Archive for the ‘Logic’ Category

Yesterday I was told to move out immediately, and to go live at who was ever house I have been going to at night. I explained again as I have in the past that where I goes work. I sit in my office that is what I do. So I say no I’m not going to move out because I have no place to go. Things are said as they always are feelings are felt, and then a new day begins. When I get to work this morning I received an e-mail saying I need to move out now. My response was okay. She knows I don’t have a place to go, thus technically making me homeless. Now let me add that she expects me to pay half of the bills for June, July, and, August. Finally let me also add that she wants me to set up a visitation schedule. Visitation where there is no home. Stay with me here for a minute, because if what I am about to say makes perfect sense, then perhaps I am truly that mentally ill.

She wants me to immediately move out, with nowhere to go, because the wake of the destruction I am leaving behind by the thing said to her and the kids are irreversible. I know and admit I have not had nice things to say to her. This is not a byproduct of mental illness; this is a byproduct of her cheating on me. I know and admit that I used poor judgment in something I have said to my daughter. I have heard her use poor choices and say things that should not have been said to our kids. I am sure many parents out there have said something to their child that they regretted saying. But for me this is a byproduct of my mental illness and I am causing irreversible damage, and therefore need to leave immediately, thus becoming homeless. Does this make sense? Am I crazy because I do not see the logic or reasoning behind this?

She talks about making poor decisions and actions that are causing irreversible damage. Was her decision to be unfaithful a good decision, and didn’t cause irreversible damage to me and our children? Was her decision to throw all my clothes in the basement where our children could clearly see a good decision that isn’t going to cause irreversible damage? During this whole process can she truly say that she has not said or done things that haven’t caused irreversible damage? Because of this I need to leave immediately, and be homeless. Will her decision to throw me out of the house with nowhere to go, not cause me or our children irreversible damage? Does this make sense? Am I crazy because I do not see the logic or reasoning behind this?

I am going to move out immediately. I would rather be homeless, then beg to continue living there after everything that has happened.

My intended focus this week was to break down, analyze, and apply my methodology to three single events with the intended outcome of making the correct choice. Do I stay or do I go? I have repeatedly replayed the same haunting moment of seeing my son still and quiet on his bike as he watched me get in the car to go to work. In that moment I could see in his eyes the internal conflict between acceptance and denial that his dad is slipping away. I could see and understand all too well the sadness he was trying so bravely to hide.

It is difficult for me to release my sadness and sorrow through the shedding of tears. The only time the outside world can see what I try so hard to hide, is when I cannot hold back my tears. At that moment, just as in this moment writing about it I cannot stop the tears. Many people say that crying is supposed to be this wonderful release of pent up emotions. It’s not like that for me. Tears feel like razor blades running down my face, slicing through self-denial and exposing my weakness and vulnerability. Regardless of how many times I have been told I am selfish and only think of myself, at the end of the day my meaning in life, and my purpose is to not break his heart. I am well aware I will never win the father of the year award. To be honest with you I don’t even know if I’m a good father. Despite what I am told I know I have always tried to be the best dad I could be.

After the series of events that took place yesterday, or would it be considered today? I haven’t slept for days so time holds no logical meaning. After said events the only answer to my opening question; is to go. There are only so many pieces someone can be broken into before they are unable to be put back together. I now need to come to terms with the sobering reality that I will become in my own eyes everything I ever swore I wouldn’t. I will become my fathers son. I am desperately seeking, yet fear I will be unable to live with the guilt, or forgive myself.

Children are not stone, nor are they steel. They are dirt and clay, molded by the hands of experience. There is no way to reconcile the loss of my son’s happiness and hope due to the harsh reality of my life, which I have viciously infected upon my family. Despite my frequent mental transformations I made the decision to get married and have children; in that single moment I destroyed their lives. I suppose I was caught up in the perceived human need for significance, by my own sense of insecurity. Here is where I cannot deny my selfishness. Broken dolls are meant to walk alone.

In moments like this I want to hide within the minds of Soren Kierkegaard and Albert Camus covering myself in the blanket of Absurdism. Believing all struggles for life is for nothing. There is only birth and death, and everything in between is our feeble attempt to find meaning and purpose. This concept is wonderful, but in the back of my mind I’m burdened with this question. What if birth and death were only two points, that they were inconsequential compared to what happens between them?

I am currently burdened with this increasingly ticking clock looming over my head. I hear it every second of every day; sometimes it’s as soft as a pin drop, other times it’s so deafening it impedes on my ability to function. Loud or soft there is no escape it’s always there tick, tock, tick, tock. This metaphorical clock terrorizing my mind is the count down leading to the single most important decision I have had to make thus far in my life. Do I stay or do I go?

Regardless of how hard I try not to have this internal battle; I would question my humanity if I didn’t. I have spent 15 years of my life with this person, and raised three children with her. I would delusional to think, after 15 years there would be only happy times; that our relationship would be void of heartaches. I figure the best way to analyze this problem is through a Utilitarian view point. Which decisions creates the most happiness while simultaneously creating the least amount of sorrow. I have quickly learned that making a decision as a utilitarian when there are so many people involved is damn near impossible. What I have been doing is treating each situation as a single event. I observe how I feel inside; I try to imagine how those involved feel inside. I then proceed to estimate how many times such an event has happened in the past, and then apply the probability of this event happening in the future. This is the method I have been using to try and silence the ticking clock by making my final decision. Will this methodology sentence me to a life filled with tormenting regret, or will it be the key to unlock these shackles of hopelessness I have been chained to most of my life.

This week I plan on taking some of these single events; breaking them down as I have described above with the hope of discovering the answer to my question. Do I stay or do I go?

I cannot recall a single state in our union, which is not deep in debt. Because of this debt, states are forced to cut vital funding such as education, social services, law enforcement, nursing homes, and many other crucial state and federal programs.  As a country, we are so deep in debt to China, if they demanded to collect what is owed to them; the value of the dollar would crash, resulting in serious issues for America. I can think of two ways to catch up on this debt, while at the same time putting money back into vital funding throughout the government, such as the examples I just gave, as well as rebuilding our infrastructure. If we are able to fund these extra programs we would create millions upon millions of jobs, and cut taxes resulting in stimulating the economy. My solution, to this problem is the legalization of drugs, and opening state run casinos. The positive ripple affect these changes would have on our society would be far reaching.

I did a “My Solution” post last year, about how to fix our prison system. One of my suggestions was the legalization of drugs. The amount of money we spend a year on federal prisoners is over 60 billion dollars. In our federal prison system 53% are convicted on drug charges. Imagine if we were able to cut 53% of the prisoners in federal custody. This would save us 31.8 billion dollars a year. These numbers do not include the individuals incarcerated in state prisons, and the dollar amounts to house them. Many of these “criminals” are incarcerated for marijuana. One example, of a sentencing guideline involving pot, is no less than ten years in prison, and no longer than life, if you were caught with 1,000 marijuana plants. Nothing less than ten years for growing dope?! 

These dollar amounts are shocking, but what they do not show, is the unavoidable revolving doors, of our prison system. There is a high amount of repeat offenders, which come in and out of our prison systems. I am sure there are many theoretical reasons for this, but one such reason, is that felons have a hard time living on the outside, because their options for going straight, are limited due to the felonies they have on their records. They discover the harsh reality that if they want to make a living, their only option inevitably leads them back to a life of crime.

Another advantage, of legalizing drugs, is the systematic elimination of gangs, cartels, and organized crime. I am not saying we would completely stamp out these organizations, but if you take the drugs away, then just like that you have crippled their organizations. The legalization of narcotics would create jobs and bring much needed revenue to our government. The illegal drug trade in America is a trillion dollar a year business. Imagine being able to eliminate a trillion dollars a year of our debt; without raising taxes. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with using drugs, as long as you are a productive member of society. Who am I, or anyone else for that matter, to judge this person?

Some may say, if we were to legalize drugs, then addiction would skyrocket. I disagree with this. It is not as if it is hard to score drugs in our society. The concept of the war on drugs is suspect and laughable. In 1973 Nixon created the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA,) and ever since our government has been fighting a war they will never win. If drugs were legalized, we could eliminate this repressive agency saving us around 30 billion dollars a year. This dollar amount is just the money saved from the elimination of the DEA, this does not include the money spent by local police, FBI, ATF, and CIA to aide in fighting this war. With more and more prisons becoming privatized by corporations the chance that drugs will ever be legalized is slim to none. There is just simply too much money involved in incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders.  

The person, who becomes addicted in an illegal system, is the same person who would be addicted if drugs were legalized. It all comes down to honest and realistic prevention education. If kids are told the real truth about marijuana, then they are more apt to believe what they are taught about other drugs such as meth. Kids are told all these horrible things about pot, and when they finally try it, and see they were lied to, they think they were lied to about other drugs. I hope in my lifetime, at least the legalization of marijuana will become a reality. If you were to compare the downfalls of drinking, to the downfall of smoking pot, you would see they don’t even compare. I have yet to hear about someone smoking themselves to death.

Another way to increase state revenues would be the legalization of casinos, and sports gambling. In the state of Minnesota, we have a few Native American run casinos, and these casinos, rake in an enormous amount of money a day, and an even more shocking amount of money a year. Mystic Lake Casino, for example does not open its books to the public, but it is estimated they pull in around a billion dollars a year in profits. There have been talks in the past, of opening up a state run casino, but once that reservation money lined the pockets of our officials, the idea was quickly scraped. Opening a casino, would create more jobs, assisting in stimulating our economy, and could be used to fund state run programs. There is already legalized gambling on the reservations, and I feel it is time we start cashing in and benefiting. I also mentioned sports betting. Organized crime and offshore online betting websites bring in billions upon billions of dollars a year. People are going to gamble, whether it is legal or not, so why wouldn’t we take advantage of these operations, and make them legal. This, like drugs, is taking money away from the criminals and offshore businesses, and putting that money back into our communities.

It is sad, that the powers that be do not see the long reaching benefits of these ideas. What is it we are so afraid of with the legalization of drugs? Why hold back, on cashing in on gambling, or prostitution for that matter? Crime would decrease, our prison population would decrease, and our deficit would decrease. The best part about this is we would be creating an endless amount of jobs, and we can do these things without having to raise taxes a single cent. All these positive things can happen, and improve this country, unfortunately in doing this; you are taking money away from the ruling class, and putting it into the hands of those who need it most. Just like anything else in this country, the ruling class would never allow such a thing.

Do you remember the feeling you had after watching movies such as “Shutter Island,” “The Sixth Sense, or “The Others?” This feeling where the whole story just seems to flip on you, where everything that was is now wasn’t. These types of twists are mind fucking adventures, and I love them. I remember thinking to myself after watching “Shutter Island” that nothing of this magnitude could ever happen to me… I was wrong.

I just discovered the greatest mind fuck of my life. My wife made a comment on a post I did last week where I said I was basically kicked out of Crown College. My wife sent me an e-mail and said I was never kicked out of that school so why would I say that? I sent her an e-mail back going over the situation which occurred and questioned her memories of this situation. She then informed me I dropped out because my mental status had worsened to the most dangerous of levels. I immediately told her to stop messing with me, and relayed that this is not a funny joke. She proceeds to tell me she is not joking, and is indeed very serious. This was my Shutter Island moment.

I am really bent by this because I have no recollection of what she is talking about. I literally have no memories of this scenario she had laid out, and what’s worse is my reality which once was is now wasn’t. One of my symptoms of my mental illness is memory loss and or confusion with my thoughts. My thoughts can get jumbled and I will interpret what I hear or see differently than most. I know I have had issues in the past where the combination of dreams, media, and real life get melded together to form an altered reality. I am now in a state of what is, and what is not. This causes me to blur these alternate realities together where I cannot tell one from the other. Perhaps I was in such a state and took memories from my dreams and supplanted them into what I now know as reality. This is really twisting me up inside because this calls to question how much of my memories are even real memories, or which ones were supplanted into my mind. I then need to question the reality I am in at this moment while I am writing this. Is this what is, or is it what is not? Is what I remembered from yesterday what is, or what wasn’t?  

I try not to think of this very often because frankly it is mind numbing. I enjoy this topic on a philosophical level, just not on a personal one. It is as if I am looking at hundreds of puzzle pieces from many different puzzles mixed together. I then have to somehow put these pieces together to form one puzzle. This is hard to explain if you have never experienced it or lived with someone who has, but it’s almost like déjà vu, but what you think you have already done before, really happened on television, in a movie, a dream, or something that has happened to someone else. It is almost as if this cross fires my brain into creating something that is not.

I have had this fractured memory in my head for seven years. This means for the last seven years I have been living a lie. I want to sit down with everyone who is close to me and unload my memories to see what is and what isn’t. I am haunted by not knowing my true reality. I wish I knew the exact reasons my mind created this alternate reality in my head, and was strong enough to have me forget months of my life. I was in a panic and called my therapist a few times to get some advice on this. She finally called me back on Friday to council me. I laid out the situation to her, and explained I was in a panic not knowing what is real and what isn’t. She told me this scenario was normal for people who reach intense mental breakdowns, and often causes the subject to create false memories.

I felt better after the call to at least know what I was experiencing was normal on a mental illness level. I am still left wondering what reality is, and which other of my memories are not real. I suppose I will only be able to find the right pieces of the puzzle by checking with those who are close to me regarding memories I have. This still does not cure the way I shape reality. I think what it comes down to is I will always be in a state of what is not, but I suppose since this is reality to me, then what is real is; so I shouldn’t worry about it.

I wrote a post a while back talking about utilitarianism. I was taken back to the fond memories of being in school, where I majored in Philosophy. This stimulated my mind and caused me to dust off some of my old textbooks and skim over a few select readings. I came across a book Robert Nozick wrote back in 1974 “Anarchy, State and Utopia.” In small part of this book (most material argues the only good government is a minimal government) he attempts to give a counterexample to John Stuart Mills utilitarianism. He paints us a broad picture of a machine we could hook up to giving us a lifetime of the greatest pleasures knowable to man. His theory was people would reject this machine; instead choosing to live a life of happiness along with sadness just to know they were alive and their experiences good and bad were real. He tells us this rejection of the machine shows people value something other than happiness and pleasure. In his example the people who chose to plug into this machine are slobs and are committing a form of suicide. He believes the loss of truly living at the expense of endless happiness is one few would choose.

Nozick seems to proclaim this to be universal to all mankind. He does not go into detail on what some may choose and others may not. He proclaims the masses would choose life over the machine, because of this the moral theory of utilitarianism is debunked. This is simply not true; there are many people who according to their own personal moral decision making would choose the machine, while others would choose reality. He proclaims the many would choose to live the real life and the few who choose the machine are degraded to blobs who have committed a form of suicide. In essence the individual would exist yet cease to exist in the material world; instead choosing to live in a fantasy world. They would still be alive on one hand but dead in the other. There lives would be a farce with no real human interaction. I ask you this; how this is any different then the millions of people who play World of War Craft, or the many other reality shifting MMORPG’s out there? I can guarantee you with the amount of people who choose to slip out of reality and focus their lives on a video game; would without a thought choose the machine so they could actually become a dwarf or elf and live out their life this way.

I wonder if his theory is correct. I don’t doubt people would choose to not be hooked up to this machine, but just as many would choose the machine over the ups and downs of reality. I do not think we can use this example as proof against utilitarianism based on whether people would hook up or not, because the end decision can be made through utilitarianism. I think Nozick theory is flawed because utilitarianism states actions are right when they promote happiness and wrong when they promote the opposite of happiness. Choosing to go or not to go inside of this machine could very well be made in a utilitarian fashion. Let’s say there is a man who is a husband and father. In making his decision to go or not to go into the machine; he would need to take into account his families feelings and weigh in on if his happiness will create the opposite of happiness to his wife and kids. In this example Nozick was trying to debunk utilitarianism but indeed proved this decision can be made by practicing utilitarianism or for that matter any other moral theory.

I do however think Nozick should get props for coming up with an idea that would be used in a movie 36 years later.

Utilitarianism is a moral theory devised to help the individual make the proper moral decisions in life. This is sometimes called “The Greatest Happiness Principle.” Utilitarianism defines happiness as pleasure and the absence of pain. It states that actions are right in percentage as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. It has been awhile since I took this class, but it is my understanding in utilitarian decision making the person making the decision needs to stop and look at what his decision will do to himself and all those involved. Each person is assigned a determined point value by the individual making the decision and the pluses and minuses are weighed on an imaginary scale. If happiness prevails then the decision is morally right, if unhappiness overrules then the decision is morally wrong. Is this moral theory a valid one in making the correct moral decision? This has been the fence that divides many of the moral philosophers throughout time. In the various different moral theories I must say this is the one I tend to lean on most of the time. Although I feel this is the best option it still has a few flaws.

Lets use the example of suicide to show how utilitarianism is perfect yet flawed at the same time. There is a man named Joe who is down on his luck. He has lost his job swimming in debt and has been dealing with a crippling depression. Joe has a wife, three beautiful children, an extensive family, and a large network of friends. Joe has decided he can no longer live because he is so depressed it hurts. He sits back and decides he is going to weigh this out utilitarian style. He brings to his mind everyone he can think of in his life, as well as himself. In looking at himself he scores happiness as being very high to himself because he would no longer be in pain. He then adds up all those who would be in pain from his decision to kill himself and comes to the conclusion that living promotes the highest percentage of happiness. His decision is to live.

Same example as above except this time Joe assigns a higher point value on his happiness then he does to his loved ones. Perhaps he assigns his decision to kill himself as a fifty while he assigns those who love him as only a half a point each. Perhaps even he is so deep in his depression he assigns happiness points to those who love him because he feels they would be better off without him. He adds all these up and comes to the conclusion that suicide will create the greatest amount of happiness.

Here you have two exactly the same examples, yet they produce two completely different results. Utilitarianism gives no concrete moral directive. There is no real moral guideline, just what is the impulse of the moment. One of the proponents of utilitarianism is Immanuel Kant. Kant proposes that making a moral decision should go much deeper than just the pursuit of happiness and pleasures. Kant says the foundation of morality should be based on a principle that we consistently want to see adopted on a universal basis. Kant would ask Joe “would it be morally right for your wife to kill herself?” Joes answer would surly be no, therefore we must view suicide as universally bad, resulting in the choice to live. I am not a huge fan of Kantianism, because acting on principle without the regard for the consequences does not always seem right.

To illustrate these two separate moral doctrines I would like to use the following example. Lets say a child comes running in your garage in a frenzied panic asking to hide, because he is being chased by a crazed kidnapper. You decide it is best to hide him in your home. Moments later this kidnapper knocks at your door looking for this boy. He directly asks you if this frightened boy is hiding out in your house. The utilitarian would quickly assess the situation and realize the only one to experience happiness here would be the kidnapper, everyone else would experience pain if the kidnapper would take the boy. The greater happiness guides us to lie, as to save the boy. The Kantian would answer yes to this question because lying is viewed as universally wrong, therefore you must not lie to him no matter what the consequences.

The conundrum and rigid guidelines of Kantianism does not allow one to think beyond just the concept that lying is morally wrong. The Kantian needs to look at what the result would be if he didn’t lie. The crazed kidnapper would surly harm and possibly murder the boy. If the Kantian views lying as morally wrong, then they surly would view murder as morally incorrect, but this theory leaves very little room for this type of thinking. I think with these two different schools of thought could probably learn a thing or two from each other. Perhaps the answer lies in combining these two moral theories. Most of us can agree that lying is morally wrong. We can surly hold onto these morals but we should also have the free will to weigh out all the options especially when the result would be murder. I know very little about these different schools of thought but I wonder what would come from the goal of combing these two. Perhaps I should do some research and write a few papers on “Utlilkantism.”

A while ago I wrote a post about my current projects. Since then a few things have been finished and a few of my projects have been altered, because I am a shameful promoter I would like to give an update on my progress. Things have been progressing nicely although there are some tedious things causing me to dread the process. Feedback is always needed.

Dylan Thomas: This is a children’s book series written in poetry form. The goal is to create stories which appeal to ages 2-10. I want the rhyming and lush drawings to not only draw the kids in, but also make the stories enjoyable for the parents as well. I have completed the first story “Dylan Thomas: Finds His Courage.” Currently it is in the illustration phase and will be released the end of September. I hope to have the next installment “Dylan Thomas: Bedtime Songs” I hope to have this available for sale by February 2011 or sooner.

This series is probably the only way I will make any money from my writing, and hopefully this series will help me land a literary agent. The stories will follow the same flow as far as the rhyming poetry, but the illustrations will change. I think this is exciting because it will keep things fresh. The illustrator Jeff Chia has one more page to complete, and my sister Cailee is doing the editing. I hope to have everything but together by September 1st. This will allow me a month to ensure everything looks good on the actual book. I am a quarter done with the next installment.

Yin; A poetry chapbook chronicling my dark side. I have already finished this book, and should be released before November 2010.

This is completed with all poems in my journal. I just need to type and edit. I hope to have this out by November. I will either sell “Yin” and “Yang” separately or combine them into one book. If I were to combine them into one I would set it up where “Yin” is on one side and “Yang” on the other. I am planning on setting them up as pocket books.

Yang; A poetry chapbook chronicling my light side. I have already finished this book, and should be released before November 2010

Politico; Working Title This poetry chapbook focuses on my political and theological perspectives. This book is also finished with an expected release date before November 2010.

This book will contain my political, philosophical, and theological points of view. There is a website called Politico, so I am unsure if the name is copyrighted or not. If it is I will have to get their blessings to use their names. There were plenty political poems in “My Descent into Madness,” and seemed to be well received.

The Mind of a Madman: (working title) this is a novel written in poetry form describing the inner workings of a psychopath in the making, and his journey into madness, starting from the time of conception up until… the rest will be a surprise. This has been a difficult book to work on, the places these poems take me is very dark. If I spend too much time there I may become a product of my words.

I have been all over the place in writing this one. I am jumping around to different phases of the main characters’ life. I am planning on telling this story strictly in poetry form or if I should add some narrative to it. This is taking longer than I expected, because I can only stay a short time in this mans mind.

The Philosophy of Me: The life and mind of no one special: This will be a book based off 365 days of my blogging entries. This will appeal to my fans wanting all my entries in print, and introduce the site to new readers. I will also use this as part of my portfolio.

I received an e-mail from a reader saying she would purchase this even though it is just an edited version of my blog. I suppose if one person would enjoy it than others may as well.

My Journey Through Taoism; This will include every verse from the Tao Te Ching along with my quest into understanding and living the Tao. Many books are written by experts. I hope to relate to readers who are new to Taoism by explaining my journey seeking understanding. At the end of each chapter I will be including a poem based off the verse. I do not want to rush this; so I am unaware of a release date 

This will be written in real time chronicling my quest into understanding Taoism. This book is the reason I stopped adding verses in my blog. I don’t want too many books to cross pollinate. I am enjoying this project because I can spend a few weeks working on each verse which will really bring me closer to the Way. In writing this in the perspective of someone seeking the Way it may help others understand it better and assist them on their journey. 

The Humor In Theology; I was originally going to write a descriptive timeline and the evolution of religion. I realized this book would only appeal to a certain audience. I was becoming overwhelmed with the mighty scope of this project. I decided to stick with the theology aspect but instead write it in a humorous way. I think this will be informative as well as funny.

I changed this from a serious educational book into a comedy. I will look into religions of the past and current beliefs and point out the goofiness of what people believe. There is a religion in Africa which believed their God vomited up the entire universe. This is just one of the silly beliefs people hold onto. It is amazing how people completely abandon logic in the name of faith.

The Philosophy of Quotes: Everyone loves quotes, and it seems each person may walk away with different perspectives on the meaning of these quotes. This book explains my philosophical view on the meaning of quotes. I hope to turn this into multiple volumes; each volume will be broken down by letters of the alphabet. I am excited to take a deeper look at my favorite quotes. 

I thought I would enjoy this one, but I have been running into a little bit of frustrations. My mind will not shift into this mode, which is holding this bad boy up.

Deceived: (working title.) This book examines how the Christian religion has allowed itself to be destroyed by the word of man. I have read the Bible a number of times; once because of faith, once as a theologian, and once as a skeptic. You would be amazed how much the bible has been changed to not only create copyrights, but to change the original meaning of the “Word of God” to fit mans needs. This book will be written entirely on a non-biased theological way looking strictly at the Word.

If I want to properly do this one I will need to focus 100% of my attention on it. I will need to simultaneously read three to four separate versions of the Bible. I started this awhile back and read the first couple chapters of Genesis, and it made my head hurt. I really think this project has potential, but with the amount of time I have to work on my writing it would take a year or two and I am not sure if I want to make that type of commitment on something which may not reap what I sowed.

On a side note I have thought of releasing my poetry books with commentary as far as what I was feeling and the meaning. I tend to write in abstract ways and I have had people tell me they get lost in finding the true meaning. I just wonder if this is sacrilegious with poetry because poetry is meant to be subjective to the reader. I am worried my poems may lose some of its luster if I add commentary. On the flip side some of my dedicated readers may care enough to know the story behind the poem.

What are your thoughts? Do you think I may be wasting my time with some of these books? I am starting my quest today to find an agent and I wonder if they want to see complete projects or is a concept enough to wet their whistle.

The question that I am going to ask, I’m hoping to get a 3rd party outside opinion on and it is a very religious based question which hopefully you won’t mind but I have noticed with the blog you have touched on different aspects of religion, so here it goes….

I have two girls. One is almost two and the other was born almost a week ago. It was brought to my attention at the birth of my second daughter by my eventually to be mother in-law that I need to get her and her older sister baptized and I need to get them both baptized right away because I waited too long to baptized my older daughter and if anything happens to her she will go to hell. Obviously the remedy would be to baptize. (I kept putting it off with the first child unfortunately) The only issue is that my mother in-law and the father of my children are raging Catholics. I am Lutheran. I don’t really belong to a church though but I was a raised a Lutheran. They want me to baptize my girls Catholic and my mother in-law even has the godparents picked out and the church and probably everything else down to the napkins that will be used at the reception. Ideally I would like my children to be able to choose what religion they would like to practice and I think that with how strict Catholicism seems to be I don’t really want to baptize them in a Catholic church with two strangers acting as their god-parents just because they are friends with my mother in-law unless it was something that I knew that they would want. I have been researching baptism and a lot of the churches want you to be registered as an active church member as well as to take a pre-baptism class and so on and so forth. 

What would your advice be to my situation? Do you think that I should just back up and set my beliefs aside for right now and get the girls baptized as Catholics? Should I maybe do an elope type of thing and go to the local Lutheran Church with some witnesses and baptize them as Lutherans? I have no idea what to do and I am feeling very forced into something that should be a joyous occasion.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my situation/question!

Sincerely,

Monica

Monica,

Thank you for the question Monica. I will attempt to answer this question in a non-biased way. First I will start with; no one no matter how old they are should have religious believes forced upon them. Your future mother in-law should not attempt to steamroll you into making a decision you do not feel comfortable with. The fact she is your “future” mother in-law only increases the pressure you are feeling. If you look at the many inquisitions throughout history; you will discover Catholics tend to be a tad bit more forceful when pushing their beliefs on other people. Your future mother in-law should respect your given right of freedom of religion. 

I do not believe having your children baptized in any faith; will matter either way. To me it is a ritualistic act, and has no barring on where your children’s souls would go if they were to pass today. It is my understanding the God of the Bible is a jealous and vengeful God, who prefers us to fear Him. With that being said; I have a hard time believing the concept of Him denying your innocent child a ticket into heaven based on whether you did or did not have holy water on their body. This concept is absurd and if I was hearing this for the first time I would not want anything to do with a God so spiteful. I am not 100% on this but I believe it says your children can suffer based off the sins of their parents. I am of the belief these concepts were added to the Bible for purposes of fear mongering and are used in the form of re-education.

I do not believe children should be subjected to religion, I believe this is a deeply personal and life altering decision. This decision should be mad when they are at the age of reason. This goes back to fear mongering tactics aimed at scaring them into believing based on the possibility of whether their soul will be sent to a permanent time-out in hell. I have heard from many people who say “I would rather believe and be wrong, then to not believe and be wrong.” This comment has come out from far to many people and is evident of a forced foundation of belief. When we believe based off this assumption is when we live a life of consistently lying to ourselves.

The question I have for you is what do you believe? They are your children, and as their mother you need to follow is in their best interest. Do not make a decision based off appeasing your future in-laws. Being baptized is an intimate and big religious step, and your children deserve the right to make that decision on their own.

Along with healthcare I feel a higher education should be free to all Americans. I do not believe parents and students should dig themselves a lifetime of debt just to be handed a piece of paper. The costs of a higher education in this country is ridicules and unfair. This is a form of class discrimination, because the rich are able to provide their children with the best education. I understand there are programs for smart or athletic unprivileged youth to gain scholarships’, but the scholarships available for the smart children only pays for a portion of their education. Athletes are a bit different, they can receive full scholarships, but they also make the universities billions of dollars. This system which denies everyone an equal opportunity to become educated is simply unfair.

I went to school for a philosophy degree, as a result of this I am now in debt around $70k. I have taken out loans through so many different financial institutions; I am now swimming in debt from every angle. I cannot afford to pay multiple minimum payment to everyone. My only option out of this is to consolidate my debt into one payment. Years ago there were many banks which would offer such a consolidation, today there is only one; the government. They have created a monopoly in loan consolidations; the only way to solve my problem is to sell my soul to the devil. It is going to cost me $250k or more when you add in interest. This is not including the loans I will need to take out to provide my children a proper education. This is not an isolated example; it is happening all over our great country, and is an unfair tradeoff.

Years ago you were able to get a good job without a piece of paper showing you went to college. Companies would look at your work history first and educations second, because of our current economy company’s are requiring a degree to even consider you for employment. This is true for all levels of employment ranging from CEO’s all the way down to the servers at restaurants’. This is another way of keeping people in the same economic class. I understand there are people who are an exception to this rule.

Here are my solutions to this problem:

  1. Universities receive billions upon billions of dollars in television revenues as well as in endorsements and ticket sales from their sports programs. They receive an unknown number of dollars from boosters. The universities could funnel in this money to financially support their institutions as well as turning a profit. This would afford every American an education and an equal chance at a brighter future for themselves as well as their children.    
  2. If this would not generate enough money, we could add the above and charge the students $20.00 a credit. This would come to an average of $80.00 a class, add in a semester worth of credits and the university would make $320.00 per student. If you multiply by an average 5,000 students and you get $1.6 million. This should cover a hefty portion of the staff’s salary.
  3.  If this is still not enough add a small tax out of paychecks, and sales tax. This along with the two examples above should solve this problem. I am hard pressed to think people would be against these taxes to ensure everyone is granted a better education.

It is sad there are many countries out there who provide free educations, and those who offer it on the cheap. It is sad that our k-12 public schools continue to lose funding, enforce the no child left behind, and deliver a sub-par education compared to other countries. This is another thing we could get done, if there was not the greed and me first type of thinking. This along with my post yesterday is what I would do if I was in power.

What do you think?