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  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty February 18, 2016 8:33 am

    The lust for power over other people is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful “gods” around. “For your own good…” Or not. Some don’t even pretend that anymore. The lust is clear for any to see.

    People are hard wired to put their own self interest at the top of their hierarchy of needs. That does not mean that they always know what is in their best interests, of course. But without pressure from outside, they can usually come close.

    Many entities and belief systems besides organized religion make efforts to convince people that they, their products, methods and goals are essentially going to provide this “best interest” in some fashion, regardless of whether they preach benevolence or jihad. When people believe it, they will do incredible things to ultimately harm themselves, their children and their communities… usually very sure that they are doing well – “god’s will.” Whatever it is that represents “god” to them. That god can be crony capitalism, addiction to drugs, or a vast number of political and social things.

    In addition, for the most part, human beings have been conditioned for centuries that even considering their own best interests is evil, sinful, wrong.

    And so, we often find that many who are the most convinced of this false altruism become the most implacable enemies of individual liberty. Yet they resent and resist the “god” internally, fighting against their own absolute need for self determination and satisfaction. They can, then, with a straight face propose to kill you for something they find perfectly acceptable for them to do.

    Hillary (and too many others) is a perfect example.

  2. Laird
    Laird February 18, 2016 8:40 am

    Regarding the proposal being floated by Larry Summers to eliminate $100 bills, I posted a comment on that in last Saturday’s thread which included a piece on negative interest rates. (I guess that thread is too old now.) The issues are connected. And they’re first steps toward eliminating cash altogether and imposing capital controls. The last gasps of a collapsing government.

    This will not end well.

    (Sidebar: Rule One of macroeconomics is to never trust anything Larry Summers says!)

  3. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty February 18, 2016 8:59 am

    Laird… all the government can actually control is the fiat paper and related things being used as “money.” People will, however, use anything they want as money in the long run. Most of that can’t be controlled.

    I’ll throw a big party the day the government actually collapses, or the value of the “money” they push goes to zero. It won’t be convenient to trade in bags of sugar or single .22lr rounds, but it will most certainly be possible. 🙂

  4. peter connor
    peter connor February 18, 2016 12:44 pm

    The Vox article is pure BS…..subtract the 80% of homicides due to minority gang bangers, and you have one of the lowest murder rates in the world of large countries.

  5. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal February 18, 2016 12:52 pm

    As much as I hate self-defeating anti-gun “laws”, I don’t want any of those other ideas to “combat crime” to be imposed, either. They all assume “government” has some authority to “do something” to someone.

  6. Fred
    Fred February 18, 2016 3:02 pm

    Atheism is religion. Did you mean disbelief vs. belief? If so, then no.

    Many would say atheism is belief which causes its religion. I would disagree. The religion, of whatever it is that’s a priority over doing what you know is right, causes the use of the (false) belief in atheism as justification.

    To anybody that is a true atheist I would say that I admire your faith in the absence of what you can not know.

  7. Frank
    Frank February 18, 2016 5:52 pm

    On eliminating the $100 bill I agree with Laird, especially his last sentence – “This will not end well.”

    The move toward a cashless society is all about control – control of “We the People”.

    It is quite interesting that the main argument of doing away with the $100 bill is to ‘fight crime’ and such nonsense whilst the largest criminal enterprise in the world is the US Fed Gov.

    On a related note, one of the things that I really appreciated whilst living in Germany was that I could go to a train station and buy, at the counter or via a vending machine, a ticket to anywhere in Europe and pay cash, all without any form of ID. If paying at a counter, the ticket agent would not even ‘bat an eye’ when I paid with €100 bills. To buy a train ticket in Okiehoma, even a short trip to Dallas, a ‘government approved’ ID is REQUIRED and they would probably look at me verrry suspiciously if I bought a more expensive ticket, say to the Soviet Socialist Republik of Kalifornia, and paid cash. Red flag time, no doubt!

    To repeat Laird’s comment – This will not end well!

  8. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal February 18, 2016 6:39 pm

    If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby, and an empty dog house just contains a different breed of dog.
    Sad that religious people feel the overwhelming need to paint others with their religious brush- it’s as if they feel inferior about something.

  9. Pat
    Pat February 19, 2016 7:22 am

    In recently reading “The Greek Way” by Edith Hamilton, it was brought home to me, also, that atheism is not new; that, in fact, the Greeks had no religion, even their mythical gods were just hanging around in many minds until a better idea came along.

    And that was the point: they were always looking for new ideas, trying to find what it took to better the individual’s life, and make it work for the good of all. (In fact, it was this quest that led to democracy – for good or ill, it was how they interpreted what was best for society at that time.)

    Further, they had a remarkable tolerance for tolerance – i.e. they accepted the right of others to say and “believe” whatever they wished. They felt that others’ ideas did not challenge their spot on earth, but merely opened the mind to other ideas that might lead elsewhere. A position often missing today.

    Fred – To have “faith” in soemthing, by definition, requires no proof, ONLY belief. Most atheists require proof before they can accept the premise or existence of God (or any gods). The word of others does not suffice, nor does acceptance out of desire for it to be so. “Belief” in attheism does not apply in this case.

  10. Claire
    Claire February 19, 2016 7:43 am

    Personally, if I meet somebody who says s/he absolutely knows, 100% that there is no god, I would consider that person to have a “religious” belief in atheism. Because we little humans don’t have sufficient perspective to make such a sweeping judgment (any more than we have sufficient perspective to make an allegedly factual claim like “I know there is a god and Mohammed is his prophet” or “I know there is a god and Jesus is his son”).

    However, as Pat notes, atheists are far more often people who say, “I don’t see the evidence” or “Show me the evidence” or “I don’t think there’s a god” or “I don’t perceive there’s a god who’s involved in human lives,” etc. No religion required for that at all.

  11. Laird
    Laird February 19, 2016 8:32 am

    Personally, I subscribe to LaPlace’s philosophy: “I have no need of this hypothesis.”

  12. Jim B.
    Jim B. February 19, 2016 10:11 am

    No, Atheists just say there is no God, Agnostics are the ones who would say “Show me the evidence” and thus would have a more open mind.

    As for the destruction of the Bens and that it would not end well, this would only make those who put value in other things better off. One would be better off having an amount of tangibles, some ammo(like the .22lr), some gold, some silver that is in your hands and not some bits in some computer somewhere else.

    Another good idea if you must use cash, is to keep only the minimum in a checking account and store the rest yourself. Banking interest rates are already ridiculously low, so it doesn’t matter all that much if you store it in your mattress. At least you won’t have to worry as much about bank runs, especially if you put the bulk of your capital in non-cash assets.

    I think I’ll buy a little more gold and silver coins this week-end.

  13. Claire
    Claire February 19, 2016 11:31 am

    “No, Atheists just say there is no God, Agnostics are the ones who would say “Show me the evidence” and thus would have a more open mind.”

    That’s certainly the definition I grew up with, but today a lot of people call themselves atheists simply because they don’t believe in gods, even though they’d be open to changing their minds if they saw compelling evidence.

  14. Joel
    Joel February 19, 2016 12:58 pm

    That’s the definition I work with as well. I am an agnostic because I see insufficient data to draw a conclusion either way – and I don’t find the issue all that important anyway. If there is a god directing the affairs of mankind, I wish he/she/it would go into a different line of work.

    However, the thing about atheists (the ones who tend to draw attention to themselves) is that they do claim to ‘absolutely know, 100% that there is no god.’ And they tend to be insulting and militant about it. I wonder how, without resorting to faith, they can be so sure. They offer no compelling evidence of this negative they claim to have proved in their own superior minds.

  15. Fred
    Fred February 19, 2016 1:22 pm

    Isn’t atheism a religion of disbelief like Catholicism is a religion of belief?

    Belief and religion are not the same thing.

  16. Claire
    Claire February 19, 2016 1:28 pm

    Can you give your definition of religion, Fred? Because I can’t see an absence of belief, by itself, being enough to constitute a religion. You’re working with a different definition of religion than I am. Or so it seems.

  17. Pat
    Pat February 19, 2016 2:16 pm

    “No, Atheists just say there is no God, Agnostics are the ones who would say “Show me the evidence” and thus would have a more open mind.”

    It amazes me the number of believers who are convinced that atheists are just stubbornly determined NOT to believe! It doesn’t occur to them that the chicken may have come before the egg – that atheists don’t believe in god(s) BECAUSE they have determined there is no evidence to support such a phenomenon.

    In addition, I know several agnostics (and a huge number of believers as well) who are equally determined that nothing they’ve heard will convince them to re-think _their_ position. (And one agnostic who up until the day he died swore absolute, I-can’t-be-sure agnosticism; on his deathbed, he then said, “In case there is a God, I pray for forgiveness for my sins, so He will let me into heaven.”)

    He was serious. You might think this is agnosticism in action – I call it wanting to have his cake and eat it too. *IF* there were a God, you think He doesn’t already know what went on in that man’s life?! Maybe some believer ought to define “God” for us.

  18. peter connor
    peter connor February 19, 2016 2:19 pm

    Agnosticism is not a religion, if sincere. Atheism is definitely a religion, and one not founded on a single fact or human experience. Indeed atheism flies in the face of millions of near death experiences, out of body experiences, and so on, that have been verified factually.

  19. Pat
    Pat February 19, 2016 2:42 pm

    Prove it!

    Because something occurs or exists, does not explain how or why it occurs, or who/what caused it to exist. That is a separate issue or phenomenon that has to be proven apart from its existence.

  20. A.G.
    A.G. February 19, 2016 2:44 pm

    I believe in Japanese woodblock art. But not devoutly committed to it.


  21. Claire
    Claire February 19, 2016 3:06 pm

    “millions of near death experiences, out of body experiences, and so on, that have been verified factually.”

    I have a friend who had a near-death experience — but not what you’re thinking. He reads this blog and may want to speak up on his own, but to summarize it: he was revived after having been without a heartbeat for five minutes and was left with the impression that he simply hadn’t existed at all for those five minutes — that there was nothing — blacker than black, emptier than empty, that there was NO “ME” THERE. No white lights. No robed figures. No family members with open arms.

    So how do you measure that near-death experience? Or do only the pretty ones count?

    And while I don’t doubt that many people do have the “pretty” experiences or feel at times that they’ve left their bodies, in what ways have any of those been proven to be factually verifiable (beyond “so and so felt such and such”)?

    Where is the body of evidence, rigorously examined in repeated unbiased studies, that these are evidence for anything beyond the individual’s subjective experience?

  22. Claire
    Claire February 19, 2016 3:09 pm

    “I believe in Japanese woodblock art. But not devoutly committed to it.”

    🙂 I believe in Craftsman houses. And perhaps if I’m devout enough, I’ll get to live in one someday.

  23. Claire
    Claire February 19, 2016 3:13 pm

    “Atheism is definitely a religion”

    Define atheism. Define religion. Explain how the former fits the latter. (Keeping in mind that even several of us non-believers have agreed that anyone who is 100% convinced of the non-existence of god is probably as religious as anyone who is 100% convinced of god’s existence.)

  24. jed
    jed February 19, 2016 4:27 pm

    “Well, a man’s got to believe something, and I believe I’ll have another drink.”

  25. LarryA
    LarryA February 20, 2016 8:44 am

    If an atheist sincerely believes that there is no god, preaches that belief to others, and wears symbols of that belief, then I’ll define his atheism as a religion.

    Otherwise it’s a religious (based on faith, not science) belief.

    But then I’ll say the same about the anti-GMO folks.

  26. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal February 20, 2016 2:59 pm

    I wish I could believe in the supernatural or god, like I did when I was a kid. I have eagerly followed up on claims of “proof” to be disappointed that they were empty. It isn’t that “I believe there is no god/supernatural” it is that I lack belief in any of that stuff. There’s a big difference (at least in my mind). But, I do find it insulting when someone claims my lack of belief is belief.

    The day could come when I believe again. I don’t see how (at least without brain damage- and even if it sounds insulting, I am serious), but I’m not willing to say “never!”

    I will admit, though, that a lack of belief has been comforting. I am free to do the right thing, without worrying that a god would prefer I do otherwise. I don’t worry about whether dead loved-ones were “saved”. I am comforted that they simply are no more, not happy or suffering; just non-existent (other than in my thoughts).

  27. david
    david February 23, 2016 4:56 pm

    No more Benjamins? Well, I guess I’ll just have to use those prepaid gift cards. I’ve seen a few that will take $1000, most will take $500, and they don’t ‘expire. You don’t even need to register most of them – so you can use them to buy firearms and ammo anonymously – or whatever else you need, like MREs or meds, or whatever.

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