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Posted by on Dec 22, 2012 in Uncategorized | 13 comments

Why Skeptically Left?

I write for many reasons and in many different places, but my main goal for this particular blog is to critically examine far left ideology, postmodernism, and various beliefs that people often hold without question. As a mixed economy socialist and (usually) far left liberal, I want to expose my personal biases to scrutiny, and more generally, discuss why, as human beings, we hold the beliefs that we do. I don’t presume to know what’s right, and with persuasive arguments, you can and will change my mind.

Obviously, the topic du jure is feminism, since I see it as being in significant conflict with the scientific method, but in the future, I also plan to discuss sociology (yes, from a layman’s perspective), as well as various laws, how they came about, and what purpose they currently serve (if any). If you follow this blog, you can expect to dip your toes in philosophical waters quite often.

Although I’m a lifelong atheist, I attach no significance to the word other than that I don’t believe in any gods (and, moreover, I’m quite certain that no theist god exists). In many respects, I also consider myself agnostic and ignostic. I plan to discuss some atheist issues as well, but mostly in a philosophical sense, as I come from the viewpoint that religion cannot be eradicated, and the only thing we can do is neutralize the harm it perpetuates. I believe the root cause of that harm is human nature, not religion; and I’m optimistic that we can learn to treat each other better than we have in the past. In other words, I hope that there will be no religion bashing here, and that we will try to view all human beings as fallible, often misguided, yet valuable and important individuals. (Yes, even the ones we don’t like.)

Further, I do not believe any theistic religion is compatible with modern science, and I will be examining and explaining this claim as well. In other words, prepare yourselves for a “God of the Ever-Shrinking Gaps” post in the near future.

Finally, I also hope to discuss art that inspires me and gives me reason to live, and to interview people who do much the same.  And as I’ve said before, guest posts will always be welcome. Occasionally, I will stray off topic and hope that you will forgive.

That’s pretty much what you’re in for if you choose to follow this blog, and I hope you do. Welcome to my online home. Suggestions for future posts are welcome, and I will gladly address any questions either in the comments section or via the online contact form.

Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eldon.mcmath Eldon McMath

    Thank you. i look forward to reading each piece you write. I am a fellow atheist.

    • bluharmony

      You’re welcome. Thank you for visiting.

  • An Ardent Skeptic

    I will be interested in your far left views. I identify as a political independent. Although I am socially very liberal, I’m not sure political intervention always achieves the result we are aiming for. I suppose that’s why one of my favorite books is “Miss Manners Rescues Civilization”. I think people treating others with courtesy and consideration would do more to cure society’s ills than any legislation we can pass.

    • bluharmony

      This is probably a hopeless ideal, but I believe in basic necessities for all — food, housing, medicine, quality education, unions, childcare leave, paid retirement, etc. To pay for this would involve wage caps and higher taxes on the very rich, and perhaps slightly higher taxes for all. Within that model there would still be room for independent success, but perhaps less incentive to be cut-throat. And I’d like to see less power for corporations (such as those provided by Citizen United, for example). Societies that are closer to this model tend to be happier and more secure. And I think that true equality of opportunity is the first step to rights for the “underprivileged.” Which, let’s face it, mostly means those without money. I think such a system would also work toward preventing a lot of crime at its root cause. It should also do great things for women’s rights and women’s right to choose the sort of life they want to lead. Same goes for men, and everyone who finds themselves between that binary.

      Also, ideally, I’d like to see us supporting nations where life is hard, instead of fighting them. But that’s a different story. I’m not a foreign policy expert, all I can say is that our expansionist policies are harmful and wrong — perhaps more harmful than religion.

      • An Ardent Skeptic

        Making sure that all people have the opportunity to succeed is a wonderful goal. Unfortunately, the societies that try to provide all of these things through government handouts are going bankrupt, like Greece.

        The reality of basic human nature is that people do not appreciate what they feel they are entitled to, and when institutions are put in place that create a disconnect between those things that are provided and those doing the providing, people are less careful in ensuring that they use the resources that are being provided in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Those providing the services also feel no qualms about the prices they charge because of the disconnect between the person for whom the service is provided and the person paying for those services. It’s why costs soar for services provided by insurance companies and government entities.

        I also think that this disconnect makes it to easy to boost people’s egos about how much they care about their fellow human beings while not actually having to care about their fellow human beings. (I’m not talking about you, Bluharmony. I am talking about basic human nature generally.) As an example, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, people trying to evacuate were not allowed to cross a bridge to safety. Police were standing at the end of that bridge turning people back into harm’s way. The government was supposed to step in and help those people, so there was no reason to let them cross. It went badly because the government wasn’t at risk. The government is people. People who are more concerned about following rules and keeping their jobs than caring about the people whom their jobs are meant to provide for.

        Unions have become the same. I have a friend that has been a Teamster for 40 years. Despite the union dues he has paid all of these years, his union benefits have been decreasing through the years. When he goes to union meetings, he can’t get the leaders to account for what they have done with the union dues they collect. My friend is angry that he has lived very frugally through the years to provide for himself and his family, yet the dues which he has been forced to pay are being spent with no accountability.

        We need to create a society where people feel responsible to do what they can to help those in need. I think that means removing the middleman from those that have and those who do not rather than setting up institutions which take from those who have and give to those who do not while creating huge amounts of overhead to move that money around. We could provide for the needs of a lot more people if we weren’t paying such a huge price in funds management.

        • bluharmony

          I understand your points and believe they are good ones. In fact, when I first came to American (geez, in retrospect it seems I did a lot of philosophizing as a child) I though that capitalism worked because it meshed well with human nature. Now I see this as an example of the naturalistic fallacy. There’s no good reason for governments to go bankrupt (except for mismanagement). And there’s enough for everyone, and far more than enough for those who are willing to work a little bit harder. But the devil lies in the details, of course.

          • An Ardent Skeptic

            Your absolutely right that the devil is in the details. We’re born self-centered, (for good evolutionary reasons – self-centered meant survival), but, unfortunately, most of us don’t do a great job of overcoming that self-centeredness. None of societies ills will be cured until all of us learn that a whole lot less self-centeredness would make the world a better place for all of us.

          • bluharmony

            I agree, and that’s exactly what we need to make the world a better place. I see expansion and greater inclusiveness of groups as being progress in that regard. And, of course, lately we’ve seen plenty of online examples of exactly what *doesn’t work.*

  • Spence

    Hi Maria, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but have you got any idea of what Justin Griffith is talking about you on FtB? What he says does not sit well with my memory of events, but I didn’t follow this stuff too closely and didn’t want to get anything wrong. I certainly think your version of what happened deserves to be heard.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/rockbeyondbelief/2012/12/23/greg-laden-posts-a-home-address-and-employer-contacts-for-online-rival/

    • bluharmony

      I am literally in shock from that blog post. I tried to leave several comments, but I can’t post there, for whatever reason. This is what actually happened, as stated in my last comment:

      Here is a direct quote from Zvan’s post about my info posted on Greg’s Blog:

      “In the comments of that post, you can see that Greg questioned whether Maltseva was actually an attorney, since she was throwing words like “defamation, slander, libel” around with abandon in public. Commenter pelamun responded, saying that the Washington state bar had her listed. Either in that comment [ETA: pelamun notes in the comments here that it was not in that comment] or another comment very close by, either a link to Maltseva’s business showing the address or the address itself was included, further documenting that this was an attorney engaging in this behavior. I don’t remember the precise details, though I do remember that it happened.

      Greg removed the information when he became aware that this was Maltseva’s home address as well as her business address. To be honest, I don’t know when that was. It might even have been as late as April. Why? Because Maltseva didn’t mention that this was her home address.”

      The above is also a lie, as that was never my business and I did not want to disclose the address of my contract employer. The fact that no business was listed (as an attorney must do), made it obvious that it was indeed my home address that got disclosed on Laden’s blog.

      The Wikia page he referred to earlier had defamatory info about me, and I changed it to a vague, but positive bio, not including my real name. I most certainly did not doxx myself. Why are these people trying to destroy my life?

      I don’t see how I can avoid pursuing legal remedies at this point.

    • bluharmony

      I discussed the matter with Justin via Skype, and we got everything resolved. Thank you for the heads-up. Justin is a great guy and was very understanding.

      • Spence

        Yeah, Justin has generally been a voice of sanity in the “schism” and I’m sure if there were more people like you and him things would get smoothed out pretty quickly.
        But, not everyone is quite so neutral (and I’m as guilty as any in that respect…) and so it goes on. I must try and comment more on happier topics :-) I have a bad habit of just lurking when I agree with everything being said!!!

        • bluharmony

          Initially, I tried to “smooth things over” and instantly got accused of playing both sides. There’s no profit in resolution or compromise, I guess. Thanks to you (and a few others) the most recent issue was resolved quickly and easily, and I made a wonderful new friend in the process. But I must admit, when I first read that piece, I was shocked. And I don’t blame Justin. I blame the writer of a dishonest, convoluted, and bizarre blog post that attempts to somehow blame me for having my home address disclosed (along with a slew of other inappropriate actions that were taken against me at the time).