Pinocchio & How Victimhood Creates Tyranny

by Chris Campbell


In putting together the upcoming book, “99 Things Every Millennial Man Should Know,” I’ve (re-)learned some important lessons.

One of them, weird as it sounds, has to do with Pinocchio. And the incredibly profound messages hidden beneath the surface… one of which is how victimhood turns you into a braying jackass.

But I’ll get to that in a moment.

99 Things is a compendium of powerhouse contributors imparting wisdom.

The underlying theme is answering the Call to Adventure (the “call” to your life’s purpose) and how to survive and thrive through your own “Hero’s Journey” (and, no less, the awesome power of archetypes).

A great explainer video on the Hero’s Journey

The book, since its inception, has taken on a life of its own. 

In large part because of my newfound “tribe” of people who are just as excited about, and emotionally invested in, the project as I am.

One contributor, Noble Brown (AKA, @Sociopathlete on Twitter), for example, who wrote an excellent piece for the book, called “Engineer the Future”, wrote this…

(Yes, I’m “@StoicGoatFarmer” on Twitter — which, I have found, used wisely, is a great tool. If you “do Twitter,” let’s connect.)

Two lessons here.

One, the power of the ask. It’s cliche, but I think it’s easy to forget: You never know until you ask.

Out of ten supremely bold asks, nine will probably say no or never respond, but that one yes will change everything.

(In the ask, however, increase your chances by providing unmistakable value to them.  As opposed to, “Please do this for me.” James Altucher is a master of this and has simple ways to get started.)

Second, which is tied to this: Whatever you’re doing, you don’t have to go at it alone. 

Left unchecked, I easily fall into a wildly ineffective “Hercules Complex”… this assumption I should shoulder all of the burden of big projects, lest it lose its meaning.

But working with, and building a tribe of great people in the process, is so much more satisfying.

(I plan to go into more detail on this book, and how I’m putting it together, in the private Choose Yourself Publishing Circle…  It’s one great part of Altucher’s self-publishing course, of which I’m leaning on to write this book. If interested in finally crossing “write a book” off your bucket list, come… join us.)

Tonight, I’ll attempt another BIG ask… Jordan Peterson. I’m suiting up and seeing him speak in Cincinnati this evening. 

His lectures have had a remarkable effect on me, especially his Jungian analysis of… this might sound weird… Pinocchio.

(Had I understood all of this earlier, as I described yesterday, I might not have been such a Hellion growing up… in a misguided pursuit of “fitting in.”)

The film Pinocchio is considered by many to be Walt Disney’s greatest achievement.

Superficially, the storyline is easy enough to understand. It’s about going from a puppet to an authentic individual. One who tells the truth, listens to one’s own conscience, and is capable of taking responsibility for one’s own life.

Pinocchio, you might recall, was brought to life by a blue fairy (the “anima,” as described by Jungians).

The fairy told him he could become a real boy if he proved himself to be “brave, truthful, and unselfish.”

Blue Fairy: You must learn to choose between right and wrong. 

Pinocchio: Right and wrong? But how will I know? 

Jiminy Cricket: (watching) How’ll he know! 

The Blue Fairy: (to Pinocchio) Your conscience will tell you. 

Pinocchio: What are conscience? 

Jiminy Cricket: What are conscience! I’ll tell ya! A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to. That’s just the trouble with the world today… 

Pinocchio: Are you my conscience? 

Jiminy Cricket: Who, me?

(Spoiler Alert: The cricket, as it happens, is Pinocchio’s conscience, a good, but imperfect tramp who “bugs” him throughout the movie to do the right thing.)

Going deeper, the overarching message unfolds: The best way to live your life is orient yourself toward the highest good you’re capable of imagining (represented by Geppetto, the woodcarver, wishing upon a star).

Why? Because the capacity for it to come to fruition exists. Not only that, the act of aiming there will open you up to forces which can help you — ones in which wouldn’t otherwise be available to serve you.

What is the highest aim?

To become a fully developed, authentic human being. One who isn’t a marionette. One whose strings are not whipped around by undeveloped (evil) forces of the world.

The Road to Tyranny

At one point in the movie, Pinocchio is convinced by two petty criminals — the fox and the cat — that he is a mere victim of the world. That the world is his enemy. They then lead him to Pleasure Island, a place where all his desires can be fulfilled.

There, boys can smoke, drink, fight, destroy stuff and act like heathens.

Pinocchio and Jiminy discover, however, Pleasure Island is a trap, run by masked goons dressed in black.

With enough badness under the boys’ belts (perhaps literally and figuratively), the boys lose their voices and turn into braying jackasses (donkeys), and are sold as slaves to work in the mines.

The superficial lessons of the overall story are evident:

1. Peer pressure can lead you astray.

2. Growth can emerge from pain.

3. Idle hands do the Devil’s work.

Going deeper, however, the underlying themes present in the book and film are awesome for a mere “children’s story”… 

– Telling the truth will ultimately make your life easier, and taking the seemingly easy route, by lying, has consequences (the more he lied, the more his nose grew and the more complicated his life became)…
– People-pleasing does little more than turn you into a puppet, you give up your own individuality to appease them (when Pinocchio fell under the thumb of Stromboli and became an unearned celebrity he became a slave to Stromboli and the crowd)…

– You have free will not to listen to your conscience (as Pinocchio doesn’t at first) and your conscience is not omnipotent, it is capable of making mistakes (as Jiminy did). The more you listen and learn from your mistakes, however, the more both of you mature and begin to understand the true difference between right and wrong. (Pinocchio and Jiminy grow stronger as the storyline progresses).

And, very apropos to current times… 

– Be wary of those who would have you believe you are a victim. Those who claim to be solely looking out for the oppressed are often on the hunt for unearned power. (Marxist professors come to mind).

– Accepting yourself as a victim, furthermore, will cause you to lose your voice and, perhaps, in the case of Pinocchio and the boys on Pleasure Island, transform you into a braying jackass.

– Great forces will emerge to help you when you aim for your highest good. You don’t have to go at it alone.

– Finally, one of the highest aims is to rescue the old structures from collapse, and reinvigorate them anew. To keep the torch alive and save what is worth saving. Otherwise, all will fall into chaos.

Pinocchio, in the end, is said to represent Geppetto’s ego and persona (how you interact with the external world and mask you wear for it).

Left undeveloped, it’ll remain a young puppet, a slave to the whims of the outside world.

In the end, Geppetto comes to terms with this “inner child” (also giving a nod to the incredible importance of fatherhood — the “outer child”)…

And, ultimately, they save one another.

Geppetto, by giving Pinocchio form and careful attention, and Pinocchio by swimming into the ocean (unconscious) and saving him from the Belly of the Whale (the archetypal Underworld of Chaos).

At the end, Geppetto, though he’s an old man, becomes young in spirit.

And the old structures worth saving in himself (and the world) are given new life, salvaged from total destruction and created anew.

I will tell Millennial Men this.





Published under Creative commons here.

The True Purpose Behind Global Warming

by Allen Williams



Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are growing as a function of the industrialization of the world and particularly the United States.  The IPCC has issued its first report: "..the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a multinational scientific body organized under the auspices of the United Nations, published its first comprehensive report on the topic... the IPCC concluded that "emissions resulting from human activities are substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of ... greenhouse gases..."

Man is viewed as an 'eco-cancer' in the earth by globalists and other crackpot scientists who presume the masses are destroying the earth. Yet there is NO evidence of significant temperature increases across the globe despite CO2 releases many times larger than the earth's natural carbon dioxide content. WHY? Because plants metabolize CO2 at faster rates and more limestone is formed according to the concentration driving force governed by reaction Kinetics.

The  Normal Plant Animal Cycle diagram above depicts the carbon flow between plants and animals.

Limestone Formation:

Carbon dioxide is readily soluble in sea and fresh water forming metallic precipitates such as calcium or magnesium carbonate.

The gas readily dissolves in water sources in equilibrium with its liquid concentration just as in many popular soda beverages. CO2 increases in solubility as water temperatures decrease and atmospheric pressure increases.  Concentration is the driving force that causes greater amounts of CO2 to dissolve in water.  In solution, CO2 reacts with metallic ions in the water to form insoluble CaCO3 precipitates like calcite.

(M+) + CO2  + H2O à MCO3

Calcite is most often seen in caves as stalagmites or stalagmites. It is also the principal constituent of a sedimentary rock known as limestone. Many Invertebrate Sea animals take up calcite from seawater to construct their shells and are an important part of the animal plant environmental cycle. As carbonates are formed and settle out, more CO2 can be absorbed into the water.  This helps to ensure a stable atmospheric concentration of around 0.04 percent (400 ppm) consistent with the law of conservation of mass.

Plants increase their rate of growth in higher atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. "Trees respond to CO2 fertilization(1) more strongly than do most other plants, but all plants respond to some extent...plant response to CO2 fertilization is nearly linear with respect to CO2 concentration over the range from 300 to 600 ppm.."

Greenhouse gases

Atmospheric reactions must occur at ambient conditions of constant temperature and pressure either spontaneously or from activation energy available from solar radiation in open atmosphere.  In order for a reaction to be spontaneous, it must have a negative free energy (G) as defined by the requirements of the Gibbs free energy equation, i.e. G = H - TS.  A spontaneous change is probable whenever enthalpy, H is negative or entropy, S is positive, i.e. (H - TdS) <= 0.

This relationship may also be expressed in terms of the ratios of the forward and reverse rate constants for reactions k1 and k2, i.e. the equilibrium constant, K:

                                 K =  k1/k2 = edS/R e-dH/RT

Now, the probability of spontaneous reactions are favorable whenever K is a large positive number, i.e. K >>1. This criterion is a necessary condition for the chemical reaction(s) to proceed. 

So carbon monoxide and Nitrous oxide compounds oxidize over time to carbon dioxide and either Nitrogen oxide or Nitrogen dioxide. So atmospheric equilibrium is maintained and the law of Conservation of Mass is upheld.

The principle objection to NO2 in the atmosphere is the formation of acid rain but it is absolutely essential for natural nitration of the soil. 

Calculation Basis: 


From Appendix C Summary of Calculations

We see that the Incident Air Volume over the U.S. at 10 ft elevation is 1.056 x 1015 ft3 for our chart purposes. Since CO2 occurs naturally in the atmosphere at approximately 0.04% by volumeCO2now. org indicates the current atmospheric CO2 concentration at 400+ parts per million, normal variation within the 0.04% atmospheric concentration. So our atmospheric concentration over the mainland US per the chart is calculated as:

3,787,425 miles2  x   (5,280 ft)2 / 1 mile2  x  10 ft above grade  x  0.04% CO2 / ft3 of air  =  4.22 x 1013 ft3 of CO2 at a 10 ft elevation in our chosen atmospheric bottle.

Appendix D shows the most significant man made sources of greenhouse gases. Note that the single largest contributor to atmospheric greenhouse gas is the industrial use of natural gas followed closely by the automobile. The war on fossil fuel has accomplished nothing more than to increase natural gas consumption. Now you know the underlying motive behind the deindustrialization of America and shipping manufacturing jobs overseas.

Most importantly, note from the Human and Natural Sources of CO2 chart above that if both natural gas consumption and the automobile were totally eliminated, human breathing would be the dominant source of greenhouse gas. The real environmental problem seems to be human breathing accounting for nearly half of the natural CO2 in the atmosphere exclusive of natural gas consumption and the automobile.

But combined utility consumption and people breathing is the underlying impetus for globalists to force the world's population down to around 1/2 to 1 billion people by any and all means available.  ISIS Created by US & NATO Training & Recruiting Jihadists  is very likely one such means  

Killing off vast numbers of the world's population is former science Czar John Holdren's response to climate change in the 1977 book 'Ecoscience', co-authored by Holdren and colleagues Paul and Anne Ehrlich.

Natural News has noted that ".. we've already seen shocking statements from many scientists about their desire to use genetically engineered viral strains to accomplish global depopulation goals." 

The 'final solution' is to kill vast numbers of the population to effect a three-fold reduction in carbon dioxide because fewer people use less gasoline and natural gas which translates to less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


Scientific Manipulation & Fraud

Science has claimed that fat people are responsible for global warming, "warning that the increase in big eaters(2) means more food production - a major cause of CO2 gas emissions warming the planet.  Overweight people are also more likely to drive, adding to environmental damage. Each fat person is said to be responsible for emitting a tonne more of climate-warming (flatulence) carbon dioxide per year than a thin oneproviding extra grub for them to guzzle adds to carbon emissions that heat up the world, melting polar ice caps, raising sea levels and killing rain forests."

Data collected from satellite monitoring of the earth's surface temperatures do not support the assertion of global warming.  NOAA has been caught adjusting temperatures(3) upward to support warming predictions. In a shocking report, errors in a climate change paper(4)showing gains from global warming were retracted.

There is disturbing evidence that atmospheric data have been manipulated by governments and educational institutions in an attempt to demonstrate ecological damage to the environment from high levels of carbon dioxide.  First, the University of East Anglia was involved in a collusion to alter temperature data to support a global warming of earth theory.  The Wall Street Journal reports(5) "Climategate, as readers of these pages know, concerns some of the world's leading climate scientists working in tandem to block freedom of information requests, blackball dissenting scientists, manipulate the peer-review process, and obscure, destroy or massage inconvenient temperature data—facts that were laid bare by last week's disclosure of thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, or CRU.

If we cannot predict weather reliably more than several hours into the future under most circumstances, why should the predictions of a government computer model be taken seriously? Yet, Time® magazine warns that we are likely to see a 6 oF increase in global temperatures by the year 2006(6) which unsurprisingly never occurred. Neither is there data to support the warnings(7) of "Earth in the Balance. "


References:

(1)  Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, Arthur B. Robinson, Noah E. Robinson, and Willie Soon,  http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm

(2)  Fatties Cause Global Warming, The SUN, April 20, 2009, http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2387203.ece  

(3)  NOAA Fiddles With Climate Data To Erase The 15-Year Global Warming ‘Hiatus’,  Daily Caller, http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/04/noaa-fiddles-with-climate-data-to-erase-the-15-year-global-warming-hiatus/#ixzz3vdeqymrD

(4)  Gremlins” caused errors in climate change paper showing gains from global warming, Retraction Watch, http://retractionwatch.com/2014/05/21/gremlins-caused-errors-in-climate-change-paper-showing-gains-from-global-warming/ 

(5)  Climategate: Follow the Money, The Wall Street Journal, Dec 1, 2009  http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703939404574566124250205490

(6)  Heading for Apocalypse, Time, Vol. 146, No. 14, 1995                    

(7)   Albert Gore Jr., Earth in the Balance, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992












Appeals Court: Police can violate our rights without fear of being sued

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


For those of you that claim we don’t live in a police state, I give you this recent Michigan Appeals Court ruling.

In 2015, Deputy James Dawson went to Joshua Brennan’s home and knocked on his door trying to obtain a breath sample. When Brennan did not answer, Dawson spent an hour and a half knocking at his doors and windows.

Officer Dawson also put crime-scene tape over Brennan’s security cameras to conceal his actions and used his siren and cruiser lights in an attempt to rouse him.

When Brennan finally opened his door, officer Dawson forced him to take a breathalyzer and arrested him for a probation violation even though he blew a 0.000.

All of this was done without a warrant. (Warrantless breathalyzer tests was not a condition of Brennan’s probation.)

If you think, it is obvious to any reasonable person that his rights were violated. Then you don’t know how the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals interprets the Constitution.  The fact that this even went to an Appeals Court, speaks volumes about our justice system but I digress.

Let’s get back to the ruling;  judge John Nalabandian said that officer Dawson did violate Brennan’s Fourth Amendment rights by searching him without a warrant. All is good so far, right?

Not quite, Nalabandian went on to say “police actions that violate the Constitution do not lead to liability.”

The court also ruled that since officer “Dawson’s implied license was not clearly established” and because of that old police standby, “deficient training” he cannot be sued.

To say that the court’s reasoning is frustrating is an understatement. The court said that because “Wilson and Clare County were not on actual or constructive notice that the deputy training was deficient they could not be liable.”

Does anyone really think police are held to a higher standard when they constantly use the “deficient training” excuse?

If you are upset by the court’s ruling that police are not liable for violating the Constitution I warn you, it only gets worse.

Citizens must prove to judges that violating out rights is unlawful

According to the Sixth Circuit and this speaks volumes about our justice system “the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the right was so well settled that every reasonable official would understand that what he is doing is unlawful.”

In other words, citizens must prove to a “reasonable official” [judge] that a police officer violating the Constitution is unlawful.

The Sixth Circuit claimed that since the Hardesty v. Hamburg Twp. ruling did not set a limit on how long a police officer can harass people at their homes Brennan cannot sue the police.  Even though they admitted that “absent a warrant a police officer has no greater license to remain on the property than a Girl Scout or trick-or-treater.”

The ruling repeatedly admits that “Dawson arguably violated the Constitution.” but states for a second time that “even if a government official violated a constitutional right, that official is entitled to qualified immunity.”

The Sixth Circuit refused to view the “constitutionality of the officer’s conduct or the continuing viability of Hardest and Turk.”

Not only did the Appeals court rule that Brennan cannot sue the police for violating his rights but they dismissed his unlawful arrest claim as well.

Only one judge, Karen Moore dissented and agreed like any “reasonable official” should, saying Brennan’s rights were violated and the officer could be sued.

Why is the media silent when rulings as egregious as this are taking place across the country?

Proving to “reasonable officials” that violating our rights is unlawful? America is fast on its way to becoming a police state.

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Teacher Suspended After ‘Morality Test’ Goes Awry With Incest, Puppy-Killing Questions

by Jack Davis


After an Ohio parent blew the whistle on a morality test given to a high school class, the Hilliard City School District sent the teacher who gave the test to time out.

Students were given a 36-question test about various ethical situations in which they were asked to choose what actions were OK and which were not.

But the questions, given to a 10th-grade language arts class at Hilliard Bradley High School, crossed a line as far as parent Todd Sandberg was concerned, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Sandberg said the test was graded in a way that it would tell students their “moral foundation” and their political leanings.

“What does the teacher need to know that information for?” he asked. “The questions are so out of line for high school language arts.”

Some questions asked about typical conflicts and dilemmas, but some were more disturbing and involved sex and violence.

One question talked about a scenario in which “A man kills a baby rabbit with a knife” on a live TV show. As with all the questions, students had to grade the comment on a scale from “Not OK” to “OK.”

In another instance, according to Fox News, students were asked to respond to this statement: “Using both a condom and a pill, a brother and a sister decide that they want to sleep with each other — just once, to see what it would be like.”

“Sarah’s dog has four puppies,” another scenario read, according to Fox News. “She can only find a home for two of them, so she kills the other two with a stone to the head.”

Sandberg pointed out the questions on a Facebook site for parents.

“My job was to point it out,” Sandberg said. “It is clearly evident that it’s out there in the public. The public eye is aware of it. I knew it was going to cause a firestorm.”

The teacher was placed on administrative leave while the district sorts out what to do next, WTTE reported.

The school district then issued a public apology, according to WTTE.

“Last night, we were made aware of a classroom activity that should never have taken place,” the district stated. “We absolutely share the outrage of our parents and community.”

The statement called the test “an isolated incident, and an activity of this nature would never be considered acceptable.”

Sandberg said the underlying issue is that parents need to talk with their children about what’s going on in school.

“Hey, parents, be on the lookout,” he said. “I love the district. This is an isolated case.”

According to the Canton Repository, documents released by the district said the teacher who gave the test is named Sarah Gillam and she has taught at the school since 2007.


Trump, Educated by Heartland, Makes Bold Pitch for Climate Realism

President Trump has stood up more firmly for sound science and climate realism than any prior president.

President Donald Trump this week stood firm when subjected to a 60 Minutes interrogation on climate, making a bold pitch for climate realism. The Heartland Institute was happy to help the president in his successful efforts.

60 Minutes journalist Leslie Stahl began the interrogation by asking Trump if he thought climate change is a hoax. While declining to use the word “hoax,” Trump cast doubt on the notion that humans are creating a global warming crisis.

“Something’s changing and it’ll change back again…. But I don’t know that it’s manmade,” said Trump.

Trump referenced the economy-killing schemes proposed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as well as the $100-billion-annual wealth transfers to developing nations under the Paris climate agreement.

“I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t want to be put at a disadvantage,” Trump explained.

When Stahl attempted to argue that scientists at NOAA and NASA make alarming global warming predictions, Trump immediately countered, “We have scientists that disagree with that.”

Scientists affiliated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA have joined scores of other scientists making the case for global warming skepticism at The Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change series. Thousands of other scientists have signed the Oregon Petition, expressing similar skepticism about global warming alarmism.

Trump also noted that climate change has been a natural occurrence for millions of years.

Trump followed up his schooling of Leslie Stahl with an interview this Tuesday with the Associated Press.

Responding to a challenge about hurricanes, Trump observed the many hurricanes 50 or more years ago that were as strong or stronger as recent hurricanes.

“We had worse hurricanes in 1890. We had a worse hurricane 50 years ago. We’ve gone through a period, actually, fairly recently, where we have very few,” said Trump.

“What I’m not willing to do is sacrifice the economic well-being of our country for something that nobody really knows,” Trump insisted. “And you have scientists on both sides of the issue. And I agree the climate changes, but it goes back and forth, back and forth. So we’ll see.”

When presented with a “scientists say” question, Trump quickly saw through the misleading generalization and corrected it.

“No, no. Some say that and some say differently,” Trump noted.

The Heartland Institute has been happy to help President Trump understand the truth about climate change, as well as see through the traps the media constantly tries to spring on climate realists. During the White House transition after Trump’s election in November 2016, The Heartland Institute – at the request of Trump’s top staff – put together a PowerPoint presentation on climate change for the president’s viewing. His bold and powerful messaging on the topic and citation of global warming facts closely reflects The Heartland Institute’s views and published information on the topic.

President Trump has stood up more firmly for sound science and climate realism than any prior president. We look forward to helping him do more of the same throughout his presidency.


Personhood of a Transhuman and the Data Dilemma

by Gourav Krishna Nandi, Montana State University - Bozeman, MT


{An interesting 2014 article on what might constitute personhood in a transhuman- ED}

[“Data” refers to the anthropomorphized android from Star Trek]

Abstract

Personhood is often thought to be a characteristic possessed by those who can make decisions, have moral worth and responsibilities, and can participate in civil and political rights. Are these attributes exclusive to the naturally born and naturally maintained humans? If we, in the foreseeable future, are to adapt to the assimilation of individuals with technological enhancements in society, how should we regard the personhood of such enhanced sentient beings? In this paper, I use Hume's distinction between an idea and a belief to analyze our differences in the perception of personhood in a naturally born human and a transhuman. Using the instance of Julian Savulescu’s intelligent and independent observer and Gene Roddenberry’s android character Data, I argue that personhood is an evolving idea that does not depend on strict social constraints, but is similar to the mathematical definition of infinity, an abstract approximation.


Introduction

This paper explores the notion of anthropocentric bias against a transhuman individual

As neuro-informatics and cognitive sciences continue to flourish and impact the average citizen, the analysis of new technology driven social standards is paramount. I focus on a contemporary issue concerning personhood as a set of societal beliefs that would play such a role, if we are, in the foreseeable future, to adapt to a transhuman society.  At the outset, the paper analyzes the classical attributes of personhood from the lens of ideas and beliefs proposed by David Hume. Owing to the scope of this work, I limit the definition of personhood to its empirical association with the existence of the human, where personhood is an elementary entity that differentiates a human from a non-human; hence, personhood is inseparable from the human. The existence of a human implies the existence of personhood in them. The contrapositive states, if an individual does not possess personhood, they cannot be a human.  Furthermore, considering the limits, I concentrate on how transhumanism fits.

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into human society. In other words, can we consider a transhuman to be a human-individual who possesses personhood? How would technology affect such an idea? In an attempt to answer this, I contrast the separation of the human and the natural, from an oriental perspective proposed by Ryuichi Ida in his essay “Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.”4    Lastly, I examine a concrete instance of what it means to be a human by using Gene Roddenberry’s android character Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation  to argue that being human and possessing personhood is an intangible idea, a mathematically and materialistically unreachable quantity, which is founded on the conceptions laid down by social constraints.5

 

2. Of Beliefs and Ideas:


According to David Hume, the belief of a concept is a subset of the idea of the concept itself.6 Every aspect of a belief is constrained in the set of ideas. 7  Mathematically, this results in the possible existence of the certain properties of a concept in which we can conceive and not believe. Hume further hypothesizes that the notion of both our ideas and our beliefs as molded by our experiences is empirically

4.  Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogatio n from an Asian Perspective., Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human  Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

5.  Roddenberry, Gene. Star Trek: The Next Generation.

6.  “The idea of an object is an essential part of the belief of it, but not the whole.” Sec. vii Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.  A Treatise of Human Nature.

7.  “We conceive many things, which we do not believe.” Sec. vii Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief. A Treatise of Human Nature.

 
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axiomatic.8   An idea of a concept is an immediate result of the sensory experiences of the world and its possible logical consequences, whereas, the belief  of a certain idea is dependent on the objective laws that the world is subjected to, in accordance to our senses. Hume provides the examples of a companion proposing the events concerning the death of Caesar in his bed, and mercury being heavier than gold.9   According to the proposed conjecture, the idea of Caesar’s death on his bed is conceivable through our sensory inputs, but the experience of the world with the historical evidence suggests otherwise.10  Caesar’s death on his bed is thus merely an idea , owing to the definition of death, a bed and our acquaintance with Caesar. I dismiss it as a belief   because history disproves it.

To equate this characteristic to the idea of transhumanism, I perform an empirical analysis. Let us begin with an example of a conception along Hume’s distinction of relations of ideas and matters of fact.11


Ideas/ Caesar’s death on his bed

Beliefs/ Caesar’s death by Brutus

 

Where does the personhood of a Transhuman lie in this venn diagram?

 

8.   Hume, D. Sec. vii  Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.  A Treatise of Human Nature.

9.  Sec. vii Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.

A Treatise of Human Nature. “more fusible, than lead, or mercury heavier than gold; it is evident, that notwithstanding my incredulity, I clearly understand his meaning, and form all the same ideas, which he forms ... is it possible for him to conceive any idea, which I cannot conceive; nor conjoin any, which I cannot conjoin.”

10.   Julius Caesar (100 BCE - 44 BCE) was assassinated in the Roman senate

11.   Hume, D. Sec. vii Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.  A Treatise of Human Nature.


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In the Enquiry (1748), Hume states that all ideas are derived from their impressions, which he maintains are the results of sensations.12  What I deduce from experience are therefore copies of my sensations. He reasons that even the basic axioms require oneself to possess knowledge which are the results of the accumulation of sense experiences, impressions, that cannot be exclusively deduced by reason.13   The idea of a green grass-blade, for an instance, consists of several components, all of which may be reduced to the senses. The perception of the color of the grass-blade is dependent on my visual senses. The visible light waves, consisting of various wavelengths reflect from the blade. The color that I perceive as green is the result of the absorption of all other wavelengths by the grass-blade. The shape of the blade is subjected to my touch senses. As such, the idea of a grass-blade is dependent on the conception of its various components. The existence of the grass blade in my mind is what Hume calls an idea.14   The components of the conception of the blade are constant in me as a result of previous experiences. However, the capability to stretch the idea of the grass blade in accordance to my conceptions is what I further contemplate, as the idea of personhood and its relation to the concept of transhumanism. The belief of the grass, on the other hand, includes just the possibility of the occurrence of the idea.  For instance, my brain has noticed in the past, the presence of snow on a grass-blade. But, it never contemplates the existence of a white grass-blade, for it is in the domain of an idea and not a belief. The green-ness of the blade is a component of its concept, and I

 

12.  Hume, D.An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.

13.   Hume, D. Sec. vii Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.  A Treatise of Human Nature.

14.  Hume, D. Sec. vii  Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.  A Treatise of Human Nature.

 

PAGE 6:

argue that such contemplation of notion of a white grass blade is similar to the concept of a human transhuman, an individual who is transhuman despite possessing the properties of personhood. Let us contemplate the accepted notions of being a human. Humans are born naturally; they have naturally endowed characteristics, which a transhuman does not possess. Hence, I have a socially held belief on whom to assign the “human” tag. Transhumanism underscores the idea of surpassing the natural order, in order to improve the physical and the mental faculty of the human.15   In the next chapter, I use the analogy of Hume’s empirical propositions to classify physical enhancements and broadly the notion of personhood, as an approximation.16

 

2.1 Ryuichi Ida’s concept review

 

It might be assumed as an axiom, under the constraint of our technological and sociological progress, that a human becomes a transhuman only after the application of enhancements, which would not have been present without the existence of present technology.

Ryuichi Ida asserts that the concept of enhancements that pertains to physical and mental enhancements are artificial; a nano-chip inserted into the brain to increase


15.  I describe the natural order as is done by Ida: enhancing the individual in a way that wouldnot have been possible without the humans.

16.  Approximation is equivalent to limiting value in calculus. I use the word to attribute the abilityof, say ‘n’ to reach a value ‘b’. When we state that n is an approximation to the value b, it impliesthat n limits toward the value of b, but never reaches b. Mathematically, n ~  b, but n not = b.

 

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memory and to aid in extensive learning can provide an instance in this regard.17   The existence of the humans is paramount to the existence of the nano-chip. The nano-chip needed the humans to be in the current state of technology. According to Ida, the enhancement using the nano-chip is not natural, i.e, had the humans been absent from the chain of events, the chip would never have existed. However, this stance does not affirm that the existence of the humans is unnatural.

Now, every mention of an improvement in the physical and mental capabilities of a human underscores an artificial enhancement. Ida asserts there is a difference between natural enhancements and artificial enhancements of an individual. He provides an objective illustration: A candidate studying every day for a demanding examination and being rewarded with the highest grade can be termed as the realization of the person using their naturally given capabilities. The mental enhancement that results from a continuous practice using the natural endowments of a person is what, according to the Ida, constitutes the oriental definition of a natural enhancement. However, he opposes the view, where an examinee uses genetic enhancement to improve their performance in the examination. Such a modification, according to Ida, is artificial and accounts for the “control and management of nature through knowledge and technology.”18    I may conclude that Ida’s position implies that every enhancement that is possible due to the presence of the modern humans and

 

17.  Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.

Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

18.   Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.

Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

PAGE 8:

their technological growth is termed as unnatural. Here, the usage of the word “modern” is important, as the enhancements caused due to pre-historic agricultural and urban settlements are considered by Ida as natural.19

 

3. Enhancements as beliefs and concepts

 

Despite Ida’s perception of technology as artificial, he maintains that the humans are fundamentally natural. However, the way the humans have used the natural resources during their evolution to develop technology has separated them from nature, and is thus, unnatural. As such, transhumans can exist if only we develop artificial enhancements. Such individuals cannot be termed as natural and therefore personhood cannot be associated with a transhuman. In the Venn diagram of ideas and beliefs, Ida would place the personhood of a transhuman outside the domain of beliefs.  Humans are thought to have a natural order, and the enhancements acts as a deviation from the natural to create a transhuman is unnatural.

 

3.1 Savulescu’s independent observer

 

Extending Ida’s premise of the natural human, I state two possible attributes of being human: it is an attainable state of existence or it is a mathematical state of approximation.20  If the notion of personhood an intangible concept, like infinity, personhood can be approximated to, but never reached physically. Whereas, if it is an

 

19.  Ida considers agriculture, which involves the cultivation of the land and the manipulation of the

natural order in the land ecosystem. His concerns begins with technology. I consider, in a later section, the definition of technology. Should any tool making be termed as technology, or is it just the modern improvements? In other words, how different is the building of a chisel to that of a computer?

20.  I use the terms being human and personhood interchangeably

 

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attainable state, there is a set of clauses, obtaining which, an individual can possess personhood. Moreover, if human nature is a mathematical approximation of propositions, individuals whom I consider transhumans in the contemporary society, may be defined as humans in a transhumanist society, for a change in the social paradigms would witness the growth of the set of beliefs. Here, I reason that enhancement cannot make us any more or any less human, using the view of an independent observer, a view which is against the oriental perspective as asserted by Ida.21

 

3.1.1 The Natural and the Artificial to the Independent Observer

 

The differentiation of the human and the natural underscores the separation of the two. It asserts the East Asian perspective upheld by Ida, who considers living amidst nature, but excludes the human when considering natural.22  However, the differentiation of the unnatural from the natural enhancement is a propensity that is historically evident in both the Eastern and the Western traditions, where philosophers have sought to distinguish between the natural and the human.

In an attempt to nullify this distinction, I consider Savulescu’s independent observer. Let us contemplate a hypothetical scenario where there exists an intelligent species on a different star system, who apparently, have developed warp drive and traveled to Earth to observe human activities. From the perspective of our visitor,

 

21.  Savulescu, Julian. Prejudice and Moral Status of Enhanced Beings.  Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

22.  Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.

Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

PAGE 10:

anthropocentric values are inconsistent; their superior intelligence affirms that our technological developments and the reworking of the Earth’s surface, to them, is synonymous to our view of say, the chimpanzee using tools and displaying empathy. Savulescu terms such an observer, an independent one, who is not only devoid of my anthropocentric biases, but is also able to comprehend human intelligence. Our premise examines if the independent observer would consider our creations natural. We often attribute the same characteristic of animals using tools to the chimpanzee who uses a tool and the hummingbird who builds its nest. I reason that the association of our building of a modern city and the building of the ant-hill by the army ants to the intelligent observer is coherent and logically consistent with the premise that the observer is more intelligent than both the species. To them, without the presence of the army ants on the planet, the ant colonies and the ant-hill would never have existed, as would a city of humans without the humans. The hypothesis is also a reminder to us that our creation of advanced tools and computer technology is but a better manipulation of the natural resources available to us. The army ant uses its own armor (its natural endowment) and twigs (utilization of natural resources) to dig the soil and create the ant-hill. Similarly, we use advanced iron ore, and bricks and cement (advanced utilization of natural resources) to create buildings in a city. Evidently, to the observer, the distinction between the ants and the humans is in the advancements of tool making. As such, when we invent physical enhancements to create a transhuman, the inherent nature of the device would be termed natural to such an observer. The argument bridges the gap between the human and the natural, which in the first place existed because of our human-centric approach to the problem. The transhuman, I can


PAGE 11:

reason, is a natural product, owing to the advanced use of the natural resources available to us.

To return to the initial argument concerning the beliefs and the ideas of a natural and an artificial enhancement, I conclude that the enhancement as a natural process is an idea for Ida, which exists as a belief to the independent observer. So far, I have concluded that the enhancements required to create a transhuman are natural; let us now explore the personhood of a transhuman. Due to the scope of this paper, I limit myself to the attribution of personhood to the transhuman individual. I assume personhood as a natural characteristic of the human individual owing to its development in us without any unnatural process. The human tag is associated with an individual who possesses personhood, as I discussed in the introduction. To analyze the possibility of a transhuman to be perceived as a human, in the following section, I study the fictional character Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

 

4. Data and Personhood

 

Data is an android character created by Gene Roddenberry for his popular science fiction series. The android is anthropomorphic in its appearance and functions. Data is programmed to evolve, and his goal is to become more and more human. According to Gene Roddenberry, the character was to be the closest one can be to a human without being a human.23  Nevertheless, the quintessential requirement to be a human, as mentioned above, is the possession of personhood. Data is a transhuman;

 

23.   Savulescu, Julian.  Prejudice and Moral Status of Enhanced Beings.Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

PAGE 12:

he has capabilities, which transcends the physical and mental capacities of the average human. He is stronger, can think faster, and though made of silicon, he is able to evolve. At the outset, I shall consider Data a life form, as urged by Roddenberry.24   Besides, according the prevalent NASA’s definition of life, Data is capable to reproducing and evolving in a Darwinian approach. However, is Data a person? To answer this question, I retreat to Hume’s ideas and beliefs  to differentiate between Data’s personhood considering our social paradigms.



4.1 Beliefs and Ideas concerning transhumanism


According to Ida, Data does not possess the characteristics about the ideals of personhood, owing to his artificial birth. I shall analyze Data’s status quo as a human, despite his physical differences. Ida’s foremost appeal towards a human person is arguably an attempt to nullify the idea of unnatural improvements. In the previous two sections, we have concluded that from the view of an unbiased, independent observer, the improvements are natural, even if they include an enhancement using technology.

According to the Star Trek canon, given the right circumstances, Data acts like a human.25  Alan Turing pioneered the idea of a machine imitating a human in his famous experiment where the machine is able to fool the human into making him think that the machine was a human. He delved into the idea of a thinking machine. Data’s nature is similar to the dichotomy I analyzed in the first section. Firstly, he is an android. He is made of silicon chips rather than flesh and blood. He lacks the accepted definition of a human, but Roddenberry came up with the idea of an emotion chip, a device when

 

24.  Roddenberry, Gene. “Datalore”.  Star Trek: The Next Generation, Paramount, 1987. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.

25.  Roddenberry, Gene.  Star Trek: The Next Generation.

 

PAGE 13:

placed in Data’s circuits makes him “experience” human emotions.26   Often, Data is incapable of handling the emotions that he is subjected to due to their mathematical complexity, but the fact that he can experience a new emotion that is not controlled by the machine acts for the argument of assigning personhood with Data. He is able to think, to sacrifice, to love, to feel pain and even get confused with the emotion chip. As such, with the device implanted in Data’s body transforms the android into an individual having personhood. But should such an individual be called a human being? It can be argued that Data acts as a nonhuman with the subtraction of a certain chemical in their brain, but I reason that the lack of certain chemicals in the human brain can render a naturally born human, a non-person. As such, the criteria I discussed about Data’s personhood is consistent with humans as well; the fact that it’s an emotion chip that prevents Data from being a human is compatible logically.

 

4.2 Personhood as an approximation

 

As such, I can reason that the concept of transhuman is just an idea of an extended human. It’s a trans-person, someone more capable in some respect and less capable in other aspects of an individual socially accepted as a human. This is especially true for those who claim that being human cannot be reduced to a set of specific clauses; it is an intangible property.

 At the beginning of the paper, I limited myself to the empirical association of personhood to being human. Every individual who is a human possesses personhood. This condition does not necessarily imply that every possessor of personhood is a human. Rather, anyone not having personhood devoid themselves off the idea of being

 

26.  Roddenberry, Gene. “Generations”. Star Trek: The Next Generation, Paramount, 1987. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.

 

PAGE 14:

a human. Data, on the other hand, as I concluded, has personhood. He shows every characteristic that would tag him the notion of being a human. As such, being human has a necessary condition in personhood. Since, I have concluded that personhood is limited mostly by my acceptance of ideas into beliefs, I reason, there are no set of reducible clauses that would define the personhood of an individual.

 

5.  Conclusion

 

The essay began with an inspiration in popular science fiction, and how the ideas relating to personhood apply to Data, the anthropomorphized android from Star Trek.27

 

 I borrow the idea of mathematical infinity to reflect upon his goal. Infinity, for all its uses in

calculus, has never been defined. It is the abstract notion of a number which is larger than every other number imagined by the human mind. From Hume’s empirical point of view, infinity is not in the domain of a belief, for it’s incoherent with human experience. The only way I can define infinity is by limiting myself to the idea.  As an instance a statement in symbolic mathematics,

 

limn  --> infinity 1/ n = 0

implies that the value of 1/ n is 0, when n tends to infinity. Here, n is an integer; it never actually reaches infinity for an integer is presumed to be in the domain of a belief, it has an empirical existence in the human mind. As such, despite the immensity of its value, n always represents a number, which excludes the possibility of being infinite. The above expression, thus is concerned about the value that 1/n obtains, as n becomes larger,

 

27.  The choice to include Data ahead of C3PO or other androids is based on Data’s goal throughout the Star Trek series:  to become as close to being a human without becoming a human.

 

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which is 0.  In other words, the statement doesn’t prove the equivalence of the value of

n to infinity but of the equivalence of the value of 1/n to 0.

 

The analysis of Data’s personhood has synonymity in the definition of his goal: to become human.

 

Ideas/ Personhood of Data

Beliefs/ Accepted notion of personhood

 

The figure points out two constraints:

•to be a member of the set of beliefs, a concept has to be a set of ideas (Hume’s definition).

•the set of beliefs and the set of ideas are not necessarily equal. In other words, there are ideas which may not be beliefs.

Data’s personhood would be recognized by the social constraints as I learn that from an independent observer’s position, it’s our limitations that would not confer personhood on Data in the present society. I have drawn the set of beliefs in dotted lines to represent an ever changing set of the societal paradigms and our acceptance of who is a human; a notion that, in time, will broaden enough to include the personhood of Data. Personhood, as such, is alike infinity which is abstract, on its own, but tends to function when applied to a physical object to which I am acquainted. As I, from an unbiased approach define the relationship of Data and the notion of being human, I

 

PAGE 16:

observe an equivalence between Data and a human, as he evolves towards his personhood.28

 

Mathematically,

 

limData --> Personhood Data = Human”


28.  Savulescu, Julian. Prejudice and Moral Status of Enhanced Beings.  Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

PAGE 17:  REFERENCES

Hume, D. Sec. vii

Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief. A Treatise of Human Nature.

 

Hume, D. Sec. vii

Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief. A Treatise of Human Nature.

 

Hume, D., An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.

 

Hume, D. Sec. vii

Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief. A Treatise of Human Nature

 

.•Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.

Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.

Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

Manzo, Silvia. "Francis Bacon: Freedom, Authority and Science."  British Journal for the History of Philosophy  14.2 (2006): 245-73. ProQuest.Web. 29 Apr. 2013.

 

Morris, John. "Pattern Recognition in Descartes' Automata."  Isis  60 (1969): 451-60. ProQuest.

Web. 29 Apr. 2013.

Rozemond, Marleen. "Descartes's Case for Dualism."  Journal of the History of Philosophy

 33.1 (1995): 29-63.  ProQuest. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.

Roddenberry, Gene.  Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Savulescu, Julian. Prejudice and Moral Status of Enhanced Beings. Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

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Savulescu, Julian. Prejudice and Moral Status of Enhanced Beings. Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

Roddenberry, Gene. Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Savulescu, Julian. Prejudice and Moral Status of Enhanced Beings.  Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

Roddenberry, Gene. “Datalore”. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Paramount, 1987. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.

Roddenberry, Gene. “Generations”. Star Trek: The Next Generation, Paramount, 1987. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.

Taub, Liba. Ptolemy's Universe: The Natural Philosophical and Ethical Foundations of Ptolemy's Astronomy., 1993. ProQuest. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.

Xenophanes, Clement of Alexandria, Book V. 110.


FOOTNOTES:

1.  I generalize the notion of a transhuman, where an  individual with any form of enhancement that enables them to better their functioning, physically or mentally, is called a transhuman.

Also, considering that our understanding is materialized by perception, I consider bias to be an a-priori tautology. We perceive matter, as it were, through the senses. In other words, spatial and temporal occurrences in nature trigger the stimulus that engender into (engender into?) the perceptions we undergo. What we perceive as physical objects are the result of the reactions due to events that cause the materialization of the physical objects.

2.  “Personhood” is often taken to have a very special and specific meaning in philosophy —those things with personhood have moral latency; that is, they are objects of moral concern, are worthy of being cared about, have rights, have responsibilities, etc. Persons often are thought to be those things that can make decisions, or, at the very least, are things that we make decisions about legally and morally, because they are important and worthy of moral judgment.

3.  Personhood => Human

               not (Human) => not(Personhood)





[Note:  Amazing -- another plunge into philosophy -- this time by a transhumanist using a modern philosopher (Hume-the-empiricist and utilitarian) and a special mathematical formula to justify Posthuman “Personhood” -- specifically, the “personhood” of Data, the Star Trek android!  If ever there was an example of someone using the subject matter and method of one field (math) while trying to analyze the subject matter of a different field (philosophical anthropology, or how to define “a human being”) it is this article -- and apparently he doesn’t even know that he is violating the division and methods of the “sciences”!  (Same weird phenomenon with engineers, physicists and mathematicians doing human genetics in biology!).  E.g., you can’t study math with a microscope, and you don’t have a bus driver perform brain surgery!  Another sizzling failure of NanoBioInfoCogno.  (Whoever thought that up?!).

Not to mention that all “modern” philosophies (including utilitarian bioethics) are riddled with problems that real philosophers are fully aware of, and Hume is no exception -- especially the theoretically devastating “mind/body split”.   Additionally, David Hume (1711-1776):

“ ... questioned common notions of personal identity, and argued that there is no permanent “self” that continues over time. He dismissed standard accounts of causality and argued that our conceptions of cause-effect relations are grounded in habits of thinking, rather than in the perception of causal forces in the external world itself.  ...  In the philosophy of religion, he argued that it is unreasonable to believe testimonies of alleged miraculous events, and he hints, accordingly, that we should reject religions that are founded on miracle testimonies. ...  In moral theory, against the common view that God plays an important role in the creation and reinforcement of moral values, he offered one of the first purely secular moral theories, which grounded morality in the pleasing and useful consequences that result from our actions. He introduced the term “utility” into our moral vocabulary, and his theory is the immediate forerunner to the classic utilitarian views of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.”  Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, at:  http://www.iep.utm.edu/hume/

But this writer is apparently clueless as to the “cons” of Humean philosophy or of utilitarian bioethics which render irrelevant this writer’s wished-for conclusion below --including the “cons” of transhumanist/bioethicist student of Peter Singer, Savulescu.  In a real philosophical analysis it is required to acknowledge both the “pros” and the “cons” of any particular philosophical position and respond to those “cons” before adopting that philosophical position as your own -- otherwise your opponent will gladly hurl them at you.  You can’t just pick and choose bits and pieces of a particular philosophical tradition that please you and gets you where you want to go, and ignore the bits and pieces that you don’t want.

And while some “personhood” standards and definitions of "a human being" are simply matters of "evolving" social constructions (such as that proposed in the following article), not all “personhood” standards are.  Indeed, some are inherently empirically grounded in our objective knowledge of human beings -- whole human beings, that is.  [See Irving, “Philosophical and scientific expertise:  An evaluation of the arguments on ‘personhood’”, Linacre Quarterly February 1993, 60:1:18-46, at:  http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_04person1.html;   also "What is 'bioethics'?" (June 3, 2000), at:  http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_36whatisbioethics01.html].

I do wonder what kind of “academic” organization would even want to post the following hypothetical space-alien perspective of the "independent observer" using symbolic mathematical/utilitarian philosophical/bioethical  “analysis” to argue for the possible social-constructed “personhood” for posthumans based on infinity.   But I’m sure NBIC and WTEC -- and Roddenberry -- will love it.  PS -- if you can’t follow the “logic” of the following article, or get dizzy, it’s not you.  The article first appeared here. --  DNI]

 







Today's Bible Lesson

by Anonymous


In today’s world with President Trump getting hit daily I decided a little Bible Lesson might be
appropriate. Remember what Jesus said: 'Goats on the left, sheep on the right' (Matthew 25:33).

Jesus also told Peter that if he wanted to catch fish do it from the right side of the boat He did and filled the boat with fish.

John 21:6 (NIV) ... He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some."  When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish."

 Origin of Left & Right..

I have often wondered why it is that Conservatives are called the "right" and Liberals are called the "left".

By chance I stumbled upon thisverse in the Bible: Ecclesiastes10:2 (NIV) - "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left."

Thus saith the Lord.

Amen

It surely can't get any simpler than that.

Spelling Lesson: The last four letters in American......... I Can

The last four letters in Republican:....... I Can

The last four letters in Democrats:....... Rats

End of lesson! ...Test to follow on November 6, 2018.

Remember, November 2018 is to be set aside as Rodent Removal month.  

Please share this Bible Lesson with all your friends and email buddies to help achieve that
goal.

Never grow a wishbone where a backbone ought to be.


Winning the Ultimate Lottery

by Gerald Weston


We are hearing this week of a record mega-lottery here in the United States. Some people tweeted the following answers to the question, “What would you do if you won a billion dollars?” One said he would build the wall between Mexico and the U.S. Another said he would rebuild Mexico Beach on the Gulf coast, destroyed by Hurricane Michael. And another said he would give some to charity and spend the rest of his life hunting and fishing.

Perhaps you dream about what you would do with a billion dollars, or a significant fraction of that amount. After all, one hundred million, or even ten million, will go a long way! Many people, when asked the question, say they would give a portion to charity. I’m sure they are sincere in saying this, but would they really build the wall or give it all to rebuild a destroyed city? Maybe, but probably not.

Have you ever considered that, in principle, you have already won the lottery? Let me explain.

Jesus made it plain that His message was not understandable by the majority. For example, Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44), repeating this truth to His disciples shortly afterward (v. 65). How few understand this! Consider also, why did Jesus speak in parables? It is not the reason I heard in Sunday school. Jesus’ own disciples asked Him this very question. Here was His answer: “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” (Matthew 13:11). A parallel account on this same occasion adds, “But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples” (Mark 4:34).

If you understand these things you are part of a very small group of people. You understand, not because you are more intelligent or better than others, but because God has specially selected you to do His end-time Work. He opened your mind to precious truth not generally understood by billions on earth today! No, it is not a lottery based on chance. It is selection by the Creator of the universe! But as with lotteries, only a precious few win, and you have been called to win!

Jesus’ parables reflect the value of knowledge you receive from Tomorrow’s World and the Living Church of God, the sponsor of Tomorrow’s World. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:44–46).

The Apostle Peter wrote an encouraging passage regarding the difficult and painful things we experience in life. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6–7). And Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

These passages and parables all point to one great truth: Everything physical will perish, but the choices we make in life and the faith in God that we express by our actions are of far greater value than the things for which most people crave. As John instructs us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.    And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15, 17).

We do not like to think about it, but we will all come to the end of this physical existence, and the end of the trail comes sooner than we once thought. Young people may know this academically. Older folks measure the days (Psalm 39:4).

What if you did win the mega-lottery? How long would it last? What would you do with it? What truly lasting value would hunting and fishing give you in the end? Now please understand. Hunting and fishing have worthy recreational value, and I personally try to take off a few days each year to go fishing, but should that be the purpose of one’s life? What happens when the end of the trail comes? Then what?

The fact that you are reading this indicates you are probably one who sees more to life than another fishing trip, a game of golf, or winning the mega-lottery. Your contributions and your prayers show your love for God and your love for others (Matthew 22:35–40).

Our offices around the world receive a continual stream of letters from individuals thanking us for what we give them free of charge. We also receive some not too flattering letters, but that is fine. We know that we are reaching beyond the choir! However,  I want to share a few comments with you, because you make them possible and these people want to thank you. I have embolden a few words for emphasis.

Here is a letter from Colorado from a reader who appreciated our booklet explaining the purpose of life. “Good Day. I just want to thank you for the Booklet: Your Ultimate Destiny! Awesome!!! Really opened my mind! Keep up the Good Work! GOD Bless You All.” If you have not read this booklet, please let us know and we will send you a free copy. It explains the very purpose of life straight from the pages of the Bible. Can there be any more valuable truth?

A writer from South Africa wants you to know how much he appreciates you. “I just want to thank you for the booklet and the Bible Study Course. Thanks for all the People at Tomorrow's World. You are Highly Appreciated! GOD Bless!”

A woman shared her thoughts by e-mail regarding a Tomorrow’s World article. “I read ‘Which Jesus Do You Worship,’ and it left me wondering and wanting to know more. Cause it is my heart’s desire to follow Christ Jesus. Thank you for waking me up.” You make the magazine possible, so we share her thanks with you!

Earlier this year someone from Perth, Australia wrote regarding Dr. Roderick C. Meredith’s series on the Protestant Reformation. “I am in receipt of May-June 2018 T/W magazine, for which as always, I am deeply grateful. . . . May Almighty God through Christ Jesus, continue to Bless each of you in this Wonderful Work that you are doing, and [I] look forward to receiving a copy of Dr. Meredith’s brilliant work.”

A subscriber from Toronto, Ontario wrote to express his appreciation. “Thank you so much for your ministry, you are helping people to understand we are living in the last days, and we have to live a life according to God’s Word. Thank you again. God Bless this Ministry.”

Some of our subscribers are in prison for serious sins committed earlier in life. This man writes from Hunlock, Pennsylvania. “Thank you for your magazine, Tomorrow’s World. . . . I am a life sentence prisoner serving a life without parole sentence. I have 30 years served so far. Your magazine helps me to keep my sanity in a world with so much misinformation and injustice. Your publication keeps me aware of what’s truly important.”

Another prisoner, this one from Marino, Ohio writes regarding Tomorrow’s World, “This magazine has been truly one of the most consistently read pieces of Christian literature in my 13½ years of incarceration. You guys are truly a blessing and exemplary of what a Christian today is to ‘look like’ and ‘sound like.’

There are so many more I could share with you, but I’ll give just one more. This one is from Gatundu, Kenya. “I have been transformed by your magazines. The word of God is real, [and has] become simpler and clearer each day.”

Okay, I cannot resist. Here is one more, from a woman in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. “Other than the Holy Bible itself, I have been searching for a teaching program [that] teaches ‘Sound Christian doctrine.’ I applaud your ‘FREE’ teachings that other programs want to charge a lot of money for. How else would poor people be able to understand this wicked world?

Once again, thank you for your part in making it possible to reach people of all races, nationalities, economic conditions, and ages. I pray that God fully opens your minds and hearts to the very purpose of life and that you will stand before the Son of God upon His return. You are making a difference through your tithes, offerings, and heartfelt prayers! Thank you dear friends!


Hillary Caught Making Claim About Kavanaugh That Was Already Proven False by Fact-Checkers


by Randy DeSoto

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doubled down Wednesday on a claim Sen. Kamala Harris made regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s views on birth control that multiple fact-checkers have already determined to be false.

“I want to be sure we’re all clear about something that Brett Kavanaugh said in his confirmation hearings last week. He referred to birth-control pills as ‘abortion-inducing drugs,'” Clinton tweeted. “That set off a lot of alarm bells for me, and it should for you, too.”

“Kavanaugh didn’t use that term because he misunderstands the basic science of birth control—the fact that birth control prevents fertilization of eggs in the first place. He used that term because it’s a dog whistle to the extreme right,” she added.

Hillary Clinton‏Verified account @HillaryClinton Sep 12

I want to be sure we're all clear about something that Brett Kavanaugh said in his confirmation hearings last week. He referred to birth-control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs." That set off a lot of alarm bells for me, and it should for you, too.

20,281 replies 41,031 retweets 137,358 likes

Kavanaugh didn't use that term because he misunderstands the basic science of birth control—the fact that birth control prevents fertilization of eggs in the first place. He used that term because it's a dog whistle to the extreme right.

6:14 AM - 12 Sep 2018


The Washington Post awarded Harris with four Pinocchios for sharing a selectively edited video about Kavanaugh while arguing that he is “going after” birth control.

The California Democrat tweeted footage of an exchange Kavanaugh had with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas during the judge’s confirmation hearing last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Cruz asked Kavanaugh about his dissent in the 2014 Priests for Life case before the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals involving the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate.

The nominee answered by recounting the plaintiff priests’ position in the case regarding filling out a Department of Health and Human Services form to obtain a waiver from the contraception mandate, which, if accepted by HHS, required health insurance providers to offer the coverage free of charge to those who were interested.

Kavanaugh told Cruz, “They said filling out the form would make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a religious matter, objecting to.”

Harris’s video omitted Kavanaugh saying, “they said,” making it appear that he was offering a statement about his views on the matter, and even birth control more broadly.

Harris wrote of the exchange in a tweet on Friday.

Kamala Harris‏Verified account @SenKamalaHarris

Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control. He was nominated for the purpose of taking away a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions. Make no mistake - this is about punishing women.

11:45 AM - 7 Sep 2018
8,538 replies 15,061 retweets 

Here is Kavanaugh's full answer. There's no question that he uncritically used the term "abortion-inducing drugs," which is a dog whistle term used by extreme anti-choice groups to describe birth control.

Kavanaugh explained to Cruz that the reason he dissented in the case was based on the Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores decision, which found business owners have the right not to provide contraception coverage to employees if it runs contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.

It should be noted that Hobby Lobby’s owners did not object to providing birth control coverage, which they were in fact doing, but did object to providing contraceptives they believe cause abortions, including “morning-after pills” and two types of intrauterine devices.

There are 16 other FDA-approved contraception methods that the company did not object to, as they prevent the egg from being fertilized in the first place.

However, the four methods of contraception at issue in the case “may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus.” Thus, the concern was that by providing these abortifacients, they would be facilitating abortion.

After receiving significant criticism for her misleading tweet, Harris included Kavanaugh’s comments in context in a subsequent post, but argued, “There’s no question that he uncritically used the term ‘abortion-inducing drugs,’ which is a dog whistle term used by extreme anti-choice groups to describe birth control.”

The Washington Post was not buying the senator’s explanation.

“Harris’s decision to snip those crucial words (‘they said’) from her first post on the video is certainly troubling,” wrote Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler.

Regarding her follow up tweet, he added, “But there was no acknowledgment by Harris that the original tweet was misleading.”

Kessler concluded, “She earns Four Pinocchios — and her fellow Democrats should drop this talking point.”

Politifact also found Harris’ Twitter post in error.

“In Harris’ tweet, Kavanaugh appears to define contraception as abortion-inducing. But the video failed to include a crucial qualifier: ‘They said,’” Politifact reported.

“In fact, he was citing the definition of the religious group Priests for Life. He has not expressed his personal view,” the fact-checker added. “We rate this statement False.”


David French‏Verified account @DavidAFrench

David French Retweeted Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton comes barreling back into the conversation with a timely reminder that she’s one of the more prolific liars in modern American politics.

David French added,

Hillary ClintonVerified account @HillaryClinton
I want to be sure we're all clear about something that Brett Kavanaugh said in his confirmation hearings last week. He referred to birth-control pills as "abortion-inducing
drugs." That set off a lot of alarm bells for me, and it should for you, too.
Show this thread
7:18 AM - 12 Sep 2018
175 replies 652 retweets 2,373 likes

National Review’s David French chastised Clinton for grabbing onto Harris’ claim against Kavanaugh, which she should have known to be false.

He tweeted, “Hillary Clinton comes barreling back into the conversation with a timely reminder that she’s one of the more prolific liars in modern American politics.”



A fuel-economy change that protect freedom and saves lives

by H. Sterling Burnett


If finalized the proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to freeze fuel-economy targets at 2020 levels through 2026 is good news for anyone concerned about consumer choice, vehicle affordability, and highway safety.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s determination freezing fuel-economy standards would benefit the American people should surprise no one, because in April EPA announced it would revoke the Obama-era standards requiring cars and light trucks sold in the United States to achieve an average of more than 50 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025.

President Obama signed off on the 50 mpg standards just before leaving office in December 2016, two years before the previous standards were scheduled to be reviewed. Studies show the 50 mpg standard would substantially increase the price of cars, change the composition of the nation’s automobile and light truck fleet, and put lives at risk.

The “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks” is a culmination of EPA’s consultation with NHTSA to determine how fuel-economy standards can best balance consumers’ concerns about automobile affordability, vehicle safety, and fuel economy. 

“Our proposal aims to strike the right regulatory balance based on the most recent information and create a 50-state solution that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less,” Wheeler said. 

“There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026. More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to U.S. roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public,” stated Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

EPA calculates freezing fuel-economy standards at 2020 levels through 2026 will save more than 500 billion dollars in societal costs over the next 50 years and reduce highway fatalities by 12,700 lives. 

Fuel standard mandates began in 1975, when Congress established Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to reduce dependence on foreign oil following the 1973–74 Arab oil embargo. The law required car manufacturers to meet mandated fuel-economy targets or else pay a hefty tax on gas-guzzling sedans. What happened? Some people bought smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Others, however, started driving trucks, and new categories of vehicles were born: SUVs and minivans.

Over the years, compact cars have become less popular because of low fuel prices, underpowered engines, and lack of passenger and storage space. Most full-sized cars and trucks can seat five adults, and minivans and many SUVs can seat between seven and nine people. Numerous SUVs, trucks, and minivans offer ample cargo space and are capable of hauling a trailer or boat, which no subcompact can do safely. 

Ironically, the high popularity of trucks, SUVs, and minivans is at least partially a result of environmentalists’ efforts to reduce the appeal of large, powerful cars. EPA’s stringent fuel-economy standards didn’t apply to trucks, SUVs, or minivans, which didn’t then exist. So, to keep the features they liked, millions of people replaced the family sedan or station wagon with an SUV or truck. As fuel efficiency increased and driving became cheaper, people drove more miles — thereby negating the marginal gains of owning more-fuel-efficient vehicles.

CAFE standards did not reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil — it would take the fracking revolution to do that — but they did have deadly unintended consequences. To meet federal fuel-economy guidelines, carmakers reduced vehicle size, weight, and power. By doing so, manufacturers compromised cars’ safety, resulting in tens of thousands of unnecessary injuries and deaths in vehicle crashes. For every 100 pounds shaved off new cars to meet CAFE standards, between 440 and 780 additional people are killed in auto accidents, amounting to 2,200 to 3,900 lives lost per year, according to researchers at Harvard University and the Brookings Institution. As a result, CAFE has resulted in more deaths than all U.S. soldiers lost in the Vietnam War and every U.S. military engagement since then.

The laws of physics will never change. In a vehicle crash, larger and heavier is safer than lighter and smaller. EPA’s fuel-economy freeze will prevent unnecessary deaths while protecting consumer choice.

If fuel economy is the driving force behind your purchasing decisions, nothing changes under EPA’s decision to freeze current fuel-economy standards. You are free to continue buying the electric, hybrid, or clean diesel vehicle of your choice. If, however, comfort, power, vehicle safety, and the ability to haul a boat or ferry a little league team are your goals, EPA’s CAFE freeze ensures you can continue to make that choice as well. 

Ain’t freedom grand!