Rationalization

On January 5, 2011, in Life lessons for my Daughter, by Sean

Rationalizations are excuses for following a course that conflicts with values.

 

White & Black

On December 30, 2010, in Musings, by Sean

I have been thinking recently about the concept of right and wrong and it occurred to me that despite the debate about which behaviors or actions should fall in each category, all humans understand the concept.  It seems to me that when it comes to discussions on humanity few things are truly universal, or at least easily demonstrable as being so. The concept of right and wrong is one of them.

Every human who has ever lived has at one point or another felt wronged, as well as felt the guilt of having wronged another. On the flip side of the coin I would say that every person has at some point felt that they have  done something good. Now we definitely do not all agree on the criteria used to determine right and wrong but I think it safe to say that the concept exists for all people.  This leads me to ask why.  Why does morality exist? It doesn’t appear to manifest itself in any other species, why in humans?

Following closely on the heels of morality is justice. I would once again assert that all humanity understands the concept of justice, the atonement for wrong done, or retribution for a wrong suffered.  Where does the idea that there should be justice come from and why do we most often look outside ourselves for it to handed out.  It seems to me that intuitively humans understand that there is a higher standard to measure themselves against and that the measuring or judgment needs to be done by someone else. That ultimately it comes from somewhere else.

I think this is evidence of a higher power. Now I don’t wish to debate the nature of this power in this post merely to suggest that it is really beyond reasonable doubt that it exists. We are created with an instinctive grasp of the concepts of right and wrong and justice. All of our legal systems have at their heart principles that are presumed to have originated from outside of the race.  All morality ultimately stems from religion, which is really, when taken as a whole humanity’s attempt to relate to a power that they instinctively realize exists outside of themselves.

We understand the concept of justice because on some level we know that some day we will be judged. We understand the concept of right and wrong because it forms the basis for judgment.  The part of us which defines us as an individual, that which I would refer to as the soul longs to communicate with the higher power. Put simply “right” actions are those that bring us closer to the higher power and “wrong” actions are those that push us away. Justice can be seen as what is necessary to bring us back into proper relationship with the higher power when we have done something “wrong”.

It seems to me that this higher power wishes to have a relationship with us. Why else create us with an innate need for justice that causes us to look outside of ourselves, that causes us to interact with something/someone outside of our species?  In my opinion all of these things provide clear evidence of a higher power; what we do about that knowledge or what we are supposed to do is debatable but its veracity isn’t.

 

Sex

On November 28, 2010, in Life lessons for my Daughter, by Sean

Sex is a funny thing on the one hand everyone will try to convince you that its no big deal “…everyone is doing it” while on the other hand they will repeatedly urge to do it and make you feel like a freak if you are not. I can understand your being confused about the issue. Which is it, the most important thing since sliced bread or merely a casual interchange being two people.  Well honey I’m here to tell you it is massively important and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t buy into the lie of safe sex, there is no such thing! All sex opens doorways to your soul and what you allow to get inside you as a result can have devastating consequences that you didn’t anticipate.  When you have sex with someone you give them a little piece of yourself; the more you do it the more you give away and the deeper the connection goes. It is quite possible to be completely unaware of this happening and in fact that is usually the case. Most people’s consciences are so seared that they have lost the ability to percieve the damage that they are perpetrating upon themselves.

Ask yourself a question why is the idea of a 40 year old virgin such an absurdity in our society that a film based on that concept is a best selling comedy hit. In my mind someone who had abstained for that long should be commended for their principles and or at the very least it should be a non-issue. But the level of ridicule that is directed to the virgin in this show demonstrates that our society clearly has a misguided view towards sex.

The purpose of sex is to draw two people who are in a lifetime committed relationship closer together by providing a positive feedback loop. Sex at its best opens you to your partner and they to you which fosters relationship building and draws you closer together.  The fact that it feels incredible makes you want to do it more and the virtuous circle continues. In this atmosphere of love and trust all sorts of hurts and hang ups can be resolved as each partner feels safe to share their deepest feelings and the other full of grace and compassion provides them a safe environment in which to do so.  This is the ideal, the bullseye, sex functioning perfectly as intended; as I’m sure you can imagine this is not the reality for most people today. Multiple partners corrupts the purity of your union with your soulmate.

Each sexual relationship you have outside of marriage will leave behind a piece of baggage in your soul, some bigger than others.  Quite often the biggest hurts in a person’s life are the result of a sexual relationship or are expressed sexually. This reality taints sex in ways that are often quite subtle; because despite all of this sex still feels great and that great feeling is like novocaine at the dentist’s office, it makes you feel great while damage is being done; unfortunately, in this case its not for your benefit.

I could go on at length about the war for your soul that is being played out and how sex is one of the major weapons wielded by the enemy to take you out but I think the point has been made. Sex is important, who you choose to have it with will affect you for the rest of your life, so choose wisely. When I am walking you down the aisle someday I hope you are happy with your decisions and that the white of your dress will be a true representation of the purity of the bride.

 

So True

On November 15, 2010, in Musings, by Sean

People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them.

– Jean Monnet

 

Your Money

On December 1, 2009, in Life lessons for my Daughter, by Sean

I have been doing a lot of thinking about money and finances recently and one of the things which struck me is that we all start out life without debt.  Yet as adults most of us have significant amounts of it. This debt cripples us financially and makes a big difference in one’s quality of life.
One of the most important lessons of life is to live it without incurring debt. If  you can master this you will be ahead of 99% of people in the country. The only acceptable debt is debt that is tied to an investment of some sort, where the return on the investment will be greater than what you have to pay out to service the debt, ie. your house.
Speaking of your house when would you like to buy one? Lets say you are ready to buy one when you are 34, you may have met the man of your dreams and are ready to settle down and buy a house; where will your downpayment come from? Well if you start with a one time investment of $600 and save $50/month until you are 34 you will have over $30 000 in the bank.
Not too bad hey? A very good contribution to your new life together!

 

A Rose By Another Name

On October 14, 2009, in Musings, by Sean

I have a daughter whose grammar and spelling I am constantly correcting and it got me to thinking which of us is right. Her attitude is like, whatever dad and I think, that how you say something matters almost as much as what you actually said. I feel one of the great challenges currently afflicting our society is the decline in language and thereby our ability to communicate with any degree of sophistication.
The counter arguement is language has always been fluid and always will be; as such its state at any particular point in time is irrelevant. I feel appreciation of language is at an all time low and that it does matter. Words are at the core of how we communicate with each other; without them much of what constitutes our society would be impossible. By cheapening their value we lessen what we are able to achieve. When “how do you do sir?” becomes “wassup” it won’t be long before our skyscrapers become single story shacks.
Language matters not just because of some grand purpose for the good of society, it is relevant on a personal level as well. So much more than what one is consciously aware of is communicated by your choice of vocabulary. Words can imply status, level of education or intelligence. When someone perpetually drops the F bomb they are not just communicating that they are upset, other opinions are formed as well. “Excuse me sir could I trouble you for some change” is likely to get a different response than “hey man can I bum some change”
Don’t get me wrong I’m not advocating some sort of elitist society where we look down our noses at people we consider to be intellectual inferior. I’m just saying that amidst all the lol, bff, u r fun e that permeates so much of contemporary dialogue its important to keep a grasp on the underlining foundation. Its one thing to break the rules when you know what they are, its another altogether when you didn’t even know there were rules to begin with.

 

On March 5, 2008 greg despres was found guilty of, but not criminally responsible for the murder of Fred Fulton and Verna Decarie.

The elderly couple were found dead in their home, the result of multiple stab wounds and Fulton’s head was severed from his body. As far as I’m concerned this verdict is symptomatic of what is wrong with our society. How can someone be found guilty of murder and not be criminally responsible for it. Last time I checked murder was still a crime. It is completely ridiculous that we have allowed a system to develop that permits people to get away with murder when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have the one responsible.
We live in a society where people who don’t want to take responsibility for their actions and their lives are permitted to not do so and leave the rest of us holding the bag. The judge in this case said that “the sheer brutality of the murders causes me to question whether they could have been done by a person who appreciated the wrongfulness of his actions,” this was his reasoning for declaring despres not criminally responsible for the murders. My question is what does despres’ appreciation or lack thereof of the wrongfulness of his actions have to do with anything? His victims are certain aware of the wrongfulness of his actions as are their families. Society will be made aware, once again of the wrongfulness of his actions when he is inevitably released.
As a result of this sentence despres will be sent to a mental institution in a medium security penitentiary where his case will be reviewed every one to two years and he will be eligible for parole should he be deemed to have been rehabilitated. This is a complete travesty of justice. If we are going to send people like this to mental institutions once they have been rehabilitated they should be made to start serving their full sentence. I don’t care that he is supposedly crazy, mentally sick or possessed. These murders were not an accident. Its not like oops I slipped and now two people are dead. He had to have enough awareness of himself to bring the tools necessary to commit the crime and had to expend a lot of energy to get it done. Don’t tell me that he didn’t know what he was doing, that is complete rubbish!
One of the foundations of our legal system is that ignorance of the law is not a defence. I’m not sure why that doesn’t apply in cases such as this. Just because he may not have known what he was doing doesn’t mean that two people aren’t dead. If you do the crime you should be doing the time, end of story.

 
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