Theology made a mockery of democracy

“You’d think it would be bleedingly obvious that if 87% of the population agreed with a proposition, then our members of parliament would dutifully and faithfully reflect that view when it came to voting on legislation … It turns out that many of our MPs are quite happy to represent us – but only so long as they agree with us.”

“When it comes to abortion (or similarly divisive issues such as same-sex marriage, assisted death or even stem cell research) many MPs ditch the idea that they are our representatives, and instead impose upon us personal opinions dictated, they tell us, by their consciences.”

Haw! Haw! Conscience votes are almost as rare as a sighting of that famous bird, the dodo. Our parliamentary representatives are selected by their parties to be elected by us, on condition that they vote as dictated by party chiefs. Or else! The whole system is so authoritarian that a Prime Minister apparently took Australia to war recently without parliamentary approval.

Who are the controllers of our political parties? How did they achieve their control? I doubt if either academe or the media could enlighten us. All that we know is that the first priority of our political parties is to be re-elected; but not at the price of giving up any theology-related policy.

What is interesting is that Census data shows that just 61% of us are Christian; and that Roman Catholics represent 25% of Christians. That is, no more than 15% of the population could be identified as bound by the theology of the Vatican. This has significance in relation to policy in relation to assisted death (or voluntary euthanasia – no ‘killing’ involved) – a matter of great interest to the very elderly as they deteriorate, with increasing pain, in institutional care. (Where are the loved ones they brought up?)

Voting is compulsory in Australia, unlike other Western nations. Yet, reportedly, about 400,000 youths aged between 18 and 25 are not enrolled to vote. Many more allegedly submitted informal ballot papers. Is there any penalty for non-enrolment?

Vatican theology reached new heights in 2013 in the State of New South Wales. According to Anne Summers, a respected journalist, whom I quoted at the start of this post, “The vote for Zoe’s Law … involved a 63-26 majority of Lower House members … in favour of granting personhood to the foetus.” (Ye Gods!) In this so-called democracy, Vaticanites seem to have achieved control over both sides of politics, as well as the public services in the nation. Are we too well fed to care?

Minority rule is not democratic, especially if guided by a restrictive theology. Refer ‘Keeping the bastards honest’ in my book ‘The Karma of Culture’ (available at amazon kindle at $US 2.99 or $A 3.99). Yet, we preach, in lofty tones, to other nations about the effulgent beauty of Western democracy!

(Anne Summers’ article was published in the May 14/15 issue of ‘News Review’ in the Sydney Morning Herald)

 

Psychiatrist jokes

Did you hear about the psychiatrist who gave his son a set of mental blocks for Christmas?

Shared by JustMe

 

Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline.
If you are obsessive-compulsive please press 1 repeatedly.
If you are co-dependent please ask someone to press 2.
If you have multiple personalities please press 3, 4, 5, and 6.
If you are anxious just press numbers at random.
If you are manic-depressive it doesn’t matter which numbers you press. No one will answer.
If you are schizophrenic listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.
If you have a phobia don’t press anything.
If you are paranoid-delusional we know who you are and what you want. Stay on the line and we will trace the call.
If you are anal retentive please hold.

Shared by The Joker

 

The secretary walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says “There’s a patient in the waiting room asking to see you. He claims he’s invisible.” The psychiatrist replies “Tell him I can’t see him.”

Shared by The Joker

 

Man sees a therapist and says “Doctor, I’m suicidal. What should I do?” The doctor responds “Pay in advance.”

Shared by The Joker

 

Patient: Doctor, no one believes a word I say.
Psychiatrist: Tell me truth now. What’s your real problem?

Shared by Argo

 

Patient: Doctor, you must help me. I’m under a lot of stress and I keep losing my temper with people.
Doctor: OK. Tell me about your problem.
Patient: I just did! Didn’t I!? You stupid fool!!!

Shared by Argo

 

Settlement, by massacre

When British invaders (how else could they be described?) settled onto hitherto Aboriginal land, the ‘squatters’ killed or drove away the indigene. Purely as an aside, I recall reading that many squatters became so powerful socially that their descendants tended to speak ‘as if they had begotten themselves.’ I have also read that there had been a move to establish an Australian House of Lords. Also mooted was a proposal to import cheap labour from China and Japan.

The following extracts are from an article in a recent issue of ‘The Australian Weekend Magazine’ by Cal Flyn.

“The massacre at Warrigal Creek was one of the bloodiest episodes on the very bloody Australian frontier. In all, somewhere between 80 and 200 Gunai people were slaughtered that day in July 1843, wiping out in a single assault a substantial proportion of the southern Bratowooloong clan. The leader of the Highland Brigade, Angus McMillan … was the ‘Butcher of Gippsland.’… …

The author quotes a news report dated 2005 thus:  “McMillan … and his band of Scottish settlers … are accused of carrying out a genocidal campaign against the  Aborigines for a decade. … … “

Flyn goes on to quote Ricky Mullett, a cultural officer from the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation in Bairnsdale … ‘You know the stories. You know that the official death toll is only a fraction of the total? It was inhuman, what they did to my people. Killed them. Massacred them. Tortured them. Raped them. Murdered them. Your relative … he decimated my people. And he got away with it.’

More from Ricky Mullett: ‘McMillan’s men chased them all the way from Bushby Park, trapped them on that bluff, and shot them down into the water. Crowds of them. … ‘  Flyn continues: “Here, the fleeing Gunai were herded together like cattle and forced from the hilltop, he said. Men, women and children. Think of the hysteria, the crush, the desperation, as feet scrabbled for purchase and hands grasped for handholds. Men stood on the opposite bank of the river below, shooting any survivors. The bodies all washed to sea.”

Ricky Mullett of the Gunai people concludes his story to Cal Flyn (a great-great-great niece of Angus McMillan): ‘We won’t forget, but we don’t bear a grudge.’ And ‘You won’t understand. You’ll never understand.’

Refer ‘Thicker than Water’ by Cal Flynn.

Mafia jokes

What is the difference between the government and the Mafia?
One of them is organized.

Shared by NumeroOcho

How many Mafia hitmen does it take to change a light bulb?
Three. One to screw it in, one to watch, and one to shoot the witness!

Shared by JustMe

How many mafia guys does it take to change a light bulb?
…you gotta problem with the light bulb!?

Shared by a contributor

 

ow many men do you need for a mafia funeral?
Just one. To slam the car trunk shut.

Shared by Argo

 

How do you know if a Pole is at a cockfight?
He’s the one with a duck.
How do you know if an Italian is there?
He bets on the duck.
How do you know if the Mafia is there?
The duck wins.

Shared by NumeroOcho

 

Why do wise guy and wise man mean totally different things?

 

Socialising in the ‘Afterlife’ (the Recycling Depot)Depot)

Socialising in the ‘Afterlife’ (the Recycling Depot)

The clairvoyant who enabled the spirit of my uncle to offer me advice told me, nearly a quarter of a century ago, not to be in a hurry (I was!) ‘to get to the Other Side’; it would not be different from here, he said. I did not like that.

I was, however, promised that I would continue my learning there. As to those I might meet there, all my close relatives who had died a while back would probably have been reincarnated by now. Would I be fortunate in meeting some of the ‘higher beings’ referred to by my uncle? He had explained that they had sent him to me.

It would also be wonderful to be able to talk to some of the learned men and women of recent times. Throughout my life, I have tended to seek out people who are interesting, especially immigrants and (genuine) refugees in Australia offering their diverse experiences. Great insight into the human condition is thus available.

I would also like to meet in the Afterlife some of those religious leaders who had practised control over their ‘flocks,’ including separating them from being contaminated by ‘foreign’ ideologies. In this context, I am reminded of that priest who convinced all 5 of our new neighbours not to have coffee with my wife. They ignored us after that; we were not of ‘the faith.’ What ignorance; what subservience. How un-Australian!

I would ask such priests what they thought they had done for humanity as a whole. I do not, however, expect bigotry and evil thoughts to survive Earthly death. One’s soul should be above Earthly contaminants.

The Afterlife promises to be interesting in another way. Currently I am saddened by those Christians, all regular church-goers, who have indicated to me that they do not know what will happen to them after death (in spite of what the Bible promises), or who are genuinely afraid to die. They are not convinced by my belief that we will all go to a better place. What have their priests done to them? I know them to be good people, surely not conceived or born in ‘sin.’    

I look forward to be able to say to them (and their priests) ‘Isn’t this a good place to be’? I really cannot see why the Afterlife (the Recycling Depot) cannot also be an R&R (rest and recuperation) Way Station!

There we could again re-connect as fellow-travelers, until we move on to our respective personal-destiny pathways once more. It is the journey, the objective of repeated rebirths, which offers valuable learning in the meaning of existence and non-existence!

Quotes on war

Quotes on war

War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands. ~H.L. Mencken, 1930

The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking… the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker. ~Albert Einstein

The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations. ~David Friedman

“There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes. ~James Morrow

Sometimes I think it should be a rule of war that you have to see somebody up close and get to know him before you can shoot him. ~M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

All the arms we need are for hugging. ~Author Unknown

Soul-entities as humans

There is a reasonably strong probability that each Earthly human being is a soul-entity passing through space and time. A recent post of mine discussed the role of reincarnation in the process, whereby a soul-entity adopts a human body sequentially.

A close friend of mine has raised with me a question which was asked by an elderly friend (an atheist) about 50 years ago. Since the human population is growing rapidly, would there be enough soul-entities?

My response is: Why assume that the number of souls is limited? In economic theory, in spite of its limitations, there used to be a premise that supply would rise to meet demand.

Whether the supply of souls will rise to meet bodily demand will require us to identify the source of souls; and to decide why there may be bottlenecks in the supply process. How can we know?

An alternative approach is whether human bodies are created to meet an independent creation of souls. Our proclivity for procreation is well documented.

Soul creation and its role is indeed a fascinating challenge – at least to those of us who believe that there is meaning in human existence. In the complex mesh of a universe in which everything seems to be connected, what indeed is our role?

Hindu metaphysics offers an explanation of the origin of souls and the implicit role of the reincarnation process. Because of repeated rebirths, each periodic increase of human bodies will give a measure of the extra souls needed (or available).

As to when a soul enters a human body is a matter of contention, muddled significantly by competitive religions (whose leaders should really know better) claiming to own a sole path to Nirvana/Heaven and the accoutrements necessary to access it; or seeking control (to what spiritual extent?) of their believers. The pathos of ecclesiastical ambition!

I doubt if the Afterlife (or Recycling Station) has separate mansions or even rooms defined by religious affiliation. The futility of cemeteries on Earth separating empty bodies (the souls having departed) by religious sect is a reminder of the folly of seeking to keep separate those humans seeking the Divine, but who are travelling along separate routes, perhaps by necessity.

Ultimately, we are indeed one – in origin and through fusion on return.      

Quotes on time

Vladimir: That passed the time. Esragon: It would have passed in any case.

A line is not made up of points. … In the same way, time is not made up parts considered as indivisible ‘nows.’ Part of Aristotle’s reply to Zeno’s paradox concerning continuity.

A man, in his books, may be said to walk the earth a long time after he is gone.  (Julian Muir)

A mathematician … has no material to work with but ideas, and so his patterns are likely to last longer, since ideas wear less with time than words. (G.H.Hardy)

A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.  (Anon.)

A truer image of the world, I think, is obtained by picturing things as entering into the stream of time from an eternal world outside, than from a view which regards time as the devouring tyrant of all that is. (Bertrand Russell)

According to the common law of nature, deficiency of power is supplied by duration of time.  (Robert Jameson)

Act as if you are going to live for ever and cast your plans way ahead. You must feel responsible without time limitations, and the consideration of whether you may or may not be around to see the results should never enter your thoughts.  (Hyman G. Rickover)

(Comment:  How true – especially on the issue of existence/non-existence)

 

Racial discrimination legislation – an anomaly

Australia, nominally an open society, has a strange legislative provision which says that one must not offend, insult, humiliate, or intimidate anyone.  Against that, free speech is demanded by one and all.

Regrettably, there is no requirement that what is said or written is socially responsible.  I am not sure that anyone in favour of free speech has referred to the need for responsibility.  Thus, much rude rubbish clutters the thought waves of the nation. There is, however, a real limit – defamation legislation; many powerful people have exploited this route, with profit. Presumably they could afford to take legal action. 

Then there are those who claim to be hurt by statements displaying prejudice and by acts of discrimination. Having experienced both, my view is that silly words can be, should be, ignored. They can also be countered. But, why bother with the mindless and their outpourings?

Experienced discrimination can be challenged only in a court. Who can afford that? What does the record say about the prospects of success? The registrar of a local court pointed out to me unofficially that, were I to take legal action (as recommended by a lawyer) against a neighbour who had cut down 2 trees clearly within my property and expropriated the sliver of associated land, any court award may fall short of my expenses (which could be driven up by a wealthy defendant).

S. 18C of the racial discrimination legislation offers protection against hurtful words and acts but only if an official agency acts on my behalf; and if I go through a protracted process which is likely to keep the embers of hurt glowing, probably causing me psychological harm.

The core issue is: How is ‘race’ defined in court cases? Why is an imprecise concept of ’race’ relevant?

Then, who are the people who claim to need S.18C? We immigrants, not being wimps, simply move on with our lives. The Aborigines? What hope could they have after more than 2 centuries of being ‘not like us’? The Anglo-Celt Aussies: what ‘race’ could they be calling on?

Strangely, anyone who criticises any of Israel’s policies can be accused of being anti-Semitic by a local lobby, although the critic may not be anti-Israel at all. Israelis are not the only people speaking a Semitic language; and both Israel and Australia seem to have ‘deputy sheriff’ roles in the West’s domain. Surely, Israel is powerful enough to account for its policies without needing Australia’s S.18C legislation!

 

 

Quotes by scientists

  1. “In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.” -Leonardo da Vinci
  2. “A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.” -Einstein
  3. “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.” -Galileo
  4. “The Sun, with all the planets revolving around it, and depending on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as though it had nothing else in the Universe to do.” – Galileo
  5. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” -Benjamin Franklin
  6. “An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.”  -Charles Darwin
  7. “A true friend is one soul in two bodies.” -Aristotle
  8. “He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci
  9. “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” -Isaac Newton
  1. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”-Einstein