Your vision of the USA

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Your vision of the USA

Postby spongebob » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:54 am

I'd like to open a forum for different people to lay out their vision of what the USA should look like in terms of freedoms, religion, rights and so forth. Particularly interested in the hot button issues like abortion, marriage rights, sexual rights, reproductive rights, race, religious rights and maybe immigration or others that I haven't thought of. Things that are in the cross-hairs of conservative and progressive views. I'll post mine in the next post to get it started.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: Your vision of the USA

Postby spongebob » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:18 am

OK, my ideas for a more perfect USA would include some of the following:

1. More strict adherence to limiting religious laws and regulations in government. This doesn't mean limiting religious practices; it means limiting the involvement of government in establishing religious-based laws. I think all laws should be grounded in a secular, scientific, objective basis. So, something like laws limiting abortion would not be ruled out, but such laws would have to be based in reasoning or research that has no religious background. Laws limiting marriage to religious standards should be out of the question.

2. I would like to see the government get totally out of the business of educating children. This should be moved to the private sector completely and there's no better time than the present with the technology now available. I think more education should be done at home, with less in a group scenario, but not eliminated totally. I think the days of a giant brick building with hundreds of kids sitting inside for 6 or 7 hours a day should be all but gone. The government should continue to fund most of education for the near future and it should NOT favor religious over secular education, but fund either equally, at the parents choice. Ideally, maybe 100 years from now, there would be practically no government involvement in education whatsoever except for a minimal funding to maintain education for the very poor.

3. I would like to see the religious community acknowledge the legitimacy of the non-religious. This sounds nebulous, I know, but there is a point. The religious are always about spreading their "message" and growing their membership. They are also all about celebrating their culture as openly as possible. I'm actually OK with this but I'm not OK with their tendency to de-legitimize any celebrations of anti-religion and to demonize the non-religious. Christians want to display Christmas decorations of a religious nature on government property and Biblical passages and such as well, but they get extremely irate when an atheist group wants to display something similar. So I would like to see all of this just stop. There's ample private property on which religious messages or symbols can be displayed that there's no need to do so on publicly owned property. This would eliminate essentially all of the backlash displays that make them so mad. So, no more giant stone ten commandments at court houses.

4. I would like to see religious censorship of media products stop. The time for this has come. No religious movement or political movement should have the power to censor a TV show or magazine or game for religious reasons. This is just stupid and it makes conservatives out to be complete hypocrites because they are always complaining about "political correctness". Censorship is nothing if not PC. Most of this material still finds its audience even when banned by a network or bookstore. I'm fine with limiting times for shows so that children are not exposed to sexual or violent material but to outright ban a show or an episode should not be possible.

This is all I can think of right now. I'm interested in responses to this and other things that should change to make the USA a better place for everyone.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: Your vision of the USA

Postby Aaron » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:05 am

spongebob wrote:2. I would like to see the government get totally out of the business of educating children. This should be moved to the private sector completely and there's no better time than the present with the technology now available. I think more education should be done at home, with less in a group scenario, but not eliminated totally. I think the days of a giant brick building with hundreds of kids sitting inside for 6 or 7 hours a day should be all but gone. The government should continue to fund most of education for the near future and it should NOT favor religious over secular education, but fund either equally, at the parents choice. Ideally, maybe 100 years from now, there would be practically no government involvement in education whatsoever except for a minimal funding to maintain education for the very poor.

Wow, I couldn't disagree more about privatizing education (and just because I don't like privatization doesn't mean that I am a proponent of government sponsored education with an equal but opposite magnitude!). The past few years I have been developing a very poor view of corporations and the general spirit of the economy of western society (and again just because I am against something doesn't mean I am pro what is commonly held to be the opposite view!). Call me a conspiracist, and perhaps by measure of effect I could be, but we as citizens of this world have got ourselves into a terrible rut where we've become slaves to our own desires and we let them rule us and by practical extension that means we let those with the tremendous wealth and power to rule us. We are raised in western society to go to college, take on debt, then graduate find a job at a nice big company who doesn't in reality give two poops about you, but the HR department pulls the wool over our eyes for a while and we don't really get to see the cold heartless side of the machine until later. Then we are taught to buy a car, take on debt for that, and buy a house, take on debt for that, have a nice fancy wedding, take on debt for that, fill our houses with furniture, take on debt for that too!, oh and save for our retirement, the plans are always designed to keep you working and putting into it until you're almost dead and in the U.S. the hope of Social Security and Medicare is always dangling out there in the future keeping you holding on to your employment until you get that nice extra cushion so you'll feel more comfortable letting go, but by then in all likely hood you're well on your way to sickness and death. And what have you done with your life? You've made money for some big corporation, they're pulling in dollars hand over fist and you've barely scraped by, sure you've got all this nice shiny stuff from the big box stores you drive by every day and it's all kept you happy and distracted, but really you've just made a few people at the top very wealthy and I'm not even talking about the CEO's of the corporations, though they are surely part of the problem, but they're almost as dumb as we are, I'm talking about the few people in our debt based central bank backed fractional reserve lending financial system who really know what's going on and who take advantage of it.

And that sponge is the type of system you want to give even more influence over the shape and future of our society?! No!!! No, no, no, no. No! I don't understand it. We should be teaching people how to think for themselves, how to see this Central Banking era for the sinister modern day form slavery that it is. And this is a problem for every single country in the world, not just the U.S. I agree government isn't the answer, but privatization SURELY isn't the answer, you're giving the sheep over to the wolves.
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else" - C.S. Lewis
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Re: Your vision of the USA

Postby spongebob » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:41 pm

Aaron wrote:Wow, I couldn't disagree more about privatizing education (and just because I don't like privatization doesn't mean that I am a proponent of government sponsored education with an equal but opposite magnitude!). The past few years I have been developing a very poor view of corporations and the general spirit of the economy of western society (and again just because I am against something doesn't mean I am pro what is commonly held to be the opposite view!). Call me a conspiracist, and perhaps by measure of effect I could be, but we as citizens of this world have got ourselves into a terrible rut where we've become slaves to our own desires and we let them rule us and by practical extension that means we let those with the tremendous wealth and power to rule us. We are raised in western society to go to college, take on debt, then graduate find a job at a nice big company who doesn't in reality give two poops about you, but the HR department pulls the wool over our eyes for a while and we don't really get to see the cold heartless side of the machine until later. Then we are taught to buy a car, take on debt for that, and buy a house, take on debt for that, have a nice fancy wedding, take on debt for that, fill our houses with furniture, take on debt for that too!, oh and save for our retirement, the plans are always designed to keep you working and putting into it until you're almost dead and in the U.S. the hope of Social Security and Medicare is always dangling out there in the future keeping you holding on to your employment until you get that nice extra cushion so you'll feel more comfortable letting go, but by then in all likely hood you're well on your way to sickness and death. And what have you done with your life? You've made money for some big corporation, they're pulling in dollars hand over fist and you've barely scraped by, sure you've got all this nice shiny stuff from the big box stores you drive by every day and it's all kept you happy and distracted, but really you've just made a few people at the top very wealthy and I'm not even talking about the CEO's of the corporations, though they are surely part of the problem, but they're almost as dumb as we are, I'm talking about the few people in our debt based central bank backed fractional reserve lending financial system who really know what's going on and who take advantage of it.

And that sponge is the type of system you want to give even more influence over the shape and future of our society?! No!!! No, no, no, no. No! I don't understand it. We should be teaching people how to think for themselves, how to see this Central Banking era for the sinister modern day form slavery that it is. And this is a problem for every single country in the world, not just the U.S. I agree government isn't the answer, but privatization SURELY isn't the answer, you're giving the sheep over to the wolves.


I don't know; maybe you read more into my post than I intended. This seems a lot more like a reaction to our Western culture and lifestyle than our political system, which is what I was going for. I don't disagree that our culture has a lot of questionable goals and values and we might agree on what those are, but I also value freedom and that means having the freedom to make dumb choices. Not everyone falls prey to these pitfalls. It isn't a given that people must do these things; they have the opportunity to make their own choices. For instance, a college degree is objectively a benefit, but not necessarily a degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Alabama with a price tag of nearly $100,000.

Regarding our life goals, I'm not sure I follow your concern. I agree that big corporations are not designed to "care" about individuals, but no one says you have to work for one. Entrepreneurship is the other option, or government work. So, you either have the courage to go it alone or you take the more secure but limiting route of working for someone else. The only other option I know of is unemployment. What you call modern slavery, economists call the greatest state of human economic freedom the world has ever known in recorded history. :smt102

But let me focus on my comments about education for a moment. I don't view privatization of education as you seem to suggest, making big companies richer or more influential. In fact, with online technology, education is more democratic now than ever before. I feel quite confident that I could guide a reasonably intelligent child through a 12-grade education with nothing but Khan Academy, and that is totally free! And that's just one resource; there are literally hundreds to choose from now. Our local public library offers tons of online educational resources. So I'm not advocating that Amazon or Wal-mart buy out our local schools and run them; I'm advocating that literally thousands of individual entrepreneurs and educators leverage modern technology in new ways to create unique educational opportunities for everyone. If you want to talk about teaching children to think for themselves, why not put them in charge of their own education? Show them what's available and tell them that its their responsibility to do something good with it. I can tell you with confidence that every vacation we take as a family, I work in at least one historic or educational event, be it a visit to a museum or historical site or whatever. I use these as teaching moments and my daughters are never bored or disinterested no matter what the thing is I'm dragging them through; they love it. Try that in a classroom with a text book. It's a commonly known fact that bureaucracy is a stifling factor in our educational system. Why not release our children from that and allow them to flourish in a world of individual opportunities. Where is it written that one must take this particular class at this particular age with this particular text book in order to get a real education? I scoff at that.

Another common complaint from children is the enormous peer pressure involved in attending schools. Why not eliminate this source of stress and anxiety from their lives? We are still thinking like it's 1925 and books and chalkboards are our only educational resources.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: Your vision of the USA

Postby spongebob » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:23 pm

Aaron, I'm just thinking about this idea of mass mesmerization of culture that you brought up and I point to Christianity's role in it. Take Christmas for example. Celebrating Christmas in an open and materialistic way was once so frowned upon that in some cities it was literally outlawed. See here. Now it is an economic force that drives the profitability of virtually all retailers. Christians are fiercely devoted to the open celebration of Christmas and despite decades of groaning about materialism, they continue to demand ownership of this bloated holiday and insist that everyone join in. Rants about the "War on Christmas" are an annual thing on conservative news outlets. I actually heard a lady talking to a clerk in the grocery say "Trump says we should all be saying Merry Christmas" as she purchased a bag of holiday goodies. So I guess my point is, check out that mote in Jesus's eye.

By the way, what are you referring to here:

I'm talking about the few people in our debt based central bank backed fractional reserve lending financial system who really know what's going on and who take advantage of it.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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