Christianity, global issues, history, politics, religion and spiritualism

“In God We Trust” – Reflections on Tiananmen Square

June 4, 1989, the communist government of China mercilessly massacred countless people (hundreds, thousands, and even 10,000, according to Sir Alan Donald), including students, residents, and even other soldiers. The events serve as a seemingly timeless testimony to the brutality of authoritarian regimes who fulfill the predictions of Orwell’s 1984 and is remembered in films like Black Night in June by Arther Kent (youtube: watch?v=hA4iKSeijZI ).

Yet the sheer reality of those horrors has escaped the minds of common individuals, even in democratic nations, where policemen argue they need facial recognition software and cameras and the legislative branch of the US government still permits the needless bulk collection of everyone’s internet communications by the NSA, all for “security” (whose?). After the Bolshevik revolution, communism became taboo in the US with the J.E. Hoover FBI squashing resistance for decades. Consequently, it has been rebranded as “social reform” and socialist policies (F.D.R., J.F.K., L.B.J. and such presidents). It’s easy to argue for idealistic systems, but people forget that when anything is put in practice, the one variable causing all of the problems hasn’t been fixed: the wickedness of a human. That brings us to an interesting point.

Standing and watching the real events take place were three “gods”. The first was the communist state, the self-proclaimed god that dictated the lives of the people. The second was the “Goddess of Democracy”, a statue constructed by the students of the protest (which survived, or perhaps as a replica). The third was the real God.

Each of these “gods” was in some way part of the events, and each one called out for action.

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global issues, language, philosophy, politics, science

On the Definition and Usage of Words

1. Philosophical Underpinnings

As a fledging apologist, my earliest experiences in the debate sector led me to frustration with people who couldn’t quite see the argument I was trying to make. They would often misinterpret and misunderstand what I had to say, taking ideas and twisting them. It seemed we had no common ground, so I endeavored to find that common ground – some set of ideas we ALL know are true. With such a common ground, I would hopefully be able to prove my points.

One of the first things I did was try to define words. In highschool, I read Socrates, and one of his famous lines that I took to heart was “the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms”. What Socrates found was that people never really had a clear definition of anything, and thus no one really seemed to know what they were talking about. However, as I tried to come up with some philosophical terminology for defining words, I found the whole endeavor fruitless and meaningless. The truth was, words on their own had no exact definition.

That’s an important conclusion that can be and is very often misinterpreted. The underlying problem was that I was trying to find something “exact” and “specific”, defined in terms of words. But defining words in terms of words is philosophically identical to the problem of putting a rigid box into an identical copy of itself.

However, you’re reading this right now, which says that words are not as arbitrary as they seem. Let’s talk about that.

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history, politics

The Heart of Political Division – Part 6

To understand the platform of conservatives, it’s important to understand their unifying factor: the Republican Party. Recall in my previous post how this was shaped by the Democratic presidents leading up to that point. For Republicans, the political platform had revolved around a capitalistic economic ideology predating President Herbert Hoover and tracing its roots back to its very formation.

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history, politics

The Heart of Political Division – Part 5

And now we begin an exploration of conservatism and why it is what it is today. For that, we need to look at the most pivotal point in modern American political history and its background.

It was March 31, 1968, towards the end of the bloody Vietnam war when a shocking announcement was made that called out and inadvertently declared the ending of American political unity. While the tensions in the months preceding the announcement were evident and the collapse of the American political system into liberal and conservative parties may have seemed inevitable, it was the presidency that had held the nation together.

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politics

The Heart of Political Division – Part 1

Late last year, the Linux Project decided to adopt a “Code of Conduct” document that has been highly controversial from the get-go. I wanted to write about it then, but I think I’m in a better frame of mind to write about the more general issue now – something more applicable to my readers than a simple rant. 🙂

The source of the issue is quite deeply embedded in people’s minds and thus remains hidden or unaccounted for. Most of the time, people are arguing about the surface: security vs privacy, socialism vs capitalism, “green” vs economic, “tolerance” vs intolerance. And while these issues have become sensitive, they are only sensitive in the fact that people have come to believe strongly in these opinions and see them as an identity. However, I would contest these things are not identities at all but are instead masking the underlying perspectives that have and are shaping these identities.

The truth is, there is no true “conservative” nor “liberal”, but a diverse set of opinions that have become globed into two categories. Neither category fully represents their constituency, but the “liberal” side is hurting its members the most.

In a series of articles, I’d like to break that down. Let’s start with the basics.

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