Just a short video today. I’m personally terrified of my own body. Simply knowing what it has done to me so far, between the tumor inside my heart, the massive stroke it caused and the multiple cerebral aneurysms, also caused by the heart tumor, and the knowledge that it’s shortened my lifespan,is it any wonder why? Obviously Neil is very lucky and healthy because he has to imagine something to be afraid of . In my case, my fear is coming from inside the house.
For me a useless emotion is one that is used to manipulate the masses into behaving a certain way. Businesses like advertising or religion have utilized these emotions in order to get you to buy their product. In the case of religion, guilt is a heavily played upon emotion. Religion makes us feel guilty for committing acts that are within our own nature, then tells us that only by seeking forgiveness from the church can we be absolved of the very same guilt they, themselves have made us feel for our actions.
For me guilt is akin to crying over spilled milk. If I have done something to someone else that I feel bad about, I apologize sincerely. Sometimes I am forgiven, sometimes not. Forgiveness isn’t in my control and if that is my only reason for apologizing, then I’m not truly sorry. Once I have tried to make amends, whether I am forgiven or not, I move on. It’s a waste of time to dwell.
Shame is another useless emotion. It is the flip side of guilt. Guilt is something you feel over something you have done, whereas shame is something you feel over who you are. Look at the seven deadly sins, anger, greed, sloth, envy, lust, gluttony and pride. They are all emotions that humans feel naturally. If we are to believe that we are made in the image of a deity, then why are these emotions somehow shameful?
Women are made to feel shame for everything from natural bodily functions like menstruation (the curse) and menopause (the change) to our sexuality (slut shaming). It’s a wonder we can leave the house at all.
One of the best marketing tools that is employed by advertising agencies around the world is envy. Ads that make you want what others have have proven to be very effective. Even ads that use the old adage of sex sells are using the envy model. They make you covet the lifestyle being shown to you… a lifestyle you don’t have. What’s wrong with what you DO have? I can guarantee if you don’t like your current lifestyle, that buying a new iPod isn’t going to fix it. In fact a new iPod may just magnify the situation (I have no friends to put into this huge address book, for example).
Jealousy differs from envy. With envy you want what someone else has. With jealousy you want to be what someone else is. It makes you ask, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ In marketing this is famously utilized by an ad for Pantene shampoo in which actress/model, Kelly LeBrock says, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”. This ad was meant to make women think that they could be beautiful too if they would just wash their hair with Pantene. If jealousy has to be used as a marketing tool, I’d much rather see a university advertise itself by having an accomplished woman like Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel or Christine LaGarde saying, “Don’t hate me because I’m smart.” At least that would send a more productive message to young women, but I digress. Jealousy is useless because you may never be what someone else is. Happiness is to embrace who YOU are.
There may be some of you who think I should have included fear on this list of useless emotions. It is used by both religion, and advertising, not to mention government to make the masses behave a certain way. But fear differs from the above four emotions in one very key way. Fear is a warning sign that can save your life. Yes most fears are needless or even irrational, like my fear of birds. But sometimes a little fear can stop you from rushing head first into a dangerous situation.
Guilt, shame, envy and jealousy are about as useful as our appendix. They are emotions that, perhaps, it’s time to evolve past.
Pot calling kettle
On January 3, Iran summoned Canada’s envoy to Tehran to protest Canada’s “blatant violation of human rights.”, just days before our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper fired back with this bon mot, “Iran is the world’s most serious threat to international peace.”
This is not the first time Iran has held Canada up as being in severe and consistent violation of human rights. In September of 2007, they distributed an entire booklet detailing Canadian human rights violations. Some of the accusations in that 70 page booklet were, that Ottawa denies Canadians everything from clean water, the right to food and the right to work. Yes these charges were laid against CANADA!?
It seems that Iran has decided to make Canada a target every time the United Nations Human Rights Council is about to convene in order to take attention away from blatant and heinous violations of human rights in their own country.
The question I ask myself, is why Canada? Yes we hold ourselves up as a standard-bearer of human rights, but we, admittedly, are still a work in progress. We also hold ourselves up to scrutiny from the United Nations because we feel we have nothing to hide and actually want violations to be pointed out to us so we can correct them. I assume the reason to slam Canada is to point out hypocrisy in our stance and therefore make the point that human rights violations occur everywhere so why is Iran singled out and berated for this so-called crime? There’s another answer to the why Canada question. Oil. We are also an oil selling nation and, therefore, competition.
Back in 2007, there were several other countries that sided with Iran and their booklet. Predictably, they were countries who were also some of the world’s worst violators.
This begs another question. Why is it that every country in the world is not striving to make sure that all human beings are granted basic human rights? Morally, this seems to be an obvious thing to do. Is it greed? (that’s very likely a big part of it) Is it fear? (fear of allowing the oppressed freedom, then having to face retribution from them) Is it religion? (or is that just the excuse they cloak the greed and fear in?)
In my opinion it’s the simple belief that the rich cannot exist without the poor. But must the poor need to suffer beating, rape, torture and humiliation so that the rich can be rich? The answer is a resounding NO. Rich and poor are relative terms. Just how poor do the poor have to be in order to make a rich man feel rich?
Canada is considered a medium income inequality country. We have the lowest income inequality in that category. (though the gap is growing) Canada is a country that still has a middle class. A country where the average person without a university education can still make a comfortable living and have a good quality of life. Yes, we have poor people, but as a socialist country, we have a huge amount of programs in place to help with housing, food and employment. We are also a country that provides welfare for those who need it. Are we a perfect country, no, that doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to improve.
So instead of bashing Canada on the world stage, perhaps Iran should focus on improving its own reputation.
Fear of the unknown
As an atheist, I’m proud to say I DON’T KNOW. Heck I will even shout it from the rooftops. I don’t know how the universe came to be. The truth is no one does, no matter how concretely sure they come across, no matter how much they believe, deep down the one thing we all have in common is WE DON’T KNOW.
There are many theories as to how the universe came into existence, for instance, science gives us the Big Bang Theory (so do Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, but that’s not the Big Bang Theory I’m talking about here). Religion gives us the theory that some deity or another created the universe.
What happens after we die? Another good question with the same answer I DON’T KNOW. The truth is no one knows, but this question causes so much anger, delusion, violence, war, murder, hatred and FEAR, yes fear. The difference between theists and atheists is that atheists aren’t afraid to say I DON’T KNOW. Believers are so afraid to even entertain the concept that they don’t know the answers to these questions that they will bulldoze over those who deign to challenge their theory. Scientists relish the opportunity to challenge a theory. This difference is beautifully illustrated in the “interview” below.
O’Reilly’s smug condescension is simply a mask for his fear of the unknown and a weapon used to silence logic. Now look at what happens when Richard Dawkins is allowed to get a word in edgewise.
Another example of how theists stifle those who they see as their opponents (atheists are not the enemy, by the way, we just want to be allowed to express our own beliefs) is illustrated here, through violence.
And here, again through smug condescension.
Notice how the believers are trying to show hypocrisy on the part of the non believer by trying to prove she has faith in something… anything? What I find funny is their go to was money… something Jesus was adamantly against. It has always baffled me that religions and religious types don’t see their worship of the almighty dollar, euro, peso, yen, etc as flying directly in the face of their religious teachings, but I digress.
What theists need to understand is that atheists aren’t persecuting you. If you want to know who is really being run ram shod over, take a look at this.
In conclusion I would like to share a short back and forth I had on twitter with a self-professed Christian woman.
Her- Ain’t no such thing as an athiest . Pastor Anderson said so.
Me- Ooh, say hi to the pastor for me. Time for him to understand the difference between real and imaginary.
Her- Ignorance cannot be helped . I’ll just pray for you 🙂
Me- Why, so I can be ignorant too? Ignorance is bliss. Have a blissful day.
Her- Ignorance may indeed be bliss , but i’m not ignorant . Have fun rotting in Hell – literally .
Me- That’s very Christian of you.