Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's A Question Of Priorities

I received the following photos and description in email recently.

This series of photos is telling the suffering of a poor bird shocked with his partner's fatal injury.

Here his mate is injured and the condition is fatal
.




Here he brought her food and attended to her with love and compassion.




He brought her more food but was shocked to find her dead. He tried to move her.




Aware that his sweetheart is dead and will never come back to him again, he cried with adoring love.




He stood beside her, saddened of her death.




Finally aware that she would never return to him, he stood beside her body with sadness and sorrow.




It has been said Millions of people cried after watching this picture in America and Europe and even in India. It was also said that the photographer sold these pictures for a nominal fee to the most famous newspaper in France. All copies of that newspaper were sold out on the day these pictures were published.


We humans have very compassionate hearts and are often saddened by the normal chain of events of nature.

Yet, so many of us who are saddened by the abvove refuse to shed a tear of other humans brutally assaulted and slaughtered by their despotic governments and ardently oppose those who would free others from oppression.

Even more tragic is that many of these same people so saddened by the above chain of events won't shed a tear over some 50,000,000 unborn humans denied their right to life by being sucked out of their mothers wombs in abortion mills set up across America.

Encouraging the elderly to committ suicide under the guise of "death with dignity" seems to be acceptable today as well, without any shedding of tears.

I guess it is a question of priorities after all and from here, they look mighty screwed up.

61 comments:

Norm said...

Good post Lew...sad but true...

The closest I could come to explaing my own feelings regarding 'All God's Creatures' was posted here http://normanhooben.blogspot.com/2008_01_01_archive.html just one year ago...

Lew Waters said...

Touching post, Norm. You show the compassion we have for animals, yet I know you have equal compassion for humans and hate to seem them subjected to the evil they are today.

Norm said...

Humans...mmmm

Tell all those humans in the rat race that I dropped out when I found out that only the rat wins!

mmmm, Would that include Obama?

Lew Waters said...

First, we have to discern if Obama actually is human. I thought he was the most high exalted messiah, soon to be Grand Cyclops of the country.

Still, I don't wish him physical harm.

He will supply his own unseating by his ineptness to hold the office he has attained.

Ms Calabaza said...

Very thoughtful post Lew.

Jim said...

Sorry to rain on your parade but these are 2 male Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) engaged in a territorial battle. (Look at their plumage ... it's the same colouration.)

If you check the literature about this species you will find that males have been observed fighting for nest space, sometimes even going as far as one killing the other. That’s what’s happening here. You can see the aggression in pictures 3 and 4, and in picture 5 the victor is giving a cry of victory.

We don’t do ourselves any favours, sentimentalizing the animal world. Nature is red in tooth and claw.

Jim said...

Oh ... and where do you get the figure of 50,000,000 million embryos being aborted from?

Let's get that right, 50'000'000 million, all in digits, is 50'000'000'000'000.

That's approximately 10'000 times the current population of the entire Earth.

I've come across some wildly inflated statistics before, but that's just lunatic.

Lew Waters said...

Statistics can be found here.

50 million abortions since 1973 is hardly more than the current population of the planet, which is roughly somewhat over 6 Billion today.

I've come across people with their heads firmly buried up their asses, but few as deeply as your own.

Anonymous said...

How bizarre that post was. Of a dead male bird along with another male bird. And a load of hooey about a newspaper selling out as a result of the images. They are not compelling images in the least, and have been used weakly to promote a point of view that has nothing in common with it.

Lew Waters said...

How bizarre that people can show such sympathy and caring for an injured bird, yet ignore what we allow to happen to adult humans, children and the unborn.

The idea of this post was to show just that. That birds draw more sympathy than do human beings and the unborn.

Anonymous said...

In fairness to jim, lew may have meant 50 million abortions, but what he actually said is 50,000,000 million abortions. Slight difference.

And the birds don't even look as if one is caring for the other. I fully understand your point about the abortions, but really, if you're going to campaign at least get your facts straight!

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how, on the one hand, someone claims they find an issue important, yet doesn't even bother to check basic facts.

Lew Waters said...

More amazing how someone hiding behind a monitor makes such a big deal out of a typo.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that if you can make such a silly mistake (let alone two), how can we believe you have any credibility at all?

Lew Waters said...

The last I heard, there have only been two men created perfect. The first sinned and lost his perfection and the other was put to death.

I'll not waste my time searching for your own mistakes, past or present. But I can assure you and any other reading this that even you have made mistakes.

Would that destroy any credibility of your own?

You see, credibility is tied more to intent, not innocent error.

Then again, there are those who have no life and seek to elevate their own mental abilities by creating controversy over trivial matters.

Funny thing is, they only impress themselves, which is in itself also a mistake and by your standards, once again ruining their own credibility, forcing them to continue to seek more trivial matters desperately attempting to hide their own faults from themselves.

Makes for a lonely existence for those so afflicted by cranial anal inversion.

Anonymous said...

unlucky lew but yeah.... pro choice! ^_^

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on making New Scientist's Idiots column "Feedback"

The Mashka said...

I understand that a lot of people are upset by abortion, but mightn't it be better to spend your time arguing that war is wrong, as then all will sympathise to your cause. With abortion there are a lot of people who would agree that abortion is a good thing, enabling people who do not wish to have a child the possibility not to. There are many scenarios where abortion is in fact a very good thing, and all compassionate people would agree:

1) Rape Victims
They should have the choice not to give birth to a child brought upon them by such a horrible act. Every time they would see their child they would be reminded of the reason that they have it.

2) Poverty Stricken Individuals
Some people are too poor to be able to afford to look after a child. In such a situation then the family could all starve after not being able to pay for enough food for all of them, and this is a much more horrible way for it to end. They should have the choice to abort and not have to suffer having it die as something that has greater awareness and cognitive function than a foetus in the womb. Also the parents would be more loathe to seeing their child die like that than just having an abortion.

3)There was going to be a third point, but I have forgotten by the time I wrote the rest. Either way, enjoy disagreeing to my above points :P

Lew Waters said...

Mashka, no one likes war, but they are often inevitable and when that happens, we must fight them with all of our might. It might be a foreign thought to you, but you enjoy the freedoms and liberties you have because we have fought wars to keep them.

Rape victims DO have that choice currently. However, they comprise what, less than 1% of the current abortions? Overturning Roe Vs Wade would do no more than return the issue to the individual states for a citizen vote. Why do you fear an open vote of the people?

As to your point #2, do you realize what you sound like? Communist China enacted a similar program years ago. And, just who would decide who could have that baby? Would income become a major factor in the state deciding whether or not a couple could have a child? What other requirements would people have to meet for the state to grant them keeping a child?

Since so many African Nations and other third world countries have millions of children in worse poverty than America has ever seen, why don’t you recommend their governments pay for them to abort those children?

Seems to me, the most poverty stricken nations have government officials living luxurious lifestyles.

As for enjoying disagreeing with your points, it would have been more enjoyable had they been more of a challenge ;-)

Lew Waters said...

Congratulations on making New Scientist's Idiots column "Feedback"

I must say I feel honored that such “New Scientists” as yourselves take time out of your hectic schedules of researching how next to fool the public into buying into such pariahs as global warming and embryonic stem cell research to visit the blog of a simple blue collar Viet Nam Veteran to show the world that people make typos.

I am truly humbled by all this attention received from such distinguished and self important people as “New Scientists,” leaving me feeling so undeserving of such focus.

Anonymous said...

The typo was merely amusing. The main point was that the photos in no way depicted what you said. Like the previous poster said, don'tdentimentalise nature, it's red in tooth and claw.

Anonymous said...

sorry, "sentimentalise" (or "sentimentalize", depending on which side of the pond)

Lew Waters said...

And again, I will remind you that the entire point of this post was to show, regardless of accuracy on the birds, how people saw the series of photos in a European Newspaper and were moved by them, but at the same time show such little regard for other human beings.

It seems you get so wrapped up in trivial matters over photos that you too have gotten to where other human beings mean diddly squat to you too.

So, in the end, you and your fellow "New Scientists" spread the word that someone made a typo.

I can just imagine the government grant you receive to do that.

bobp said...

@anon on feedback well done you beat me to it
@lew new scientist is scientific american for intelectuals. for your science try conservipedia.
the new scienist title is a play on words as in news scientist- not new scientist(though i prefer them to old scientists (the kind who take the bible as the literal truth and write conservepedia.)
newsientist does not recive any grants to my knowledge and no tax rebates like many religeous publications(ie the watchtower)

Lew Waters said...

Ah yes, bobp, "intelectuals," I should have known.

I was unaware that the Watchtower received tax rebates. I always thought they just screwed those in the Kingdom Halls.

But, all you visiting "intelectuals" do show just what I indicate in my post, that few care about their fellow man, choosing to "intelectualize" relatively minor points over the main thought expressed.

A true eye opener into the "New Scientist."

bobp said...

the origional post is esentialy floored as it is refering to the embryos as if they were already sentient biengs. when thy become self aware they become sentient beings until then they potentialy exist but are of no more status than animals which we kill every day for food and medical reserch (and for many people for fun). a potential baby exists in the woman on the street but you decry the person who plants his seed in her agsinst her will. if roe vs wade was overturned then the vote would still go to pro choice (77%)acording to http://is.gd/gYAz.
to sum up
all embryos contain a baby in potential but it should not be counted as a baby till it is self aware.
if roe vs wade was overturned abortion would continue in the us with a 77% aproval rating.
bobp

Lew Waters said...

bob, there are many people that do not agree with the view of embryos are not a human. That seems to be only the view in the last few decades, ostensibly to justify slaughtering the unborn.

But, you do show exactly what I allude to that people have lost their compassion for the unborn.

As for Roe vs Wade, if abortions would so easily continue with such a high approval rating, then why the hard fight to prevent it being overturned and returned to the states?

By what reasoning do you arrive at, "all embryos contain a baby in potential but it should not be counted as a baby till it is self aware?"

Just what degree of awareness? Talking? Self thought? Walking? Caring for itself? Reasoning?

It sounds as if you wouldn't declare someone human until they had been out of the womb well over 10 years!

bobp said...

self aware is the term used to describe the state of being able to self question (ie why am i here)i belive that this state does not ocour untill a baby is past the first trimester (3 months) this is simpy because the brain is not developed suficiently untill then.
By what reasoning do you arrive at, "all embryos contain a baby in potential but it should not be counted as a baby till it is self aware?"
my reasoning is that there must be a line at which one thing is human (or rarther should be treated as one) and another is not. for me the line is when an animal becomes self aware. for the same reason i do not eat monkeys and dolphins but will hapily eat beef.
i am not afiliated with any campain to ovreturn or keep roe vs wade. (mainly because i live on the other side of the pond).
now i have a question for you; at what point to you class an embryo as being human?
bob

Lew Waters said...

Sorry bob, but what you say sounds too much like gobbeldy gook to me. But, you are always entitled to your opinion.

As for when do I consider a embryo human, as father and grandfather, the thought of any being aborted is foreign to me, personally.

Although I believe there are valid reasons for an abortion, although extremely rare, I agree with what is in the King James, "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."

That is Psalms 139:16 if you wish to look it up.

You lost me with, "for me the line is when an animal becomes self aware. for the same reason i do not eat monkeys and dolphins but will hapily eat beef."

What do eating dolphins or monkeys have to do with abortions?

bobp said...

i assume from your reply that you belive a foetus should be classed as a human bieng form conception.
i will return to this later.
to clarify; i belive that a animal becomes 'human' when it is sentient or self aware, this is the rule i use to distingurish between how i treat the creature in question; ie if it is non sentient then i will hapily eat it if it is sentient i belive it should be treated as human. (killing it is murder).
you obviosly disagree with this and belive that all single (or more acuratly dual celled organisms(a embryo at conception) should be treeted as human. by this token how do you justify eating meat?
sorry is i havent studied the bible but could you please explain the quote?
bobp

Lew Waters said...

First off, bob, I do not consider animals to be human. That is a class reserved for us. If you disagree, fine.

I justify eating meat, and even wearing of furs, as after the flood purported of Noah's time, we were given all the animals for food by God, with few exceptions. Many view those exceptions as more of a sanitation than religious edict, but some view it along religious lines and refrain from eating those certain animals.

While I am not an ardent Bible Thumper, I do believe in insofar as it has been properly translated, which does present its own dilemma, but that is another discussion.

As far as the Psalms I quoted, it is quite simply giving credit to God for the conception and growing into a human.

So yes, I view a fertilized egg as a human deserving of life, with the rare exceptions I alluded to above, rape, incest or such (which actually comprise well under 1% of abortions).

Most are little more than birth control when the pregnancy could have been easily prevented with today's contraceptives.

Of course, some old fashioned morals wouldn't hurt either, but I doubt we will see a return to any of those any time soon.

I really don't follow your fine line of distinction on eating animals. Would you justify eating an aborted embryo because you don't find it "sentient?"

bobp said...

i think that it requires more than just 'because we are better' to justify eating an animal. i understand that you have the faith to belive i one of the many imaginary freinds for sale who justifies the killing of animals and giver humans at the next to top seat in the tree.
personaly i think that i cannot have a sensible discusion with somone who takes the bible as completly true and uses it as the only refrence source he needs.
i respect your faith but fail to see how a persons opinion can be guided by one source alone. i personaly belive that logic and reasonig are the only things that can aid the consience in making ethical descisions.
i hope that my veiws do not offend you and wish you the best existance possible.
bobp
ps i find the above coments about obama extermly insulting both to your readers inteligence (they seem to brand him as subhuman) but to many people who do not belive him top be the 'most high exalted messiah' but belive he can do a great desl for your country.

Lew Waters said...

bob, my eating meat has more to do with just something you don't believe in saying it is okay.

Maybe it is my age, but eating of certain meats, including fish and fowl, was considered healthy when I was a child, providing needed protein and such that vegetables alone could not provide.

I came to use the Biblical explanation mostly due to Vegans who proclaim "heart attacks are God's revenge for eating his animals."

As to my 'faith,' please do not confuse me with evangelicals or born agains, I am not. Most all of them reject my views as well, but they are mine and I am solely responsbile for them.

Whether someone believes in a higher power, or being, or God, if you will, is their business and they receive no condemnation from me for their view.

Your views do not offend me in the least. If you will note, I do proclaim "Opposing views are welcomed. I don't expect everyone to agree with me and opposing views can be healthy in discussions."

As for Obama, I am unsure of just which comments you are addressing, but I do not find him "sub-human." I find him to be a Marxist and a puppet front man with some unknown behind him manipulating his moves, telling him what to say andwhen to say it.

He lacks experience to be the leader of a nation and is proving daily he is not up to the task.

One glaring example would be his treatment of your Gordon Brown, whether he is popular there or not, of giving him American DVD's as a state gift that cannot even be played in Britain.

His sweeping moves of deepening the indebtedness of America to foreign countries and passing along generations of the deepest debt we have ever had is foolhardy.

To me, he is proving that he is inept in the job and it has nothing at all to do with his skin color, which is primarily what elected him in the first place.

I will also add that European nations were adamant that we elect him. I now wait to see when any of them elect their first Black leader.

Will you encourage the British to put a Black man in as PM to show you all have moved up and away from the slave trade days of your past too?

Or, will you continue to strive for the best person you feel will lead, with no regard to skin?

Lew Waters said...

Okay, bob, I see where you got hte "sub-human" from.

My comment back then was more tongue in cheek alluding to those who feel he is a messiah.

bobp said...

sorry- i was just fed up after a day in front of a monitor.
i would point out that if you were going to play the rejected ethnic group card you would have elected a woman (Clinton)
i would also make the point that bush was still more inept and was pretty much a puppet of the oil companies.
bob p

Lew Waters said...

bob, in America, playing the race card is always much more effective to instill guilt than the gender card.

While I realize many feel Bush was very inept, need I point out that the debt brought on by Obama has already exceeded that of our entire history?

Or, that his dependence on the teleprompter had him actually thanking himself for a party recently?

History will vindicate Bush as the smoke from all the hoopla over his 8 years clears.

I feel history will vilify Obama as our country sinks lower and lower in depravity and goes bankrupt under his puppetry.

There is a reason gun sales in our country is at record highs and ammunition is hard to come by.

While it is easy to vilify the Oil Companies, they are not the ones begging for handouts or accepting bailout money, are they?

bobp said...

i had meant to leave the thread but you drew me back in
maybe he thanked himself for a party but i think bush is still ahead on the *isms front (bush-isms). even taking into account time in office.
the reason the oil companies are not asking for money is because the world is addicted to oil. obama is trying to break this addiction.
would you let the economy colapse?
lets remember its because of the rights lack of legislation that we're in this mess.

Lew Waters said...

Only time will tell on who ends up with the most 'isms,' bob. But, to me, it is very telling that one of your newspapers already has out a Top Ten gaffes list of Obama and Biden.

The world is addicted to oil becuase it remains the cheapest and most cost effective method of generating energy. Not only that, we have fabrics, medicinal equipment and even food preservatives derived from oil.

Obama hasn't a clue on "breaking the addiction" as effective alternative fuels have yet to be perfected. Nuclear and coal sources are scorned in America, even though they would help immensely and provide good paying jobs.

While we are on that subject, so would allowing drilling of our own oil sources and refining it in America, but eco-nuts don't want that.

Our liberal Democrats have yet to understand that you cannot legislate technology.

No, I don't want the economy to collapse, but what do you think continuing to print money out of thin air will cause? No one borrows their way to prosperity.

Maybe you missed it or just ignored it, but back in 2003 it was that mean old curmudgeon George W. Bush that tried to get regulations passed on Fannie Mae and Freddie mac, the two mortgage giants subsidized by our government that eventually collapsed and brought about this current mess from all the bad mortgages they wrote and held and sold off to other country's.

The effort was scoffed at and blocked by those same Democrats who today are blaming him and throwing money around to businesses, not to the people, as Bush did with his earlier stimulus.

It would appear to me that the Democrats have embraced the very "trickle down" economics they condemned when Reagan was President.

That doesn't absolve Bush from his part in this, but it does point to the Democrats who have accepted no part in it when they share a very large portion.

Petrina said...

Wow, I was reading the New Scientist a few days ago and that is the only reason I am here reading this. I see your point, but embryos aren't even born. What I mean is, do YOU remember what happened in your mother's womb? Also, the majority of abortions are performed because of the mother's safety. I'm not trying to be rude, but that is rather rightist.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading the New Scientist's Feedback section. It's a shame you got caught up in it.

Lew Waters said...

I see your point, Petrina, but I can't recall what I did at 1 year old either. Does that make me less human today?

Honestly, there is a lot of my childhood I cannot recall either, so I wouldn't use that to guage humaness. BUt, that is me.

Not being flippant with you, but a human cannot come into being without first being am embryo and growing. To me, it's a miracle that so many are born without major deformities and such and why I lean more towards creation than evolution. But, that is another argument.

No need to apologize for saying I am "rightist." After all, the name of my blog is "RGHT in a Left World" and my other one is labeled "Clark County Conservative." If I sound right winged that is because I am.

You see though, my point is more than just about abortions. I see life as precious and a gift that we should appreciate. Granted, it isn't always so wonderful, but I feel the good outweighs the bad and believe me, I've seen a lot of the bad in my 60 years.

Thanks for a pleasant comment, though.

Lew Waters said...

Guess I'm tired tonight, 14 hour shifts do that to a 60 year old.

Anyways, I beg to differ on the reasons for abortions being the mothers safety.

Studies I've read, although difficult to find an honest unbiased one, show a variety of reasons with health being amongst the least.

Most seem to be they feel they are too immature, a baby would cause some inconvenience in their life at this stage or other matters of convenience.

Pro-abortion sites claim what you say, but I would expect that, just as I would anti-sites to slant it there way.

Then again, since there is no requirement to report abortions, statistics seem to be under reported.

For what its worth, here is a 2008 study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, Reasons given for having abortions in the United States

Nikita said...

You can read about the photos here too
http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2008/10/one_of_lifes_tiny_dramas.php

Alex said...

Lew, many believe your heart is set in the right place, but your morals and beliefs could be very much nullified by what the birds are ACTUALLY doing in that series of pictures. If you've either read the April 4th New Scientist, or the link at the bottom of this page, these two birds are actually engaged in homosexual and necrophilic activity.

Alex said...

Also, as a human being and a moral and decent member of society, I don't believe that you, as a male have any right to critisize or chastise those women who believe their lives would be better, healthier or safer as a result of having an abortion. I would have thought that you, being the sensible-minded conservative of 60 years that you are, would think that if the child is going to be of poor-health, of negative socio-economic background or unloved and disadvantaqed through life would be FAR better off not being introduced into this horrible world we live in. Life is not a "gift" - its the result of millions of years of evolution and ignorance towards our enviornment and our own species, and taking for granted the power and intelligence we have been given...I'm a healthy debater, and I'd be glad to hear your rebuttal.

Alex said...

Also, while I'm on the topic of deabating, lay off Obama...to assume that he will "supply his own unseating through his ineptness to hold the office he has attained"; you sound like a fan of G.W. Bush - and if you were president, would follow up on his views, which unseated HIM because of his ineptness to hold the office he "attained"

Lew Waters said...

LOL, Alex, “many believe?” I love it when you leftists pull that rhetoric.

Again, the bird photos were a prop to show a reaction claimed in the email I received them in. I highly doubt they had anything to do with homosexual activity. You may like to think they do, which is your right, but I reject that thought.

Of course you know the so-called “gay gene” has never been replicated, in animals or humans.

Under our first amendment freedom of speech, I have the right to state my opinion on any matter that I feel like, just as you do to criticize me. Truth be known, some 99% of abortions have nothing to do with health or safety issues, but are performed as a matter of convenience because the baby is just not wanted. So many don’t think of that prior to spreading their legs or not using birth control.

You may believe in evolution, but I don’t. I find it ludicrous to preach that everything the way it is in life and universe was just as accident and human beings seemed to have somehow decided to leave lower life forms and become what we are today, especially considering all those lower life forms still exist.

If you can’t see what a gift it is to be alive as a human, I feel sorry for you. You must have a poor existence.

But, I do find your one claim curious. How can it be that “Life is not a "gift" - its the result of millions of years of evolution and ignorance towards our enviornment and our own species, and taking for granted the power and intelligence we have been given” if it all just happened by chance?

Who or what “gave” it? A “gift” is given, not just acquired. A curious contradiction within your own words?

Your admonition to “lay off Obama” is most laughable. I have not even started on the Marxist yet. I remind you of words spoken a few years ago by another Marxist Democrat, “We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with this or any administration.” Of course, I cannot screech it out as Hillary Clinton did, but we do have that right, as she said.

Don’t you just hate it when words come back to bite someone in their ass?

As for George W. Bush, yes, I voted for him twice and would again, even though I disagreed with some of what he did. He wasn’t perfect nor was he as inept as the current occupant who is really shredding the constitution and rapidly stripping Americans of their real freedoms and liberties, “for the better good” of Socialism.

Hate to tell you, but Bush completed his two terms, as described and limited in our constitution. Far from your description of his being “unseated.”

I doubt it will be in my lifetime, but history down the road will be much kinder to Bush than you haters who never got over that your rush to the courts over a close election did not work.

Nor will your embracing Marxist/Socialism under homey work either. Americans are waking up and seeing this empty suit for what he really is, a puppet being directed by someone hidden behind him who tells him what to say through a teleprompter.

I predict it will get much uglier, but we will not just give up our freedoms as easily as the leftists seem to think we will.

Perhaps you need to reflect on the title of my blog, RIGHT IN A LEFT WORLD.Obama Clock

Alex said...

Haha, I guess saying that our intelligence was "given" to us was a bit hypocritical, but I meant the intelligence the human race has given itself through research and education etc etc...

The birds did actually have something to do with what I was saying, and that is the fact that we, like them are animals. Yet we are the only animals who have excelled so far in our ability, intelligence and mental capacity that we have risen to the top of the food chain. And whether you like it or not, homosexuality is not a defective gene, it is a widespread phenomenon. Read into this man, Bruce Bagemihl. He has documented over 1500 species exhibiting and partaking in homosexual behaviour, from monkeys to gut worms. Christians, well, most religions fear this because it means that homosexual behaviour links us to the animal kingdom. So, dont say that animals never have homosexual relationships - take the two Chinstrap Penguins, Roy and Silo from the New York Central Park Zoo for example!

As for me, my existence is not poor. I do well for myself, I have a masters in Biological, Environmental and Computer Sciences, and I have a good job. I can't say that I work 14 hour shifts, or that I'm a Vietnam Vet, but I make the most of my life, and have traveled to every continent on the Earth. I AM grateful I'm alive, and that I've had the opportunity to live for the last few decades, but I don't perceive it as a gift. The human species is a phenomenon in itself - billions of years ago, we won a game of russian roulette against every other possibility, as infinite as they are. That said, I'm grateful I'm here now...

Also, we didn't "decide" to leave the lower life forms behind and just "get smarter"; its like every other creature on this earth: we had the intelligence to outsmart or overpower the weaklings - survival of the fittest is an interesting proposal, because it makes the most sense. The slowest runner doesn't win, he comes last, because he lack the strength, stamina and mental power to win. Evolution is the ability to achieve these things, and succeed. The cerebral cortex and the cerebellum are amazing things, its a genetic pre-disposition to be smarter than everything else on the planet and you, Lew, are a part of that.

As for your political choices, of course you're allowed to vote for Bush, and you're allowed to dislike Obama and his decisions. I wonder how many of you "rightists" (if I'm to be labelled a "leftist", which I dont completely believe is accurate, then you're a "rightist") can actually DEFINE marxism? I'd be interested to hear If you've studied the Communist Manifesto? I don't mean the whole "Labour Theory" economy instead of Government Utilities, that was designed for another time; what I mean is, do you KNOW what Marxism truly is? And Socialism for that matter? They seem to be becoming buzz-words in a sense - people just use them because they sound like they're in the right context.

You're a good debater, Lew. I'm not taking this in a "bitter" sense, I'm enjoying the discussion!

"George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd"

Lew Waters said...

Sorry Alex, but you are only convincing yourself. One thing you fail to recognize is that we humans do not “give ourselves” anything. From somewhere, somehow we have been granted abilities not available to other animals, the power to actually think and reason.

You have the right to think we gained all that merely by accident or environmental phenomenon, but the rest of us retain the right to recognize a higher order that granted us that privilege.

I am not the one who claims a “gay gene,” that was one on your side of the aisle many years ago. After much ballyhoo over it, it quietly went away as geneticists were unable replicate it, which would prove its existence.

Personally, I think homosexuality is more of an environmental matter in how people are raised or traumatized in their youth, but that is just a personal opinion. I do not feel gays are “defective” an actually, have no problem associating with them or working alongside most. Like with heterosexuals, some I prefer to avoid.

That being said, I oppose same-sex marriage as I see no valid reason for such a major societal change and prefer to let our Military members decide whether they desire to serve in battle alongside openly gay people or not. They face the battle, so they should decide, not politicians who may have never served, I feel.

Your Bruce Bagemihl does not impress me at all. The claim of rampant homosexuality in animals is a farce, plain and simple. Animals, for the most part, live and act by instinct. To equate their behavior with ours opens a dangerous arena that could stop prosecutions for rape and such violent crimes. Since animals are excused for their instinctual behavior, if we are more like them, ours could be too.

Then again, don’t you find it odd that most don’t “realize” they were “born gay” until shown so, usually by an older person in their early teens?

That being said, they may live their life as they see fit without any interference from me, until their behavior affects society or me in a negative manner. Likewise, I oppose heteros that think they must “change” them to conform to their view of life. That may sound hypocritical, but it really isn’t.

I’m very pleased to see that you are “grateful you’re here now,” but I might inquire, just who or what are you grateful to? Gratitude is normally shown to another.

Again, I find it quite curious that you would say, “its a genetic pre-disposition to be smarter than everything else on the planet,” indicating to me that somehow, it was placed in motion by some form of intelligence.

Just what “pre-disposed” humans to advance away from all the lower life forms and yet, retain most all of those lower life forms, relatively unchanged for eons?

Your “slowest runner” analogy supports my view more so than it does your own. To become the “fastest runner,” one must train, usually with a coach directing them and teaching them in strength training. Very few just become the fastest or the best.

You are correct, “rightist” and “leftist” are broad and vague terms, but most all of us fit somewhere within one or the other. Neither is a 100% accurate description of most of us.

As for studying he “Communist Manifesto,” I obtained a copy some years ago, along with a copy of the constitution of the Soviet Union and even Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” I do not have these to adhere to them, but to see what they actually say and to be aware of what is. I even recently obtained a copy of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals” to read up on too.

I will grant you that many throw around the word “Marxist” on a whim, but to me, when one preaches words taken out of Marx’s writings and theories and works to impose those ideas on a nation, they fall into the category of “Marxist.”

As for nations that have adopted Marxist policies, can you show me a prosperous one? Or, does misery become equally spread around? Perhaps there is reason that many flee their countries to land in ours.

I also find it odd that many feel George W. Bush once saying he “spoke to God daily” as a detrimental thing, when Hillary Clinton also said she spoke to Eleanor Roosevelt often and they have no problem with that. She isn’t considered daft, she is lauded as brilliant.

You see, there is some research out there that regular “prayer” is beneficial to those who believe in God and it has even shown to help others in medical recovery. And yes, millions have been spent to “study” and “discredit” that. What a shame that such amounts of money need be wasted on such a harmless matter as a person’s belief.

As Dr. Richard Sloan, professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia put it in a 2006 New York Times article, “The problem with studying religion scientifically is that you do violence to the phenomenon by reducing it to basic elements that can be quantified, and that makes for bad science and bad religion.”

Now, for the funniest kicker in all this, I am NOT a particularly religious person.

bobp said...

alex- we i have to say that although you are saying the right stuff your understanding of evolution is a little basic (i assume you read newscentist i would recomend you read the set of articles on common misconseptions about evolution a couple of months back(i dont know the article no but you can prob find it if not ask in i will)) not meant to insult. i would also sujest we ignore the debate between the theories of id or evolution untill id suporters can provide some evidence that stands up to close examination. lew- i would recomend you procure a copy of 'the god delusion' even if only to familirise yourself with the other side. try to aproach it with an open mind.

just because somone quotes marx it dosent make them a marxist. hitler had great plans for the german economy- however if somone chose to have similar policies it does not make them a marxist.

i will now rejon the thread now there seems to be some interesting stuff going on.

also- did you find the comunist manifesto and other texts mentioned objectionable? you dident comment.
also- if you could lose the fixed width formatting it would be great.

Lew Waters said...

Bob, perhaps you will be so kind to explain just why you feel others should not believe in God.

My comment of not bing particularly religious does not negate my personal belief in a higher power.

I didn't comment on how I found the manifesto because I wasn't asked. Since you did, I think it is a very dangerous manifesto due to all the sugar coating (for lack of a better word) of actual intent.

We see it now for several years in our own country with full knowledge that policies tried in other Socialist countries did not bring prosperity, but misery and poverty all around.

One of the more dangerous factors I see in it is how it sets class against class by misleading lower classes that they deserve what the upper class holds, even though they did not put out the effort or investment in capital to acheive or build that wealth.

There is always a certain degree of envy in some lower class people, but the communists add to that in the efforts to divide and conquer.

That the Soviet Union collapsed and other communist nations did not thrive under communism speaks for itself.

China and Viet Nam both are mving away from hard communism and adopting at least a portion of capitalism and their economies are improving.

Robin Hood, after all, was just a myth.

As far as evolution goes, you are welcome to buy into whatever theory you wish, but I still reject the idea of all this order we see throughout the universe coming into existence by mere accident. After all, the simplest thing we humans hold and use must have a designer and a builder.

As I said, you are welcome to buy into any theory you desire, makes no difference to me.

Oh yes, in closing, The Nazi's under Hitler stood for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or the National Socialist German Workers' Party, as I'm sure you know.

I do believe you would find the actual goals and aims weren't that far apart.

Alex said...

bob, my understanding of evolution and it's theories are far from basic. I'm not assuming lew or anyone else on this blog wouldn't understand what I'm saying - it's just easier to leave the scientific jargon behind and talk in a more casual fashion. I spent 3 years studying ebolution and it's flaws, and i fully understand the burden i take by backing up such a complex and diverse theory; but I tend to back it up as I don't believe in god...

Also, your points on Marxism and socialism are something I am very keen on, I think I'm the only person on earth that's interested in historic politics.

This discussion is getting interesting, and I wish to include myself a little more, so let me get home and use my pc, as I'm on my phone browser typing this!

Lew Waters said...

Alex, Bob, I wrote this post to show how people show more care and concern over a story on birds than they do their fellow humans.

It has strayed far off that subject and really wasn't addressed much at all.

That being said, I do not believe in evolution and you do not believe in any form of creation. So be it. I cannot convince you and will not even try, that is a personal belief. You will not convince me, either.

You have every right to your belief and far be it from me to deny you that right.

If you desire a discussion on evolution, Marxism and such, please take it elsewhere.

I'd like this post discussion to address the subject, that being humans showing so little concern for each other.

Alex said...

That's fair enough, and it's fair to say that human beings dont show compassion to other humans, but I think we've been conditioned that way, if you get what I mean... Think about it: when the suicide bombings REALLY started to come to the west's attention, we couldn't believe how callous and disgusting the idea of that was. A few years on (almost a decade really) we just accept that this stuff happens. This is not a product of us not caring; I believe it's a product of our acceptance that horrible things happen ALL the time. There is not enough media coverage to support these disturbing events. I'm on my phone again, so I'll keep this brief, but Africa is a perfect example - in Zimbabwe there is a SERIOUS humanitarian crisis, and we in the west are apparently completely unable to aide them in any way without 'offending' people, and it makes me feel sick! We are so capable of fixing the worlds problems, yet we're scared to do it

Lew Waters said...

Hold on to your hat, ALex, because for once, we agree on something. I agree that we have been conditioned to not care about each other.

Several reasons are to blame, I think, from the attitude of not wanting to get involved to what we conservatives refer to as the culture of death.

Going back to the bible for a moment, there is a scripture that alone would solve the problems of theworld, if it was abided by. Of course, one need not beleive in the Bible to abide by it, but it is there just the same.

Romans 13:9 The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet"; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

Some have tried to twist this to say we should not fight our enemies, but to me, loving our neighbors means defending them as well.

What happened in Rwanda and continues in Somalia and Zimbabwe is unconscionable that the world sits by and watches when the genocide and slaughter can be stopped, as well as the hunger.

Sadly, too many misrepresent the so called Holy Books and twist the words to fit their radical views, from radical Jihadists to the Ku Klux Klan and any other White Supremacist group.

People do not need to be a Christian, Jew or Muslim or even believe in God to just begin looking out for each other.

Much of the effort to "fix the world's problems" must begin from within the areas where the largest problems are ongoing. Even the poorest people can stick together and help each other out.

When under such severe oporession, the west and all of its power can be used to help give those people the security to set up a free society of their own.

Alex said...

Great, now the REAL discussion can begin! I think your point on the commandment (Romans 13:9) is a good example - and I've always thought that the bible taught very simple, yet effective morals; 'Thou shall not kill' being a perfect example of this :)

I know a culture of death, but maybe not in the way you mean, tell me if I'm wrong by the way. My understanding of the culture of death is shorthand for a concept that human life can be a means to some other end and not solely an end itself. Is that what you mean? Or is yours different?

I also agree that the application and understanding of scripture such as the bible would be absolutely beneficial for undeveloped countries such as Africa. I may not believe in God, but I certainly respect that others DO... Especially if it results in a positive attitude and a more stable way of life. I suppose this is why missionaries have existed for hundreds of years to promote religion to others!

I personally think that the most dangerous aspect to the bible is not the morals it offers, but the extreme misinterpretation that certain groups apply to their teachings and lifestyles (you mentioned Jihadists and the KKK; prime examples that misinterpretation leads to UTTER delusion!)

And another thing I agree with, Lew, is that "loving thy neighbors" certainly DOES mean defending them in a time of crisis - this is why the United Nations is SUCH a hypocritical group...their intentions are great, but they offer help equal to giving a picture of air to a drowning man. They talk about national protection and countries helping one another, but they do nothing of the sort. I don't know if you agree - I just feel the UN needs either a revamping, or a liquidation.

As I said, the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe is at the point of absurd. We have almost infinite funds here in the US, and other massively wealthy countries such as Australia and the WHOLE European Union etc could fix the problem...yet we continue to let AIDS, dictators, terrorists, war and, most of all, our ignorance to get the better of us. And people are dying because of it.

Sorry for the religious debate in the last posts, I completely misinterpreted the message you were trying to get across!

whiskey said...

Hello visited this blog because it was in the "fancy that" pages of the New Scientist, am v glad i did as it is all that was promised :)

Lew Waters said...

My apologies for not getting back sooner, Alex, but it’s been a crazy week for me.

What I mean by “culture of death” is seeing how many are choosing or advocating death over life. With assisted suicide the law in Oregon and now my own state of Washington, I’m troubled that suicide becomes the accepted treatment for some.

Oregon recently ran a comment on it being a “good state to die in.” I prefer to be in a “good state to live in.” While some may see that along religious lines, it is not necessarily so. I continue to see life as a precious gift, regardless of how we have it.

Another example would be last year in Oregon, a lady with cancer was told the state medical would not cover cancer treatments, but would cover assisted suicide drugs. After a public outcry over that, the state backed up and covered the treatment.

I totally agree with you about misinterpretations of the Bible and the Qu’Ran. Even though a Southerner by birth, I have no more use for the KKK than I do Al Qaeda. Both are guilty of misinterpretation and I have taken a lot of flack in the past for defending Muslims that do not agree with the Jihadists. I just wish more Muslims would stand up to the Jihadists and accept religious difference.

You can apply that Christians that express hatred of Muslims too.

With the rate we are borrowing money from China and Saudi Arabia, I do not think we have “infinite funds” to spread around. Of course, there is a lot of waste in our federal budget that could be cut.

Continually throwing money at problems does not solve them, actions do.

I have no use for the United Nations any longer, either. They have become little more than a group of third world nations banding together to demand funds from us while bashing us. I do not know of a single war they have prevented, either. In fact, their inability to do more than hate America has resulted in many wars that might not have happened otherwise.

Each nation is sovereign, but much of their effort seems to be geared towards a one-world government with a rotating leader who favors his nation over others.

Each nation can work towards solving their own troubles and yes, outside help can be given. In the case of AIDs, it is probably the easiest of all STDs to prevent. Abstinence and monogamy can contribute to preventing the spread of it.

Sexual notions can be curtailed or old-fashioned morals practiced more too. Reading recently of the onslaught of rapes to lesbians to “cure them” in South Africa angers me as raping a woman, for any reason, is never justified.

Personally, I feel such acts do more to encourage lesbianism than “cure anything.”

I find the Bible an excellent book, but question some interpretations within it and the exclusion of many manuscripts we may have never seen. Then again, many clinging to “Born Again” and “Evangelicals” don’t agree with my views either. Maybe because I openly state Evangelicals need to leave their religion out of politics in the Republican Party.

I am on the Executive Board of my local County Republican Party and have received scorn because I openly said a candidate should not run on their religion or make their political office an extension of their church.

Lew Waters said...

Whiskey, not sure just how to meant that, but I aims to please. ;-)

Well, maybe not. I just state my opinions.

Wiknerd said...

@Lew

Just in case you didn't know that the NewScientist magazine does contain articles that are, for the most part, accurate and popular among the scientific community.

I hope you weren't taken in by the "gobbeldy gook" about "new scienist title [as] a play on words as in news scientist".

As for your post being included in the "Feedback" section, this section is just dedicated to interesting/intriguing/funny (and for quite a lot of them, unfortunate) mistakes. It's rather like the "Darwin awards", where you shouldn't take it seriously and people generally like them for a good laugh; hopefully not at your expense.

(For examples of the types of laughs your post was associated with try here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327226.200-all-at-sea-with-national-rail.html)


I do hope, however, that you put a disclaimer or a footnote saying that the description of the photos are inaccurate, just for the sake that people would realize that you know about mistake you may have made in using that example and you're active in trying to correct it.

Wiknerd said...

*actively trying to correct it.

gah. I always make grammar mistakes when typing...

Lew Waters said...

Wiknerd, don't worry about the grammar mistake, we all do them. I guess that's why the continue to put erasers on pencils.

As for the rest, the relevance of the photos is solely on how people feel such compassion for animals today, but not each other.

The original article in Europe had a lot of people upset and sorrowful. But, do these same people feel anythng for their fellow man?

Those that chose to come in and blast the accuracy of what type birds and such totally missed the point of the post.

Sadly, I imagine they are the types that also feel much compassion for animals while would turn their backs on their neighbors.

Thanks for stopping by.