“There are no facts, only interpretations.”
“Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is,
it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not.”
The Relative Truth
Billy bob Bramscher
Relatively speaking, of course, relativity is the absence of standards of absolute and universal application. Within its purest form, truth is relative whereas “Beauty lies [with]in the eyes of the beholder” (Plato) as well as “Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it” (Confucius).
Americans’ claim heritage for love of Democracy, Baseball, Hot Dogs and Apple Pie yet our culture has shifted from participation within our Republic to a nation coveting Pornography, Horror Flicks, Violence and egotistical Self-Obsessed Preservation; hell-bent on self and biosphere destruction – willing participants of self-absorbed Fear and Loathing?!?
STORYLINE: As I am composing and have soo recently researched the above Plato and Confucius quotes on the tele The Addams Families’ Morticia is speaking to Gomez (not in French) and quoted Confucius… Just say’N!!! (See IMDB The Adams Family Meets the Undercover Man (8 Jan. 1965) Season 1, Episode 16. “This ‘ghoul comedy’ is based on Charles Addams’ cartoons, which appeared in the New Yorker and featured such characters as Morticia, Gomez and Uncle Fester. The series lasted two seasons on ABC, a run that coincided (spookily?) with CBS’s ‘The Munsters[’].” ~TV Guide
What does it mean to be human? “How we see ourselves is the foundation for our values, our choices, our relationships with each other, and our relationship with the rest of nature. We are asking what it means to be human from a place of free-spirited inquiry, as well as from a place that recognizes the connections between how we view ourselves and widespread economic uncertainty, democratic paralysis, struggle for democracy, and environmental degradation.” ~Center For Humans & Nature
Author Joanna Bourke explores What It Means to Be Human: Historical Reflections from the 1800’s to the Present writing, “In complex and sometimes contradictory ways, the ideas, values, and practices used to justify the sovereignty of a particular understanding of ‘the human’ over the rest of sentient life are what create society and social life. Perhaps the very concept of ‘culture’ is an attempt to differentiate ourselves from our ‘creatureliness,’ our fleshly vulnerability.” ~The Atlantic
“The great German philosopher Immanuel Kant thought that human beings occupy a-special place in creation. Of course he was not alone in thinking this. It is an old idea: from ancient times, humans have considered themselves to be essentially different from all other creatures – and not just different but better. In fact, humans have traditionally thought themselves to be quite fabulous. Kant certainly did. [I]n his view, human beings have “an intrinsic worth, i.e., dignity,” which makes them valuable’ “above all price.” ~James Rachels, Kantian Theory: The Idea of Human Dignity
“Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now,
when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.”
“American’s are not unintelligent, but a fair proportion of them are dirt stupid” reported Politicususa in 2014 and The Telegraph adds, “When Newsweek set 1,000 Americans the challenge of completing their country’s citizenship test, 29 percent could not name the current vice president (Joe Biden), and almost three quarters could not correctly say why America fought the Cold War.” (See also Take the Quiz, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; PBS Quiz: Could YOU become a citizen?)
How Ignorant Are Americans? “Don’t get us wrong” petitions Newsweek, continuing, “civic ignorance is nothing new. For as long as they’ve existed, Americans have been misunderstanding checks and balances and misidentifying their senators. And they’ve been lamenting the philistinism of their peers ever since pollsters started publishing these dispirited surveys back in Harry Truman’s day. (He was a president, by the way).”
The New York Post reports in an article titled US adults are dumber than the average human, proclaiming “It’s long been known that American’s school kids haven’t measured well compared with international peers. Now, there’s a new twist: Adults don’t either” continuing, “In math, reading and problem-solving using technology – all skills considered critical for global competiveness and economic strength – American adults scored well below the international average on a global test…”
“Just because I publish pornography does not mean
that I am not concerned about the social ills like all of us are.”
“As far back as the Paleolithic era, humans have been drawing pictures of naked human bodies. As early as 7,000 years ago, humans made pornographic sculptures. In Classical Antiquity, the Greeks and Romans crafted innumerable erotic vases and sculptures depicting sex acts. The Japanese, Peruvians, Chinese, and numerous other cultures made erotic artwork, and the Indians produced a helpful sex guide called the kama sutra. Today, 12-13% of Americans view pornography regularly (70-80% are men). Despite its rich history and ubiquity, pornography is a charged social and political issue in the United States. ~Mind the Science Gap
“For the past three decades, the courts have been concerned almost exclusively with obscene visual, not graphic verbal descriptions of sexual activity, but such was not always the case. The early and celebrated legal battles of this country sometimes involved what are now recognized as great works of fiction that included sexual themes: books such as James Joyce’s Ulysses of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover…” ~UMKC School of Law
From Internet Safety 101, “Porn sites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined” and that “30% of the internet industry is porn.” “A Google Trends analysis indicates that searches for “Teen Porn” have more than tripled between 2005-2013. Total searches for teen-related porn reached an estimated 500,000 daily in March 2013 – one-third of total daily searches for pornographic web sites.”
“Alone. Yes, that’s the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue.
Murder doesn’t hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym.”
“People go to horror films because they want to be frightened or they wouldn’t do it twice” alleges livescience, continuting, “You choose your entertainment because you want it to affect you. That’s certainly true of people who go to entertainment products like horror films that have big effects. They want those effect’s.”
WebMD adds, “Scary movies are nothing new, but films like those in the Saw and Hostel series have offered something different: They focus less on the suspense of the chase and more on the [physical] suffering of the victim, leading some to dub them ‘torture porn[‘]. They feature levels of gore and violence once reserved for cult films. And despite the extreme gore, they’re attracting big crowds at your local megaplex — and may already be loaded into your teenager’s DVD player….No doubt, there’s something really powerful that brings people to watch these things, because it’s not logical,’ Joanne Cantor, PhD, director of the Center for Communication Research at University of Wisconsin, Madison, tells WebMD. ‘Most people like to experience pleasant emotions’.”
“Perhaps most fundamentally, horror films are popular because they speak to the basic human condition of existential fear, the knowledge that we are all doomed (albeit not as messily as Jason’s or Freddy’s victims). By sitting through a fictional depiction of that fact—even if the movie’s victims slough their mortal coil in a more sensational way than most of us, God willing, will—we face our greatest fear.” ~The Daily Beast
“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary;
the evil it does is permanent.”
“Many of us have become inured to the presence of violence. Its ubiquity in the news and, for some of us, in our own neighborhoods has numbed us to the shock of this largely preventable condition” pleads The Peace Alliance and the American Psychological Association reports, “the consequences of aggressive and violent behavior have brought human suffering, lost lives, and economic hardship to our society as well as an atmosphere of anxiety, fear, and mistrust.”
“While violence is not new to the human race, it is an increasing problem in modern society. With greater access to firearms and explosives, the scope and efficiency of violent behavior has had serious consequences. We need only look at the recent school shootings and the escalating rate of youth homicides among urban adolescents to appreciate the extent of this ominous trend. While the causes of youth violence are multifactorial and include such variables as poverty, family psychopathology, child abuse, exposure to domestic and community violence, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders, the research literature is quite compelling that children’s exposure to media violence plays an important role in the etiology of violent behavior. While it is difficult to determine which children who have experienced televised violence are at greatest risk, there appears to be a strong correlation between media violence and aggressive behavior within vulnerable ‘at risk’ segments of youth. ~American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
From the Center for Media Literacy, “When we consider media violence, we think first of television’s increasingly violent content. We fear that a populace incessantly bombarded with the images, sounds and emotions of shootings, bombings and rapes will become desensitized to such violent acts; or worse, learn to think of them as valid responses to life’s growing stresses. The evidence suggests these fears are valid.”
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
“I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race. I see no good in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam – good people, yes, but any religion based on a single, well, frenzied and virulent god, is not as useful to the human race as, say, Confucianism, which is not a religion but an ethical and educational system.” ~Gore Vidal
“There is a danger in monotheism, and it’s called idolatry. And we know the prophets or Israel were very, very concerned about idolatry, the worship of a human expression of the divine.” ~Karen Armstrong
“Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world, which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessities [cognitive dissonance]. But it cannot achieve its end. Its doctrines carry with them the stamp of the times in which they originated, the ignorant childhood days of the human race. Its consolations deserve no trust. Experience teaches us that the world is not a nursery. The ethical commands, to which religion seeks to lend its weight, require some other foundations instead, for human society cannot do without them, and it is dangerous to link up obedience to them with religious belief. If one attempts to assign to religion its place in man’s evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity.” ~Sigmund Freud
“In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.” ~Carl Sagan
A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. ~Albert Einstein
“Most Americans believe that the technological developments of the coming half-century will have a net positive impact on society. Some 59% are optimistic that coming technological and scientific changes will make life in the future better, while 30% think these changes will lead to a future in which people are worse off than they are today.” ~Pew Research
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to happen.”
Citing Idiocracy (2006) Officer Collins has been spearheading one of the US Army’s most secretive experiments to date: the Human Hibernation Project. If successful, the project would store its’ subjects indefinitely until they are needed most. Their first test subject[s] – Joe Bowers [Luke Wilson] [and Rita (Maya Rudolph)] – are forgotten awaking five centuries in the future only to discover a society so incredibly dumbed-down that Bowers is easily the most intelligent person alive.
Citing South Park (Season 13, Episode 6,15 Apr. 2009) Pinewood Derby, Randy and Stan accidentally reach warp speed when Randy illegally soups up Stan’s Pinewood Derby racer, which prompts a visit by an alien gangster McGee-zax and the space police trying to track him down. Space Cash beomes involved and because Earth’s leaders, reminicent of Goodfellas (1990) heist, unable to laylow and caught within a web of space-lies, results in Earth being barred forever from the rest of the Universe.
Carl Sagan advocated, “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”
Nelson Mandela taught, “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future” and Oscar Wilde laminates with, “The only difference between the saint and sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.“
“When you truly love yourself you are able to love our world…”
~Billy bob Bramscher
“I am the blue lightning which shatters locks and chains…”
What TIME is IT? Time to love and be loved; tune IN drop IN!!!
See also Fritänkaren – The Free Thinker (I)
See also Fritänkaren – The Free Thinker (II)
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge [cognitive dissonance], even to ourselves, that we have been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” ~Carl Sagan
“What then is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms – in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which ones has forgotten that is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.
We still do not know where the urge for truth comes from; for as yet we have heard only of the obligation imposed by society that it should exist: to be truthful means using the customary metaphors – in moral terms, the obligation to lie according to fixed convention, to lie herd-like in a style obligatory for all…” ~Friedrich Nietzche
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and – in spite of True Romance magazines – we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely – at least, not all the time – but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”
“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
“3, 9, 13, 22, 33, 42”