Thursday, May 26, 2011

Get Your NBA Cheerleader Out of My Kid’s School

Facebook: "Remington Stone via Susie Rodriguez
Get Your NBA Cheerleader Out of My Kid’s School
Don’t try and tell me that I’m being uptight, or ashamed of the human form, or discriminating against women. What I’m doing is raising the bar, and demanding more. I refuse to settle for the patronizing, sexualized options offered to my daughter.

Tara Dresbach That's an interesting article. On the one hand, there is a push to get cheerleading to be considered a sport in it its own right. On the other hand, a visit from a pro sports team's cheerleading squad doesn't feel quite right.

J'Carlin While it may be true that sports/religious fanatics that dehumanize women should not be permitted to exist in a reasonable world, they do and there is nothing we can do about it. They outnumber us. As long as women of all ages are indoctrinated into being sex objects, what does it gain to prevent them from doing it as well as they can?

J'Carlin Reality check. What do you think of a ballerina?

Suzi Anvin carlin - have you ever LOOKED at a ballerina? I fear gay men are more likely to be attracted to the long, lank, smooth form than straight ones :-P OMG the muscles...

Suzi Anvin
question for you all.... OK would you consider it weird if male pro sports teams visited a high school to talk to promote athletes of their sport? or is it just cuz its cheerleaders? Double standard cuts both ways, both in the sexualizing, AND in the rampant DAMNING of the sexualizing that this response blatantly plays right into. "You have to be sexy but its WRONG BAD WRONG" is not the message we should be reinforcing. You really, truly, will NOT stop the first as long as teens have hormones, so reinforcing the second is really NOT helping...

Suzi Anvin that's their professional uniforms. Would you expect Olympic swimmers to not wear their speedos ever at a school?

Suzi Anvin what you're saying is 'oh, ew, cover up the form, its bad bad bad to be that sexy' the double standard is a real bitch to fight, exactly because it is a DOUBLE standard. its very hard to fight both halves at the same time.

Susie Rodriguez
This is not a case of athletes. There are cheerleaders who are athletes and these aren't them. These are essentially exotic dancers. If you read the article, toward the bottom is a side by side pair of photos that illustrate the difference nicely. That this is what they wear to work does not automatically make it appropriate to display to small children in school. The kid whose mom brought this up? He was six. This isn't about teen sexuality, this is about small children having adult sexuality flaunted at them at a public school.

Tara Dresbach For me, it's the pro without context or prior knowledge. Also, if it somehow could have been a competitive cheerleading team that wasn't attached to to a pro sports franchise I would have felt better about it.

Lori L Foster A pro sports cheerleader is no more an athlete than a college athlete is a student. Their skills in those areas are irrelevant. As to the ballerina question: I've known a lot of (straight) men, and I never once heard one say of a ballerina, 'She's hot!' nor have I heard one praise the grace and skill of an NFL cheerleader.

Remington Stone The issue isn't even their professional uniforms, Suzi. Check the picture of the poster the kid brought home halfway down. That's a lot closer to underwear, to my eye.

Remington Stone On the other hand, don't even -say- gay in school. But highly heterosexualized mascots are all right?

Kathleen Gabriel
Did you look at the poster that the first-grade boy was given? It was a bunch of grown women looking sexy and pulling at their clothes to display their boobs better. If my (fictional) first-grade daughter was visited by grown men who gave her a similar poster of those men looking all sexy and pulling at their shorts to give more attention to their junk, yeah, I'd be pretty pissed off.

It's not so much about the fact of cheerleading, but of marketing to elementary school kids in a sexual context.

J'Carlin ‎@Suzi Re Ballet. Ballet is acknowledged to be the most demanding of sports but it is a celebration both of the human body and sensuality. If you appreciate an athletic body over boobs and cut pecs, ballet is the ultimate for any gender preference, on both sides of the pas de deux I might add.

J'Carlin @Suzi Re ? As noted different strokes for different folks. I find pseudo-warriors as bad as the cheerleaders. I would hope society has moved beyond this view of males and females. But as long as it is being celebrated by many groups the damning for control is necessary. Otherwise you are going to have a bunch of pregnant cheerleaders after every season.

Jack Pryne ‎@Suzi- I cannot possibly express to you in words how appealing the right ballerina is.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Memes in Evolution.

Is This Life All There Is?. - Beliefnet

While for 3.5 billion years, reproduction has been key and is still important in evolution, in the last 10,000 years of so Homo Sap has thrown an incredible wild card into the picture in the form of memes. Suddenly that moral element has become one of the most important determinants of survival for life on earth. The 'moral' failing of not getting along with the dominant humans is detrimental for survival as a species and as an individual I might add.

The human species is no exception. Morality, that is compliance with the mores of the tribe whatever that tribe is, is critical not only to survival as an individual but survival for the memes that might become part of the culture of the tribe. In a real sense the tribal memes are the modern mechanism of human evolution. The meme of divine right king led tribes is effectively dead, although the despot led tribal meme is unfortunately alive and well.

I suspect that in the lifetime of my grandchildren the religion meme will have disappeared, and certainly the trip-omni God gene associated with many religions. Out breeding resources is always a fatal mistake, although the death throes of that meme suicide are always ugly.

Meaning, Purpose and the Afterlife

Is This Life All There Is?. - Beliefnet

the meaning will vanish. the very moment the person dies. it will be as if they had never been on this earth because:

Ain't no because. This is just flat wrong morally, factually, spiritually, and in the words of Fler0002

It sounds] like a plan that not only creates fears of what happens after death, but also creates in humanity fears of each other. Fears of any tolerance for anything other than what is sanctified by the church. Fears that turn into hatreds. Fears that turn into witch hunts. Fears that turn into jihads, crusades, and terrorism.

1. they will have no awareness of having been on earth.

They will have been acutely aware of living, knowing each day that they are making differences in the lives of others. Major or minor, each difference reinforces their membership in that great and dominant species of humanity, which exists for the purpose of making a difference in the lives of other humans and indeed many other species on the planet. <

2. all people who ever knew them will eventually depart earth, leaving no one behind to 'speak good things about them.'

So what? Those people if they did their job as a human being well and influenced them properly and effectively will have continued their Legacy and built on all that is worth while in that legacy. They don't need to be remembered by name although some will be. But 'There is no limit to what you can accomplish if it doesn't matter who gets the credit.' Ralph Waldo Emerson, d. April 27, 1882. I am relatively certain that he did not consider this quote one of his major contributions to humanity. In fact it was buried until Truman resurrected it, or reinvented it. But please note that all the people who knew Emerson are now departed from the earth. But others who never knew him are still speaking good things about him.

meaning... getting up and going to work, does exist, albeit temporarily. so long as one does NOT contemplate purpose, ie why do I / everything exist.

the moment one assigns zero value to purpose, they run the risk of waking up to the fact that any answer they may have assigned to meaning...becomes worthless in the end.

Only a theist can assign zero value to purpose. If purpose comes from a non-existent or at least numinous and indefinable God it is no surprise believers assign zero value to the purpose of being human.

My purpose in life is far from zero. It is to make as much difference in the lives of other humans and others dependent on humans as possible. I am extremely careful to insure that the differences I am making are good for the individual and for the society of which I am a part. I may not always succeed, but I can normally repair the damage, and part of my purpose as a human is to do whatever it takes to do so.

and many people spend hurrendous amounts of energy trying NOT to have to admit this to themselves out of fear there is no value to anything.

They are called believers in the afterlife.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What is Meaning?

Is This Life All There Is?. - Beliefnet

I have never been able to figure out what 'Meaning in Life' means to a Christian although it seems to be some desirable mystical attribute provided by God. One of those undefined 'Good things' that comes from God. Perhaps one of our Christian visitors can help.

I have appropriated the term, to describe those things that I do each day that make life better for those that are important to me including myself. Random acts of kindness, paying attention to a particularly nice piece of music on the stream in the background and commenting on it if appropriate to another who might appreciate it or to the performer if it was a live performance. Simply sharing the things big and little that make life worth getting out of bed for each morning for.

Meaning is not provided by anyone or anything, but is created by living intentionally with conscious intent to improve the overall welfare of whatever one considers to be one's tribe or Social Support Group. The importance of any specific act does not determine or create meaning, a simple 'Good job' to a deserving friend is essentially equivalent to an earthshaking policy speech. We can't expect all acts to be earthshakers, but we all can make life better for those around us. Therein lies meaning in life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What is an Atheist?

..Pavlov and der Atheist... - Beliefnet

You are talking about at least three separate groups of people here with the term atheist.

Some atheists learn only that certain friends have some weird beliefs and do funny things with their families that they call religion. Other than a natural curiosity about things that are important to other people in the world, there is nothing to learn. Morality, meaning, purpose, etc. are found in the groups they grow up with and are absorbed just like the language and accent of their peers.

A second group of atheists have learned that their milk religion just doesn't work for them any more. They read their Bible or equivalent, they listen to the sermons, and the hymns and find they cannot relate to it any longer. Most leave their milk church and find other systems that work for them.

A third group resents the fact that God and the vuvuzela can tell them what to do and rebel. Their whole life revolves around this revolt and they spend no time trying to find something to replace God and the vuvuzela. Generally like most prodigals they return with their tail between their legs. While they called themselves atheists, they never learned what atheism was about other than denying God was watching.


Is This Life All There Is?. - Beliefnet

As intelligent social animals I would argue that the basic human evolutionary unit is the tribe. Larger than a relationship clan but small enough that all members have a 'nodding acquaintance or potentially so. The tribe sets the mores, creates the Gods, and establishes the membership rules. And historically, establishes other. Gods allow the tribe to exceed the acquaintance limitation, as all tribal members worship God as the unifying entity. And use the rituals as the unifying principles. As long as communication was controlled by the priesthood, this worked well, although resource conflicts with the others were always an issue.

Gutenberg, laid the groundwork for the disintegration of the tribe, and humans have basically tried to find a substitute since. Nations, Religions, and Ethnic groups have all in one way or another tried to replace the tribe, and it seems we are still working out the solution. It is as the Chinese Edit: proverb curse notes 'Interesting times.

Is This Life all there is?

I live as if it is. There is not enough evidence for an afterlife to even be agnostic, but in any event even an improbable God as afterlife concierge would have to base a decision on the life lived between birth and death to be worth paying any attention to. Below we have one take on the issue, thanks Aka_me. It almost sounds reasonable but still is a distraction from the important task of living. But if the principles that get you the cookie result in a good life for self and all others, I have no argument.

when this life IS all there is...what is the difference between dieing today and dieing 40 years from now?

40 years of making life a little better for those who are important in my life. Each day I do what I can to make myself and others around me a little wiser, more compassionate, and more willing to share our gifts with the living, and to share the gifts from the deceased with the living. The Mozart sonata is relevant here, but so are the lullabies composed by my atheist great-grandmother that are still lulling generations of children into pleasant, hopeful sleep, secure in the love of their parents who will be there for the next 40 years.

Exactly the point. I not only have the memory but I can encourage others to share the experience at a later performance. Or if push comes to shove I can buy (not rip) a recording and share that. I was at a stunning concert just last night with an unusual combination of chamber singers with a string quartet. Three commissioned works and two works rescued from the ignore pile by Brahms and Beethoven and adapted for the combo. I have already promoted several copies of the planned CD and ordered one for myself. They made a huge difference, and I certainly hope they will be around for another 40 years, doing innovative things with the human voice.

As for the crappy hypothetical. I paid almost that in current $ to hear Messiaen play Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte Trinité at the National Cathedral. The experience itself was transcendent and was priceless. I cannot remember it well in the sense of which note came after which, and the experience was entirely in the moment. There was in fact nothing left after the silence at the end.

I am not so egocentric that value to me is the most important thing or even an important thing. What is important is how I affect the others that are important to me.

Take for example Socrates, not comparing myself mind you, just using a famous example. He certainly is worthless to himself right now. He had no illusions of an afterlife. But he affected students and one, Plato, was affected enough to document how he affected those students. Socrates is still one of the most important people in a philosophical discussion.

While the children and grandchildren are important, the fact that they look like me is of no importance. The fact that they think like me, love like me, make music like me and thousands of other ways are like me is what is important. And there are others, who don't look like me that in some measure think like me, love like me, make music like me and in thousands of other ways reflect my influence on them.

This is my legacy, at some point I won't be around to enjoy it but I rest assured each night that it will be carried on and enjoyed. Some who carry parts of it on don't even know where it came from. That bothers me not a whit. If their lives are better for it I did not live in vain.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Moral Evil

....Athiest, never dear... - Beliefnet

You went a few words too far. Slavery was abolished because it was a moral evil. Moral evil. Period. Full stop. End of sentence. A very few religious people saw through the biblical blessings justifying slavery and recognized it for the moral evil it was. It never was or could be considered a sin under any biblical or Christian definition of sin.

Sin is a Christian concept involving a human relationship to God. It has nothing to do with human relationships with each other which are covered by the concept of morality not sin. Any person who does not accept Paul's rants about sin cannot sin. According to Paul in Romans 1:18-23 humans although they knew God they glorified Him not as God. ...and for this cause God gave them up to vile afflictions, that is made them sin. If they knew not God they could not sin. They could be immoral, as immorality is a hateful act or even a hateful statement against another human. Whether it is sin or not makes no difference.

May 7, 2011 -- 2:24PM, wrote:

remember too it was the Church first in England through the leadership of Wilberforce that abolished Slavery there, then here in America here too through the spark ignited by Harriet Beecher Stowe in Uncle Toms Cabin. Slavery was abolished because it was a moral evil it was saw for what it was --------> Sin

Atheism, among those who know is a sinful condition.