Assortments of Thought

Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

The end of the world was upon us, or so the notion went. Most of us knew it wouldn’t be so, but the ideas were certainly out there, and talked about, with a strange appeal born both of the stories, but also of our desires, perhaps, for a release from it all. But December 21st, 2012 came and went, and the world didn’t end; no cataclysms devastated it, or us; and in the end, the end of the Mayan calendar was just that, the ending of a calendar. Instead, we have since found ourselves in the same positions that we’ve always been in, journeying into an increasingly uncertain tomorrow, with the same old situations continuing to play out. And, while the world may never end as it was famously said it would on December 21st, 2012, we nonetheless face many problems that remain threatening to a brighter future. Perhaps the core issue is that we just don’t care sometimes, about our fellow human beings, about animals and other life, and about our future, the future of our world. Between different groups of people, we maintain divisions that aren’t truly there, and we sometimes even look down upon or turn away from others for no good reason, to all our detriments. And, perhaps we seek everything from others all too often, yet not so often give of ourselves in the many ways we can, a pattern currently playing out in and dominating political thought even. Yet in spite of all these things, there exists a way out, and an awesomely simple one at that. For if we can only learn to care more about the world than the world ever cared about us, acting under the auspices of our religious beliefs and psychologies alike, then, we will do what only living, conscious beings such as us can do in this universe: make it a better place in which to live. And it is accomplishing this aim, one step at a time, that we each ought to be focusing on, for there’s still time to make things right, even as greater challenges yet loom ahead.

Continue reading “Continuations and Journeys” …

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Discussions involving bodily functions and, to a lesser extent, personal hygiene are often uncomfortable, as are discussions that relate to sexuality. It’s not surprising then than menstruation is a difficult topic, both historically in many cultures and in contemporary times. Indeed, there are many men in particular who would rather avoid menstruation to the greatest extent possible, who don’t like talking about it and who may even want their girlfriends and wives to more or less hide it. Likewise, there are many women who are hesitant about discussing menstruation with men–and in some cases even with other women–while cultural attitudes dictate that menstruation isn’t to be talked about in mixed company either, that it’s something to be avoided or joked about. These attitudes by all sides are, however, flawed at best, and hurtful at worst. Not only is menstruation simply a natural function–nothing to get uptight about–it also isn’t right that women should ever have to feel embarrassed or ashamed about it, or feel that they must unduly conceal it. Further, whenever a woman might feel like talking about it, whether with boyfriends or husbands, family or friends, she shouldn’t have to anticipate a negative reaction either. In short, men and women alike should lighten up about menstruation; acknowledge it as being the significant and natural feature of women’s lives that it is; and become more open to discussing and accepting it, without fear of so doing. Perhaps then women and men would feel just a closer to one another and accepted as a result.

Continue reading “Menstruation” …

As Mexican and other Hispanic people continue to enter the country illegally, a solution to illegal immigration is becoming more important than ever. The border states in particular are becoming increasingly agitated, which is to say, the people who live near the border are becoming increasingly agitated, and often for legitimate reasons. Let there be no confusion about it: illegal immigrants are coming here illegally, and in doing so, they’re disrespecting our sovereignty. More pragmatically, they’re obtaining our benefits illegally, and some are even bringing drug activity with them, or else stealing people’s identities. This state of affairs should not be allowed to continue. However, despite calls for mass deportation, deporting every illegal immigrant is not the answer, and nor is taking any measure meant to force them out voluntarily. The fact is, illegal immigrants wouldn’t be here had we been regulating our border properly for the past several decades, and further, many are just trying to better themselves, and are contributing to our economy in the process. Thus the solution is not to deport, but rather to secure the border once and for all; deport just the criminals; and provide everyone else with permanent resident status, subject only to the usual conditions that such status brings.

Continue reading “Solving Illegal Immigration” …

As an issue involving the earliest of human life and death and the choices people make with regards to it, abortion is and will likely remain highly and passionately controversial for some time. And while many people on both sides will grant exceptions for special cases, they otherwise remain clear and firm in their beliefs. Those who believe pro-choice feel that women have the right to control their reproduction, while those who believe pro-life feel that women are duty-bound to protect their unborn children from harm. Hence the crux of the debate is whether embryos and fetuses have a right to life or not. By my own analysis then, the pro-choice position is the stronger of the two on the condition that abortion is never used on fetuses that have attained awareness of themselves and their environments, because never having awareness, there can’t be any harm. Yet even then, a little doubt is cast by the reasonable possibility that embryos and fetuses have souls, a possibility that can’t as yet be proven either way, so it’s impossible to fully confirm the pro-choice position even with all its strengths. Abortion must therefore remain legally and readily available to all, with neither pressure nor intimidation, so that individual women can reach their own decisions on this difficult and uncertain issue.

Continue reading “Abortion” …

The inclusion of God by government and other public institutions has continued to stir controversy. For instance, public schools have even faced lawsuits over using the line “One nation, under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, and some activists continue to cross out “In God We Trust” on all paper money that comes their way. That anyone takes issue with these things, however, may seem surprising. If separation of church and state as mandated by the Constitution is maintained with the exception of such minor things, indeed we are all fortunate. Even so, that anyone in turn takes issue with removing God from public institutions is perhaps less surprising but far more concerning. For it isn’t just separation of church and state that’s involved, though that’s certainly very, very important. Even further, it’s discrimination on the basis of religion. After all, government and public institutions serve the nation, and in a nation with citizens of virtually every major world religion and more, just one or a few religions shouldn’t be endorsed over all the others. And it’s important that everyone realizes this, even if it’s not a particularly big deal as it stands, to ensure that it doesn’t become anything bigger in the future.

Continue reading “Religious Diversity and God” …


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