Thursday, December 17, 2009

There are several definitions of who is Jewish. There is the religious definition, the ethnic definition and the question of identity. Most people don't identify themselves as Jewish unless they also have one of the other two, but it is possible for a person to be born to converts to Judaism, and therefore identify oneself as Jewish, but not see it as one's religion. It is neither one's ethnicity, because one's parents are not ethnic Jews.

Now, we have a group of ethnic Jews who have turned to Christianism, but who haven't given away their Jewish identity. These people are called "Jews for Jesus", "Hebrew Christians" or "Messianic Jews", which names are VERY misleading. A Messianic Jew is actually a religious Jew who believes in Jewish Messianism, which is something very different from Christianity. It is possible for a Jew to believe Jesus - or Yeshua ha-Notzri - is the Jewish messiah, and still remain Jewish, but it is more likely that one has left the Jewish religion behing oneself and turned Christian. Interestingly enough, the Christians of Jewish ethnicity don't approve these true Messianic Jews as "Messianic Jews".

These are the important questions that make all the difference:

Was Jesus a man or God?
If you think Jesus was in any way or form divine, God's son more than any other human being, part of the thrinity, then you are not Jewish, but Christian.

What is the significance of the Greek Scriptures?
Is it of the same importance as Tanakh? If so, then you are not Jewish, but Christian. One must understand here that what is said in the Greek Scriptures - what they claim Jesus taught - is against Torah, and if you believe Torah is God's Law, given to your people by God Himself, you do not think scriptures where you are told the God's Law is wrong, are of any worth.
If you think the Greek Scriptures are right and Talmud is wrong, you are not Jewish. What is taught in the Greek Scriptures goes againt TORAH, what is taught in Talmud, does not.

This is not a question of interpretation and opinion, but theology and dogmas.

Just like there cannot be Pagan Christians, there cannot neither be Jewish Christians, Muslim Christians, Buddhist Christians or any other such Chimera. Considering how highly the Christians speak about their religion, it's surprising how much they want other people's religions too...

And why am I writing this? It has nothing to do with Paganism...
It's because my Jewish husband is being persecuted by missioners at YouTube, and I hate missioners, especially missioners, who will not accept that I have already found God and I am very pleased with Her and would not change Her to anything in the world, especially not to something like Jesus. That's like asking me to exchange my woolen clothes in a blizzard to a wet polyester satin sheet.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pagans can be "good people" too

I'm not Christian, Jewish or Muslim. I don't care about the rules these three religions give to their followers of being a "good person", and I don't need to. These rules are for Christians, Jews and Muslims only, even when sometimes they act as if that was not the truth. Frankly, I'm already a "bad person" because I "break" the most important rule of them all - I don't believe Jesus even existed, I don't think Muhammed was right and I'm not Jewish. :-D So why even bother doing any of the other stuff?

Here's where the philosophical ideas of morality and ethics come in. Just because I don't believe the same way you do, doesn't mean I'm automatically immoral and have bad ethics.

I am just as loving, caring and kind to my fellow human beings as anyone else on this planet. In some cases more so than certain others, in some cases less so.

For example, I refuse to judge people because of whom they love, but I will judge people if they choose to physically "love" someone who is not a consenting adult human being. I don't have any problems with homosexuality or polygamy or polyamory, but I have huge problems with pedophilia and zoophilia and "legalized rape", where women are married to someone against or in spite of their will.

I also am generally tolerant, but I don't tolerate extremists and fanatics, nor missionaries who lie, cheat, threaten and punish people to get them "convert". Oh, yes, that happens. I saw a documentary from Papua New Guinea, where the natives were subjected to all of this. The missionary promised the people that if they convert to Christianity, they will be healed, from asthma and everything else, they will get rich and have cars and pigs and what-not. When the majority of the village was converted with lies like this, they were encouraged to make the rest of the village convert too, by telling them, that they weren't cured and rich, because of the few non-Christians in the village. A couple of people were forced to move out of the village, and the loneliness made them come back and convert too, in the end. After that the missionary left the village never to return and answer to where is the cure, cars and pigs he promised... The village kept an eye on each other and punished each other for any minor slip, as the cause to why the missionary's promises weren't fulfilled. >:->
Of course, this story is about just one crooked missionary, but I hold the whole Christianity responsible for this. It's not that this way of missionizing is much different from how Europe was Christened. It began with Charlemagne who cut down the Holy Woods, continued through crusades and inquisition - and yes, that too is the responsibility of the whole Christianity.
It's not either that this sort of things would be unknown in modern, mainly Christian society. My Jewish husband is being harassed and abused because "Jews killed Jesus". Pagans get their HOMES vandalized with the Christian society's good will. I do hold the whole Christian community responsible, for failing to teach their children that this is wrong, for failing to apologize for what their own youngs do (and in some cases these people are not even young) and try to repair the damage.

Exodus 22:21
You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9
You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Leviticus 19:34
The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 10:19
So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

Matthew 5:44
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Luke 6:27
But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you

Romans 12:20
But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.
This is what YOUR Holy Book says about "strangers" and "enemies". Do see me as a stranger and your enemy, but remember that if you treat me as I treat you, YOUR GOD will punish YOU for it. Not me. You are endangering YOUR place in heaven, not mine. I don't have any. You, as a Christian, are also responsible for what your children and other Christians do in your community. It is your duty to remind them, to discipline them, when you see they are doing something wrong. Allowing the town gang to bully the town witch, makes ALL the Christians of the town to risk their spot in Kingdom Come...

Sure, it can be hard to go against the human nature, and it can feel bad to know that it IS expected more of you than of me, but this is the payment for your salvation. This is your ticket to the heavenly wedding. We will get what's coming to us in the end, just like everyone else.

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"
- Matthew 21-23
But back to the possibility of non-believers being "good people".

“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
Matthew 7:16-20

"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:19-23

I agree with no objections to "idolatry and witchcraft", even though I believe there is only one God to whom I am and will be true and loyal to the day I die and beyond, if there is life after death, and because there IS only one God, I am not technically guilty of idolatry. I also know that the followers of the Abrahamic religions disagree with me there, because I do not follow any Abrahamic religion, I'm a true Pagan, and that is what they mean with idolatry. Also, I am a witch, so of course I'm guilty of witchcraft :-D
I also appreciate my senses very much and I think we have come to earth filled with things to experience and appreciate through senses to do just that - experience and appreciate the world through senses. I believe one is to ENJOY life. Nevertheless, "drunkenness and orgies" are not part of that. I'm Epicurean, not hedonist.
But I also believe that one is to be kind to one's fellow human beings here on earth. Of course, I don't always succeed in that, but who does? So far I haven't met anyone who has managed to go through his or her life without ever "acting sinfully" with "hatred, discord, dissensions and factions", especially not those Christians, who engage in all of this in their relations with anyone who is Pagan, witch, homosexual, not doing things as they want things to be done, not belonging to the same group of people. I at least admit openly that I do hate some people and that I have strong prejudices about certain groups I do not belong.
Of course I have been envious and jealous to people, the more the older I get. That too is something I think everyone has experienced. What I have not done is acting on the envy and jealousy. I don't hate people because I'm envious to them, I don't sabotage their work, speak ill of them or so, because I'm envious or jealous. I do that because I think these people are harming others and I want to stop that. Also, I never lie nor mislead people, like some people do. But - hatred and discord, that is there.
There is also love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
So - this tree bears a couple of bad fruits, but most of them are good. Whether you see me as a good tree or bad depends on which fruit you taste, and if you judge the whole tree by one fruit. This is true with the whole humanity.
None of us is 100% good and bears nothing but good fruits, just as none of us is 100% bad and bears nothing but bad fruits.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Which Pagan Gods do you worship at "christmas"?

Again, back at one of my pet peeves - Christmas.

Now, I don't mind at all if people celebrate Christmas as their God's birthday and give it a significance they can live with and which they can enjoy, I am not against Christians celebrating Christmas as their holiday, not at all. I am also not saying one word about how they should be doing that. Christians have been celebrating Christmas for a very long time now, and have given a Christian symbolical meaning to most of their Christmas, so it is theirs.

What I do mind is the Christmas fanatics, who get offended when people wish them "Happy Holidays" and complain about the national post office publishing stamps that aren't "Christian enough" to their liking, and other such things. These people try to push THEIR ways down everyone else's throat, and THAT is what makes me boil. What you do inside the walls of your home is your business, and if you have a warm and lovely Midwinter, I'm happy for you. Sincerely I am, even if it means "stealing Yule". What ever fits your personal, private purposes, is fine with me, as long as it doesn't harm anyone or anything else. But when you start DEMANDING that YOUR personal preferences MUST be followed in PUBLIC sphere, you have gone too long, my friend. You can count on me, telling you how your so called Christian ways are anything but Christians.

So - which Pagan Gods are you actually worshiping by celebrating Solstice? Oh, don't make the mistake of believing that you are NOT celebrating the Winter Solstice, because that's usually on December 21st and you are celebrating December 25th. 25th of December was established as the Winter Solstice 45 BCE, and even when the calendar has been adjusted several times after that, the date remained. I celebrate Winter Solstice on the exact time of Winter Solstice, ignoring the calendar all together. I know it's December 21st this year and it will be December 22nd in a couple of years, like it was a couple of years ago, but the date itself doesn't mean anything to me. The centuries old feast days that have been put in the calendar on the other hand do follow the Julian Calendar, back at 45 BCE, with all the important Pagan feast days "rededicated" to Christian characters. Summer Solstice is given to John the Baptist, Autumn Equinox is given to Archangel Michael, Spring Equinox is Virgin Mary's and Winter Solstice Jesus'. The early Christians weren't stupid, they chose a character from the Christian mythology that best corresponded with the Pagan Deity celebrated at the time of the year. John the Baptist replaces several artisan Gods, Michael replaces Mabon, Virgin Mary replaces Goddess Herself and Jesus... yes, whom did Jesus replace?

Everyone knows by now about Mithra or Mithras, the Son of God in the Zoroastrian mythology. His name means "contract", "deal", "agreement", "covenant" - He was the embodiment of the covenant between God and His people, fulfillment of the promise God made. He is the ultimate defender of Truth, the Judge.
His feast day, Mehregan, is celebrated at the time when taxes are collected, and people gave each other gifts. The king, of course, received very valuable gifts, like gold and rare incenses and such, everyone else gave what they could afford. The poor people gave each other apples. This Mehregan is always on the 16th day of the 7th month, the day and the month named after Mithra. That happens usually in the beginning of October. It is the first day of the second half-year, Nowruz or New Year being celebrated on the first day of the first half-year, in March. The Jewish people has this same division of the year into two half-years, but they celebrate the New Year in Autumn; Rosh Hashanah.

Now, in Persia (Iran) they still celebrate Yalda, Winter Solstice, as the birthday of Mithra and "the triumph of Light and Goodness over the powers of Darkness". This feast, with that name (yalda - birth) was actually celebrated thousands of years before Zoroastrianism, but today we don't know what was the "reason for the season" at that time.It was probably the birth of Sun.

December 25th was "natalis Invicti" - the birthday of Sol Invictus - the invincible Sun. This date was made a state holiday by emperor Aurelian, (215-275 CE) who worshiped the Sun, as many other Roman soldiers. Romans had a habit of combining the mythology they encountered with their own, and as the Roman soldiers found Mithra very appealing deity, they combined what they knew of him with what they knew of every other Sun God, and created Sol Invictus Mithra, with birthday on December 25th, the Winter Solstice, when Sun is born, because the Romans did celebrate birthdays, contrary to Hebrews and Persians.

Other Sun Gods the Romans collected to this group were Horus of Egypt, Apollon of Greece, and Attis of Phrygia. All these deities were believed to have been born of December 25th.

Attis of Phrygia was the son of the Virgin Goddess Nana and there's a very fascinating mystery connected to His father... That is, that He is actually Himself His own Father. (Sounds familiar? You have no idea of how familiar it is going to get...). Attis was a shepherd, and so beautiful that the Goddess made Him Her lover. She was a jealous Goddess and when She believed He was having other women, She made Him sacrifice his male organ, which He did, tied on a pine tree and He bled to death, on March 25th (Spring Equinox, Ostara, or Easter) and His blood gave life to the barren earth. The Goddess regretted and brought Him back to life, on a Sunday as Sun God. The followers of Attis tied an image of the God to a tree, which they carried along in a procession to the temple, escorted by "reed bearers" carrying reeds symbolizing God's organ. This happened on Friday near Spring Equinox, which day they called the Black Friday or Day of Blood. They mourned the next day and on Sunday they had a huge feast celebrating their Savior God who was dead but lives. They used to bake a bread in shape of a man, name it Attis and share and eat it, to get Attis' blessings.

Horus is an Egyptian Sun God, born from Queen of Heavens, Isis and Her brother Osiris, whom she brought back from death just to father the child. It is believed that Osiris spirit was transferred into Isis to be reborn as Horus. This happened at Winter Solstice.

And so on and so forth. Most bits of "Jesus' story" can be found in one way or another in another "God story" in Rome during the time of the spinning of the "Jesus' story" - virgin mother, birthday, epithets and symbolism, significance, life, companions, miracles, death, resurrection... everything. We have Dionysos of Greece, Krishtna of India, Apollonius of Tyrana...

Everyone knows today the Pagan origins of "christmas", but to those who still question, here's somethings to watch:

The Catholic church argues that 25th of December is "simply 9 months after 25th of March, the Annunciation" - but how do the Christians came up with March 25th as the day of Annunciation? The Bible says ""Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin...".
March would be six months from Rosh Hashanah, and if one pinpoints Rosh Hashanah on September 25th (Autumn Equinox), March 25th (Spring Equinox) is 6 months after that. But Rosh Hashanah doesn't start the first month of Hebrew Calendar. It is celebrated on the SEVENTH MONTH of the Hebrew Calendar. That makes "sixth month" August, not March. If the author of the Gospel of Luke is following the Greco-Roman calendar, that would make the 6th month June - or perhaps August, as "November" is "ninth month".
The Christians say that March 25th is a very important Biblical day, because God also made Adam and Jesus died on that day. The Persians believed that Adam was created on Mehregan, the Persian second New Year, just as the Jews believe the world was created in Tishri - in Autumn. Why did the Christians change this belief?
I'm sorry, but this claim of the church is just false. 25th of March was chosen as the date of Annunciation BECAUSE the 25th of December, the Roman birthday of Sun, was 9 month after that day, not the other way around.

Does it matter what you CALL the God you are worshiping at Midwinter? Of course it doesn't. As C.S.Lewis lets Aslan say in The Last Battle,
"Not because he (Tash) and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services thou hast done to him. For I and he are such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted."
I happen to think that this is actually the Truth. It doesn't matter if you serve the "Pagan Gods" at Midwinter, because there is only One True God, what ever you choose to call Her and how ever you choose to worship Her and celebrate Her mercy and miracles. That the Sun rises every morning IS a God's Miracle worthy to be celebrated, the seasons and the turn of the year from summer to winter and back again, over and over, spinning years to eons is a Miracle, every year we get to live is a Miracle and a Gift from God, and Yule is truly a wondrous and lovely time, whoever you dedicate it and in which ever name you do the good deeds you are inspired to do at this time of the year.

Just you remember that.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christians stealing again...

You all know that Xians stole Yule already some 1500 years ago. Now they are stealing Chanukah.

You see, Xians have never understood this "yours - mine" division of things. They see the world as "things that are mine" and "things that are ours". To them there are no "things that are yours". I suppose they cannot help it, as everything they have, they have stolen from someone else. How could they understand that they cannot both have the cake and eat it, when they have been doing just that the last 1700 years?

It all started some 2000 years ago in the Roman empire. Romans have never understood this "mine-yours" idea either. They too always took what they fancied and adjusted it to fit their purposes. In this great melting pot, they took some Greek ideas of God, like Bacchus and Apollon, some Egyptian ideas of God, like Horus and Isis and some Persian ideas of God, like Mithras, added to that the Jewish ideas of God, shook it and out came Xianity. Now, they were used to have a big, lovely party at Midwinter, celebrate New Year, exchange gifts, eat well, drink and have fun. Of course, they didn't want to stop that, so they didn't stop it. We can see it so clearly today, most people celebrate "christmas", which of course means "let's decorate the house, eat well and exchange gifts". The Pagan Midwinter is a lovely celebration.

Now, the Xians claim that their God, Jesus, IS the Jewish moschiach. They claim that they do believe the Bible is God's Word, and what is said in the Bible is The Holy Truth and may not be changed... but... The Bible tells very strictly and often that people who follow the One God may not follow other people's ways in anything. Those ways are either futile or lead to a lot of bad things.

Leviticus 18:3
"You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you"

Leviticus 20:23
'Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I will drive out before you"

Jeremiah 10:2
"This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations"
We know very well what these "ways of the nations" were and the command in Bible doesn't only mean religious or spiritual ways, and astrology, sex and such, even though a lot of Xians like to think that way.
Also, most of the Yule traditions the Xians have stolen ARE religious of nature. Holly, ivy and mistletoe are used to decorate houses to PROTECT them from malicious forces that run wildly in the world during Midwinter. Evergreens are the Pagan God's promise of that life will return. Candles, fires and lights are sympathetic magic to call back the sun. Reindeers, squirrels, robins and other forest creatures depicted at Yuletide all have symbolic meaning in the magical, religious Pagan life. Things were holy and sacred to European Pagans already before God spoke to Abraham.

But - it's too late to do anything about this theft. But there's another theft going on as we speak, and THAT can be done something about. The Xians are stealing Chanukkah.
They are assigning it new, Xian significance, they are creating their own Xian traditions, they are telling people to start looking at the Jews - AGAIN - as their own religion is not strong enough to carry them, but they can see, that the Jews are still among us, even when the Middle Eastern people have tried to eradicate them from the face of earth already 4000 years, and the Xians have tried the last 1700 years... They whine about Xians being "persecuted", while the Jewish people is STILL the most persecuted group of people in the humankind's history, and even when it's not as bad as it was some 60 years ago, it still exists.

It is so darned offensive and insulting!

That there are not enough miracles in Xianity, so that they have to start looking for other people's miracles and own them, is not an indication enough to them that there's something seriously lacking in their own religion... oh no... the fault is never theirs, and stealing has worked through their whole existence... but if they actually would read their holy scripture, they might realize that perhaps God has "abandoned" them, because they have abandoned Him. They are trying to follow other people's Gods and adapting other people's ways.

Here's the blog that first alarmed me of this theft happening:
"Heart of wisdom" - a Christian woman offering "hanukkah gifts" for other Christians :->

then I noticed that this theft has been going on for a longer time:
Understanding Chanukkah for Christian Teens

Now, why would a Christian Teen care about Jewish holidays?
You see... Judaism is still strong and still the oldest and the original Abrahamic religion, and the two others; Xianity and Islam will never forget nor forgive. So they are trying to "make it go away", both in their own ways. Xianity has started doing what they did to Pagans: they adopt the Jewish ways, start calling them Xian and then start teaching Xianity as the "true" Judaism. You can see it happening with the so called "Messianic Jews", who are not Messianic Jews at all, but Christians. You see, if you a Jewish - or anything else - and you believe Jesus Miriamson is the Messiah and Savior and God, you ARE Christian. Of course you are still ethnically Jewish, but not religiously, and claiming that you are is a BIG, STINKING, DISGUSTING LIE.
This is the reason to why Xians now show interest to JEWISH holidays. They beat Pagans through stealing their holidays, like Yule, so they are trying to beat the Jews through stealing their holidays :-> It's not just something "innocent and well-meaning". It's a war against Jews and inherently anti-semitic.

To me this matter is clear, and to quote a catholic priest in a Jewish story:
“There wouldn’t be any Christmas if there wasn’t any Chanukah, but we can't celebrate Channukkah because it’s not a Christian Holiday. Indeed, we don’t even celebrate Shabbat, and that’s one of the Ten Commandments. Ours is a different religion, with its own holidays and beliefs.”
And as a Jewish man answered to a Christian girl asking why Christians don't celebrate Chanukah:
"Also Christians believe in the Old Testament which IS the Jewish Bible The Torah... why don't they celebrate Chanukah?"

"This is actually kind of an interesting question, because the Hasmonean Rebellion actually pre-dates Christianity, and since Christians claim the existence of a Judeo-Christian tradition, one would wonder why they didn't co-opt the celebration of Chanukah. In fact, the first and second books of Maccabees are in the Apocrypha, and as such, made it into the Catholic Bible, but neither the Jewish nor Protestant ones.

I think the answer to this second question is philosophical. Chanukah represents the Jewish refusal to be assimilated, and a rejection of the detestible aspects of Hellenistic culture (the events leading up to the re-dedication of the Temple - that's what the word "Chanukah" refers to - were actually a civil war between the Torah Jews and the Hellenized Jews, as well as the clash between the Torah Jews and the Greeks themselves). Since Christianity represents the ultimate synthesis of Jewish theology and Hellenistic culture, it's only natural that the celebration of Chanukah would be an anathema to true Christians."
And this is from "December Dilemma"
"Jews "celebrating" Christmas is an insult to those Christians who take the holiday seriously."
And so is Christians "celebrating" Chanukkah, an insult to those Jews who take the holiday seriously.
You weren't fighting, your ancestors weren't fighting, you have no part of the victory nor the miracle. Don't try to take it either.

P.S. I found this:
Of course, the Xians who like to hide their true character by calling themselves "Messianic Jews" have been adding Xian significance to the Jewish holidays for a very long time...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reading and the reader's responsibility

It has been said that readers have difficulties in keeping their own personal experience from the reading... In my mind the reader SHOULD read the cards by her own personal experience and feelings.
You shouldn't be listening to the words the questioner gives you, but the words the cards give you.
You shouldn't be thinking about the wisest advice you can give, you should be giving the advice the cards give.
A lot of my reading consists of "I think about this and this, I don't know what it has to do with your situation, but I'm sure you do." I share a lot of stories when I read cards, because that is how my mind works. I drag the words from my experience, my knowledge, my wisdom, my treasury of tales and anecdotes, variating from classic fairytales and Biblical stories to Readers' Digest fillers and things I saw in television.

I would also probably be a bad reader, as I don't fear death, illnesses and despair. I am not afraid of the Dark Mother, Death nor Swords. Life goes on after death, the Tower of Babylon came tumbling down, but the humanity survived and is a better place today because of the hundreds of different languages.
I don't think you should try to invent a positive meaning to Death, Tower, Three of Swords or four pages on the table. "Yes, I see serious illness, I see serious trouble, but don't get frightened. It's part of life. You are to be prepared, think about how to deal with it when it arrives."
I am reminded of my father's cancer, and what a shock the news were.
I am thinking of all the homosexuals in the world who fear telling their loved ones the truth, who rather hide and lie about themselves than risk loosing the relationship, and nine times out of ten, their loved ones already knew.
I am thinking of my husband's father who refused to believe he was dying, so when his time came, he wasn't ready and went down fighting, kicking and screaming and insane of fear.
I am thinking of my grandmother who wasn't told she was dying, so she didn't take any precautions, didn't organize her business and things, but left a mess to her daughters to clean up.
I am thinking of my brother-in-law, who told my sisters first that he had cancer, and then to his wife, who freaked out totally by seeing my serious sisters in the room. He thought they would be able to help and support her, she would have appreciated if he'd told him in private.
I am also thinking of the father who killed his son when told the boy would have a difficult life.
I am thinking of the power of mind, and people's ability to either heal themselves or make themselves sick.
I am thinking of self-realizing prophecies and predictions. What you are afraid of will come.
I am also thinking of that divination is an image of the most probable future in this moment, and you can change it by changing what you are doing now. Perhaps you haven't been to mammography for a while now, and it's time... perhaps you haven't gone to your yearly check-up? Perhaps you could change your lifestyle? Perhaps you could take this as a wake-up call, and start doing things differently, start putting your economy in order, being with your friends, straightening the priorities? I believe we often get sick, because that is the only way God can stop you from harming yourself.
I am not sick nor dead today, so I could stop and enjoy the flowers and take that slow walk in the park and laugh at the playing dogs and eat that ice cream and write that letter, today, while I still can. Perhaps the "bad" cards are just a warning or a reminder of that life is good, and you are here to enjoy it, not to rush through it as if it was a competition.
Sky is blue to everyone, the same rain falls to the rich and the poor, the same wind caresses the sick and the healthy. There is beauty to be enjoyed for everyone, but everyone has to enjoy it for themselves ;-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Minor Arcana Royalty

The Dressed Cards are actually a group of their own. They follow the suits, but don't represent a thought the same way as pips and major arcana. They represent people, fair and square. Now, there are people who disagree about this. Of course, I disagree on many things with my fellow tarot readers, and the funny thing is that none of us is wrong...

The traditional interpretation is that Cups are blonde, Scandinavian type people, Coins are redheads, Staffs are brunettes and Swords blackhaired and -eyed people. This has been adjusted a lot during the times, people have been trying to fit in non-Caucasian people, and placed dark-skinned people in Staffs and Asian people in Swords, but in the end, looks don't matter that much. It's the impression that matters.
The impression is the one of the questioner, not the reader. We all have different impressions on people. A motherly woman is something for one and totally different for another. One perhaps thinks all mothers are like Joan Crawford, another sees a bun-baking 50's housewife, nurturing, self-sacrificing woman. A third sees a modern woman with career, who will defend her pups to the last drop of blood when needed.

Pages are children, knights are teenagers, queens women and kings men. It really is that simple. What makes it a bit more complicated is that we don't always act our age... Some people were born old, some won't grow one day older how long they ever live. We have heard "boys grow until they are five, after that it's only their toys that grow". Very generalizing and wrong assumption, but some boys (and girls) are like that. They would be presented with a page, even when they are over 30, 40 and 50 by their birth certificate. We have the Lost Boys and Girls, who will be presented with knights.

I am a fairytale fantast, fantasy reader and medievalist, so to me page and knight are important - king and his page, queen and her knight.
In some decks the names have been changed; page to princess, knight to prince, in an effort to equalize "the family" and to modernize the deck. (The court cards are sometimes seen as a family; King the Father, Queen the Mother, Knight the Son and Page the Daughter.)

Young noble boys were sent to a foreign court to be trained. They were supposed to be small helpers, running errands, fetching things, standing by you ready to help, like a surgery nurse. In the Victorian times, this job was switched from males to females, and fell to unmarried women in the family. "Fetch my shawl, take this book back, fetch the book and read to me, walk the dog, comb Harriet's hair..."
For Alistair Crowley to change the name from Page to Princess was not a good move. I don't know what he was thinking. That a lot of women have taken the practice in use with gratitude is understandable, after all, tarot cards, just as any other old tradition, is very male dominant, and it is not nice when you are a woman. Nevertheless, it's not a good idea to change the name of the card, and making the pages female... not a good idea either. Most feminists don't wish to enhance the female servitude and docility any further. Also, making the page a girl instead of a boy is a better idea, because of the meaning of the card. Princesses don't run errands, deliver messages or fetch forgotten things.

Some pages and princesses of Cups

Another pet peeve of mine is Golden Dawn and Paradosi (Western Esoteric Kabbalah, distorted version of the Real Jewish thing, and shouldn't be called with the Jewish name either.)
Tarot is a perfect, complete divination system and doesn't need to be tainted with astrology, paradosi, numerology or other such things.
Tarot works on the subconscious symbolical level, you are to read the 1000 words hidden in the picture, and these words are always different depending on the company and situation.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The value of Minor Arcana

People have been discussing the Major Arcana very thoroughly and ignoring the Minors, as if they don't mean as much. I have been pottering with Divination for some 30 years now, and I know the Minors are just as important and influential as the Majors. Very much of it has to do with the "High Magicians" who frown at witches and other "low" magic practitioners. Gypsies read playing cards, REAL Divinators read Major Arcana. Now, I happen to have very much respect to the Gypsy Divination. With the dozens of "oracles" being published every year, people should have understood the concept of reading cards.

Minor Arcana cards are not "more general". They are exactly as general and specific as the Major Arcana. "Lesser Secret" doesn't sound as nice as "Greater Secret", but believe me, that's just wizardry.
It has also been said that as the Major Arcana presents the Universal Influences in one's life, the Minor Arcana presents the small everyday problems. But, frankly, if you look at your life, you don't give a damn about whether your problems are shared by no-one else or millions of other people. I am really rather upset about this minimizing of the home sphere, spin side, domestic values and influences. In the end, it all comes to whether you sleep well, eat well, breathe well and exercise. Wars have been fought because of minor problems in homes.

Another problem I see is the connection to Astrology. Sure, it helps - sometimes - but is often an obstacle to understanding the cards. I know I had a lot of problems, because people disagree very much on which element to connect with which suit, and if you are used to think "wand=fire", you will have problems in using a deck where wands are connected to air or earth. One of my favorite decks connects Cups with air, while 99% of other decks connect Cups with water.

Wands, Staffs, Clubs or what ever you wish to call these, are connected to trees.
Coins, Pentacles, Diamonds or what ever you call these, are connected to stones and minerals.
Cups, Bowls, Chalices, Hearts... are connected to heart.
Swords, Blades, Spades are connected to sharp tools.

Wands talk about drive and ambition. Wands can be as quick to grow as willow, as steadfast and mighty as oak-trees, as vulnerable as any forest to fire and axes and plows, as relentless as the forest that covers the ancient cities in South America and Asia. Look at wands and see weeds. Look at wands and see rose garden. Look at wands and see a field of golden wheat.

Coins talk about possession, economy, stability, security. Coins are not only about gold, silver and jewels, it's about salt of life, nutrition and minerals necessary for life. Coins are also about the ground you are standing on, the mountains and cliffs, granite deep under your feet that supports you.

Cups are about emotions, ideals, wishes and dreams; what your heart is filled with. It's not only about love and relationships, it's about your dreams and desires, ideals and ideologies, what you believe in, what you enjoy, what you envy, what you reach for. It's about dreamwork, castles in clouds and wishing wells, Fairy Godmothers and magical reality.

Swords are about battle and obstacles. Some times you must fight your way through the thicket to get to the castle to awaken the princess. Some times you must use the spade and dig the ditch to irrigate the field so that something might grow. You must plow the field to be able to sow and get a crop. You have to cut away the dead and rotten so that the wound can heal, otherwise it will poison the whole body. People are usually very afraid of Swords, as they tell you to stop, they warn you from heartbreak, obstacles, problems and fears, they say something you want is impossible, at least right now, in this form and manner. No-one wants to hear that.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I am a coward...

I am a coward... I witnessed a crime and did nothing.

A woman of 50-60 was vandalizing the park down here, brutally trashing a small elder. They are rebuilding the park but she didn't have an uniform, neither did she have a saw. She obviously was doing something that was not only illegal but immoral as well, as elders are useful plants. And I just looked at her with murder in my eyes, and walked by.
I should have called the police. I should have asked her name. I should have run home, get my camera and take photos as evidence of her crime. She should at least pay some fines for vandalizing my environment and violating the "everyman's right", which is part of the Swedish constitution. I did nothing.

Also, my heart is bleeding for the elder. I love elders. And I just left it there to be violated and walked away...

I am horribly ashamed of myself.

Why didn't I do anything? Because I think she would have just laughed at me, crying over untidy rubs and calling HER a vandal and a criminal. She's probably a member of the local community council, and thinks she's "helping". The police would have just laughed at me, calling a "nice old lady" a vandal and a criminal. I wouldn't have saved anything, and she would continue vandalizing as if it was acceptable, and now with the blessing of the local law enforcement... Now at least I KNOW she's a criminal and a vandal... but I also know I'm a coward.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Children know God?

I met a woman yesterday, trying to convert me into something... one thing lead to another
and I said that I believe in God but I don't believe the Bible has anything to do with God,
and she asked me how do we know the God's truth if not by the Bible,
and I said that I believe we are born with it.
She laughed and said that a newborn baby couldn't tell me anything about God,
to which I responded that perhaps it could if we only knew how to communicate these matters with it.
Then the buss came and we went to different directions.

But - I do believe we are born innocent, without sin, in perfect connection with God.
I believe all the crap that separate us from God comes later, in conditioning, "education", programming from outside.
A newborn baby doesn't feel hate, fear, anger, sadness. It cries because it is in pain or in need and has no other means to get our attention.
A baby doesn't cheat, lie, commit adultery, steal anything, a baby isn't unfaithful. A baby lives in full existence with God.
If a baby dies, it doesn't go to hell but to heaven, if you believe in such things.
I don't know if a baby COULD express the connection, but neither could any of us. We can try, but it is always inadequate.

Also, the fact that you cannot communicate with someone or something isn't the same as that someone or something would be ignorant, stupid or have nothing of value to share with anyone. Sure, I can think this woman wouldn't believe dogs go to heaven either, or know anything about God either...

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise."
-- Proverbs (ch. VI, v. 6)

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
- Greek Scriptures, Matthew, 6:28-29


a reader commented this blog entry:
"yes. i do believe the children know. is why my kids don't go to school to unlearn the important things. i don't want them to forget and have to go through the painful process that i did to remember the things i was taught to believe were bad, or worse, weren't even real."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I am getting interested in magic again...

Grant Morrison's Pop Magic! is a very good article, actually... so I too recommend The Disinformation Book of Lies - it's in there.

I find it interesting that I never really thought magic is useful... it's a bit like Granny Weatherwax says, that if it cannot be done without magic, it's probably not worth doing, and if it can be done without magic, it also should be done without magic.
I also thought that the consequences of magic are too wide and difficult to foresee, and could have unwanted side-effects, so it's better to stay out of the whole thing.


I WANT to be a fairytale witch and a sorceress. I want to make things happen by just a wave of a hand or wick of a wrist. I want to be able to levitate things, to fly, to summon, conjure and invoke things, to stop time, to read peoples' minds: I want Harry Potter magic and Sabrina magic and Charmed magic and Bewitched magic. I want Hollywood magic and fantasy magic. I want to be able to become invisible and see things that happens somewhere else or in another time. I want to travel in space and time by will. I want to be able to curse people and to bless people. I want to be able to turn people into frogs. I want to live forever young and beautiful and irresistable, strong and healthy.

It MUST be possible. Someone imagined it, it must be possible. I just have to find the way.


It is really hard, though... I have been very well programmed and conditioned. I believe magic just doesn't exist, and I would be terrified if it did, so my mind protects itself by not allowing it to happen... I wonder how it would be possible to reprogramme me and recondition me to believe that magic does happen and that it is quite normal and possible...

Also, I really don't feel like reading the dozens and dozens of volumes of exoteric and occult literature available on line, vading through Crowley and other "biblical" writings... but I think I should, and I should do it with intention and understanding and read it as many times as it takes to get it...
It feels like a vast and pointless task though... as I really don't believe in THAT kind of magic... and all this talk about demonology, necromancy and sigil magic makes my guts turn.

"In this book it is spoken of the sephiroth and the paths, of spirits and conjurations, of gods, spheres and planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether they exist or not. By doing certain things, certain results follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophical validity to any of them."
-- Aleister Crowley

Saturday, June 27, 2009


"I am a Dedicant."
"Ok... I don't know what that is, but who am I to argue with you".
"A Dedicant is a person, male or female, who is, very literally, the spouse or lover of the Divine in this sphere of existence. For the god to whom I am a Dedicant, I am Wife on Earth. Wife of Flesh."
"Sort of Crist's Bride. Ok."
"It's uncanny how much of a whirlwind that simple word can stir. I've watched jaws drop open; seen people stammer; and have had them rapidly change the subject."
"Oh... It is uncanny... what has it to do with anyone else how you choose to relate to God and magic?"
"I've also been told that the type of magick I practice is "not possible" or that my experiences are doubtful because:
a) The gods do not mingle among us mere mortal creatures except in symbolic form;
b) The stories of that sort of thing happening are thousands of years old and, since no others have been recorded, there are obviously no more and never will be;
c) Why would you want to talk about a mystical experience so very personal? Those should only be discussed in theoretical and/or academic debates and certainly anyone who makes the claim to be doing this is suspicious;
and, my favorite,
d) If that god was going to do something like that, he would have told me himself."
"Oh? Interesting... If Gods walked among us 2000 and 4000 years ago, the Gods walk among us today. Now, I don't believe they do. There is only One God who doesn't interact with people in flesh. Or that is what I believe. But I am not denying your experience - or the experience of the others sharing your experience - just your interpretation of your experience. I believe you have an angelic lover. Nothing bad with that either. I'm not unfamiliar with that either. It just isn't part of my spirituality. Now, what comes to sharing an intimate and personal mystical experience - those SHOULD be shared with among friends and co-believers. If a high priestess cannot share her spiritual experience with her group, there's something seriously wrong with the group. What comes to God informing his other dedicants, isn't it His choice and his alone? Who am I to question the decisions and the wisdom of a God?"
"When did we get fundamentalist Pagans?"
"They have been among us always, dear Sapphire..."
"I interact daily with the Divine on many levels, from a simple stroke on the hair to high sex magick. I regularly "travel" to the Otherworlds where I have remained for what has seemed to be weeks there, only to find that it has been a few hours here. While there, I am exposed to great teachings and have had many mysteries revealed to me. I am honored and humbled to have earned this privilege."
"Good for you! And of course you should be sharing the teachings and mysteries with your group, if not the whole world."
"My High Priest, Shadowdragon, who is also my fiancée, has shown remarkable faith and strength of character by sharing in my practice. While most men would, and have, found my link to the Divine to be either a source of jealousy or could not bring themselves to fully participate, he has surprised me by accepting me wholeheartedly. Not only does he fold his practices into mine, but I find that my rituals and rites have greater energy. Not many men would have the confidence to share their wife with a god. It is to my great happiness that I listened when the Divine whispered over my shoulder, "This time, let me choose."
"Sounds absolutely lovely. Good for you."
"But, while a source of great energy, being a Dedicant, at least for me, has also been something of a burden. It means that all my workings focus through one deity."
"And that is a problem, because...?"
"How I relate to other gods and goddesses is directly influenced by my workings with this god."
"Why would you relate to other Gods and Goddesses?"
"There are deities who do not play well together which means that I have no contact with at least one popular goddess. Can't help others with their workings there."
"Why should you? It seems to me your work is very strictly defined and in my mind it's crazy to expect of you any help with any other Gods."
"I also have a harder time relating to the more traditionally female aspects of the craft. Moon phase? Sorry. I'll have to look up the info for that, as it simply has no bearing on how I work."
"There is nothing feminine about moon phases. In some cultures Moon is male. But when it has no bearing on how you work, why the heck should you even care of it? We all work magic in our own ways."
"It also means that I have hidden in a broomcloset within a broomcloset."
"With reactions like that, I can understand that."
"My mind was changed by having to defend myself yet again to what I thought was a community of people who might have, if not exactly the same, at least similar experiences to mine."
"Why? You don't need to defend yourself just because someone attacks you... or because someone doesn't approve you or your ways or thinks you're crazy. I think you're barking mad, but it really has nothing to do with me, and my opinion really doesn't have anything to do with you. So why are you defending yourself and your ways?"
"In the process, it occurred to me that I do not honor the gods by keeping silent."
"Depends on Gods..."
"It is through sharing our experiences with each other that we learn and that we teach."
"And through sharing what we have learned without experiencing it, or through experiencing ourselves."
"What honor to the Divine if all mystical experiences are kept greedily to one's self?"
"Depends on the Divine, again. Some Gods are honored through the respect of privacy. The experience was given to you, and, frankly, you cannot mediate your experiences even if you spoke like Shakespeare with the language of angels. Mystical experiences especially."
"Or if they are packaged off in little bits and only to the "worthy."
"Now, that... the latest fab is to give mystical knowledge to the "unworthy", who doesn't understand one bit but who will rape the wisdom, trample the pearls of knowledge into mud and bite your hand as thanks. They will also spread the knowledge tainted, tarred and twisted."
"Why is there such hostility to mystical experiences?"
"Envy... Inability to understand what it is... and usually people who are incapable to have mystical experiences think it's mostly waste of time and bullcock."
"I'm noticing more and more that people want to discuss technicalities within the craft."
"It is exactly because they are not "worthy"! It is EASY to memorize lists of herbs and Goddesses than really understand why we celebrate the Sabbaths. Anyone can arrange the altar "properly", buy pretty things decorated with pentagrams, dress witchily or go naked, but mystical experiences are not for everyone.
"Why are people not caught up in sitting and offering themselves to the Divine with perfect love and perfect trust? (Remember that concept?)"
"Yes, I do remember that empty trite. I believe we are here to LIVE, not to hunt for the extacy of mystical experiences, how ever much one might "learn". That to me is greedy and egoistic, but it's probably because I don't think mystical experiences and what you learn from them can be shared, and I find turning away from world and closing oneself in a cloister cowardly and egocentric - even if the cloister in only in my mind. But that's me."
"Is the problem that there are too many Pagans now learning strictly from a few high profile authors and the internet and are not interacting with elders who may have more to share?"
"High profile authors and internet are the elders of today. By the way... you claim you are a dedicant, meaning that you are learning directly from God, not from some elders. You shouldn't be preaching something you don't follow yourself."
"Is it that the elders have had enough of explaining the art of the craft to a generation raised on Hollywood expectations?"
"Hollywood expectations? Where do you think THOSE come from? It doesn't matter if you get the expectations on magic from a storyteller by a fire or from the television. Aleister Crowley and Helena Blavatsky weren't seduced by Hollywood. If an elder "have had enough of explaining the art to people", they aren't fit to be elders, don't you think?"
"Is it that there are so many "eBay Pagans" who are caught up in the nifty new chalice, who are buying boxes of stuff covered in pentagrams but who have forgotten that the stuff is all window dressing?"
"Excuse me, but your profile states your occupation is "ritual toolcraft and designer"... these people you despicingly call "eBay Pagans" support you. Stop selling nifty new chalices and boxes of stuff covered in pentagrams if you think people buying them are not "worthy"."
"Are too many people focusing too much on spellbooks and not enough on history and mythology?"
"If you wish people to respect your line of magic, you should be respecting theirs. You work with history and mythology, they with spellbooks. One line isn't better or more valuable than the other. I start to understand why people treat you weirdly... have you ever thought that it might be you and not them? That it might be your prejudices on them being somehow lesser than you, than the other way around?"
"Are people just plain losing the patience for the time it takes to establish that all important connection with the other side?"
"It doesn't take any time at all. It just is so that some people are not mystics. They could be meditating and focusing and praying and what not all they want, and still nothing would happen. It isn't their path. To YOU the "connection with the other side" is "all important", but I ask "what "other side"? There is only one side... God is HERE."
"Those among us who have interacted with the Divine are under an obligation to share what we know with others."
"Not at all. God is actually fully capable of taking care of that Herself. Of course, you MAY share, if you feel like it, but if you don't, don't. There's no obligation."
"Those of us who have been here longer need to reach out and tell others that not only are they not alone, but there is, in fact, so much more to see, so much more to know. That the gods and goddesses are out there and they are waiting for people to recognize them; to know that the old ways can be reborn."
"The old ways never died."
"Let us all speak of the gods and goddesses and their place at our tables. Let us all speak of knowing the touch of the Divine when we are lucky enough to experience it. Let us gather at fires and tell of the great things we have each of us known and done. Let us stand and shout that the gods are not buried in the past. That they walk among us this very day. Let us return to them their stature and let their names once again be spoken loudly. With honor."
"Who is your Divine husband? You never mention his name..."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Freedom to preach hate

"Hate speech" is speech (spoken or written) intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against someone (a person, a group, an organization etc.) based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.

"Hate crime" is a crime where the victim is chosen because of his/her actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.

I was looking for information about WASPs. I thought "white anglo-saxon protestant" would cover any white Christian of British inheritage. I'm wrong.
Anyway, on my research journey I found the blog Vanishing American and in there the blog entry: "Force, justice, tyranny" which lead me to an article by Bonnie Erbe.

I agree with Bonnie Erbe. "Vanishing American" claims she's being anti-white racist, because she talks about three murders that were instigated by hate speech.
There is one problem though... the murders Bonnie Erbe is referring to are:
A black man - black and works for the Holocaust Museum - is killed by a white man - racist, antisemite
A white man - abortion doctor - is killed by a white man - "pro-lifer"
A white man - American soldier - is killed by a black man - Muslim who hates American soldiers and Jews "for what they have done to Muslims"

Obviously she is not talking about WHITE hatred or "right wing extremism". She is talking about the consequences of hate speech. It doesn't matter if the people spreading the hatred with their words is black or white, right wing or left wing, Christian or Muslim. People who believe the words and decide one must free the world from The Evil of Abortion, Jews, Colored people or American military - or what ever The Evil happens to be - for any price.
Of course, the Pro-Lifer thinks it is ok to kill a man to save hundreds of innocent, unborn babies.
The White Supremacist thinks it is ok to kill one black man to stop the Jews and Blacks from leading the world into perdition. "Vanishing American" seems to be seriously concerned about "the good old values and the American way of life" that is dying.
The Muslim thinks it's better to kill American soldiers and Jews before they manage to kill innocent Muslim children and women.
Sure, if killing The Evil stops a catastrophy, one SHOULD "kill The Evil". I have no problems in understanding the reasoning behind these murders. But what Bonnie Erbe is talking about is what made the Muslim believe that the American soldier was a threat to Muslims all over the world. What made the White Supremacist believe that the black man at the Holocaust Museum was a threat to the things he values? What made the Pro-Lifer think that the Abortion Doctor was a threat to life? What made these killers think their victims were The Evil? Someone said so. Someone who they respect, appreciate, value and trust said so. It might have been several people (you know, "everyone thinks so"), it might have been explicit or implicit, it might have been a misunderstanding. Nevertheless, these people were born without thinking it is their duty to free the world from Evil and without believing that a person was Evil. Someone put the idea in their head.
We are all more or less brainwashed. We all have been told what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong, already before we are 5. We have formed the basis of our ethics already at 5. After that EVERYTHING is based on those ethics. one might change one's mind on things, even turn totally around, but all the time the opinion is based on the same ethics we were taught when we were very small. As long as I didn't understand the psychological effects of disciplining children with spanking, I thought moderate spanking was acceptable. One could say I have turned my coat, but in reality what happened is that I am wiser now.
If I have learned that it is acceptable and even desirable for every man to stand for what he believes is right - which is a very typical USonian value - I will take the law in my own hands when I think the Law isn't doing its job properly. If the state condones a serial killer because the people he's killing hasn't born yet, I have to stop him.
If I have learned that I have to defend those who cannot defend themselves by any means, I will do that if I think there are some defenseless people. Who is more defenseless than an unborn baby?
If I have learned that white people are more valuable than everyone else, I don't see killing a non-white person as a murder.
The same way, if I have learned that white people are more dangerous than everyone else, it's easier for me to believe it's a good thing to kill a white person.
If I have learned that violence and killing is an answer, I will try to solve problems through violence and killing people.
Most of the hate speech builds on the GOOD in human beings. Antisemites don't hate Jews because they want to be "bad", but because they see the Jewish people as a serious threat to things they value. Protecting and defending valuable things against any threat is a GOOD thing. People don't hate Jews because they are bad and hateful people, but because they believe the Jews are bad and hateful people. Also, we have learned that "antisemite" is a bad thing, so most antisemites today wouldn't recognize themselves as antisemites. After all, they believe that everything they have heard of Jews, which is what they use as the base to their belief of the Jewish Threat, is TRUE. They aren't PREJUDICED, but KNOWLEDGEABLE, INTELLIGENT AND MORALLY SOUND people. They seriously believe that any sane and ethical person would have the same opinion if they only knew what they know. If you don't agree with them, even after being informed, you are either stupid or evil. The idea that there might be something seriously wrong with the information doesn't even occur to them. Nevertheless, that is the problem.

I think there should be some limits in spreading lies, especially when the risk of the lies causing considerable damage is very high. I believe that the idea of any person being a threat to anything valuable only because of the group he/she belongs to, is an extremely dangerous lie, and I believe the society may go quite far to snip that sick flower already at the bud. It will not be a pretty flower and the fruit is horrifying. It would be as if a pomegranate tree had got some disease and in a branch all the flowers are twisted, wrinkled and abnormal, and if allowed to develop into fruits, the fruits will be hand grenades. Any sane farmer would cut off the branch to save the rest of the tree, and if that wasn't enough, he would cut down the whole tree to save the rest of his orchard.

The problem we have here is who decides what flowers are pretty and what kind of fruits are desirable. Some people think the flower is actually quite interesting and even beautiful, and protest the efforts to uniform the orchard; to limit the speech into politically correct. Some people think it is handy to have grenades grow in a tree. To these people the mere idea of cutting the branch even before the buds open is offensive, dangerous, threatening. They think you want to violate their freedom of expression.

So - does "freedom of speech" have limits? Is it even a freedom if it is limited?

Of course. We are not alone on this planet. My rights end where yours begin.
If a person is allowed to go wherever he wants, except entering someone else's property, he is free to roam the world. No-one questions his freedom to roam the world.
It is not ok for you to go to a supermarket or a restaurant, take food and eat. You have to buy it first. No-one sees that as a violation of your freedom to eat what ever you choose.
I may not go to your wardrobe and just take any clothes I like to wear, especially not without asking you first and without getting your permission to do so.
I may not give religious or sexual education to a minor without her parents consent. No-one sees that as a violation of my right to freely express myself.

Now, no-one stops me from having a blog where I talk about Paganism or where I educate anyone who enters of sex, STDs and preventive aids. So, why should I be stopped from telling people how to build bombs or that USonian Extreme Right-Wing Fundamentalist Evangelical Christian Apologetics (UERFECA) are Evil and that the world would be a better place without them - and that these two are part of the same site, where also exist maps, telephone numbers, adresses and scheduals of the worst of them...

Aah... ;-)

The National Security Legislation would stop me from publishing bomb making instructions, especially if I also indicate they are to be used against "American interests". :-> Now, there the Uerfeca understand fully why some people's freedom of expression SHOULD be limited.

It is against the right to privacy to publish people's telephone numbers, addresses and scheduals. People who wouldn't mind at all the publication of suspected or registered sex offenders' (even if the "registered sex offender" happens to be a 15 years old boy who had sex with his girlfriend) names, adresses and photos, would start screaming if it was THEIR information that was published.

The same way, if an Uerfeca would write a blog entry about how frightening it is when the Muslims protest in London after the bomb attack, or about "the black culture of violence, drugs and chauvinism" - which happens quite often, the other uerfecas would join her and comfort her, and get very upset, if anyone would point out the racism in the post, but when a non-uerfeca posts about the consequences of hate speech - without even pointing fingers at uerfecas - the uerfecas react by accusing her of "anti-white racism", Socialist tyranny and violation of "God-given freedoms".

Frankly - LOOK at the rise of Nazi Germany and what lead to the Holocaust. Ignore that they were Germans, Nazis, ignore the Hitler association, and look at the attitudes, words, instances, ideas - and you will see that WORDS lead to Holocaust. Normal, ordinary people, people like you and me, followed "mere words" and became monsters. REALIZE THAT WE ARE JUST AS HUMAN AS THEY WERE.
We could do just the same for the exact same reasons.


Remove the reasons, not the people! Kill the hate speech, not the people.

More reading of interest:

QandO says "Perhaps We Should Set Up Camps Or Something" - like Uerfecas did with USonians of Japanes decent during the WWII and with Muslims now? In what way is that different? Sure - people like YOU are not an "Enemy of the State". It's only those you don't like, huh?

Mike Vanderboegh writes "Of Civil Wars, Apaches and "Social Futurism" -- "Leave us the hell alone!" and points out the the Conservatives are the majority of USA, and they all have guns, they know how to use them and they are not afraid to use them either, so you better not try to tell them what to do, because they'll shoot first and discuss later.

Jon Monday doesn't understand that one doesn't need to be "a deeply disturbed sociopath with sick mind" to kill another person, in his "Doctor killed by rhetoric"
He gets interesting responses. "A Mother of Lots" doesn't know what "consistent" means. Saying: "all rights to everyone who is born, no rights to anyone who is not born" is quite consistent. It would be inconsistent, if you thought that thou shall not kill unborn babies, their mothers or USonians, but thou shall kill criminals, enemies and anyone threatening you in any way, for example trespassers.

The editor (Andrew Cline?) has no problems in bestowing collective responsibility of all Muslims for 9/11, but when "liberal commentators" accused the aggressive Pro-Life hate speech for the death of Dr. George Tiller, he has enormous problems. He says: "The truth is that the only people responsible for these shootings are the shooters. It's a sad commentary on our overheated political culture that this even needs to be pointed out." It would be nice if "conservative commentators" would remember that when discussing terrorism... :->
He also manages to sweepingly generalize when talking about Liberals while complaining about the selective sweeping generalization of "reactionaries on the left" in "Violent extremists: Spreading the blame around"

James Kirchick tries to say that there is no domestic terrorism in America in "The Religious Right Didn't Kill George Tiller" and that there is no Militant Christian Fundamentalist Extremism, and even if there was, it's not a bad thing, like every other Militant Fundamentalist Extremism is.

At least now I know that I don't hate Christians :-) I hate Christianists.
My Problem with Christianism by Andrew Sullivan

Jesse Jackson writes about "Guns and Hate" and leads me to discover what caused the whining about "Loony Lefties labeling conservatives right wing extremists".

Homeland Security published a report on the rise of the Right Wing Extremist Groups.

"Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups) and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."

To answer a question by rightwing? from wisconsin?, (in comments)

When people are talking about the "Right Wing Extremism", they are actually talking about the Right Wing Extremism, like Ku Klux Klan, Volksfront and other White Supremacist groups and Freemen and other militant Anti-government Right-Wing movements and such. They are not talking about Republicans, Conservatives, Right Wing Moderates or other non-Extreme Right wing people.

Also, they are not talking about the Left-Wing Extremism or Islamic Extremism or other "special interest orientations", because that is off topic in this specific instance. Whether you like to admit it or not, Right Wing Extremism exist, is just as bad as any extremism and it is on rise.

SlantRight is worried about getting labeled Right Wing Extremist. Don't worry.

When the Homeland Security issued a warning concerning returning American veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan as fodder for Right Wing Extremist groups, it wasn't done to label all the veterans who are pro-military and pro-America as a right wing extremists, but to say that when you fougth for your country and come back, tired, most probably suffering from PTSD, perhaps even permanently damaged, physically or mentally, by the experience, and what you come back to is bad economy and status of almost the same as Vietnam war veterans have... That might push any conservative pro-military patriot to join the actual supremacist radical extreme groups and at least TRY to do something to the situation.
Most Conservatives are already VERY suspicious about Obama Administration and everything Liberal, and accuse them of the state of the State, even though they haven't been in power enough to cause the situation... Every sensible person would understand that car industry and national economy doesn't crash in 5 months. It is much more educational to look at the EIGHT YEARS that lead to this situation - and for that we can only blame the darned Republicans.

Listen to a podcast "Is Right-Wing Extremism On The Rise"

*sigh* After reading all this and listening to that, I have to say that the Anarchy of Speech in USA have lead the USonians to loose the understanding of "on topic".
As you MAY say what ever you like, at any time, anywhere, for any reason, you DO say anything that pops into your head, whether it is on topic, appropriate, sensible, rational or considerate. "PC" has become a swearword in stead of being considerate!
One should remember what Laura Ingalls' mother wrote in her little autograph album

If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how and when and where.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Back to Eugenics and Richard Dawkins

Ok, so the Xians don't like Richard Dawkins. That's fine, I don't like him either. But if you wish to criticise his book "God Delusion", do so. There's plenty of things to criticise in the book :-D
Now, when you start spreading malicious gossip and lies about Richard Dawkins and smudge his reputation and persona to counter "God Delusion" then you have stepped over the line.

I read that Richard Dawkins promotes Eugenics. I wasn't surprised, considering that I think Richard Dawkins is very similar to Norman Finkelstein and David Irving. But I always double-check the information, and, sure, he didn't do any such thing.
Richard Dawkins is asking for A DEBATE on Eugenics. He thinks that we are not to define things as bad simply because someone we define as bad defines them as good. Hitler was also vegetarian, and that is not the least "bad". We should be able to justify our judgement.
One could for example discuss why it is ok for humans to breed animals but not humans, and what's the difference in trying to promote certain qualities before birth and after birth.
A blogger with a pseudonyme "Orac" continued by speculating whether the decision of not getting children if you have a defect gene or genetic disease, could be defined as Eugenics. In an earlier article he talks about other forms of Eugenics.

Neither of these men supports Eugenics, but part of the Christian internet community is being very goody-two-shoes while spreadig malicious lies about the men at the same time...

Philip Bell says: "it seems incongruous with his (R.Dawkins') recent support for eugenics, on the grounds that 60 years is enough time to reconsider some of Hitler’s ideas." which is a very devious and nasty way of twisting his words to mean something he didn't mean.
Richard Dawkins said: "I wonder whether, some 60 years after Hitler's death... ...we should stop being frightened even to put the question?" The question being the morality of designer babies and enhancing specific qualities in a child.

It's not as bad as Hilary White's version though. She says Richard Dawkins says "Nazi regime’s genocidal project “may not be bad”"!
"Eugenics May Not Be Bad" is the subject line Sunday Herald gave the snippet by Richard Dawkins, not what he said!

On the other hand, Hilary says "eugenics is the social philosophy that the human species or particular races ought to be improved by selective breeding or other forms of genetic manipulation" and someone says eugenics is "pseudo-science".
Neither is true, though. Eugenics is the study of, or belief in, the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits."
It is not "a social philosophy" nor "pseudo-science", just like breeding dogs, cats or cattle is not a philosophy or pseudo-science. Eugenics is simply breeding humans.

Eugenics has a bad name because some states, like Germany and United States, have used it to "improve the race". When you start the road to "intelligently designing" human beings, the people with "undesirable" qualities will be "unnecessary weight". It is acceptable to take care of this "unnecessary weight" as long as the society works well - economically, as well as in other areas. When the society starts working poorly, the "unnecessary weight" is the first to go. It can be seen in our modern "civilized" and "moral" society as well; people who are seen as "weak" for any reason, be it that they are old, sick or handicapped, people who live in slums and edges of the society, will be the first to be ignored. During depression, we see how poor children will get poor quality education, there is no freetime activity, health care is becoming the rich people's privilege, euthanasia is being discussed as a viable alternative, social security rules get tightened... It would be more honest to just shoot them all... and everyone knows who "them" are...

Daniel Macintyre says
"Eugenics is FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG, because it's coercive and it needs a "coordinator" to choose who lives and who dies."
There is nothing in Eugenics that says it MUST be coercive. WHO makes the decision of which genetic qualities are seen as desirable or undesirable is not defined. It can be the state, the church, the elders, the parents... It is also not defined what are the desirable qualities, why one is doing this and how is it to be done.
If you try to influence the genetic qualities of a child before it is born, you are engaging in eugenics.

For example:
A mother saying that her white son may not marry a black woman, because she is worried about her grandchildren - being born from mixed marriage would cause them problems in life.
Parents decide to abort a pregnancy because the child would be handicapped.
A woman chooses the father to her child by his looks, achievements, education and job, either from a sperm donor agency or as a live human being.
We don't call this eugenics, because it is not put in practice by state or another authority.

Now, how is it different in trying to influence the child's qualities after it is born? What gives a parent, a teacher, a coach the right to pick one or two and actively work to support this one on the cost of others? Why would it be morally acceptable to raise children to be athletes, musicians, scientists, what nots, but not breed them for that purpose? why is it morally justifyiable to give some children with certain characteristics, qualities, "talents" better education than to children who lack these? Most children are multitalented and would do quite well in any profession with proper training and possibilities.

Also, I suppose caring for animals' rights is something bad in the eyes of the Christians also... "Common to many utilitarians, Singer is also an ardent animal rights activist". Caring for the wellbeing of animals is not a bad thing, even though they say Hitler did that too. >:->
Peter Singer: “I think it's complete nonsense ... saying we're sacred and should not be changed…to say we've got a perfect genome and there's some sanctity? I'd like to know where that idea comes from because it's utter silliness”
So humans were created perfect but animals not? It's ok to clone sheep, breed dogs, cats and horses, it's ok to take bits and bobs from animals and use them to "improve" other animals, but human animals are "sacred", "perfect" and "untouchable"?
So, Hilary, you are saying that Louise "world's first test-tube baby", her sister Natalie (4th test-tube baby)) and their children, are abominations, because God clearly intended the sisters' mother not to have children? Don't you think God had a reason to block Lesley's fallopian tubes?
then I read “The Inherent Racism of Population Control” and got fuming mad... don't read it. It has absolutely nothing worth reading to say. I have to say something though:

1995 some world food organization says that the world food production has doubled in 40 years... during the same time the world population has MORE than doubled. 1955 the world population was about 2.5 billion, 1995 it was 6 billion. Every 4 seconds a person dies of hunger on this planet. 3 of 4 are children. Might be that this planet COULD produce enough food for the population, but what does it matter, when countries like United States stop producing food because they won't get paid for it, because 90% of world population cannot afford it!
"Grain production has slowed in the United States, but that is because stocks have grown so large that additional production could not be stored"
The "pro-lifers" would do better if they demanded that the state sends the surplus FOR FREE to those who NEED it, instead of complaining about people who educate people about birth controll and STDs.
I think it is morally indefencible to oppose "reproductive health services, contraceptive (birth control) services; emergency contraception; screening for breast, cervical and testicular cancers; pregnancy testing and pregnancy options counseling; testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases; comprehensive sexuality education, menopause treatments; vasectomies and tubal ligations, etc." 100 years ago "reproductive problems" were the biggest cause of deaths to women and children. It is still that in the "third world". "Planned Parenthood" has saved more lives than any prolifers ever.

Another question that arises is the philosophical "eugenics"... the "racism" of mind. Why do you think some philosophies are better than others and should be promoted in the society? Or the belief that some people are worse in God's eyes and deserving their "bad" position in life?

Then I read Vox Day's thoughts on the issue, because Orac was referring to it in his blog entry.

Yeah... I'm not surprised either. It really didn't take long for the Fundamentalist Christian Evangelical Apologetics to start spreading lies about people they don't like.

Now, this Vox asks a question: "on what basis does the atheist prosecute the individual who digs up a few kilos of rotting flesh in order to have sex with it?"
On what basis does a Christian prosecute that individual? The Bible says nothing about respecting cemetaries and graves or about necrophilia.
There are laws on grave peace. Society has made these laws based on consensus, not on what some God might think about the issue. Most people want their beloved ones to rest in peace and they want to be sure their graves won't be disturbed in the future.

I have a question to you, Vox. How does a dead person consent? By not resisting? I have more defined requirements for consent than you do. According to Christians it would have been quite acceptable, even desirable, if Michael Schiavo had had sex with his wife Terri while she was in coma, unconscious and in vegetative state. Would it? Or do you think there's something more in human beings that dictates what is right and wrong than "God says so"? God doesn't say "thou shall not have sex with your unconscious wife", or "thou shall not have sex with your wife while she is unable to refuse you", so what stops a Christian man from having sex with his severely disabled wife?

I know many thinking atheists who are not nihilists. It's not that they are not capable of reason or logical thinking, it's that values and ethics have nothing to do with God. I think some Christians' inability to see why Secular Humanism works says more about them than Secular Humanists... THEY (these Christians) would have sex with rotten corpses if they weren't afraid of Heavenly Punishment, because the only way they can differ "right" from "wrong" is "because God says so"... What makes this really interesting is that God doesn't says "no!" to necrophilia. Of course, if one has to "dig up a few kilos of rotting flesh in order to have sex with it", it might be "grave robbery", and then one isn't to do that because "thou shall not steal". But if you OWN the grave, if it's the body of your wife, then it should be quite ok by the Christian logic.

Also, the Christians don't even do what God says! Jesus, their God, said "Thou shalt not bear false witness"... Claiming that Atheists are Nihilists (or illogical idiots), necrophiles and support Eugenics is indeed bearing false witness of your neighbors. Richard Dawkins and "Orac" do NOT support Eugenics. Charles Darwin was NOT social darwinist, NOR Atheist.

"music lessons are provided with the consent of the parent of the individual, so it's ok" says Vox. "so if eugenics is practiced with the consent of the parents, it's ok too."

One shouldn't treat men and women like dogs because they have HUMAN-given rights. Living with other people require some sort of commonly agreed rules. Democracy was not invented by Christians nor because some God commanded it. Most civil rights are there not given by God but by atheists. "Liberty, brotherhood and equality" is a slogan invented by Atheists.

The Christian God commands his disciples to pay taxes without arquing, protesting and murmuring about it. Luke 20:25: "He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” In every dollar, dime and cent there's "United States of America" written. So why do so many American Christian complain about taxes? Every dollar they own belongs to the United States of America, according to Jesus.

Vox also writes a response to Orac

Well... actually, I don't think Orac was that far off. Sure, slightly exaggerating, but saying that an Atheist is either a Nihilist or a hypocritical, illogical idiot is much worse exaggeration. After all Vox says that an Atheist shouldn't see anything wrong in necrophilia, and the step from thinking necrophilia is ok to being necrophiliac isn't long. Of course, they are not the same, but, hey, if you can't understand how people who invented democracy and secular judicial system would be able to prosecute people violating secular laws, how would you see the difference in thinking something is ok and doing it?

Nevertheless, to answer your question, no. The example you give is not antisemitic... per se... Using the question "why it is acceptable for the Israelis to oppress Palestinians, but not for Europeans to oppress Jews" as an example of questions one might ask when discussing antisemitism is antisemitic though. The idea it conveys is that the Israelis are Jews and they do what they do because they are Jewish and as the representator of the Jewish people and it equates Holocaust with the current political situation in Israel and Palestine and the Palestinians with the European Jews. The question is also illogical by assuming that the state of Israel oppresses Palestinians and that it is acceptable. But, never mind. The statement in itself is not antisemitic, and Richard Dawkins original post is not pro-Eugenics.

I haven't read many of Dawkins' books, because I think they are badly written and illogical. Nevertheless, I don't think one has to be "overly suspicious of the man" to suspect that he would be delighted to head up a department of evolutionary eugenics at Oxford or anywhere else. I think one has to be prejudiced and seriously dislike the man to suspect that.

Then Vox claims that "Orac goes on to discuss a theoretical justification of voluntary eugenics" which Orac does not do. Orac doesn't even "skate lightly over the coercive element inherent in the term "breeding". He says loud and clear that Eugenics is nothing but breeding, how ever voluntary it seems to be. Really, I wonder what Vox is reading and reacting to, because it's not what Orac writes in his blog.

Now - why does Vox find it necessary (and probably humorous) to insult Shannon Doherty is beyond me. I don't know what Shannon has done to Vox to deserve public mocking due to something she cannot do anything about - her asymmetrical face - which, BTW, is something EVERY HUMAN BEING HAS. I suppose she "deserves" it for being so ugly she makes Vox puke. We really should lock all the ugly people in, so that they wouldn't offend sensitive men like Vox.

Really, might be that "not every inquiry by an influential public intellectual is an innocent one", but one should also remember that one is to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
Richard Dawkins most surely has ulterior motifs to bring up the question. He is poking the wasps' nest and the wasps react, always stronger than necessary, always with the "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude. Richard Dawkins doesn't like organized religion, especially Christianity, so he's a bad guy and everything he does must be bad. So if he asks why is it not ok to even discuss Eugenics, it MUST be because he is a Nazi and a proof of that he both digs up rotten corpses to have sex with AND burns Christian babies in his heating furnace as part of the Black Masses of his Satanic cult coven.

Anyway, Daniel Macintyre disagrees with me and thinks Vox is a genius and Orac is an idiot.

Orac already told everyone why Eugenics is wrong, Daniel. But let's see what Daniel says.

"Now, I have no problem with people trying to choose the best spouses possible for themselves"
"Each person tries to improve the species starting with his own offspring."
That's a form of eugenics, Daniel. There is nothing in the definition of eugenics that demands some central authority to force their decision on people. The definition of eugenics is breeding, choosing the parents to produce an offspring with desired qualities, be it intelligence, beauty, what ever.

"Eugenics = Socialism" Huh? What the heck does he think Socialism is?

Most people make wrong choices. Most people choose a person that in some way reminds them of their mother- or fatherfigure as their spouse. Some people choose no spouse at all, just make babies with the "best genetic material available" (genetics), some try to choose intellectually. Some people are so fucked up they never dare to seek a mate or will accept anything because they don't think they are worth anything better. Some are so afraid of loneliness they take anything. Humans are not animals. We have the whole darned psychological ballast.
The "success rate" to people "choosing the best for themselves" is like 50%, probably even worse, because people's happiness in their marriages and relationships isn't being measured. Interestingly enough in cultures where people do NOT choose for themselves, the happiness in marriage is higher than in cultures where people choose. It is a huge relief to be able to blame someone else for the mistakes...;-) Joke aside, I live in a Socialist country. Sure, it's "soft Socialism", but nevertheless, people in Sweden are happier than people in USA. So, according to Daniel, Eugenics is a good thing...

"the normal course of social evolution" is social darwinism, which doesn't work. If you leave the responsibility of the society to the "fittest", you end up with a dictatorship and - big scale eugenics. Just look at Germany in the 30's :->

We don't live in a jungle, Daniel, where we need to fight for our survival. We live in a society where everyone is taken care of and seen as a valuable part of the society, each one according their specific qualities and resources. The strong ones will protect the weak ones, who will cook tasty food, decorate the cave and in the evening tell interesting stories and thus highten the life standard. If the strong ones leave the weak ones to die, because they are weak, and that's the "natural selection" and "their natural rights", the art will vanish quicker than tigers.
Stephen Hawkins need constant care. He wouldn't live a day without someone choosing someone else's best over her own best. Thankfully someone does. Because of this person chooses someone else's best over her own, the society benefits too - you, me, everyone.

Now - nothing stops a "central authority" from choosing all kinds of qualities to be "desirable". Nothing says that a "central authority" must be limited in its choices, not consider all kinds of variations and possible situations where the designed person would find itself and consider possible genetic problems, so that is not an argument against eugenics. In fact, that would be an argument FOR eugenics - it is possible that a central authority would "rescue" genes that would be lost in the "natural selection". A shy person, a person bullied at school might not even dare to seek a partner. (For exampel both Tyra Banks and Claudia Schiffer were both considered ugly at school - how many pretty girls are hiding behind dirt and fat due to the bullying? How much intelligence is lost because it was inside an ugly girl? How many "good" genes were lost because they were hidden inside a "looser"?)
Frankly, Daniel, you are doing an excellent job in DEFENDING eugenics!

"The other issue of implementation is unintended consequences. Often, selecting for a desirable trait can lead to consequences that make the net gain less substantial or even possibly a loss."
As if that doesn't happen in "natural selection"? Have you seen some mutts?

I also disagree with you about our greatest strength :-) I would say some of our greatest strenghts are curiosity, creativity, the capasity to socialize and kindness... now, if I disagree with you, I'm sure a lot of other do too, and a lot of people disagree with me. It makes sense that we would all work for selecting the specific qualities we appreciate best. Then the social conscience kicks in... Of course I would try to make the best choice for the best of the society and humankind, which means that I would consider not only what is the greatest strenght but also what is NECESSARY, and also, what is DESIRABLE... beauty would be the first quality to disappear, because it's totally useless in a society with eugenics, besides the plastic surgery is very much developed now-a-days. We can MAKE the people pretty, what ever their genes would have caused they look...

Now, about the Azhkenazi Jews... are they an example of "natural selection" or "eugenics"?

What ever. Anyway, read the second and third part of the discussion. It's just as muddled as the first one, and equally entertaining.