“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
Murray Rothbard – The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar. (I’ll try to remember adding more Murray pieces after I finish them).
If Christ has forgiven a variety of sinners of all different kinds of sins, I have to believe that murder and rape are included in these sins that are forgiven. That’s a really deep statement. I don’t recall a provision where murder, or rape, or any sin was deemed “unforgivable”. Perhaps I’m missing one. I seem to recall something about “unbelief” being the only “unforgivable” sin. But the thought of murderers and rapists being in Heaven is quite a profound statement. Statements like that help one truly grasp the nature of God’s forgiveness through Christ.
Some may see that as weakness on the part of the Lord, but let’s not forget about Hell. Of course, there will be those that will be punished. But that suffering would affect us all if we went there, regardless of what our sins were. “How do you think we’d feel if we were murdered? Or if one of our loved ones were?” Believe me, I completely understand your point. But hear me out. According to the Bible, all deserve eternal suffering, whether or not one ever murders. That’s quite interesting, isn’t it? Surely a murderer deserves Hell more than, say, an atheist, correct? But aren’t both classified as “sins” according to the Bible? That’s interesting. Does Hell have “layers”, such as in “Dante’s Inferno”? I haven’t read enough on the Bible to develop an opinion regarding how Hell is structured. I’m sure someone could send me verses to enlighten me on that fact.
Does the fact that we all justly deserve Hell make our suffering more “manageable” to us if we were to go there? Surely it’s “Hell” for a reason. Surely “Hell” means something. It means eternal suffering, correct? Well, regardless of one’s sins, I have to feel some sympathy for anyone that ends up in Hell. I don’t see how one could truly not feel sympathy for that person. According to my clearly amateurish understanding of Hell, it’s too horrific for there to not be sympathy felt. It truly shows the tragedy of evil. We all end up losing because of it.
I think it shows that we all share a common humanity as well. It shows empathy: we all deserve Hell, but none of us want to go there. I think that truly says something about humanity and love, even if some of us do murder. Clearly, murder should be dealt with. On Earth, it makes sense that murderers should be stopped when they murder, whether through imprisonment or death. An eye for an eye, afterall, is the ultimate sign of “justice“. It’s much harder to truly condemn someone to Hell in your mind when you realize that everyone justly deserves it. It makes you realize that God has forgiven you, and that even the perpetuators of the worst crimes imaginable can receive sympathy. They do deserve to come to justice, but there’s certainly a tragic element involved from multiple standpoints. The most obvious (and deserving) tragic elements are the people upon whom the crimes are committed. Then, it follows that their loved ones deserve sympathy (and even the loved ones of the criminal). But it is, understandably so, much harder to proclaim that the criminals deserve sympathy. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be overwhelmed with a desire to kill an innocent person, but I realize that people like that exist. It makes me sad. I just feel sad about the whole situation. It is hard for me to be angry at the murderer. I completely understand the justified anger that people feel, but I myself feel more sad than angry.
It would make more sense if, say, only murderers went to Hell. That would make the concept of “Hell” an easier pill to swallow. But even if Hell was occupied only by murderers, I’d still feel sad, and feel sympathy. I’d still ask “Why do they feel compelled to murder?” If one truly grows up in a violent household, it makes sense to lament at the entire situation (but, of course, not excuse the murder. It should still be dealt with). But if one grows up “normally”, but still murders, there is still a sympathy that I’d feel for the murderer. It’s the tragic “Why?” that we all have any time a situation like this occurs.
However, according to the Bible, it isn’t the case that Hell is occupied solely by murderers. It is hard to accept the scope of things that makes one a sinner in the eyes of God. Why should I be punished for Adam and Eve’s doing? I, admittedly, don’t understand the scope of God’s justice. It may be hard for people to understand why I’m saying this, but I can accept that God is, in fact, just. I don’t know how to convince anyone with “evidence”, and I’m not going to. Ridicule me as a “crazy conservative” if you must. Ultimately, I think the debate between “believers” and “non-believers” is pointless. I think “live and let live” is a much better alternative. The fact that Hell is not composed solely of murderers makes me question a lot of my views regarding ethics, justice, and forgiveness. I certainly think there is a place for justice and a place for forgiveness. It is not up to me to tell someone when they should be enraged or when they should forgive, but this is merely my perspective on the topic. I’m clearly not a “divine authority”. It’s just interesting. I’m not quite sure why I’m so sympathetic. I just always have been. It’s just who I am.
As I said, I just thought this was interesting. I’m not passing any judgment: just bringing up a point. One that I have not noticed brought up, is all.
This, of course, says a lot about religious conservatives, but that’s a topic for another time (and yes, I understand that even they can be forgiven. I used to be one of them).
I will conclude by saying, of course, murderers should not be free to murder. But the point is that God is infinite in His existence. His way of dealing with things such as murder transcends what we, as humans, are able to do. I think that is extraordinarily profound. And I thought this all worth mentioning, as evidenced by the fact that I wrote this.
Americans don’t care about the world or world history because we’ve already done, in 200 years, what it took millennia for the rest of the world to start doing, and they still haven’t even caught up yet.
I’m only half joking.
Why was America known as the “Land of Opportunity”? Why is America known as such a “melting pot”? What other countries were known as “melting pots”? I’m sure there has had to have been others. How much of the rest of the world was a “melting pot”, and who made up the “ingredients”? How “diverse” were they? I don’t believe that America is known as a “melting pot” simply because we scream it louder so that people believe it. There has to be some truth to it. People have come here from all over the world: the question is: why? War-mongering politicians have corrupted the phrase “American exceptionalism”. They have hijacked it and perverted it. But there’s some truth to the idea of “American exceptionalism”. There’s truth to the phrase “greatest country in the world”. America is a product of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. Historically speaking, they occurred right after the other. This has bode exceptionally well for us Americans.
There’s certainly a significant stain across American history, mainly in the form of slavery. Also, of course, “Native Americans” are described as “Natives” for a reason. But I have a feeling I’m missing out significant information regarding the mix between Europeans and Native Americans. Something tells me my government education has left very significant facts out of the picture. I’m skeptical of the common account of “history”.
But the Industrial Revolution occurred very early on in America’s history (when you compare the histories of other nations, and how long it took for them to undergo an “Industrial Revolution”). The impact of the Industrial Revolution cannot be understated. This combination of the rebellious “Enlightenment” coupled with the Industrial Revolution has created a sense of superiority within Americans. Honestly……….considering these two factors, it’s justified. Of course, America’s flaws should be pointed out, past or present. But us Americans know why we feel superior to the rest of the world. It is because we were fucking lucky. We’ve had it better than everyone else before us. We’re happy about that fact. Our history is one of rebelliousness, particularly of government, and of capitalism. This was, for all intents and purposes, our birth. We didn’t have centuries of history before this. Granted, we can look at those people that moved here, and trace their histories back to countries with rich histories. But we identify as Americans. The world sucked for a very long time, and we got extremely lucky. Our life was one of extreme fortune. For us, America is truly when history starts.
I should do more research on the Enlightenment thinkers and the historical capitalists that have made America what it is today: where they were from, etc. Something beyond the superficial “history” that I learned in school.
The “world” is a whole nother matter entirely.
The point is that world history is a complicated subject.
It is so weird how, in the course of 10 years, you can go from wondering how this elusive, distant news media works with no real way to go behind the scenes and really figure it out to actually having the ability to be news media yourself, and learning it all on the fly. So not only did you not know how they were doing it, but now you do: but you also have the ability now to do the same thing. Because of modern technology. Fucking incredible. Even, say, in the past 20 years, it is unbelievable how much easier it has gotten to be news. 20 years is such a small period of time in the scope of human history. For so long, humans never had the opportunities we have today of delivering information on such a widespread scale. Of course, some religious conservatives may argue that life was better when we were only concerned with scrapping by on bare sustenance while we toiled away in the fields, slaves to the land we were born onto, only caring about our next meal, fighting against religious governments every so often. Those were “the good ol’ days“. “Back when ‘God-fearin” wutn’t just a phrase.” But, for some reason, it is always so easy for many people to overlook the good that is right in front of their face. Even pointing out this relative goodness, as compared to the past, isn’t enough to convince them that it is, in fact, good. Capitalism is aware of this fact more so than anything else.
Setting aside all of the previous technological advances of the past that completely changed humanity, I’m just going to focus on the internet here (and only for a little bit).
The fucking internet has changed everything.
It’s pulled back all of the curtains. It is basically like reading in a newspaper that something called “cars” have been invented in another country, and then, suddenly, you’re learning how to drive on roads yourself. Everyone knows how crazy the internet is, and how revolutionary it is, but damn. I don’t have any words to express just how unique the internet is in human history. Just thinking about papyrus, and parchment, and feathers, and ink (however it was made centuries ago (see? I can even look that up (if I wasn’t so lazy))), to the printing press, and how revolutionary that was in the scheme of human history. The mass printing of paper completely changed the world forever, for the better. I cannot imagine the extent of literature that exists in the world. It’s all because of that fucking Gutenberg Press. That one event just literally changed the world forever. Why in the fuck did it take as long as it did for it to show up?
And now, we have the internet. The new Gutenberg Press. The cat of electronic communication is out of the bag. It feels so surreal to be living through such a significant part of human history. To be one of the first. To be one of the relatively young, and to have, basically, my entire life with this medium. So many are catching it on the tail-end of their lives. I’ll have my whole life with it. There could, of course, be another dark age (something I should really do more research on now that (I can because of the internet) I don’t have my fingers in my ears chanting “God is in control, God is in control”). But it is hard for me to imagine that something as revolutionary as electronic social media could just disappear. One can’t help but be in awe of what we are all experiencing. Sure, the internet may be known for “cat videos“. “How can something so dumb and trivial be so important in the context of human history?” Of course, the internet is much more than cat videos. Much, much more. It is communication on a scale never before available on this planet. Ever. For as long as this planet has been here, there has never been communication as simple to access and as wide-reaching as the communication that exists today. Think of that. Think of all of the ancient texts that didn’t have this. How they were written, distributed. Think of the ones that have been around for centuries, if not a millennium at this point. Hell, even longer than that. How remarkable is it that written ideas could last that long? Now, we have electronic storage. Previously, it was paper. And even then, the words lasted for centuries, if not longer. Think of how hard it would’ve been to make the paper, and then distribute it. By a miracle, they made it to today. Of course, maybe we don’t have an original copy. But the words keep being printed, generation after generation. It truly makes you wonder about the work that editors do, but I digress.
The words keep getting older, but now they’re more easily available than ever before. Reminds me of evolution: survival of the fittest. Perhaps if the words have survived this long, they’re worth a read. Not only is it remarkable in the sense of how old the texts are, but it is easier than ever before to read them. That is truly incredible. We have something here that no one else has ever had. Human history is misery after misery after misery. One has to compare “the old days” to today, because the old days were just horrific. Medicine has changed the world. Production has changed the world. It truly is weird that I am here, on this planet, at this time, and not some time in the past. I could’ve been living with a dirt floor, in a dirt hut, eating and growing potatoes my entire life, using a rock to dig the dirt. No books to read, no meat to eat. Just eat potatoes and then die at 30 (if I’m lucky) from some disease. And that just happens again, and again, and again. But the fact that we are where we are today speaks to human ingenuity. It speaks to the humans of the past, who just wanted easier ways of doing things, or just happened upon them by means only God can understand. All of the stepping stones have led us to where we are today. They had it rough, and made it so much easier on us. We truly are blessed to have a life force, and to have it be alive today. We’re the luckiest people in history. In. History. That’s a pretty long damn time. How can that not instill awe?
The sad thing for me is that I have, so often in my life, not been able to appreciate the reality that was in front of me. I grew up thinking the world was this evil, sinful place to avoid. And it has caused me to avoid a good perspective on humanity; a good perspective on history, on the sciences, and everything else that religion always fucks up. A good perspective on relationships, sexuality: it has tainted my vision for so long that I still cling to it. Even while learning, it still clings to me. I suppose that at least being aware of it is a good thing. But I can only imagine what my perspective of the world would’ve been if I would’ve never been introduced to religious conservatism. I can only imagine it would’ve been a whole lot holier and more fulfilling than the way it has been almost my entire life. When my perspective is not being tainted by a history of religious conservatism, I can only imagine what my perspectives are going to be regarding the life I am living at the time. I can’t wait to see how it’s all going to play out for me. Incredible.
The internet shows what men can accomplish through freedom. That, perhaps, is the biggest lesson of all of this. This truly speaks to the geniuses who created these things, regardless of how much of the future they could envision.
Sometimes, the most beautiful thing is the right perspective.