• There is something terribly wrong with "good" people, especially those in positions of authority. "Good" people in a position of authority seem to always know what is "good for you," and what must be done "for your own good." Their ideas on what is "best for everyone" are accepted unilaterally without question or feedback because they know "best" what is "good" for themselves and everyone else. It is their supposed "goodness" and concern for our welfare that convinces us they have our best interests in their hearts and minds, and we should go along for everyone's benefit as well as "our own good." It is because of our unquestioning acceptance that "good" people should decide what is best for everyone that we end up losing our rights and freedoms. The biggest threat to our freedom is not fascism, but the altruism of "good people" willing to sacrifice our rights and freedoms for the "greater good" thus eroding them to the point where they exist in theory only. picture from www.mindfreedom.org article, Fighting Back Against Human Rights Abuses in the Mental Health System: http://www.mindfreedom.org/mfi-faq/go/now  

    Posted on July 14, 2017 9:59 pm
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    Human Rights
  •   Is a dysfunctional, disturbed, scared, angry, paranoid, disorganized person mentally ill? What about someone who behaves in a way that seems crazy, mad, insane? Or is the first suffering from the effects of too much exposure to people who feel they must control every aspect of the lives of those around them--all their thoughts, words, and deeds. People so obsessed with control that they lose everything if they lose that control. What about their supporters--nice, intelligent, well-meaning citizens who admire and support control freaks because they seem so in control of everything and everyone around them, including themselves. Perhaps the seemingly crazy, mad, insane person is caught between the control freaks and their nice, intelligent, well-meaning supporters and went mad because nothing made sense anymore. Funny how we "know" our brains are for thinking (as opposed to just learning by rote), yet we are scared to death from the outset that someone (children, for instance) might actually use them for that. So we control, or support controllers, and label people who end up somehow, mysteriously, unable to control themselves as mentally ill and blame their "illness" on "genetics" and "chemical imbalance"--behavior that makes it very difficult to see the difference between science and religion.

    Posted on November 19, 2013 6:06 am
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    Freedom of Thought, Human Rights
  • The misrepresentation of the prophets’ lives and teachings happens when their histories are lumped together with the histories of organized religions; they are two entirely different subjects. The religions we have today were formed by government leaders whose top priority was the building of a well-ordered society that was to be achieved at any cost, with little or no concern for human rights. Every institution--religious, educational, military, governmental, etc., that they built and supported was formed with the primary goal of maintaining such a society. If people want to understand the religion they have been raised with, they need to study past political leaders and their advisers—names forgotten once the studying is done, the exam over, and the book closed. However, if anyone wants to pillory an authority figure for the god-awful mess religion is in today, these are the names to remember. They are the ones who took whatever they wanted to use from the teachings of spiritual leaders, with no regard for meaning or context, and used it in whichever way they saw fit. If we separated the prophets’ stories from the histories of the religions, then we would know they did not go marching though their societies carrying banners proclaiming they were bringing a new, improved religion, but were instead attacking existing religions that were leading their followers into pits of despair and hopelessness. With their words and actions they were trying to encourage anyone who would listen to leave their self-destructive practices and go in a new direction toward thinking of and caring for others besides themselves, away from machismo. The prophets taught and exemplified thoughtfulness, caring, fairness, humanity, and the importance of understanding the connectedness of all life along with the laws of action and reaction. We lose sight of this when we refer to what they worshiped/were devoted to as “a being” rather than what they were actually talking about—BEING—(without the letter “a” preceding it). We stick the “a” in there, then go around saying they were talking about worshiping some imaginary being somewhere, whereas they were speaking of “that which is worthy of worship/devotion”—attributes such as love, fairness, self-control—not some puppet god/God we can use to control others.

    Posted on April 7, 2013 4:13 pm
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    Freedom of Thought, Human Rights
  • Sometimes there seems to be as many ideas of god/God as there are people believing in that concept, but it generally means “that which is worthy of worship/devotion.” Religion also has many different interpretations, but generally means “returning to god/God,” so religion would mean “returning to that which is worthy of worship/devotion.” When prophets and spiritual guides speak about religion they are referring to “returning to that which is worthy of worship/devotion.” They were turning the people of their time, who were living in unjust, inequitable societies, away from their ossified religions and reminding and directing them toward what it means to be human. The prophets in particular were dealing with what today would be called egregious human rights violations in environments completely hostile to any concept of “human rights.” They had to begin somewhere, so taught what it means to be “human.” Thoughtfulness, caring, and fairness were described as attributes all humans should work toward possessing, not just a privileged few in their small circle of relatives, friends and associates. This teaching of mindfulness laid the groundwork for any future human rights work. If a prophet were to return today, they would not be on the side of the current ossified religions that are almost exact copies of the ones they were fighting against during their lifetime. They would be on the side of universal human rights campaigners—that is the direction in which they were pointing and what is worth devoting time and resources to (worthy of worship/devotion) as they demonstrated with their own lives. Any practices they taught their followers were simply an effort to wean them off the practices of corrupted, harmful ideologies and help them move on to a more positive and balanced way of life. Every time human rights campaigners attack and blame the prophets for the gross injustices happening today they are shooting themselves in the foot, because they are attacking people who clearly, unequivocally made what we today call “human rights” a priority. It was what made them stand out from the crowd and revered long after their death.

    Posted on April 3, 2013 5:29 am
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    Human Rights
  •   In the Quran the word kuffar is used to name people doing things we would today refer to as crimes and human rights violations and abuses. Perhaps this would have been clearer if, instead of words like pagan and infidel, we used terms such as human sacrificers, men who buried their daughters alive-ers, slave beaters and murderers, human traffickers, and non-care-ers (people who know better choosing not to do anything about the injustice happening around them). Or we could read a bit of history. Then we might realize someone came along who understood connectedness, relationships, and cause and effect, was motivated to become a universal human rights campaigner, and recruited others to join his cause. He did what he could in the small window of time he had. After his death, some people carried on with this work, but others who put more emphasis on the “organization” of the campaign than the original spirit and goals, turned it into a theocracy. Human rights campaigners today should be able to empathize. Attacking the prophets and blaming them for the misuse of their advice is a waste of time and energy; they were marginalized people working to ease the suffering of persecuted and oppressed humanity and move it in the direction of equality and freedom.

    Posted on March 12, 2013 8:23 pm
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    Freedom of Thought, Human Rights