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0 Comments | Feb 11, 2010

What I Believe

  1. There is no such thing, nor should there be, as American “excepten commandmentstionalism,” i.e. we are no better than anyone else on earth in any way, shape or fashion. And while we have a system of government that works reasonably well for us, that does not mean that it is “the right” system or that we should have as our mission imposing that system on others, particularly if they demonstrably do not want it.
  2. It is extraordinarily hypocritical to espouse democracy but to then fail to accept the wishes of those who exercise that privilege, simply because we don’t like who they elected.
  3. All capital punishment is wrong, without exception. Those who support and implement it are as morally culpable as the people they kill.
  4. Anyone who aspires to be a politician is, by definition, unfit to serve as one.
  5. There is no God and there are not now nor have there ever been miracles or supernatural occurrences. God was invented by man rather than the converse.
  6. With very few exceptions, religion in general is and has historically been a force for hatred and destruction in the world. Any benefits it offers are vastly outweighed by the pain and damage it causes.
  7. The most laudable, noble jobs in the world are a) teaching, and b) anyone who risks their life to ensure the safety of others. The latter includes cops, fire, and sometimes, but not always, the military.
  8. People are inherently good. We do not live in a world filled with danger and evil. To the extent that these things happen, they are aberrations.
  9. We should live every day as though there was a video camera on each of us that was constantly streaming to YouTube. If what you’re doing is something you’d be embarrassed to have others know you do, then don’t do it.
  10. Terrorism cannot be defeated no matter what we do.
  11. You cannot stop people from doing things they really want to do. This includes drugs. All drugs should thus be legal. The money saved in pointless interdiction and earned through incremental taxes would be colossal.
  12. Global warming is real and humans are doing it. What is less obvious is how harmful it is going to be and whether anything can (or should) be done to stop it. In the very long-term it probably doesn’t matter though. The earth is a tremendously resilient system that cares little about humans or what we do. It will go on long after we’re gone.
  13. Dogs are superior to cats in every way.
  14. Americans should be allowed to indicate on their tax returns specifically what programs they want their money spent on. The resulting percentages nationwide should be binding on the government.
  15. No job should start before 11 a.m.
  16. Humanity is advancing technologically but not morally.
  17. Women are smarter than men.
  18. There should be no legal or official distinction whatever between gays and straights. Marriage, military service, whatever, should all be fine and legal for either.
  19. Just because something is in the Constitution doesn’t make it moral or wise.
  20. No one should be allowed to be wealthy so long as other people anywhere on earth are dying of starvation.
  21. Healthcare should be free and automatic for everyone everywhere. Immigration status should have nothing to do with it.
  22. We should have 100% open borders. Anyone who wants to come to this country should be able to do so with a minimum of delay and bureaucracy.
  23. Energy independence is a myth. So long as there is a global economy, there will be a global market for oil. Drilling in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, or the east lawn of the White House will never change this fact.
  24. The U.S. (and all other current nuclear powers) have no right whatsoever to tell other non-nuclear powers that they cannot have nukes too. Ideally no one should have any.
  25. Abortion is an unfortunate necessity of life, but one that should be up to the woman. A bunch of old white men in Washington have no business telling a woman what she can/cannot do with her body.
  26. The best English-language novelist of the 20th century was William Faulkner.
  27. We are humans and citizens of the planet first and Americans second, and we should behave that way.
  28. The best foods ever invented by humans are chocolate, French fries and wine.
  29. There are no just wars. Every war is a failure of the people involved, people who failed to envision or pursue alternative peaceful outcomes.
  30. People should be able to own guns, up to a point. And since guns can inflict at least as much harm as a poorly operated automobile, it ought to be at least as hard to get/own a gun as it is to get/own a car. That means registration, proof of training, etc.
  31. No one should be tortured for any reason, ever. Torture is any time you cause physical pain/harm to someone in order to get them to do or say something.
  32. Every person on American soil should be afforded all of the rights inherent to the country, regardless of whether they are a citizen or guest, whether they are here with or without our consent.
  33. The U.S. should have a vigorous and well-funded space program, both manned and unmanned.
  34. The profit motive is inherently corrupting and leads corporations, more often than not, to do that which maximizes their profits rather than that which is “right” in any societal or moral sense.
  35. Banning or in any way impeding stem cell research, or any other kind of medical research, on religious grounds is fundamentally immoral.

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