Being For Others blog
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1 ===== 27 Apr 2023
As we devote ourselves to making healthcare available to everybody, let us remember to be thankful that it exists. Ordinary people like me are blessed by the dedication of modern caregivers.

2 ===== 23 May 2023
The golden rule is said to be implied or explicit in every religion. Does that matter? Empathetic treatment of others is inherently mutually beneficial. Its value is not based on its inclusion in any religions. By paying attention, we get there ourselves, without teachers. We practice the golden rule because it works.

3 ===== 26 May 2023
Traditional Christianity is typically considered formulaic. Static rules prescribe behaviors. Heaven is a reward for checking off all the boxes. Contraception or abortion is right or wrong according to fixed moral principles.

In contrast, Ernstraud philosophy is characterized by dynamic reasoning where decisions are based on the sum of accumulated experience (science). We evaluate outcomes according to the totality of circumstances, allowing adaptive flexibility. Contraception or abortion might limit the growth of a desirable work force, or it might defend against extinction caused by overpopulation.

4 ===== 29 May 2023
Reciting commandments and reading scripture is not preparation for going to heaven. Preparing to go to heaven is to build it here. Instead of reading platitudes, we will read construction manuals and study organizational development. We will not walk past poor people on our way to a temple. Instead, we will analyze the problem of poverty until we find a collaborative response to it. That will change our current environment into heaven. Whether I live ten more years or ten more millennia, this is where I will devote my attention.

5 ===== 30 May 2023
Superstition and mythology attribute human failure to evil supernatural forces. We take responsibility for our actions when we acknowledge that lack of cooperation reveals our own ignorance. Once we collaborate as equals, we forsake selfish exceptionalism and achieve peaceful sharing, the constructive realization of human potential.

6 ===== 31 May 2023
Of course, I did not create myself; my existence is given. The question is not who created me, but instead what will I create. In the practice of happiness, this means focusing not on myself, but rather on what benefit I provide to others: the purpose of my existence.

7 ===== 1 June 2023
Mythology in literature expands the horizons of our imagination. It extends our vision and enriches our dreams. However, mindless adherence to the Bible and other mythologies impedes individual and collective human development.

8 ====== 2 June 2023
Passively awaiting revelation of the divine will feels like abdication of responsibility. In the aggregate, human achievement of understanding and clarity manifests divine will. It is a process of creation that proactively opens new material and new horizons. All of our minds combined on a true principle comprise "mind of God."

9 ====== 3 June 2023
While considering the Bible to be mythology, I can selectively find there deeply emotional satisfaction in story-depending on what I am looking for. My learning depends on my ability to perceive what is available. This is the essence of what we call literary value.

See! I can say something good about the Bible after all.

10 ===== 4 June 2023
Commandments are unnecessary and unhelpful. We do good acts to achieve good consequences, not because behaviors are externally forced upon us. We can be good without God simply because it is the right thing to do.

11 ===== 5 June 2023
Answers to significant questions do not come through religious institutions because those establishments give answers instead of pursuing them. The answers that already exist are not adequate to meet the questions of the future. Thoughtful enterprise consists of refining questions for the purpose of finding or developing answers. The questions and the answers are dynamic.

12 ===== 6 June 2023
Life is to promote my neighbors' welfare-not by competition, but by collaboration and sharing. Human intelligence is the capacity to apply love to the details.

13 ===== 7 Jun 23
People wearing virtual reality headsets reflexively scream or jerk as if they were experiencing physical reality. Early childhood inculcates perceived reality that is even more controlling than headsets. Lessons can later be analyzed and relabeled, but never erased. Bear that in mind whenever you find someone else's mindset to be incomprehensible. To that person, accumulated perception lingers as truth. However much we try, our minds do not easily inhabit unfamiliar worlds.

14 ===== 8 Jun 23
If your church promotes something that is not true, does integrity require you to renounce the church? What if we treated the government like that? What would we have left? Supportive social circles are necessary to mental health, and both church and country are better off when people with high standards remain aboard to participate according to conscience. Improvement originates inside you.

15 ===== 9 Jun 2023
Joseph Fielding Smith, the Mormon prophet during my early adulthood, was challenged by reporters for having conjectured that men would never go to the Moon. He was wise enough to say simply "I guess I was wrong." Too many people in our country pessimistically believe that wealth equality will never happen. That lack of vision is a continuing cause of our inequality. To change our results requires us to change our thinking.

16 ===== 10 Jun 2023
You can be pretty sure that the child sitting on the biggest pile of toys is the bully. Given equal opportunity, bullies monopolize resources. Egalitarianism, on the other hand, calls for equality of people.

17 ===== 11 June 2023
In this mortal lifetime, we are not in a fallen state. We are living in a preparatory state: we leave the earth better than we found it, and we metamorphose into our better selves.

18 ===== 12 June 2023
Remember that in Ernstraudian philosophy when you use the generic word god, you refer, among others, to your future self. A human being is a successful biological entity possessing intelligence capable of expanding to the enlightened state called godhood. This humanist viewpoint underlies, justifies, and motivates constructive human behavior.

19 ===== 13 June 2023
Free public education was a deliberate American choice to empower children to support themselves and perpetuate an informed electorate. The rising generation would have both livelihood and mature judgment. An even greater goal than the benefit to children and their parents was the establishment of a healthy society. Has this country abandoned its highest ideals? Why are so many children now in debt when they graduate into the work force?

20 ===== 14 June 2023
Natural features such as forests, geological formations, rivers, and meadows are designated as parks for public benefit. Norway dedicates its oil reserves to the common good. Indigenous cultures shared land without private ownership. This harmonious use appeals to humans, who are hard wired for collaboration.

21 ===== 15 June 2023
My humanist writing describes attributes leading to godhood. The Bible doesn't put the story quite the same way as I do; maybe the endpoint is different. Is either story in your path? My endpoint is not a harsh ruler who demands a fixed protocol before recognizing you. If prayer is to be your pure expression of reverence, how can you be taught to pray? Do you have to learn who you are? What are you exposing to God, your genuine self, or a false front?

22 ===== 16 June 2023
During my prayer many years ago, a powerful impression struck me: am I praying or doing English composition? Quickly I realized my definition of prayer: nonverbal communication with absolute being.

23 ===== 17 June 203
Overpopulation and greed drive mass displacement, spreading suffering. The US no longer asks for the world's tired and poor, or for persecuted minorities. There are noble efforts treating symptoms, but little progress on overpopulation. How can we demonstrate to people the relief of having fewer offspring to feed? Can't we uplift standard of living everywhere without the painful expulsion of unwanted populations to our overcrowded places? Too often, the American dream leaves the transplants (alongside locals) dying in our streets.

24 ===== 18 Jun 2023
In 2023 Medicare debit cards pay for dental, visual, and hearing care. I had been paying out of pocket for my "out of network" dentist. Appreciating the improvement makes me happier. Can you picture appreciating a government employee? Let's do it more often!

25 ===== 19 Jun 2023
Anything you tell me about a book I have adequately studied does not tell me much about the book. It tells me a great deal about you.

26 ===== 20 Jun 2023
The good you do reflects favorably on your parents. Your deeds reflect your values. The world you inhabit reflects you. In other words, you are not a product of your world; you create it. Reflect on this next time you make a negative observation. Do you see where change will occur?

27 ===== 21 Jun 2023
Does going to a party make you happy, or do you make the party happy? Compare the chicken and egg conundrum. Neither is the beginning point. Each evolves from the other in a slow progression of small changes. That is the relationship between happiness and social participation. Each feeds into the other until you are a fountain of joy everywhere you go. The progression is contagious.

28 ===== 22 Jun 2023
When candidates for public office speak badly about other candidates, they set the pattern for the way they will be remembered. Treating others with respect attracts respect.

29 ===== 23 Jun 2023
How happy are you to see me? Is that under my control or yours?

30 ===== 24 Jun 2023
When I was in fourth grade, immunizations were dispensed in public schools. One day the principal appeared at the door of our classroom and instructed us to pass out quietly and walk down the hall.

31 ===== 25 Jun 2023
Applying the label "cult" to a specific organization is not an easy yes or no answer. It is much more useful to ask how many cult characteristics you are willing to tolerate in the organization.

32 ===== 26 June 2023
Did Jesus eat fish after his resurrection? In the resurrection, a world without death, how can humans continue eating, as we do now, substances that were formerly living? Those Bible passages do not help my belief in anything.

33 ===== 27 Jun 2023
If being a pacifist socialist supporter of reproductive choice and identity freedom does not cause me to leave the country in which I was born, why should being a humanist cause me to leave the church in which I was born? Participation is not endorsement of policy or dogma, but instead is growth-stimulating enrichment of diversity.

34 ===== 28 Jun 2023
Viewing happiness as a journey, not a destination, enables me to take satisfaction with the direction I am moving rather than where I am along the path.

35 ===== 29 Jun 2023
Meritocracy claims to utilize and reward ability and talent. It is meant to promote constructive social order, but it must never mean that you deserve more because you are smarter.

36 ===== 30 Jun 2023
Sunday School taught me that Jesus knows me by name. The corollary to that is that I am on His watch list. For Jesus that might be OK, but for the jealous God of Wrath, NO WAY!

37 ===== 1 Jul 2023
Is it hard to be in unity when we are diverse? The jealous God of Wrath fakes unity by slaughtering nonconformists. That does not create unity. Realistic harmonious living is positive relationships among those who are different from each other.

38 ===== 2 Jul 2023
No two Americans, no two Democrats, no two Christians, no two millionaires, no two accountants, are identical. People who are similar in one characteristic differ from each other in another characteristic, whether it be religion, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, profession, intellectual aptitude, body/personality type, etc. Being in unity cannot require imposing uniformity.

39 ===== 3 Jul 2023
To associate with like-minded people, would you relocate to a country that does not speak your language, as in religious migrations? Could you instead reduce disruption by finding and relating to compatible interests where you are? This question is not limited to geographic relocation; it applies to any running away. Do you leave, or do you relate?

40 ===== 4 Jul 2023
Dogma is an answer provided in advance of refining the question.

41 ===== 5 Jul 2023
We look forward to increasing happiness, but putting off happiness until heaven is carrying the concept much too far. The happier future begins here and now.

42 ===== 6 Jul 2023
Do my Christian readers want to make Christianity great again? Acts 4:32 "but they had all things in common.-KJV" ("but they all shared with one another everything they had.-GNT") This is not a legal title; this is a mindset. How much courage do you have?

43 ===== 7 Jul 2023
Community prospers by sharing. Diversity does not have to spoil the fun; discord does, especially if we try to force agreement. We can have community with people who are quite different from us if we share something. Can we share and love our country even when we are not in control of it, when it tries to impose conscience?

44 ===== 8 Jul 2023
Usually, it is a good thing when I move toward you, when we "come together." That does not apply to dominating helicopter parents. Both sides develop better when they move away.

45 ===== 9 Jul 2023
Often a well-meaning parent extracts a child's promise to "keep the faith." When that faith becomes destructive, keeping the promise is harmful, not virtuous. Too much of the world is being reduced to rubble by people living out obsolete beliefs. Do we set an example by examining whether our own beliefs and practices, such as exceptionalism, contribute to violence?

46 ===== 10 Jul 2023
Any institution that directs your attention to sin is giving you a cough to sell you cough medicine. That is marketing, not education. Valid unrestricted growth does not involve the concept of sin.

47 ===== 11 Jul 2023
The overarching principle of enlightened reproductive health is to assure every human pregnancy is desired. It is unspeakable cruelty to force a child to be born unwanted.

48 ===== 12 Jul 2023
There is no mythological supreme being that lets children starve. We who have enough to eat are letting children starve, and we cannot shift the blame. Let us multiply our ongoing repair efforts.

49 ===== 13 Jul 2023
In respect for the "magical" appearance of food on the grocer's shelves, I am deeply indebted to many "magicians" who exercised their craft to put it there. You might be one of them. Feel appreciated and respected!

50 ===== 14 Jul 2023
Yesterday's post reminded me of my long-standing advice that those who pick strawberries deserve the same pay as doctors and lawyers (of which I am one). We are all equally needed, and our children deserve equal opportunities.

51 ===== 15 Jul 2023
Voluntary redistribution of wealth can succeed so long as those in possession volunteer adequately to establish equality. This may be defined as fairly meeting the needs of all people. It starts with food, shelter, health care, and the dignity of a job. It is as possible as we think it is.

52 ===== 16 Jul 2023
I still disagree with my parents about certain aspects of my upbringing. Nevertheless, I am thankful for my devoted parents and the upbringing they provided. Gratitude for gifts that are less than ideal prepares us to appreciate ourselves.

53 ===== 17 Jul 2023
Some organized religion concerns itself primarily with overcoming sin. That depressing negativity is a tragically distorted view of human potential.

54 ===== 18 Jul 2023
The University expands the life of the mind by concentrating on science to the exclusion of superstition and cult practices.

55 ===== 19 Jul 2023
I am happy, hopeful, and energetic about the future. This is also my view of the human condition. In other words, I live in the world that I perceive to be as I am.

56 ===== 20 Jul 2023
A tax cheat is projecting himself onto the government. He says he cheats because the government does, but I would say he assumed the government cheats because he does. His world looks to him as he sees himself.

57 ===== 21 Jul 2023
Somebody who refuses to pay taxes because government wastes money is disrespecting the taxes I pay. A constructive approach is to repair government, not abandon it.

58 ===== 22 Jul 2023
God sends my blessings to holy ground. My role is to be standing there when they arrive. This is "god language" for the universal principle that our thoughts arise according to the mental state in which we abide.

59 ===== 23 Jul 2023
Usually the "light bulb moment" cannot be scheduled. However, I can invite it by being in a creative mental state.

60 ===== 24 Jul 2023
Forgiveness of my deficiency does not waive the requirements for achievement. Loving me is to teach me to become sufficient because I cannot become perfect on somebody else's merits. Learning empowers; "being saved" is meaningless.

61 ====== 25 Jul 2023
We do better in cooperation than in isolation. The very foundation of survival and progress is helping each other, putting the other ahead of self. Who can be against practicing happiness?

62 ===== 26 Jul 2023
If we do make the grass greener on the other side of the fence, we are in less danger of being overrun on this side.

63 ===== 27 Jul 2023
Executive salaries and corporate profits are morally unsupportable. I do not feel good about paying more than necessary for products so that somebody else can have 200 times as much income as I do. Perhaps that is why Christianity requires us to be equal in material things.

64 ===== 28 Jul 2023
Best results do not follow from the most money. People blossom when applying their passionate convictions to a shared social purpose. The $1 / per year volunteer is happier giving service than during the accumulation of a financial foundation.

65 ===== 29 July 2023
Commandments are unnecessary obstacles. If you give humans the power to reason, it is redundant and demeaning to command them to go where their discernment leads them.

66 ===== 30 July 2023
We have a basic need to be producers as much as we need to be consumers. This fundamental rule of self-esteem assures that there will be something to consume. Each of us has joy in what we contribute to society.

67 ===== 31 July 2023
We need to belong. Happiness is finding people who are a good influence. Being a good influence leads to the best connections and fosters healthy belonging.

68 ===== 1 Aug 2023
There is no room for ego in leadership. We must feel that we are all in this together. Everyone has a voice.

69 ===== 2 Aug 2023
My customers do not want to be price gouged and therefore they will support my survival because the golden rule governs their spending choices. It is called win-win, the basis of social order.

70 ===== 3 Aug 2023
If Aesop showed us that persuasion is stronger than force, why are humans still engaging in the use of force? Don't human beings learn anything?

71 ===== 4 Aug 2023
If I show people around me how to love, I become surrounded by loving people. It starts with me.

72 ===== 5 Aug 2023
Stability of governments contributes to worldwide public safety and lessens provocation to war. Defense consists of improving the lives of those who might otherwise threaten us, whether inside or outside our borders. People are less likely to kill their benefactors.

73 ===== 6 Aug 2023
My five children, more than I could support adequately, were blessed with generous scholarships and other benefits from an enlightened society. They have all risen above me, contributing more than they consume. Should the US be expected to provide the same largesse toward worldwide populations that overrun their own resources?

74 ===== 7 Aug 2023
Compare Plato's form of the good: No external essence is the original cause of my existence, just as nobody caused matter and energy. Rational belief in god is acceptance of our own shared nascent godhood emerging in our existing spacetime.

75 ===== 8 Aug 2023
Easy riches (think lottery winners) are quickly dissipated in "living it up." Great wealth concentrated in wise people builds educational institutions, public libraries, hospitals and clinics, community improvements, satisfying human needs that government in gridlock cannot address. Can we become a society of wise people?

76 ===== 9 Aug 2023
Basic morality: Think what society would be if the money spent on marketing health care were instead spent on health care.

77 ===== 10 Aug 2023
1. Assume that because of democracy, some tax money will be spent in ways you personally do not approve. 2. Do you pay taxes (a) for social approval (to stay out of jail) or (b) to promote the welfare of the society that includes you?

78 ===== 11 Aug 2023
Are you truly glad that there are fresh vegetables in the store? Do you show farmers your appreciation? the stock clerk?

79 ===== 12 Aug 2023
Do you have to hear a sound several times to appreciate it as music? Do some sounds never work?

80 ===== 13 Aug 2023
The road was lined with the cars of birders, binoculars and all, who were watching a huge flock of birds-UNTIL one motorist arrived and slammed a car door. Can you think of any other human activity that requires us all to cooperate?

81 ===== 14 Aug 2023
Pollinators like bees are threatened. Some people study that and help us take action. However, we can't join a service day for every possible harm that could possibly affect us. How do you choose which conditions you will help improve? Problem urgency? Your capability? Social influence?

82 ===== 15 Aug 2023
We love people who spread their light and warmth to everyone. Is it ever possible for that to make a small space too hot? What if we completely absorb the positive attention?

83 ===== 16 Aug 2023
It might be easier to solve the problem than it is to find someone to blame.

84 ===== 17 Aug 2023
While I'm giving out smiles, I don't notice so many frowns around me.

85 ===== 18 Aug 2023
When my own child approaches me with a request, the innocent expectation disposes me favorably to grant what is asked. What happens if I approach the mayor/senator/president with the same open innocence? Do I expect a courteous reaction?

86 ===== 19 Aug 2023
My father taught me the "as if" principle: treat a person as if ze were my friend. The suggested mindset was usually correct.

87 ===== 20 Aug 2023
The "starfish" story (throw a beached starfish back into the sea to make a difference to that one starfish) doesn't always mention the one who receives the greatest benefit from my kindness: me!

88 ===== 21 Aug 2023
Much of our environment is endangered. We doubt we can stop every harm at once. How about making the changes first that reduce the most instances of harm? Does reducing carbon emissions help more than just the flooding of my basement? We could call it multiplying of effects.

89 ===== 22 Aug 2023
Do you address an issue, or a person? Telling me a raw fact has no traction. Showing me how to solve my problem captures my attention; it grabs me.

90 ===== 23 Aug 2023
I have been taught "if you did not change behavior, you did not teach." Perhaps there are times in life NOT to do that kind of teaching. Shall we instead demonstrate something good and let the viewers decide whether to change, and how? That is not command structure; it is empowerment to do better voluntarily.

91 ===== 24 Aug 2023
People won't call us enemies if we help them get what they want. Can people be inspired to have uplifting wants? Then we are motivated to help.

92 ===== 25 Aug 2023
"How can this be improved?" is inviting disaster. After all, it implies that improvement is necessary. Often the helpful answer is "Keep it coming!" When you are asked, don't launch into pseudo-expert mode.

93 ===== 26 Aug 2023
Customers might harbor unfulfilled wishes. New market prospects are welcome and useful. However, instead of asking "How can this be improved?" please ask "what shall I do next?"

94 ===== 27 Aug 2023
You can avoid telling loved ones and vendors "I don't like this." How about cheerfully suggesting something innovative? Launch new adventure together.

95 ===== 28 Aug 2023
If you could invent something that raises GDP but kills 46,000 people per year in the US, would you offer it to the public? Someone did that with cars.

96 ===== 29 Aug 2023
I am the visionary who sees things as they are not-yet.

97 ===== 30 Aug 2023
We love bullies. It is the love that heals them.

98 ===== 31 Aug 2023
When you are not on the same page, open a new page and write on it together.

99 ===== 1 Sep Aug 2023
Organized religion exercises only as much mind control as you surrender.

100 ===== 2 Sep 2023
Reason disempowers the man-made myth of a jealous god of wrath, or of any god who is to be feared.

101 ===== 3 Sep 2023
Speaking truth to power: Truth #1 = I love you unconditionally. Absent this truth, the others don't matter.

102 ===== 4 Sep 2023
Laws do not change who we are; they reflect who we are.

103 ===== 5 Sep 2023
Profit-motivated self-interested capitalism claims to be the strongest motivator of growth and development. My life experience contradicts that with case after case of people who would have given up but did not because of those, frequently their children, who depended on them. Food is most nourishing when we feed each other.

104 ===== 6 Sep 2023
My ability to persuade depends on you, not on me. No amount of my skill can validate a message that does not speak to your need. This even applies to the Bible. The measurement of value lies in you.

105 ===== 7 Sep 2023
The Bible has handicapped multitudes with fear of an imaginary god. Donald Trump has shackled multitudes with fear of truth. I recognize the Bible as literature and allow Donald Trump his beliefs, but I weep for the loss of human potential resulting from the shackling of so many minds.

106 ===== 8 Sep 2023
In the US, the Northern states made the historical argument that they should force the Southern states back into the Union. China has historical reasons to claim Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Russian empire has historical nexus with Ukraine. George Washington had no such relationship with indigenous people in America when he ordered their extermination. Likely he is the true aggressor and bears the greater fault.

107 ===== 9 Sep 2023
Entry level wealth is necessary for access to food, shelter, and healthcare. Accumulating this wealth depends on food, shelter, and healthcare-originally supplied by parents. If individuals do not have resources or parents, must they be punished by death? Does answering "no" involve your wealth? If not yours, whose? Answering this is the primary function of society.

108 ===== 10 Sep 2023
Absent life purpose, physical objects and experiences are fleeting entertainments. Dedicated to a purpose, physical objects and experiences are tools for bonding and constructive collaboration.

109 ===== 11 Sep 2023
There are martial arts video clips showing how to redirect the body momentum of an attacker to render it harmless-for example, throwing the attacker to the ground. "Turning away wrath" is the corresponding intellectual maneuver that redirects ill-intended hostile energy and points it toward moral healing. Caring enough to be angry is redirected to caring about a better path forward. Don't kill the energy. Turn it around!

110 ===== 12 Sep 2023
Feeding each other (international millennium goals) is more important than national boundaries.

111 ===== 13 Sep 2023
The world's population needs to become one in deed. This does not mean surrendering individual identity; it means succeeding. How do people become one? They voluntarily undertake an achievement they cannot accomplish alone: the Sustainable Development Goals. It is this, not government, that makes us ONE humanity.

112 ===== 14 Sep 2023
In religion, "prophet" is a conduit to "god." In reality, my relationship to the "prophet"--whatever that authority figure might be--is governed by my concept of "god"--whatever cosmology that might be.

113 ===== 15 Sep 2023
Your life experience and your truth are different from mine. So what? Does that stop us from riding the same bus to work? paying taxes? being kind to each other?

114 ===== 16 Sep 2023
I am inundated with impolite sales calls and with advertising emails containing broken links. Don't people know anything about marketing? NOT TO WORRY! I have lived long enough to find the good without letting human errors cloud my appreciation. When people who approach me are sincere, they can sense that I give them credit for that. I don't buy most products, but the people feel good about interacting with me. Do they pass that gentleness on to you? I hope it spreads.

115 ===== 17 Sep 2023
You cannot overcome smoking by repeating "I will not smoke." That behavior further impresses the injurious practice on the mind. Hawthorne's "The Great Stone Face" can be read to mean that we become that which we admire--that with which we fill our minds. Conclusion: we cannot uplift our society by complaining about politicians. We need to hold in our minds a bright vision of the nation we want to become.

116 ===== 18 Sep 2023
Does the nation make you beautiful, or do you first make the nation beautiful? The chicken-and-egg answer is that neither comes first; they evolve step by step together. You have the power to make the first move.

117 ===== 19 Sep 2023
When we "make happy" we are really addressing ourselves by spreading to others the cheer we want to receive from them.

118 ===== 20 Sep 2023
Let's talk! What do you love about your country? What would you most like it to become? That conversation is currently the best way we can use our time together here. Please offer your ideas.

119 ===== 21 Sep 2023
On a typical day during undergrad years, I used to stare out the dorm window for an hour or two. That was the most valuable, creative time in my life. Of course, it had value because of the challenge the curriculum presented me.

120 ===== 22 Sep 2023
Restraining people from injuring themselves or others can be classified "protective custody" to indicate the intent of providing safety and healing. It must be more humane than, and fundamentally different from, imprisonment--encouraging, rather than wasteful of, human life.

121 ===== 23 Sep 2023
The word "prison" is not usually defined as "helping individuals become better people." It is the worst thing society can do to people who need to become better. Self-improvement (article 3) grows in positive environment.

122 ===== 24 Sep 2023
Imposing beliefs and practices on me does not authenticate those principles. Validation relies on reason.

123 ===== 25 Sep 2023
Theists claim to be faithful. Atheists claim to be faithless. I don't believe either one. What I believe is our good actions.

124 ===== 26 Sep 2023
Zig Ziglar is famous for his statement that you will always have what you want if you help other people get what they want. That immediately indicates that I should not concentrate on what I want. Instead I must ask what do other people want and then be employed by providing it.

125 ===== 27 Sep 2023
Personal mental health requires at least one room with a lock on the door. This need not be physically owned property, but it must represent a personal space that cannot be invaded by someone else. For me, that includes a safe place to meditate and sacrosanct computer space for organizing my information processing. All other substances and spaces, including a car, can be shared for maximum utility

126 ===== 28 Sep 2023
As a lawyer I am a professional truth seeker. Truth is not established by prophets; it is discerned by educated reason.

127 ===== 29 Sep 2023
Applying Ernstraud Philosophy, companies are sole proprietorships or worker cooperatives. Profit motive does not exist. The community's need for health care is met by society at large. Therefore, no individual or nuclear family ever possesses opulent assets or accrues more than very few million dollars of private income over a lifetime. The world population enjoys clean air and water, food, shelter, health care, and education.

128 ===== 30 Sep 2023
My existence does not begin with or depend on physical substance. Humanism is my conscious philosophical perspective that opens with my physical existence, but I encompasses more than that, just as the Big Bang is not the beginning of physics or metaphysics.

129 ===== 1 Oct 2023
I live in a world where we do not do things to each other; we do things for and with each other.

130 ===== 2 Oct 2023
It is natural to choose that which is easiest--the path where we do not have to grow. Appreciating life means we persistently build even while people are tearing down what we are building. If we falter, who will teach self-centered people to do better, so that there will be a habitable world for our great-grandchildren?

131 ===== 3 Oct 2023
My magazine (article 4) and my blog have taught that we must not survive at the expense of other people. When employment leads to pollution, we must re-deploy the workers as we end the pollution.

132 ===== 4 Oct 2023
Buying dollar-packaged junk food is not a poverty of money. It is a poverty of education. Rather that outlawing the products, let us educate ourselves out of the morass. Home economics training in the school or the home is more important than STEM courses.

133 ===== 5 Oct 2023
Appreciating Dr. King's description of the Promised Land is helpful to understanding the visionary language used in Ernstraud Philosophy.

134 ===== 6 Oct 2023
After giving away love, we have more left. When Donald Trump lives to spew vituperation and hate, it is up to the rest of us to bathe him in unconditional (and tough) love. We have to initiate the loving to provide him the ante (stake) for joining our transformative game.

135 ===== 7 Oct 2023
If you think hubris is a human fault, consider a God who takes credit for the laws of physics! [actuality: Power of creation is applying the laws of physics.]

136 ===== 8 Oct 2023
The 1959 movie "On The Beach" depicts the end of humanity brought on by nuclear warfare. The 2023 present scenario is that human overpopulation and greed are accomplishing the same end brought on by environmental degradation.

137 ===== 9 Oct 2023
The mental illness of wanting more provides a stark contrast to the mindset of equal distribution of resources, which posits our common survival by sharing. We possess and consume only that which is fairly available to be possessed and consumed. We do not pretend there is more than the planet can provide.

138 ===== 10 Oct 2023
I did not invent democracy, but where it is our chosen morality, the prior two messages are fundamental requirements: population in harmony with resources which are equally distributed.

139 ===== 11 Oct 2023
--Warfare: A attempts to control B.
--Rule of law: A and B voluntarily adhere to mutually agreed self-governance. We fairly enforce the rules on ourselves.
--Is it inevitable that civilized population must defend itself from those who refuse the rule of law? Does "defending" require killing humans? Does that make both sides savages?

140 ===== 12 Oct 2023
My humanism posits a required higher power: the ability to cooperate, which transcends our differences. This higher power, not warfare, is key to common survival.

141 ===== 13 Oct 2023
Years ago I dreamed of hiking through the night to see the sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji. Sometimes I wonder whether that sensation compares to watching a stream of potatoes flying into the harvester. Although the rewards differ a little, both projects fit the pattern: do the work first.

142 ===== 14 Oct 2023
Humans are social beings who suffer in prolonged isolation such as solitary confinement. I see something similar in children who feel they are never good enough. They may have human interaction, but if the feedback is all negative, they are in unhealthy isolation.

143 ===== 15 Oct 2023
Conflict in Gaza has become yet another occasion calling for a humanitarian corridor to provide exit for civilians. In the US it can take many months for the courts to determine whether one person is a co-conspirator. If a person's civilian innocence were instantaneously visible, uncivil actors could be kept out of the general population from the beginning. Hatred is slippery in any society.

144 ===== 16 Oct 2023
A Buddhist teaching proposes that angry drivers can teach you patience. Let us not rush to a world where there are no imperfections or setbacks. We learn more here.

145 ===== 17 Oct 2023
As a small child I noticed that if I slightly moved a board or wagon on which my dog was resting, the dog very quickly jumped off. I still have that instinct. If a foundation under me starts to move, my instinct is to jump off. Flight is not a useful impulse if my weight is on a conveyance designed to carry me to a better place--for example, education.

146 ===== 18 Oct 2023
While I was in grade school, the word "computer" was advertising magic. Products were featured as superior because they were created by computer. The mystique permeated all the way to handwriting analysis. Today we face the same situation with the magic word "AI" (artificial intelligence). Once again, the hype does not compensate for lack of thoughtful human experience.

147 ===== 19 Oct 2023
For many years my writing theme has been "others ahead of self." It is a constructive mindset with many practical benefits. "Me first" is destructively selfish. For a politician to put zir own ethnicity first ("America first") is morally questionable political suicide.

148 ===== 20 Oct 2023
Illinois operates a driver license facility exclusively for crusty old seniors like me who are slow understanding directions. The staff specialize in courtesy and patience. My experience there was heartwarming, reassuring me that society cares.

149 ===== 21 Oct 2023
Robber barons were in ill repute when labor unions resisted their tyranny. Today resisting tyranny means withstanding a united minority of stubborn political opposition to the basic human rights of the common man. When will our uniting principle be to respect individual conscience?

150 ===== 22 Oct 2023
Physical and mental health improve with several times daily deep contemplation of our gratitude and happiness. The linked TED talk elaborates on this formula that is transforming the world.

151 ===== 23 Oct 2023
My mother did not use an automatic washing machine. I remember feeding clothes through the ringer and hanging them out to dry. We had time for conversation in the evening. Modern conveniences now fill my life with labor-saving devices, and I have no leisure time. How can I return to my previous higher quality of life?

152 ===== 24 Oct 2023
I lived four high school years spreading myself too thin on insufficient sleep, stressing over too many attempts to be "well rounded." Sixty-two years later, the values that remain are character formation and intellectual originality. The rest of the frenzy was unhelpful. Slowing down facilitates more creativity and depth of appreciation. Please join me in this happier world; it will benefit everybody.

153 ===== 25 Oct 2023
Do you want a fulfilled life in a place of peace and plenty? It is impossible to realize by getting riches and power. One creates it by giving.

154 ===== 26 Oct 2023
We are all passengers on a physical planet with diverse occupants. We create individual worlds by evaluating and combining the elements available to us. Life develops meaning as we leave (monastic) isolation to meld those silo worlds into a collaborative tapestry we call society.

155 ===== 27 Oct 2023
Let us not surrender thought control. Tyrants are stronger than our bodies, but not stronger than reason and science. Our country can still survive the tyrants by embracing reason and science.

156 ===== 28 Oct 2023
I serve in imperfect social institutions, namely, this country and service organizations. Their imperfections cannot squelch my offering of peace to those around me. I do not abdicate my responsibility. My meaning is the peace that radiates from me.

157 ===== 29 Oct 2023
The purpose of radiating peace is not to promote my own benefit. My value is sending out the blessings that benefit you. "Denying self" is too negative a description. Let us rather call this reason for existence "being a good person." It is not denial.

158 ===== 30 Oct 2023
There is a video of a chimpanzee eating a small monkey that wandered away from its mother. Sadly, human offspring face similar threats from other humans: not usually cannibalism, but abduction, kidnapping, seizure, hijacking, child snatching, physical and mental child abuse, slavery. Let us honor caregivers, especially parents, who provide uninterrupted vigilance. Humans are fragile.

159 ===== 31 Oct 2023
Sometimes humans inflict permanent harm on their own children: bodily injury (FGM) or self-limiting beliefs such as fallen man theory. These are major obstacles to health.

160 ===== 1 Nov 2023
Occasionally I express an idea quite similar to a famous saying, adding a difference that is the essence of my comment. I am using the familiar as a springboard to my creative idea. Often the listener hears only the well-known expression, not my nuanced variation. If I clarify my difference, it appears that I am the one being argumentative. Peace, anyone?

161 ===== 2 Nov 2023
My children are completely understandable when they want me to personify everything I have taught them. When my direction changes with my increasing awareness, they do not automatically update their expectations of me. Does integrity require continuing the old dogmas, or demonstrating the new ones more effectively?

162 ===== 3 Nov 2023
The atheists are sorry for the religionists because religionists are duped by their fantasies. The religionists are sorry for the atheists because atheists are devoid of values. Aside from the foolishness of both assumptions, why can't BOTH parties be happy with (a) themselves and (b) the fact that the other party is happy?

163 ===== 4 Nov 2023
I do not notice that some people do not wish me well, because I am so intensely grateful for the people who do treat me well.

164 ===== 5 Nov 2023
If a person who hates me feels anger at my well-wishing, we call that "conscious reaction." Then we propose the words "unconscious" and "spiritual" to describe the world that is made better by my positive wishes. As a humanist, I populate that "spiritual" world.

165 ===== 6 Nov 2023
Ernstraud Philosophy teaches putting others ahead of self. In the extreme, this behavior distorts "self" into savior complex, a compulsive need to sacrifice personal needs in order to rescue or redeem every negative condition that exists. In contrast, correct application of empathy requires a realistic sense of identity leading to rational and reasonable service: I have value by being, not by being indispensable.

166 ===== 7 Nov 2023
Childhood malnutrition and starvation are so extensive that they exceed the scope and suffering experienced in armed conflict. When the human family unites in meeting human needs (achieving millennium / sustainable development goals), there will be less conflict over national boundaries and ideologies. Do you choose to fight or to feed?

167 ===== 8 Nov 2023
When we gain sufficient intelligence, we appreciate the necessity of relating positively with our environment, which includes cooperating with the other inhabitants of that environment.

168 ===== 9 Nov 2023
We coexist with people who are different-from each other and from us. Every person cherishes a unique appreciation of reality. It follows that cooperation is not merely simultaneous action by two people. In fact, cooperation requires the accommodation of two or more realities.

169 ===== 10 Nov 2023
Individual humans experience diverse realities. It does not matter whether all worldviews are contained in one universal or supreme ontology. Each human is aware or sentient of a unique personal reality. Collaboration consists of relating (Ernstraud Philosophy calls it melding) those non-identical perceived realities.

170 ===== 11 Nov 2023
Confused teachers call man the enemy of God, then call God "creator." That is utter nonsense. I was not created by the enemy.

171 ===== 12 Nov 2023
Heartwarming efforts to serve suffering populations counterbalance the sadness of violence. These laudable efforts must not suck the energy out of our more important efforts to learn and address the origins of violence. The former is keeping up with suffering. The latter is reducing suffering, yielding far greater return on investment.

172 ===== 13 Nov 2023
By stoking fallen man theory, isolationism, exceptionalism, and genocide, the Bible (along with other mythologies) has heated up human hostilities just as the burning of fossil fuels has heated up climate change.

173 ===== 14 Nov 2023
1. What do you give away most easily?
        a) what you have most of
        b) what you have least of
2. What do you give away most regularly?
        a) love
        b) hate
If you give it away, you end up having more.

174 ===== 15 Nov 2023
So if we give away that which we have most plentifully, what does that say about people who cause others to suffer? It certainly does not heal them to impose suffering on them as punishment. They need abundant love to prime them with something to share. But who can love a sinner? Jesus has a reputation for doing that, and humanists follow the constructive example.

175 ===== 16 Nov 2023
In waiting rooms, I am always too busy to look through the coffee table reading material that is there. My telephone contains several books that contribute more substance to my life. However, when I am not required to read specified materials, isn't meaningful meditation or rumination more important than the written word I carry around?

176 ===== 17 Nov 2023
My highest social function (with related moral duty) is to educate-that is, to persuade people to choose constructive behavior that it would be immoral to force them to do. Effective education is to empower decision making, not to prescribe it.

177 ===== 18 Nov 2023
The happiness in your world is not something you take from there. It is something you put there to grow.

178 ===== 19 Nov 2023
Manufacturing windmills and solar panels is not a known cause of black lung disease. We owe it to economic slaves of industry to liberate them from the coal mines.

179 ===== 20 Nov 2023
Conscientious case workers are essential to success of social welfare programs. They likely face impossible caseloads. If you know anyone whose needs are not being met, you might be the best gatekeeper for the situation. Helping us to coordinate this effort effectively is a primary function of religious and humanist associations.

180 ===== 21 Nov 2023
Theist: God extends everywhere and pervades everything. We can become aware of the Spirit in all that surrounds us. Ernstraudian: I, too, believe in science.

181 ===== 22 Nov 2023
Genetics probably determined the number and dexterity of the fingers on my hands. That provided capacity but did not determine whether I would play piano. Because of personal choices, there is more to humans than genes.

182 ===== 23 Nov 2023
The collective subconscious is not unique to or based on one individual. Because of genetics, there is more to humans than personal experience.

183 ===== 24 Nov 2023
Summarizing #181 and #182: We promote children's self-confidence by telling them how special it is to be unique. That is important, but not the whole story. Let us not forget that there is even more about us that is shared that makes us highly interdependent. We must be unique and social.

184 ===== 25 Nov 2023
Forgiveness of sin is meaningless. Peak motivation lies in the benefit others receive from my existence. By helping you, I enjoy existing.

185 ===== 26 Nov 2023
My exercise walks stimulate healthy circulation and the profound appreciation that I am spending this time in this place. As a grateful guest, I hope my presence in this world is worthwhile to you.

186 ===== 27 Nov 2023
Are some people so depraved that they seek godhood as power over others? That opposes the Ernstraudian meaning of godhood, creating for others.

187 ===== 28 Nov 2023
I know by personal experience that I am not sinful by nature. I exist, and am happy, to be helpful to you. Any God who insists that I am a sinner is not a friend. I promise that if you study yourself sufficiently, you will realize that the same goodness applies to you.

188 ===== 29 Nov 2023
188 ===== 29 Nov 2023 Selling principle: To sell someone cough medicine, you have to give zem a cough. Marketing of organized religion gives you a sinful nature in order to sell you its phony product. Completing the homework of Gem #187 sets you free.

189 ===== 30 Nov 2023
Instilling self-limiting belief (sinful nature, fallen man theory) in victims is a common form of cult gaslighting.

190 ===== 1 Dec 2023
Let us not falter on words of argument like belief, theism, agnosticism, atheism. I use the less emotional word humanism to describe the path from the normal human being you are now to your future godhood. Faith in this scientific human development grows as you concentrate entirely on the good already in you. This winning mindset is usually called Positive Mental Attitude.

191 ===== 2 Dec 2023
Not many humanists claim explicitly that they are pursuing their future godhood. Nevertheless, their conscientious practice of good principles satisfies the necessary criteria. To experience the joy of this path, they do not have to realize completely where it is going.

192 ===== 3 Dec 2023
Divine mercy that one has to beg for is not only sadistic; it is oxymoronic.

193 ===== 4 Dec 2023
Prophets who cannot see the present glory humans already have are not qualified to describe the glory of a deity.

194 ===== 5 Dec 2023
The military action of the State of Israel is an example of what the United States, indeed most powerful countries, will do if they perceive themselves under existential threat. Insecure people and governments resort to violence instead of learning to meld self with others. Humans are deadly until they become one.

195 ===== 6 Dec 2023
I would not dump my load on Jesus. In the University model of development, if the professor does all the work, the student does not get the degree.

196 ===== 7 Dec 2023
Dumping our cares on Jesus leads to waiting for God to feed the hungry when in fact God has provided resources that we are expected to distribute.

197 ===== 8 Dec 2023

198 ===== 9 Dec 2023

199 ===== 10 Dec 2023


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