Friday, December 09, 2005

Quick Opinions

Some random thoughts on a cold Friday night.

  • No, I do not find an Illinois winter charming or beautiful. I haven't loved winter since I was a kid. When I move to Hawaii, I will not miss the seasons. There, now you don't need to ask me.
  • Atheists and agnostics can be just as morally upright and decent as religious believers. In fact, since those of them who are good people try to do right for its own sake rather than to gain reward or avoid punishment, they could rightly claim the moral high ground in many instances. This seemingly simple proposition is denied by a shockingly high number of people, which I find to be a disturbing sign. Belief in God is not a prerequisite to ethical behavior, and I say that as a believer.
  • No solution to the Middle East situation that involves the destruction or abandonment of Israel will ever have my support. Ever. Period. Israel has done wrong things. Which of its Arab neighbors, however, is a place that respects human rights more than it does?
  • The Bush family's connections to the Saudi royal family and the Moonies need to be shouted from the rooftops.
  • Can't we at least extend medical insurance to every kid in the country? Or does giving Paris Hilton another tax cut take priority?
  • Why do I get the feeling I'm being gouged on natural gas this year?
  • No decent human being advocates the torture of any sentient being for any reason at any time. And no, don't give me that "What if the terrorists were gonna nuke a city if we didn't" argument, because it's garbage. As long ago as the 18th century the Italian Enlightenment author Beccaria nailed that kind of thinking dead. A person being tormented will say anything his captors want to hear, regardless of its veracity. The current administration's defense of torture is therefore both barbaric and stupid. I don't think I have ever been more ashamed of any American leaders than I am of the bastards we have in right now. Lincoln, Washington, and Theodore Roosevelt are turning over in their graves.

Okeley-dokeley, then.

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