Are We The Creator Gods of the Gods We Believe Created Us?

I wonder, are the gods we credit with creating the universe actually the result of our shared human tendency to anthropomorphize good and evil? We have intent and motivation behind our actions and reactions and so feel the need to extend that awareness of choice, morality, and consequences onto the intangible, giving it form.

God. The Devil. Horus. Set. Ahura Mazda. Angra Mainyu.

Again and again in our collective religious history we see the duality of “good” and “evil”; “light” and “darkness”. We assign our gods a polarity, an alignment, and we concede our own responsibility to the influence of either of those sides. “The devil made me do it.” “I feel the spirit of the Lord.” But what if we’re just grouping together actions and ideals, separating them into benevolent and malevolent, and then attributing to them an identity, an intelligence that we can interact with. We are social beings and crave the connection with one another and again and again in history we find humans granting religious beings a sort of hyper-humanity; something we can understand and somewhat identify with while still being the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent beings we need them to be to serve the purpose we created them for.

What is good but the desire to extend kindness, love, protection, inclusiveness and understanding to others when one is given the opportunity to do so and to do so without the expectation that your actions will be reciprocated?

What is evil but the denial of those actions in favor of those that would see others impoverished, persecuted, injured, ostracized, and willfully ignorant of the feelings and wellbeing of others, while at the same time striving only for the benefit of the ego at the expense of others?

What would the world look like if we looked past our imagined personifications of good and evil and viewed them instead as metaphors. Rather than attributing their alignment with a spiritual entity that can be contacted, bartered with, or enticed to throw its weight behind a partisan agenda, we saw them as archetypes modeled to aid us while we shape our own perception of morality.

What does it matter which name or human personification we give: good? (or evil)

Why not consciously strive to conduct yourself in a way that benefits those around you? Does an injured person care what creed their rescuer aligns themselves with? Would allegiance trump the need for the injured to be healed?

Evil separates. Evil sows prejudice and distrust.

Good binds together and connects. Good radiates understanding and acceptance.

Good is.

Evil is.

You ARE.

Take responsibility for the actions, inaction, and injury you are responsible for and don’t attribute the source of that decision to any other being than yourself.

Show love. Live Love. Be Love.

*for more reading check out the wikipedia entry for: Good and Evil

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Ten Principles To Live By – Tony Schwartz

Via Fast Company

If you’re like most people I work with in companies, the demands come at you from every angle, all day long, and you have to make difficult decisions without much time to think about them. What enduring principles can you rely on to make choices that reflect openness, integrity and authenticity?

Here are ten that work for me:

1. Always challenge certainty, especially your own. When you think you’re undeniably right, ask yourself “What might I be missing here?” If we could truly figure it all out, what else would there be left to do?

2. Excellence is an unrelenting struggle, but it’s also the surest route to enduring satisfaction. Amy Chua, the over-the-top “Tiger Mother,” was right that there’s no shortcut to excellence. Getting there requires practicing deliberately, delaying gratification, and forever challenging your current comfort zone.

3. Emotions are contagious, so it pays to know what you’re feeling. Think of the best boss you ever had. How did he or she make you feel? That’s the way you want to make others feel.

4. When in doubt, ask yourself, “How would I behave here at my best?” We know instinctively what it means to do the right thing, even when we’re inclined to do the opposite. If you find it impossible, in a challenging moment, to envision how you’d behave at your best, try imagining how someone you admire would respond.

5. If you do what you love, the money may or may not follow, but you’ll love what you do. It’s magical thinking to assume you’ll be rewarded with riches for following your heart. What it will give you is a richer life. If material riches don’t follow, and you decide they’re important, there’s always time for Plan B.

6. You need less than you think you do. All your life, you’ve been led to believe that more is better, and that whatever you have isn’t enough. It’s a prescription for disappointment. Instead ask yourself this: How much of what you already have truly adds value in your life? What could you do without?

7. Accept yourself exactly as you are but never stop trying to learn and grow. One without the other just doesn’t cut it. The first, by itself, leads to complacency, the second to self-flagellation. The paradoxical trick is to embrace these opposites, using self-acceptance as an antidote to fear and as a cushion in the face of setbacks.

8. Meaning isn’t something you discover, it’s something you create, one step at a time. Meaning is derived from finding a way to express your unique skills and passion in the service of something larger than yourself. Figuring out how best to contribute is a lifelong challenge, reborn every day.

9. You can’t change what you don’t notice and not noticing won’t make it go away. Each of us has an infinite capacity for self-deception. To avoid pain, we rationalize, minimize, deny, and go numb. The antidote is the willingness to look at yourself with unsparing honesty, and to hold yourself accountable to the person you want to be.

10. When in doubt, take responsibility. It’s called being a true adult.

 

Reprinted from Harvard Business Review

Tony Schwartz is President and CEO of The Energy Project, a company that helps individuals and organizations fuel energy, engagement, focus, and productivity by harnessing the science of high performance. Tony’s most recent book, Be Excellent at Anything: The Four Keys to Transforming the Way We Work and Live?, is a The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Follow him on Twitter @TonySchwartz.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – in HD

A wonder discussion between Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins.  Eloquent, astute, and poignant; this is a wonderful introduction to the four Philosophers’ ideas.

All four authors have recently received a large amount of media attention for their writings against religion – some positive, and some negative. In this conversation the group trades stories of the public’s reaction to their recent books, their unexpected successes, criticisms and common misrepresentations. They discuss the tough questions about religion that face the world today, and propose new strategies for going forward.

This video is provided free online by The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS) and http://RichardDawkins.net . If you would like to support our work and help us provide more videos like this, please purchase the DVD through our online storehttp://richarddawkins.net/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&… and/or consider donating to RDFRS:http://richarddawkinsfoundation.org/foundation,donations

Check out more videos at http://richarddawkins.net

Books by these authors:
“The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins
“The End of Faith” by Sam Harris
“Letter to a Christian Nation” by Sam Harris
“God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens
“Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” by Daniel Dennett

Filmed and Edited by Josh Timonen

Since When Does a Topless Woman Reading The News Constitute Pornography?

Via Times Live

Errol Naidoo of the Family Policy Institute in Cape Town has called on advertisers to boycott e.tv because of its naked news broadcasts. Chris Barron asked him …

We’ve got so much death and misery to contend with, and you’re getting steamed up about a naked woman reading news on TV?

When one considers the research I’ve done and the evidence around the world on pornography and its impact on women and children .

Since when does a topless woman reading the news constitute pornography?

It does, it does. People hooked on pornography .

Are you saying any nudity is pornographic?

When you put it on national, free-to-air television for children to see .

But this is late at night.

It doesn’t matter. We have evidence that children are watching it.

Then surely the parents are to blame, not the TV channel?

No, no, no. Parents have a responsibility, of course, to see that their children are not watching it, but we live in a real world where children are not always supervised. Parents go out and they leave children at home alone. There are dysfunctional parents.

Surely you should be more concerned about dysfunctional parents than a bit of nudity on TV?

You’re trying to minimise this thing. It’s not a bit of nudity, it’s a lot of nudity. It’s not only naked news it’s other porn movies that e.tv have consistently shown.

If children didn’t have nudity to watch on TV they might get up to something even more dangerous, like drugs. Isn’t that more of a threat?

Of course it is, and we’re dealing with that as well. We’ve done a lot of work with young adults who are addicted to pornography. And the kind of things they do is similar to when they’re addicted to cocaine. Stealing money from their parents, using their credit cards to go online, all kinds of things. It has a devastating effect on the life and emotions of young people. And if you ask how did it start, you know how it starts. With nudity. Like naked news, women stripping. They’re attracted to this, then after a while it doesn’t give them the same rush and they go onto something harder.

What about adults? Shouldn’t they have the right to watch what they want?

Yes, I agree. But not on free-to-air television where everybody else is forced to watch it as well.

Nobody’s forced to watch it, surely?

The point is it’s on free-to-air television.

But nobody’s forced to watch it.

I know, I know. But young people are drawn to it.

So you’re asking for censorship of TV content?

No. We’re asking for decency and responsibility. We live in a country where 50000 women are raped every year, 25000 children are sexually molested, by the very same adults watching the porn on e.tv so that they can get inflamed with lust and go out and rape somebody.

Are you saying there’s a link between nudity and morality?

No, not nudity.

But you’re saying nudity leads to porn?

If you put a strip show on free-to-air television and young people are exposed to it, it piques their interest and leads to harder porn.

So you are saying there is a link between nudity and morality?

I don’t understand.

Would we be a more moral society if there were no nudity?

We’d be a more moral society if women weren’t portrayed as sex objects on national television.

So we’d be a more moral, decent society if there were no porn?

I think we’d be a more moral and decent society, yes.

No porn was allowed under apartheid. Did that make us a more moral and decent society?

We didn’t have the rapes of women and children like we have today.

So you’re saying we were a more moral, decent society under apartheid?

No, I’m saying . you see, after apartheid was abolished we went from one extreme to the other. Nudity and porn and all these things were allowed. And now we see that sexual abuse of women and children has skyrocketed. I believe porn played a huge role in that.

Have you called for a boycott because of violence on TV?

No.

Isn’t violence more of a threat than nudity?

I wouldn’t call it more of a threat. I think it’s an equal threat.

So why haven’t you called for a boycott around violence?

We’re dealing with one issue here.

Guerrilla Ontology radio show – Archives!

The October and November episodes of Guerrilla Ontology are up on the KICKFM website www.kick.fm And here’s the direct link to the page.

Listen to past inteviews with Alex White, Jaremy Ediger, Jordan Nickel, Jess Chapman, Tiffany Lachuta, the band Tinnitus,  and of course all the thought provoking topics like Morality without God, Population Control among others.

And of course to make sure to continue tuning into the show every Thursday at 6pm on 92.9KICKFM

Guerrilla Ontology *first show: Morality Without God

Tonight’s the first official show for my radio program: Guerrilla Ontology.  Tonight’s program features the topic: Morality without God; The Local Band Tinnitus; The Trent Reznor song of the Week and a hilarious YouTube video from one of my favourites, NonStampCollector.

Listen in from 6-7pm tonight on 92.9KICKFM. 

*here’s the NonStampCollector video: