Hundreds and thousands of refugees flood Europe from the so called third world countries. Some of these people come to seek better income and are not refugees as those who come from countries where there is a war going on. But we no longer speak of war, because conflict seems like a better description of the situation in countries like for example Afghanishtan.

Many of the people who come to Europe are young men. Instead of fighting for one or a nother faction or a cause in their homecountries these young men have chosen to flee the conflict area and leave their families behind. Why? Because they are the ones who can leave, are most likely drafted to to this or that militia to fight for a cause they do not even recognize, or support. In Europe our wars both against other Europeans and the rest of the world have been fought with countless young men who did not have a clue about the cause and were drafted to do the fighting. Sometimes some of them even thought they had a notion of the cause they were fighting for. Most often those causes were quite abstract, like a “Fatherland”, or the “King and country”, or even “The Empire”. If a cause can not raise enough people to fight for it, is it a good enough cause to fight and die for? If it can rally masses to the banner, does that make it a good cause to die for?

Europe seems to be divided, or perhaps even a bit schitzofrenic about how the refugees should be met. Some fear the outsider, or simply have suspicions based on the culture and religion of the newcomers. Some see them as a representation of the faceless threat that the modern times, cultural changes, or even globalization represent. Some view them as humans in need of help, or see their desperation when they brave the Mediterranean with tiny, but very full boats. Most recognize these people as the victims of human traficking.

The European countries try to limit the amount of refugees coming in to satisfy their voters who fear the change the refugees represent. Be that change the fear for increased amount of terrorism, something strange called “Islamization”, or even the amount of cheap labour. In reality, countries like for example my native Finland has an actual problem in how our population is growing older and older.  What terrorism we have had has been domestic and not motivated by extreme Islam. Some of the political violence one could call terrorism in Finland has been motivated by racism and the fear of the outsider. Some of it seems to be a direct result of some populist politicians riding on the fear of the change and of the outsider.

We have a refugee crisis going on. The crisis is not that there are many people coming to our countries. It is a crisis to the people who need to leave their homes and seek new fortunes elswhere. It is a crisis to families, who spend a lot of money to send their young men away from all sorts of militia draft systems just because that is the one person who can leave and they can afford to send to the perillous journey. A crisis to families who pack their few belongings to move to a foreign country, a destination they often know almost next to nothing about just to get away from the war – sorry, conflict. A crisis to thousands of people who get abused and robbed to get to Europe. A very real crisis to thousands of people who have already drowned and drown on their way. A humanitarian crisis to untold thousands who end up in refugee camps mostly at the outskirts of Europe.

The populists of Europe are against specifically Islamic refugees. This should reveal their game to everyone. As if Islam was somehow more intolerant religion than Christianity. It is not. In Europe Christianity has simply been pacified by secularism. The people who come may have their own problems, but it is childish to think we can recognize their specific problems when they come. The terror attack in Manchester a couple of days ago, was committed by an Islamist radical. The previous terror attack in Manchester was made by a Christian extremist. It was made in 1994 by the IRA. Both attacks were motivated, by politics and were done by emotionally unstable people. Let us face it, sane people do not engage in terror attacks. Do they? Not even when they commit such by the commands of some military organization and not even when they use a bomber to deliver the bomb, instead of blowing themselves up with a suitcase bomb.

Finally, I have to say, that the idea of “Islamization” is ridiculous. It is only a threat if the society to wich the Islamic people come to join is not a truly secular. If religion holds any political power and people are segragated according to their superstitions, only then many Islamic people may hold political power in a democracy. Secularism is the cure to extremist religiously motivated violence, not some other religion, as we have so often throughout history witnessed, the most peacefull religions, like for example Buddhism can be distorted to be used as motivation to violence. The extremist Islamist terrorist has exactly the same motives as the neo-nazi. The neo-nazi may even be totally non-religious, but has a similar misunderstanding of reality as that of a Theist extremist. Their common motive is to create division and conflict between cultures, because they can not stand pluralism. They have difficulty to stomach other people not living up to their standards, even when the other people are not stepping on their individual rights. Should we ever again yield to the demands of such lunatics?

A gender neutral marriage law was recently affirmed in the Finnish parliament. This aroused some attention and controversy. There were arguments for and against it being presented. They were much the same as in this issue around the globe where ever it has become into focus. I do not even try to repeat them all here. There are a couple of concerns I would like to address about this discussion.

“Born this way.” The question wether, or not, homosexuality is a trait a person has from birth is not and should not be brought up in the entire discussion about marriage. It is totally irrelevant. Even the question, if someone chooses, or not, to be a homosexual is irrelevant to the question of marriage. We do not really know, if people are genetically caused to be homosexuals or wether it is a trait that developes onto the person. We do know that a lot of homosexuals would choose not to be homosexuals, if they possibly could. The reason to that is, that the society around them has trouble accepting them as they are and in respect to that some of them even learn to have similar cultural reasons of having trouble of accepting themselves as they are.

The real question is not what causes homosexuality, but wether we have any actually rational and sane reasons to think it is wrong on any level. We do not. The “reasons” presented to make the claim, that there is something wrong about homosexuality are presented as follows and often the path from one claim to a nother are presented on this line of thought:

Is it a sin? Now, sin is something determined to be some sort of violation of the will of some particular gods. Freedom of religion however dictates necessarily for a peacefull and mutually respectfull society to exist, that the beliefs about the divinities, or the supernatural in general, may not decide legal processes, or be used to step on the rights of a nother individual. Not even within a religious group that has accepted one doctrine or a nother. That is, even if the Catholic church and all the victims of rape by Catholic priests thought it was not really a crime, by the secular mutual standards of the modern soceity, they still are and should be treated as such. Therefore even if the majority of religions in any given country thought, that eating shellfish or being homosexual was a sin, they could not ethically make it illegal based on that imaginary guess on what their god supposedly thought was a sin.

Because the entire issue of marriage equality has been raised mostly in secular countries (and not in the Vatican or Iran), the question wether it is a sin is irrelevant. In modern democracies religions are a private matter and sin is something you discuss privately with your particular god, if you wish, who then redeems you from it, or judges you from it. Or you do not bring this or any other subjects to your god, if you even have one in the first place. This is why the people whose dislike of something like homosexuality often is derived from religious prejudices, often move to the camp of inventing seemingly secular “reasons” to justify their feelings about the issue.

Is it unnatural? There are people who try to frame sexuality into this tight box of reproduction. They have the right to do so in the privacy of their own homes, but not force the idea on others. No doubt that this line of argumentation appeals to all sorts of simpletons, as it seems simple. However, human sexuality is far from simple. I could discuss how a lot of animal species have homosexual behaviour, but from experience I know that this tends to lead down the rabbit hole of humans not being animals. Wich strangely often leads us back to the idea of sin. No, humans are not the same animals as those other animals that also engage in homosexual behaviour. That is there just to show you, that it is natural in the sense that it happens in the nature. But wether or not any animals engaged in homosexual behaviour does not in any way address wether it is right or wrong. Animals do not drive cars, but we do not try to ban driving a car because we see it as unnatural. Sex is as much just a form of reproduction and should be as much limited to that, as human transportation is all about walking and should be limited to walking. If you do not want to run or ride a bike, fine then don’t. But do not try to make running illegal. OK?

Gods are by definition unnatural. They are not part of nature, if they even exist beyond our natural brains. Should we ban gods because they are unnatural? Everything that happens in nature is natural. Salt is natural. Polio is natural. Homosexuality is natural. The only relevant question about homosexuality regarding laws is wether it is harmfull or not and if then to what extent. The entire question wether it is unnatural is ridiculous.

Is it harmfull? People see a lot of harm done to the homosexuals by people who feel justified in disliking, or even hating them for the “reasons” they give, that I listed abowe. There are also people who have been harmed by homosexuals. This works much the same way as with racism. When people are harmed by the representative of this, or that group of people, they make the connection between the group and the deed. Despite wether or not the group identity, or what ever makes the purpetrator of the harm part of that group – even skin colour, or sexual orientation –  was actually the motive for the deed. If a homosexual rapes a child, it is not the homosexuality that caused the deed. Any more than, if a white man shoots a black man, him being white was his motive for the act. The rape of a child is the result of the rapist being a) rapist and b) pedophile not being homosexual. If the rapist was not a homosexual, he would simply have chosen his target differently. The white man shooting the black man may have been motivated by any number of reasons from theft to racism. But even if it was racism, the motive was not him being white.

As for the marriage equality, there have been a number of more, or less comic attempts to stop the change, that has now finally taken place. There is this notion, that a family unit ideally consists of a father, a mother and some children. The idea has been, that the reason why the society recognizes a marriage as a special status between two people is because they are able to reproduce and should be given social support to be better able to do this. It is a ridiculous notion, in that even if that could be proven to be some form of ideal family unit, it does not mean all families need to reach such an ideal. Especially not those families who do not find the arrangement ideal in any way. By the same token, people who can not have children should not be allowed to get married and old people whose children have grown to adulthood should divorce.

There is this claim, that there is some sort of harm done to adopted children in same sex marriages. This claim has not been confirmed in any scientific arena. But even if it could ever be proven that the children have it better in a heterosexual family than in a same sex family, that would be a moot point. It is like saying that since the rich families can better nourish the needs of their kids, than the poor ones we should ban the poor people from getting married, and/or from having children.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle aito avioliitto mielenosoitus

The picture abowe is from a “Genuine Marriage” demonstration at 24. september 2016 , that gathered almost a hundred demonstrators (wich is pretty few even in Finnish terms) in Helsinki to protest against the gender neutral marriage law. It seems they had more balloons than demonstrators.

Last but not least the most stupid argument against the gender neutral marriage must be the slippery slope argument. Wich is that if this is allowed, what next? Shall we allow polygamy, marriages with children and marriages with house pets? It shows the level of stupid from the political side that opposed the gender neutral marriage, that they themselves did not laugh at the representative who presented this ridiculous argument. Was it not the same as arguing that if we allow people to drive cars, we may have to allow people to drive tanks next? If you do not understand the difference between two consenting adults havign sex and sex with a child or an animal, never get any children or pets. As for the polygamy, where in any holy books ever does it even hint that, that was a sin? It is a separate discussion we may have in the future, but it has absolutely nothing at all to do with the gender neutral marriage law.

Now, that a lot of right wing extremists have won ground in actual governments, they have also vocalized this demand, that the media should cow down to their version of facts and reality. It appears, that they have lived in this fantasy world, where the press has no integrity at all, but it only spouts lies made up by who ever is holding the political power. But as the media who do hold integrity and/or opposing political views to theirs continues to resist their preconceptions and biases, they are annoyed at the media. They would have the media lie for them, as they percieve the media has lied for others. What nincompoops? But they rely on there being enough of other nincompoops and ignorant people in such a measure, that these supporters are unable to recognize when their leaders that the media should lie to benefit them. The supporters of such politicians only exist for their own leaders to exploit them.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle alt facts

To make matters worse, there indeed exists false media, the sort of publications – in the internet even more, than in radio, TV, or in the printed form – that makes up wild claims and downright lies to feed the preconceptions of, surprize surprize, racists, fascists, and other sort of right wing survivalist looneys, not to mention alternative medicine, regressive religious movements and what have you nonsense. People who are ill equipped to recognize scientific facts fall prey to them, and rely on such media to uphold their own bubble of imaginary safety, where they typically are victims to degenerate naïve fantasies of past glory and lost golden age rethorics. Where their fear of the change and the different are confirmed by non-scientific and made up claims. Where they get false sense of security wether it comes from angels and gods supposedly healing their ailnesses, from climate change denialism, or from them thinking they can recognize dangerous individuals on the street by mere colour of the skin. These false media publications are echoed in their limited social circkless, that remain limited, because they spout out the most abnoxious hatred and slander at anyone who might point out the weaknesses in their conspiracy theories. They provide the most black and white world views, that seem to appeal to the most ignorant individuals, and on top of that, they also provide these individual with similarly simplistic solution models, to these percieved threats.

Building walls, stopping immigration, protectionist economics, do not in in the real world even remotely address the problems to wich they are suggested as solutions by populist demagogues, who infact are not out there to solve these problems, rather just to ride the tide of discontent and fear to their own personal glory. Building wals and restricting immigration only creates more segragation, dehumanization and tension between groups of humans and as such result in more terrorism. Protectionism does not provide jobs, it cuts them down as it downgrades all economy. These are well known facts of history, but the ignoramuses who rely on such methods do not know their history. Do they?

Apparently, President Trump expressed his admiration to President Putin, in a Fox News interview by Bill O’Reilly. To wich somewhat awstruck Mr. O’Reilly replied, that he views Putin as a sort of murderer. President Trump defended President Putin by pointing out, that the US is not totally alien to similar methods of violence. This roused a form of denialism in many more or less patriotic US citizens. For example, Michael McFaul a former ambassador to Moscow, now a professor at Stanford University said in public, that: “Mr. President, our soldiers dont carpet bomb cities. We dont assassinate government critics.”

Yet, in defence of President Trump, I have to point out that the Professor and former diplomat McFaul is incredibly ignorant of the reality in the world, even though I commend him for his conviction to ethics as such. The US is not at all known for not carpet bombing cities. Ask the dead in Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Pjongjang, or a number of other cities and rural areas (because people who get carpet bombed in their homes in the countryside are just as dead as the ones who got carpet bombed in a city). Neither is the US especially admired around the globe for not assasinating their political opponents. If this comes as a news flash to you, please find out about President Allende, Ernesto “Che”Guevara, or any of the victims – killed, assasinated, murdered or tortured – of regressive governments around the globe the US has supported and keeps supporting, unless the people have not overthrown them. This support is freely given to governments, that in return the help to exploit their own nations for the benefit of “US interrests”. Well, that is US based corporate capitalists. Not unlike the owners of companies like Halliburton, wich was heavily involved in the previous Republican government.

Aiheeseen liittyvä kuva

Russian soldiers do not engage in assasinations of government critics, than the US soldiers do. Both of these empires have mercenary forces for anything, that might come as a bit of a problem, if these actions were ever to rise to general public awareness. And the ridiculous thing is, that everybody knows this, exept for some reason this professor from Stanford University.

Bill O’Reilly may, or may not be shocked by what President Trump said, but he is actually just reaping what he himself and his “news” channel have been sowing – a climate of ignorance, fear, anger and hatered and an admiration of regressive, conservative, hard line authoritarianism, capitalist greed, tribal moralism and resolving problems through violence. Those are the “traditional” values O’Reilly, Trump, Putin, Al Assad, the ISIS, Al Qaida and so many other “strong” authoritarian demagogues and leaders have shared throughout history. Why? To satisfy their own hollow and meaningless lives they have offered millions of people to the warmachine and murder. What have they given to us other than suffering? War, famon and pestilence are their allies.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle pjongjang bombed

If we are to assume, that the universe may not have appeared by natural reason, and that there has had to have been a creator behind the creation, and if we further assume, that this creator is still around, by the same token should we not accept also, that this creator is responsible for all the suffering in the world?

https://smccmartin.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/st-martin-dividing-his-cloak2.jpg?w=510

It does not really matter wether we think the creator entity is justified in creating, or allowing evil, for what ever reasons we could possibly excuse this entity for all the suffering and pain in the universe. You see, wether if someone is justified in some action or inaction does not remove the responsibility of the choise to act, or not.

I have been told, that all the suffering is the fault of mankind for having fallen from the grace of a particular god, by a more or less symbolic act of some of our ancestors. This is a vile and immoral concept, since when has anyone been responsible for the actions of their ancestors? What sort of a person would hold anyone responsible for the actions of their ancestors?

I have also been told, that suffering is the result of our free will, but I do not see how that would be a prerequisite for freedom of choises, nor how that would set the alledged creator free from responsibility of having created us as we are. Many of us are fully capable of making choises between two good things and most of us seem to prefer to choose between such options rather than that our choises were between good and bad. If all choises need to be between good and bad, then the creator entity either made and/or makes choises between good and bad, choosing sometimes bad over good (for the heck of it), or this entity has no free will of it’s own. If we look at the world presuming there is an ultimately powerfull creator entity acting behind the scenes, there is no escaping the notion, that this is an entity who has created evil, and allows it to run amock.

Further more, I have been told that the point of evil existing in our present state of existance is for us to learn compassion. This idea was obviously presented by someone who really needed to learn compassion. A child is capable of learning compassion from imaginary fairy tales, that do not have to involve the reality in wich the child lives in any way. As if the suffering of animals and other humans only existed for the benefit of some individuals who are (or possibly were created to be) incapable of learning compassion through imaginatory stories?

You may ask, to whom would a creator of the entire universe be responsible to, if there are no higher authorities, than this creator god? As in might makes right sort of excuse for this creator being beyond our moral estimation. But I expect you would not ask such a silly question, as you my friend, propably already understand, that such a question would represent regressive authoritarianism. That an adult is responsible to a child to protect the child, because the child is less capable than the adult and not vice versa. Should not the same apply between humans and their gods?

Responsibility means taking care of things regardless wether there is someone stronger to answer to, or not. Not because one has to answer to some stronger authority.

If we assume the universe has appeared and formed to the current state of things through natural processes, we are still fully capable of choosing to be moral, that is to provide ourselves and each other with as good lives we are able to. Are we not? Why would we choose otherwise?

Ultimately, the assumption about the creator entity remains beyond our capacity to prove, provide any evidence of it, or even investigate. How should we treat such an assumption? Or do you have any evidence of it existing?

 

Yesterday, there was a “hetero pried” demonstration in Helsinki, Finland. I have never seen, or heard any public demonstration get as much media attention beforehand. Mainly due, that the media seemed to find this event to have some comical value to it. But also because it seems to divide to opinions of people in high measure.

The “hetero pride” demonstrators presented this new word, which I could loosely translate as “homozation” of the society. They had this demonstration to oppose such cultural shift as described by this term. Now, to me it seems what they meant by this statement was that they felt the homosexuals are too open about their sexuality and are presented too much in the media. For some reason, they also felt that this threatens the “traditional family values”.

It is actually hard to get to what these people really want. If they are aware of the fact that homosexuality is not something a person chooses as a conscious choise, it is a bit like demonstrating against invalids being too open about their existance. Now, there used to be a time when the media did not present invalids or people whith birth defects, nor homosexuals. And before that there was the time when women or coloured people had no public opinion, or room to speak for themselves.

Perhaps it is the tabu nature of sexuality that annoys some people, when such issues are discussed in the public arena. The cultural change that has been going on, is that we treat women, representatives of different races, invalids, people whith birth defects and even homosexuals as equal human beings as the rest of us. The fact that some of these groups may have more media attention today than their actual persentage of the population demands, is only due to the fact that they have been oppressed and looked down by the “majorities” before. And as the countermovement to homosexuals having same rights as heterosexuals proves, it is still a current subject and important topic of discussion.

What then are the “traditional family values” referred to in this conversation? Are we talking about the ancient tyranny of the oldest (or strongest)  male in a familygroup, or what? Or perhaps it is just the ideal of a family unit whith dad, mom and some kids? But that ideal has never been reality for a great many people. I have a bunch of friends who have been raised by their single moms and they have turned out just fine. Why not, if the society supports these less fortunate families it should be just OK. Right?

What about the homosexuals adopting then, is that an abomination to the traditional family values? I do not see why, this is a problem. If a couple adopts a kid who has no parents, then that is one less kid in an institution, right? And it seems to me the chances are, that this couple has better income than a single mom, or dad so they are less in need of social support by the society. And how is any of this away from the “ideal” family whith different gender parents? How was their existance as a family unit in any way threatened by the existance of some other sort of family unit?

If your god is against you being a homosexual nor adopting kids, or if you happen to be one, then how is it any of your business if some other family is not following the demands of your god?

There were at the “hetero pried” event some 50 demonstrators in front of the Finnish parliament house and about 70 counter demonstrators. To the counterdemonstrators it seemed like a joke, but I do not find it too comical, that this counterprogressive movement is trying to organize. Yes, I admit that the 50 people in the demonstration is laughably few, and that they do have their right to present their view.

It was interresting though, how this ridiculously small demonstration thanked some of the leading edge Finnish politicians like opposition leader Timo Soini (from the populistic True Finns –  a revealing name for the party) and minister of interior Päivi Räsänen (from the very small fundamentalist Christian Democrats party) for upholding and campaigning for their ideals.

What was really funny how some of the hetero demonstrators looked like characters from the art work of Tom of Finland:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_of_Finland

Which kind of makes one question wether if they have some personal problems whith their sexual identity to make such a fuss about it, when it is and will be the majority position and if there are some rubber masks in their basements…