Is it Possible to Know Goodness without European History?

It’s an often repeated and battled about question for young people, and those young of mind. “Is it possible to be good without God?” And its various iterations.

Here Judeo-Boomer Dennis Prager demonstrates his 115 IQ with an infographic worthy of a Jordan Peterson debate. By the way, if you intend to start a YouTube channel, I suggest you watch as much PragerU as you can. His audience is mostly boomers, the content is easy to parrot, and if you are young, female, and remotely good looking you’ll get both the beta bucks and the boomertards who publicly claim they wish their daughters had role models like you, while watching for the YouTube alert to hope they can add something new to the yank bank.

And If you want to seem edgy forget Patreon and go MakerSupport (which is a good site, by the way, without sarcasm). For a conservative, MakerSupport it will make you seem too edgy for Patreon. If you want to be more mainstream, Patreon is safe as is pretty much everything else deplatforming the real right these days. Hell even Candace “I found Reagan on the road to Damascus” Owens got a public apology from Jack Dorsey for calling her “far-right”.

Here is the answer from a non-militant nearly life-long atheist: Yes. Yes, you can be good without God; yes, even if God does not exist, murder is (still) wrong.

I was an atheist for 37ish years and I was, for the most part, a pretty good person. This is typically a Prager-tier question to atheists in a futile display of boomer-autism to convince young people who have rejected by stench if not logic and history the contemporary religious scene that passes for “Judeo-Christianity.”

Most of my former fellow atheists were atheists because they didn’t like Christianity. I don’t blame them. I don’t like it either. I grew up around Evangelicals who genuinely believed things (frequent but not universal among them) such as:

  1. Scientists are lying about the age of the Earth, the Great Flood, the discovery of certain archaeological sites whose existence would conclusively prove not only the Bible but the Evangelical version. Some Evangelicals believe that dinosaurs were put there by the devil to confuse man.
  2. Scientists lie about stuff all the time, I trained in Geophysics as an undergrad and once had a professor tell me to pretend a mountain didn’t exist so my gravity data would match up with the model we were using. Think about that the next time Bill Nye talks about “climate change models”.
  3. Jews are God’s chosen people and the reason they keep getting kicked out of — well, everywhere they’ve ever been — is because of anti-semitism. I’ve heard Evangelicucks say “Jews are God’s barometer for evil. If someone like Hitler hates God’s chosen people, he hates, God and therefore goodness.” That’s some Hagee-tier rationalization going on there guys. Even if you believe Jews are God’s chosenites, does it follow that it’s always the other guys fault you get kicked out? If a woman goes on 109 dates with 109 guys and no one calls her back, the common denominator is her.
  4. Complex eschatology such as dispensationalism, millennialism, pre-millennial/post-millennial dispensationalism, the two witnesses being stuck down in Jerusalem, and “Biblical prophecy” coming to fulfillment in our lifetimes because Izrul, as John Hagee pronounces it.

Have some of Pastor Hagee at his absolute most Judeo-Boomer:

They really believe this stuff. He is not a fringe nut among American Christians.

In reality the primary cause of the rise of secularism among the west isn’t any goofy belief though, or iron clad paradox seen on Reddit or a logical presentation of science YouTube Skeptic.™ It’s the fact that the churches don’t actually mean anything anymore. Churches are not a home for strength and men you respect. They are the home of the concessionist. They are the place you go for warm feelings of childhood.

In their desire to shield their children (and let’s just be honest here, many of these Christian men, raised in the church and on the internet, are rather uncomfortable with physical sex as well) from “the world” they have constructed a sterile cultural bubble where Christians cannot survive.

When gay marriage was legalized in the US several years ago, one of my best friends, a devout memeer of his Baptist Church, and a layman who often helped out with things needing to be done, turned to me — the secular, single man, who enjoys amusing my married friends with disturbing stories of debauchery — turned to me and said, “I told pastor, that if he wanted to marry a gay couple in our church, I’d stand by him. I’d be proud to have a gay family member.”

Christians today lead nothing, they follow Caesar. They follow, and have followed for a very long time, because they are afraid of “the world” which does not belong to God. In fact, many of my Christian friends like to blame Hollywood, or the MSM, or celebrities, or politicians, academia, really anything they can, for the problems facing the country and the west.

They’ll blame everyone but the one group responsible: themselves.

In the 1970s Christian boomers retreated from the culture and left it to young Marxist culture-makers to bastardize and darken everything good about American and European culture. The fruits of those seeds were reaped in the 90s when The Ellen Show aired TV’s first lesbian kiss, when women began appearing in combat roles in action films, when the zeitgeist turned to feminism as cool. I remember watching MTV play women artists back to back to back to back all weekend one time to prove to radio programmers you could make money off female artists.

As if women had never sung before. But in the 90s my generation witnessed as our classmates: historical illiteracy and professional oppression were the parents of a little mulatto baby named Social “historical oppression” Justice. She has an even more temperamental brother coming of age called “Corporate Social Responsibility” watch out for that ingrate. He’s what happens when HR gets a Six-Sigma black belt.

Back to the question of goodness. We today debate goodness and morality not as if they were subjective. But as if they were a figment of the imagination of Descartes’ demon. Pascal’s Wager once made sense because the worldview of the people to whom he was speaking knew the difference between love and happiness. Today, we seem to have two categories of words related to morality: words that make GoodFeels and words that make BadFeels.

Ask an atheist if it’s possible to be “Good without God” and you’ll usually get snark, or if the atheist is out of college, an eye-roll and an “of course it is: is am good.”

But rather than ask the basic question “Good without God” why not ask a question that rebukes Descartes’ demonic scenario which can only be answered by the very Enlightened cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am). And do not apply Pascal’s Wager to people who would rather take ten dollars today than twenty tomorrow. Just watch this regular blonde woman say she would change her opinion on weather preference for $55 US!

Religion today is fungible. It means little because it is a social club one joins to get ahead in life or to have people like yourself with whom to associate. It has no moral foundation.

But it once did.

So rather than address the tired question, “Can you be good without God,” ask, “Is it possible to know if another person is good without a socially agreed upon set of values?”

In more elegant terms: If one claims, “Man can be good without God” simply reply, “But how would you know if he is good without the reality of asking such a question in the shadow of more than a thousand years of European Civilization?”

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National Program Critical for Recreational Access Needs Support

National Public Lands Day is Sept. 30; as hunting seasons begin across the country BHA stands strong in support of American public lands and waters
National Program Critical for Recreational Access

MISSOULA, Mont. – -(Ammoland.com)- A funding mechanism with a long name provides long-lasting benefits for hunters, anglers, hikers and others seeking improved access to America’s wild landscapes.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently partnered with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to leverage more than $1 million in appropriations from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Priority Recreation Access program to open or improve access to nearly 55,000 acres of public land across four states.

Congress recently boosted LWCF to $425 million—a $25 million increase over 2017 but it did not permanently reauthorize the program which is set to expire September 30 2018.

“LWCF is absolutely vital if we want to continue to permanently protect and provide access to habitat for elk and other wildlife,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation calls on Congress to permanently reauthorize this crucial program.”

RMEF’s most recent LWCF project was the conveyance of a 93-acre tract of land, known as the Cow Island Trail project, to the BLM that improves access to more than 6,000 acres of adjacent public land in north-central Montana’s Missouri River Breaks region.

“Expanding access to public lands for hunting and fishing is one of the BLM’s top priorities,” said Brian Steed, BLM deputy director for policy and programs. “Partnering with RMEF allows us to utilize critical funding to secure access to parcels like the Cow Island Trail project, which in turn broadens access now and ensures it for the future.”

Below is a list of RMEF-BLM projects utilizing LWCF-Priority Recreation Access funding.

  • RMEF Project (Amount in LWCF Funding)
  • Cache Creek, California ($321,000)
  • Cow Island Trail, Montana ($97,500)
  • La Barge Creek, Wyoming ($192,000)
  • Tex Creek IV, Idaho ($400,000)

LWCF helps conserve wild and undeveloped places, cultural heritage and benefits fish, wildlife and recreation. Its funding comes from royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf. The royalties bring in $900 million annually, most of which is diverted to other federal programs.

“It takes great partners like the BLM to provide improved access opportunities for sportsmen and women but it also takes funding. These LWCF-Priority Recreation Access funds are absolutely critical in both conserving prime wildlife habitat and opening or improving access to it,” added Henning.

Rocky Mountain Elk FoundationAbout the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 227,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.3 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org, elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.

The post National Program Critical for Recreational Access Needs Support appeared first on AmmoLand.com.

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Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision…

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. Gail Devers

A positive attitude can really make dreams come true – it did for me. David Bailey
To follow our dreams, as hard as it seems, positive energy is all we need. To get up each and every day, instead of lashing out we say, I’m going to be kind, to give respect and a smile. I’lll change my own pain for a while. To understand we won’t always hear good news, but to know this person loves us too, will help us to our dreams -deobrahmills ( c) 2018
Listen, watch, wait, and move. To follow our dreams, to see life through, to be angry from the first minute you approach your dreams, like attracts like. When we are angry all the time, the energy around us swirls like so much pain, that others react in the exact same way. When we give a virtual hug, a smile in our voice, an energy of hope, we move mountains rather than the molehill. To reach our dreams it is important to know that problems will come, issues arise. Trust our seers, whose only true desire is to give good honest answers. And Dream Dream on Dream big, Dream
Animal totems: Tasmanian Devil: Bro Tas has a temper truly. When the Cartoons show him in a frenzy, this is a truth about this desert animal. This fury, attacking is a protective mode to get the larger predators, coyote, panthers, mountain lions. His totem reminds us that when we create chaos, anger to protect ourselves, we also send the dust around us flying we keep out the good too, while his medicine reminds us that there are always tools of protection in many ways.
Lady Moon is Waning Crescent with the illuminiation of 28%. She remains in Pisces, the water element flowing with the spiritual emotional healing of our dreams.
I am here my usual hours today. I am sending free minutes simply because I typically send free minutes on the weekend. Please do not come to my readings with anger, or disrespect. Or any advisers readings. The truth is the energy starts swirling around making confusion. As well as when we are angry, we talk faster, less clear, and harder to understand what we are saying. We want to help when each person is panicked, angry or afraid, but lashing out at the very person who may have something good and helpful to say, only weakens the readings. Come with the true longing to listen, to learn, to see more clearly from another’s perspective. May the fairies dance around each of us today. Love ya, me Cherokee, Frankie Capone, Sugar, Apache, Apollo,T

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How one invasive plant can change a rainforest

AP/Achmad Ibrahim

AP/Achmad Ibrahim

This article originally appeared on Massive.

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Around the year 1917, a small, fast-growing tree called Bellucia pentamera was imported from its native habitat in South America to Indonesia’s renowned Bogor Botanical Garden. Back then, this island nation was still a Dutch colony, and the Dutch reaped scientific and economic advances from their skilled cultivation of exotic plants, including Bellucia. This tree, known in South America as the mountain apple (manzana de montana), produces edible fruits that were used by at least one Amazonian indigenous group to combat parasite infections.
But the early 20th-century Dutch hunger for mountain apple, and their laissez-faire attitude toward moving plant species around the globe, has had more serious ramifications than anyone predicted in 1917. Not only has Bellucia now persisted for over a century in its adopted Asian environment, it’s flourishing. Thanks to its small seeds, which can be transported among Indonesia’s 17,000 islands by birds and bats, Bellucia has made the nearly 500-mile journey from its original Bogor planting site to Gunung Palung National Park on the Indonesian side of Borneo.

A perfect storm of factors has enabled this tree to invade Gunung Palung, home to some of the last large tracts of lowland rainforest in Southeast Asia. The national park is a little-known jewel tucked away in the western part of Borneo and harbors seven types of rainforest. Dozens of charismatic and imperiled wildlife species dwell in these diverse jungles. Critically endangered Bornean orangutans roam the park searching for fruit. Sunda pangolins ply the forest floor below them while helmeted hornbills soar through the canopy. Bornean white-handed gibbons and proboscis monkeys leap from enormous strangler figs to old-growth Dipterocarp trees.

But human hands have also left their mark in Gunung Palung. Logging pressure in the park was particularly intense between 2000 and 2002. The selective removal of the biggest, most valuable trees left large gaps in the forest canopy, creating patches on the forest floor with much higher light availability and hotter temperatures than their shaded surroundings. In a previous study published in 2017, a group of scientists found that Bellucia dominated these logged areas of Gunung Palung. Not only could the species withstand the hot sun, but it appeared to out-compete even the native light-loving rainforest species. What, they wondered, made Bellucia so successful in logged areas?

Now, the same scientists, led by PhD student Christopher Dillis of the University of California — Davis, appear to have the answer. For their new paper, published in April in the journal Biotropica, they collected data on the presence or absence of flowers and fruit, as well as the number of ripe fruits, on each Bellucia tree in their Gunung Palung study site over a 13-month period. Another of the study’s authors, Andrew Marshall of the University of Michigan, had collected similar data for 200 genera of native rainforest trees between October 2007 and April 2013, so the researchers were able to compare the fruiting frequency (meaning, the proportion of trees producing fruit in any given month) of Bellucia to the native trees.

They may not appear like particularly contentious places, but rainforests are vegetative battlefields. Trees fiercely compete with each other for space, light, water, and nutrients. One way that ecologists think about such competition is termed the “lottery model.”

Fruits and seeds are the currency of success in a lottery model. If I were trying to win the lottery, one strategy might be for me to buy as many tickets as I can to maximize my changes of winning. Similarly, the more seeds and fruits that a species (like Bellucia) produces relative to its competitors, the greater its probability of persisting in the forest.

Dillis and his team found that, on average, 56 percent of the Bellucia trees in Gunung Palung National Park produced fruit each month. Just 4 percent of the other rainforest trees did. Even the most frequently-fruiting native genus was far less prolific than Bellucia, with only 25 percent of its trees fruiting each month.

Those were striking results, but another question from Dillis’ 2017 research remained unanswered: why did logging open the door for Bellucia to invade Gunung Palung? Canopy gaps are a ubiquitous and well-studied feature of rainforests. They commonly occur when tall trees die and fall to the forest floor. Because they are so common, it seemed strange that Bellucia was drawn to logged areas in particular instead of canopy gaps in general.

It turns out that Bellucia trees growing in gaps created by logging produced more fruits than Bellucia growing in natural canopy gaps. The mechanism behind this is not known, but one possibility is that the intense light availability in logging gaps allows Bellucia seedlings and trees to manufacture large leaves, which translates into increased rates of photosynthesis and more energy available to the tree. It can then allocate this surplus of energy to growth and reproduction, gaining a competitive advantage over native species. Dillis and colleagues observed that in areas where the canopy layer was formed entirely of Bellucia trees, there were virtually no other species present in the understory. They have not yet explored how pervasive this phenomenon is in Gunung Palung. If it does occur frequently and at large scales, it would decrease the plant community diversity in the park, a worrisome scenario given that biodiversity is the key to healthy ecosystems.

What all of this means for the future of Gunung Palung’s tropical rainforest remains unclear. I spent two years leading rainforest and orangutan conservation efforts in the Gunung Palung landscape for the Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program, and my experience provides some clues.

Selective logging in Gunung Palung has decreased since the early 2000s, but it continues. Even at the Cabang Panti Research Station, 7.5-mile hike from the nearest village, the harsh buzz of chainsaws occasionally haunts the forest. It’s jarring. Juxtaposed against the lush backdrop of tall canopy trees and wildlife, the sound can be downright depressing. However, occasionally the forestry rangers would confiscate chainsaws from people living near Gunung Palung and arrest timber traffickers, and the natural soundscape of the forest would return. And these days, the illegal logging of the biggest and most valuable rainforest trees for the timber industry is by no means the biggest threat to lowland rainforests of western Borneo — it’s now been dethroned by large-scale oil palm agriculture, which is itself a complicated conservation issue.

The good news is that unlike other invasive species, it appears that Bellucia cannot run rampant through the jungle without logging gaps. So if logging continues to decrease (or at the very least, does not increase again), then Bellucia populations should follow suit. In the meantime, as Dillis and co-authors note, more research is needed into the effects of Bellucia on the native tree community to understand which plant species are suffering the most.

Current knowledge of Bellucia ecology can also help inform management strategies within Gunung Palung. For example, scientists in Sumatra’s Harapan rainforest, which has also been invaded by Bellucia, have found that removing some of the invasive trees has spurred natural forest regrowth. Testing this method at Gunung Palung may be a key to ensuring that the park’s lowland tropical forests remain intact and its wildlife persists far into the future.

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