Category Archives: Philosophy

A Statement of Beliefs

A Statement of Belief

This is not a statement of all of my beliefs. That would take forever. This is a statement of some of my beliefs pertaining to humanity.

I believe in equal opportunity for all human beings.

I believe in the dignity of the human spirit.

I believe in men, in women, in straights, in gays, in transgender people, in whites, in blacks, in all other races and gender identities, in children, in adults.

I believe humans ought to treat each other with dignity.

I believe in honesty.

I believe in intellectual pursuit.

I believe in pluralism.

I believe in free speech, and that our greatest censors are not the government, but each other.

I believe in separating ideologies from identities.

I believe in humanism.

I believe in the free pursuit of religious experience.

I believe all people have the capacity for both good and evil, and that they will behave accordingly from time to time in their lives.

I believe in courage.

I believe in strength.

I believe in science even as I believe in the redemptive healing power of myth.

I believe in choosing one’s myths wisely, and I believe in owning one’s myths openly, vocally, clearly.

I believe in respecting others.

I believe in self-respect.

I believe in balance.

I believe in emotions, but I do not believe in prioritizing their mercurial demands over the demands of reason.

I believe in honor, and that there is an element of self-sacrifice inherent to the term.

I believe in principle over wealth.

I believe in positive thinking, in optimism, in a can-do attitude.

I believe in forming alliances.

I believe in the judicious application of the words “yes” and “no”.

I believe all humans have the capacity to lead, and that leading sometimes involves standing alone.

I believe in forbearance.

I believe in the legal definition of innocent until proven guilty.

I believe in the fallibility of humans.

I believe in pursuing the ideal of being a gentle giant.

I believe there is a better way than this.

Christian Examines Faith Through Darth Vader, Foul Language

Do you like strange religious writing? The kind without cliches? That hits pressure points you didn’t know you had, sometimes popping joints back into alignment, other times throwing your back out? How about religious writing that’s NSFW, i.e., tosses around a few swear words for effect?

The Cynic Testifies is a blog of mine. It chronicles the thoughts and experiences of the last person I ever expected to become a Jesus Freak:

Me.

The_Cynic_Testifies

Continue reading Christian Examines Faith Through Darth Vader, Foul Language

A few reactions to my first cautious steps into a study and experience of Theosophy.

I went to a Theosophy class at Theosophy Hall in downtown Los Angeles last night with my most excellent roommate Pedro. I enjoyed the experience. I wasn’t sure what was going on during the presentation and ensuing discussion – were they seeking the truth? conveying the truth? – yet the experience was so intellectually stimulating that I left feeling quite aware of my surroundings.

One guy gave me some free printed matter, which I read today. I also did some background research on the oh-so-trustworthy Internet. (I trust you can hear the measured sarcasm on that last point.)

My impressions are not all roses, though.

Continue reading A few reactions to my first cautious steps into a study and experience of Theosophy.

Seven Principles and Seven Desires

Weeks ago I vowed to write a personal declaration of principles. I started writing them today. See below. While writing my principles I stumbled upon a list of desires too. The two are separate, and I’ll explain why in a minute.

Some of My Principles:
1. Faith.
2. A mission.
3. Hard work.
4. Persistence.
5. Breathing.
6. Giving.
7. Smiling.

Some of My Desires:
1. Embrace.
2. Money.
3. Food, clothing, shelter.
4. Happiness (not to be confused with smiling.)
5. World peace.
6. Self-improvement.
7. Release.

Principles are those things I have control over. Desires are those things I have no control over that my gods may bestow upon me if they feel like it.

You might wonder why “self-improvement” goes not in the Principles but in the Desires list. Isn’t self-improvement a choice? No, it’s not. Look around you. Do you see all the people talking about self-improvement? Do you see them getting any better? No. Self-improvement is a gift bestowed on you by your gods, if they feel like it, and if you pursue your principles.

This is a working document.

Norse Rede of Honor

1. In all that you do, consider its benefit or harm upon yourself, your children and your people.

2. All that which you do will return to you, sooner or later, for good or for ill. Thus strive always to do good to others, or at least strive always to be just.

3. Be honest with yourself, and with others. “This above all; to thine own self be true.”

4. Humankind, and especially your own family and folk, has the spark of divinity within it. Protect and nurture that spark.

5. Give your word sparingly, and adhere to it like iron.

6. In the world, your first trust and responsibility should be to your own people. Yet, be kind and proper to others whenever possible.

7. What you have, HOLD!

8. Pass on to others only those words which you have personally verified.

9. Be honest with others, and let them know that you expect honesty in return, always.

10. The fury of the moment plays folly with the truth; to keep one’s head is a virtue.

11. Know which battles should be fought, and which battles should be avoided. Also, know when to break off a conflict. There are times when the minions of chaos are simply too strong or when fate is absolutely unavoidable.

12. When you gain power, use it carefully and use it well.

13. Courage and honor endure forever. Their echoes remain when the mountains have crumbled to dust.

14. Pledge friendship and your services to those who are worthy. Strengthen others of your people and they will strengthen you.

15. Love and care for your family always, and have the fierceness of a wolf in their protection.

16. Honor yourself, have pride in yourself, do your best and forgive yourself when you must.

17. Try always to be above reproach in the eyes of the world.

18. Those of our people should always endure to settle any differences among themselves quietly and peaceably.

19. The laws of the land should be obeyed whenever possible and reason, for in the main they have been chosen with wisdom.

20. Have pride in yourself, your family and your folk. They are your promise for the future.

21. Do not neglect your mate and children.

22. Every one of our people should work according to the best that s/he can do, no matter how small or how great. We are all in this world together, thus we must always help each other along.

23. One advances individually and collectively only by living in harmony with the natural order of the world.

24. The seeking of wisdom is a high virtue. Love of truth, honor, courage and loyalty are the hallmarks of the noble soul.

25. Be prepared for whatever the future brings.

26. Life with all its joys, struggles and ambiguities is to be embraced and lived to the fullest!