Date: November 14, 2014
Since I didn’t really have the time when I was posting these, I wanted to add a few personal comments about the contents of two earlier posts…
I’ve been reluctant to say much about the net neutrality issue, largely because of the conflicting messages which have been flying around out there.
I’ve seen sources claiming that net neutrality was an attempt of government, at seizing control over the internet…and that this would result in the government having power to dictate accessibility [ie: the speed of access] to any website.
…I’ve also seen it claimed, that net neutrality supposedly was an underhanded stunt by the corporations…to get the government to allow them to do as they pleased, and treat their customers in highly discriminatory ways [ie: uneven speed of access].
…Then there is what Cenk Uygur is saying…that net neutrality is an attempt to stop internet service providers from being able to diminish [or enhance] the service to individual customers, based on subjective decisions or failure to pay additional tolls.
To me, it has been confusing as to just what the context is of this neutrality, and who it is being directed towards…the common internet users, or the telephone companies and ISPs?
Of course…it has dawned on me, that there is likely a lot of disinformation floating around out there…and that it is meant to confuse people…And given the stakes of this issue…I find that to be an outrage.
Of course, there has never been any question about this…No telephone company or ISP should ever be allowed to mess with your internet speed, in any way that treats you unequal to other customers…This is a “no brainer”…Allowing preferential treatment, is a recipe for internet disaster…probably for the majority of it’s users. It will likely run a lot of people and services out of business…effectively evicting them from the internet.
It is just wrong to allow that to happen.
Note: This is a continuation of the Sam Harris, Bill Maher and Ben Affleck incident, from a few months back. Cenk, who has been adding to this discussion in ways that enhance the discussion, pledged to try and get involved people on for an interview…This is one such interview.
I am very glad to see Cenk carrying this discussion forward…I’ve been looking forward to this, for a while.
Cenk also had Sam Harris on, in a three hour interview I believe…but I’ve not watched that one yet…I’ll post it here soon, I’m sure.
I found this interview with Reza Aslan to be positive and refreshing…because what gets expressed here, is sensible and down to earth…Plus, I love the respectful atmosphere and exchanges…This is the kind of thing, which all conflict needs. These two weren’t fighting over anything…They were trying to mutually understand…They were really listening to each other, and responding in a constructive way. This is communication at it’s best.
It is an excellent interview…And I appreciated receiving the insight of these two.
Personally…I’ve been a self aware atheist, for a rather large span of my life…And I’ve been on both sides of the fence, with a handful of transitional years as buffer…
…I’ve read Sam Harris…I’ve read Richard Dawkins…I’ve greatly appreciated Bill Maher…
…But I’ve never personally bought into the so called “new atheist” thing.
Richard Dawkins in particular…his book “The God Delusion”, was a pure joy to read…because he is such a gifted communicator…And if you can get past the title…I highly recommend the book…
…But this has never meant, that I consider Richard to be a spokesperson for me, nor to be my leader…And as the years have passed, I’ve found myself at times disappointed…to see even Richard sink into hyperbole.
…I am afraid, Sam may have fallen off the edge, too…Maybe in a worse way, I don’t know.
Bill…I think some things he has said, have been taken out of context…or worded badly, and misunderstood…interpreted in a way, Bill was not [to my mind] meaning…I mean, Bill has religious theists on his show all the time…He has always come off as quite fair and tolerant, on the average…Maybe he does not have the most solidly rounded viewpoint all the time…but he does have some damn solid points, and is speaking about issues which are on people’s minds. It is not wrong, to air these things in a public forum.
Atheism, or theism…we all arrive at these states of mind, based on complicated social and personal factors…And whatever you adhere to…it is a deeply personal issue, based on your own circumstances…and your own needs in that period of time.
I am not going to suggest that between atheism and theism, anything is entirely correct…or anything is entirely wrong [with the exception of violence, and extremist intolerant behavior]…But we do draw upon what we need, in order to survive…And I think that is the fundamental crux, of why theism is so strongly embraced.
For some of us…theism does not work, in filling our needs…for giving us what we need, to keep moving forward in life.
I agree that people need hope, joy and positivity in their lives, to keep them well balanced…I just don’t agree, that it has to come from theism.
One thing I will never do…is mock or belittle people for being theists…
…I might explain in detail, why I am not a theist…but I wont seek out others, in order to enflame them…It is not my place, to tell you that you cannot be a theist.
At times…the busybody nature of “the new theists”, has bothered me…Because I see some of them, as causing unnecessary problems.
…Just because we don’t like everything about religion, doesn’t mean that the world is going to be so much better, in it’s total absence. There are pros and cons to having religion…just as there would be pros and cons to not having it.
We cannot look upon the eradication of religion, as being viable.
…It is not…People will always need something.
Instead…we should be working to help theists identify the sociopaths and the deranged, who are usurping roles of leadership within their organizations…so as to help theists cleans their ranks, and heal their social integrity.
So long as you afford me [and my kind] the same respect…I have not the first problem, with whatever you are convicted to believe about “the meaning of life”.
Theists and atheists can coexist wonderfully…For most of us as individuals…we are not the elements of problem.
…It’s those who commit extreme and hostile actions, who are the problem.
I am not a “new atheist”…I am a practical atheist…
…And I like it, whenever other practical atheists show themselves.