “made up.”

And they usually send their kids to formal schools be educated in the humanities and aesthetics as well as science.
They don’t assume that the latest scam, National Inquirer news, or scrawl on the side of a building are “equal” to an historical study, meticulously honest fair news or the classics in the library.


Essential or Inherent Humanism seeks to counter both of these ‘one-angled’ extremes which distort reality.




But the explanation of that is for the next post:-)

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Please Write for Iranian Human Rights Activist

"Elderly human rights defender Dr Mohammad Maleki, 84, is being prevented
from leaving Iran to visit his children in the Netherlands and Canada.

The authorities have placed him on a travel ban
since 2011, in reprisal for his peaceful human rights activism."


Dr. Mohammad Maleki: “I have not
committed theft, fraud or any other criminal offence. I have been deprived of my civil rights solely for my
beliefs...and human rights activities...I wish to visit my son after seven years...

This is the obvious right and the
deep wish of every father.”

"In July 2015, he began a weekly sit-in protest outside a state-affiliated building. He
maintained the protest until November 2015 when his health declined and he could no longer continue. He suffers from several serious health problems and wants to be reunited with his family."

"Dr Mohammad Maleki is one of the founders of the Campaign for Step by Step Abolition of the Death Penalty, known by its Persian acronym, Legam. He regularly participates in gatherings held in solidarity with victims of human rights violations, and maintains contact with other human rights defenders as well as families of political prisoners."


from Amnesty International:

1) TAKE ACTION

"Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:

Lift the travel ban imposed on Dr Mohammad Maleki immediately and unconditionally, as he is being solely punished for the peaceful exercise of his human rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly;

Respect the right of everyone to leave their country, as guaranteed under Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party;

Explicitly recognize the legitimate work of human rights defenders, and end the criminalization of peaceful activities that promote and defend human rights, including communication with UN human rights mechanisms."

Contact...by 14 July, 2017:

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi
Above Pasteur Intersection
Vali Asr Street, Tehran, Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency

Office of the Supreme Leader
Permanent Mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10017
Fax: (212) 867-7086 I Phone: (212) 687-2020
Email: iran@un.int
Salutation: Your Excellency

https://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent-actions/urgent-action-sick-elderly-iranian-activist-travel-ban-iran-ua-120-17/
--


In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Monday, May 29, 2017

SHILOH by Melville, a Memorial Day Poem


Shiloh: A Requiem (April, 1862)

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,

The forest-field of Shiloh—
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain

Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh—

The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer

Of dying foemen mingled there—
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve—

Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)

But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.

--Herman Melville


the lone church:


scenes after the horrific battle:









Grieving for so many today,
such needless slaughter,
so much destruction,

Daniel Wilcox

The Lowest of the Low--Denial of the Reality of Ethics


It would seem that Divine Command Theory of conservative Christianity which claims that an action is only wrong or right if God declares it so is the worst form of ethics.

How much lower can one get than to proclaim that ethnic cleansing, the slaughter and rape of enemies, the abuse and torture of others, the enslavement of humans is good or justified because the Almighty says so?

For a long time, it appeared that DCT was the worst of the worst.

Thankfully most secular human leaders (in the U.S. at least)—regardless of their particular worldview--emphasized human rights, justice, equality, fairness, generosity, tolerance, the Bill of Rights including free speech, freedom to change and criticize religions and ideologies, etc. (to one degree or another).
BUT all that has changed.

Now many secular leaders are claiming there are no human rights, no objective ethics, that all ethics, even opposition to rape and enslavement are only "subjective" constructs"!

When did the abhorrent tilt to relativism come about?

(It’s enough to scare the living daylights out of any human rights worker, any Civil Rights leader, any one involved in law enforcement, any normal citizen who is concerned with real ethics.)

Look at this strange exchange this week on the Internet:

Atheist blogger Neil Carter wrote, "our moral systems of guidance are no more objective than the compass Jack Sparrow carries around with him on his many misadventures.2 And that furthermore, that is perfectly okay."
--

Human Rights Daniel Wilcox: This is completely untrue. Rape, slaughter, slavery, molestation, abuse are ALWAYS WRONG. Human rights, justice, goodness, equality, etc. are always right.


For instance, the Humanist Manifesto III states, (like the Enlightenment, and human right organizations now such as Amnesty International) that "We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.”

Note emphasis in the Manifesto on words such as
"Inherent worth"
"freedom"
"responsibility".

Humans don't make up ethics; they aren't "constructs" as Neil Carter claims.

On the contrary, ethics are discovered, are "inherent" in reality.
--

Neil Carter also wrote, "...humanists of every stripe can agree that human beings should never be treated as someone else’s property."
--

Note the danger of Carter's words:
"can agree"

But agreement has nothing to do with whether some action is good or bad!

And true ethics aren't based in any "can."

They are always "ought."

Besides, various humanists have justified not only enslavement, but the slaughter of civilians, torture, inequality,
and even claimed that infants aren’t “persons”!

And that, therefore, an infant, since it isn't a "person," it may be killed up to one year old!!

And that some animals have more value than some human infants!

Tragic. How confused and downright wrong such thinking is.

Even if humans changed their minds and declared various immoral actions no longer immoral and okay, they wouldn't be moral.

This sort of relativistic thinking is the extreme danger of nonobjective ethics.
Lots of humans in the past and now declare terrible actions good.

That has nothing to do with whether or not they really are good.
--

An Atheist:
“That we find near universal agreement about moral statements does not in any way refute their subjectivity.”
--

Human Rights Daniel
Humans don't make up ethics; they aren't "constructs."
--

An Atheist:
“They most certainly are. Ethics are abstractions that comprise many different factors. How we were raised, natural empathy, selfish desires, how importantly we value fairness, thoughtful consideration... all of these and more are used to develop what we would call "ethics."
--

2nd Atheist:
The legal definition of rape has changed during my lifetime. It wasn't until 1993 that marital rape was made illegal in all 50 states. So before then was marital rape moral or immoral?"
--

3rd Atheist:
"What any given culture puts into the bucket of "wrong" is inherently relativistic."
--

Human Rights Daniel:
No.

Ask Enlightenment leaders such as Thomas Paine, ask the UN Declaration of Human Rights, ask The Human Manifest III, ask Amnesty International, ask Martin Luther King Jr. and other Civil Rights workers, etc.
--

4th Atheist
"Appeal to authority. FAIL.

As you have been told here for years by many people much smarter than me:
There is no such thing as "objective ethics" or "objective morality". There is only ethics that most of us like or accept as part of our current social structure, just like every other society that exists or has existed."

"Have you stumbled upon a set of ethical observations equivalent to Newton's laws of motion, or the laws of thermodynamics in physics? Then your objective morality doesn't exist, and you should really stop embarrassing yourself by insisting it does simply because you're frightened of the idea of it not existing.

You like the ideals espoused in the Humanist Manifesto? That's nice. But don't pretend this is somehow an objective document. The fact that you (and most other people) might like the ideas within it does not make it objective."
--

5th Atheist:
"If you could devise an objective moral framework, i.e. one that objectively answers all moral questions under any circumstances, then you could have objective morals, on equal footing with mathematical truths. Of course, nobody has ever succeeded in creating such a framework.

Moreover, if these objective morals in certain cases would differ from your own subjective morals you would most probably reject the objective framework and go with your own subjective morals anyway. So, an objective moral framework (if even possible) is only useful if all people (inter)subjectively agree to the moral outcomes of the framework."
--

Atheist Blogger Neil Carter:
"My point is that all morals systems are constructs, even the ones we can agree on. And I'm pretty sure all humanists will agree that rape is bad."
--

H. R. Daniel Wilcox:
Whether humanists "agree" that they are subjectively against rape, has nothing to do with whether or not rape is really wrong.

Morals aren’t “constructs.”

Consider that the vast majority of orthodox Muslims believe in inequality for women, and think that ex-Muslims ought to be punished.

That isn't okay.

Those humans are objectively wrong, are immoral in their beliefs and actions.

Most Americans think that if the U.S. government tortures and slaughters civilians that is justified.

But that doesn't make it okay.

Many American Christians think that human rights ought to be denied same sexual couples!

But that doesn't make it okay.

Amnesty International has worked for human rights for many years. AI thinks every human has human rights. That human rights are real,
not "subjective" "likes."

Human rights aren’t “constructs” but are inherent in reality. Every human is born with rights which are “inherent” and “unalienable.”

No way are ethics "subjective" and made up by humans.

Even if every human on the face of the earth said that in some cases slavery, rape, slaughter, racism are okay, those actions still wouldn't be moral.
--

6th Atheist:
"Rape is bad" is not actually a moral statement without defining what "rape" means. And when it comes to the definition of rape there is no consensus, not even among humanists. Does rape require penetration, or could it include other sexual acts? Can it be rape if the perpetrator was convinced that it was consensual?

Can it be rape if there was no violence involved? Does rape within marriage require stronger evidence? Can the behavior of the victim be a mitigating factor? Etcetera.

ETA: I would (subjectively) answer these questions with yes, yes, yes, no, almost never. Others would (subjectively) come up with other answers.”
--

Look at the central statement again by the 4th Atheist:
“As you have been told here for years by many people much smarter than me:
There is no such thing as "objective ethics" or "objective morality". There is only ethics that most of us like or accept as part of our current social structure, just like every other society that exists or has existed.

Have you stumbled upon a set of ethical observations equivalent to Newton's laws of motion, or the laws of thermodynamics in physics? Then your objective morality doesn't exist, and you should really stop embarrassing yourself by insisting it does simply because you're frightened of the idea of it not existing.

You like the ideals espoused in the Humanist Manifesto? That's nice. But don't pretend this is somehow an objective document. The fact that you (and most other people) might like the ideas within it does not make it objective.”
--

And this is the view of many modern thinkers at present. Consider the views of the Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari in his famous book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

He states that "equality," "liberty," and human rights are "myths."

--
:-(

When did so many modern thinkers turn against the Enlightenment, and start claiming that ethics are “relative,” “subjective,” only human “constructs,” and rejecting the view that human rights are “inherent” and “unalienable”?

When did such humans begin to think that even rape and slavery are only subjective preferences or “dislikes” or “likes,” not really inherently evil actions?!

Deeply Troubled,

Daniel Wilcox