HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Voltaire2 » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 20 Next »

Voltaire2

Profile Information

Member since: Mon Mar 27, 2017, 07:57 AM
Number of posts: 8,552

Journal Archives

I like Joe as a human being, but we can do better.

We have many very qualified very electable candidates, none of whom have the baggage Biden is dragging around. His latest revelation: that not only did he vote for the Hyde Amendment while in congress, but that he continues to support it now, is quite simply disqualifying.

We can do better.

NH legislature abolishes death penalty

They just overrode Governor Sununu’s veto.

Dennis Rodman Accused Of Randomly Slapping Guest At His 58th Birthday Party.

https://deadspin.com/dennis-rodman-accused-of-randomly-slapping-guest-at-his-1835009893

I don't know, but isn't this pretty much what you would expect at this event?

If God Is Dead, Your Time Is Everything

The idea of eternity, Martin Hägglund argues, destroys meaning and value.

James Wood. New Yorker May 13 2019


At a recent conference on belief and unbelief hosted by the journal Salmagundi, the novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson confessed to knowing some good people who are atheists, but lamented that she has yet to hear “the good Atheist position articulated.” She explained, “I cannot engage with an atheism that does not express itself.”

She who hath ears to hear, let her hear. One of the most beautifully succinct expressions of secular faith in our bounded life on earth was provided not long after Christ supposedly conquered death, by Pliny the Elder, who called down “a plague on this mad idea that life is renewed by death!” Pliny argued that belief in an afterlife removes “Nature’s particular boon,” the great blessing of death, and merely makes dying more anguished by adding anxiety about the future to the familiar grief of departure. How much easier, he continues, “for each person to trust in himself,” and for us to assume that death will offer exactly the same “freedom from care” that we experienced before we were born: oblivion.

...

These are visions of the secular. A systematic articulation of the atheistic world view, the one Marilynne Robinson may have been waiting for, is provided by an important new book, Martin Hägglund’s “This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom” (Pantheon). Hägglund doesn’t mention any of the writers I quoted, because he is working philosophically, from general principles. But his book can be seen as a long footnote to Pliny, and shares the Roman historian’s humane emphasis: we need death, as a blessing; eternity is at best incoherent or meaningless, and at worst terrifying; and we should trust in ourselves rather than put our faith in some kind of transcendent rescue from the joy and pain of life. Hägglund’s book involves deep and demanding readings of St. Augustine, Kierkegaard, Marx, and Martin Luther King, Jr. (with some Theodor Adorno, Charles Taylor, Thomas Piketty, and Naomi Klein thrown in), but it is always lucid, and is at its heart remarkably simple. You could extract its essence and offer it to thirsty young atheists.

His argument is that religious traditions subordinate the finite (the knowledge that life will end) to the eternal (the “sure and certain hope,” to borrow a phrase from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, that we will be released from pain and suffering and mortality into the peace of everlasting life). A characteristic formulation, from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians, goes as follows: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” You die into Christ and thus into eternity, and life is just the antechamber to an everlasting realm that is far more wondrous than anything on earth. Hägglund, by contrast, wants us to fix our ideals and attention on this life, and more of it—Camus’s “longing, yes, to live, to live still more.” Hägglund calls this “living on,” as opposed to living forever.


https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/05/20/if-god-is-dead-your-time-is-everything

The title (from Wood) is a misframing of Hagglund's position, it is not conditional on the existence or non-existence of gods. However the article is worth reading if you, as I was, are unfamiliar with Hagglund.

Honorable Speaker Pelosi, is impeachment still off the table?

Because it seems to me we have crossed the Rubicon.

By the way, Lee was a shitty general.

He threw his soldiers away for nothing at Gettysburg. That battle is a case history in colossal military blunders- a lesson in how not to be an awful general.

Bernie Sanders and the Myth of the 1 Percent

The very rich are richer than people imagine.
By Paul Krugman


A peculiar chapter in the 2020 presidential race ended Monday, when Bernie Sanders, after months of foot-dragging, finally released his tax returns. The odd thing was that the returns appear to be perfectly innocuous. So what was all that about?

The answer seems to be that Sanders got a lot of book royalties after the 2016 campaign, and was afraid that revealing this fact would produce headlines mocking him for now being part of the 1 Percent. Indeed, some journalists did try to make his income an issue.

This line of attack is, however, deeply stupid. Politicians who support policies that would raise their own taxes and strengthen a social safety net they’re unlikely to need aren’t being hypocrites; if anything, they’re demonstrating their civic virtue.

But failure to understand what hypocrisy means isn’t the only way our discourse about politics and inequality goes off the rails. The catchphrase “the 1 Percent” has also become a problem, obscuring the nature of class in 21st-century America.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/18/opinion/bernie-sanders-tax.html

Scientists establish a link between religious fundamentalism and brain damage

Religious beliefs differ from empirical beliefs, which are based on how the world appears to be


A study published in the journal Neuropsychologia has shown that religious fundamentalism is, in part, the result of a functional impairment in a brain region known as the prefrontal cortex. The findings suggest that damage to particular areas of the prefrontal cortex indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism by diminishing cognitive flexibility and openness—a psychology term that describes a personality trait which involves dimensions like curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness.

Religious beliefs can be thought of as socially transmitted mental representations that consist of supernatural events and entities assumed to be real. Religious beliefs differ from empirical beliefs, which are based on how the world appears to be and are updated as new evidence accumulates or when new theories with better predictive power emerge. On the other hand, religious beliefs are not usually updated in response to new evidence or scientific explanations, and are therefore strongly associated with conservatism. They are fixed and rigid, which helps promote predictability and coherence to the rules of society among individuals within the group.

Religious fundamentalism refers to an ideology that emphasizes traditional religious texts and rituals and discourages progressive thinking about religion and social issues. Fundamentalist groups generally oppose anything that questions or challenges their beliefs or way of life. For this reason, they are often aggressive towards anyone who does not share their specific set of supernatural beliefs, and towards science, as these things are seen as existential threats to their entire worldview.

Since religious beliefs play a massive role in driving and influencing human behavior throughout the world, it is important to understand the phenomenon of religious fundamentalism from a psychological and neurological perspective.

Salon (from RawStory)

Bernie Sanders Released His Tax Returns. He's Part of the 1%.

WASHINGTON — Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, disclosed 10 years of tax returns on Monday, providing a more detailed look at his finances than what he offered when he ran for the White House in 2016.

The returns show that Mr. Sanders’s earnings shot up after his first presidential bid, when he built up a vast national following. He and his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, reported income that topped $1 million in 2016 and 2017, lifted by proceeds from his books.

The couple had an adjusted gross income of $561,293 in 2018, according to their most recent tax return. Mr. Sanders had about $393,000 in book income last year, and he and his wife reported giving nearly $19,000 to charity.

Their federal taxes came to $145,840, for an effective federal tax rate of 26 percent.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/15/us/politics/bernie-sanders-taxes.html

Do you support open borders?

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 20 Next »