My values

So I just finished mailing a couple of people about their views on my various blog posts. Obviously, not everyone agrees with my take on life, but isn’t it cool that we can agree to disagree? Or that we can have reasoned discussion on the issues? I like that. I think it’s what sets us apart from the bad guys out there that want to destroy the democratic process. That said, I figured it might be useful to summarize a couple of my views on life (so I can get more email on the topic!):

  • I am a liberal minded person. I’m not always a “Liberal Democrat” (although I’m a paying member in the UK) and I’m not always aligned with the US Democrats, but I am fundamentally liberally minded – most of the time. I believe in Freedom in society and dislike the current trends for increased government interference with our lives. There are exceptions to this – for example, I supported a ban on smoking in public places where it may interfere with my own health – but in general, I’m not one to jump and down in favor of government monitoring, centralization, or many other things happening in the world today.
  • I am Religiously agnostic tending towards being an atheist. I have no time for religion in my own personal life – it’s a waste of my time – but I have a lot of interest in religions of the world nonetheless. I don’t need to feel uniquely special in the Universe, I don’t need to think there’s a devine entity looking out for my own welfare amongst trillions of other lifeforms, and I don’t need to thank God for the good will and hard work of people. The bottom line is that I feel my time would be better spent doing other things and that people could get a lot of satisfaction from meeting to pick up trash/litter once a week instead. Just because I don’t need God in my life, doesn’t mean I’m a lower form of life or that I’m not deeply passionate about many things that some religious groups would claim I could never really care about.
  • I believe in being nice. I dislike war in general (but I understand it in some cases – for example, I understand the dangers posed by rogue nuclear states and I don’t necessarily think instant nuclear disarming is the best solution to that problem) and I don’t think it’s appropriate always to look after yourself before other people. But I’m aware the world is unfair – life is unfair – it’s everyone for themselves on some level, just so long as that’s done in a “fair enough” way that I can one up my neighbour but still care about the wider world without choosing to be a “fiscal republican” or somesuch. Just because I believe in being nice to other people as a substitute for some religiously mandated niceness in life, doesn’t mean I’m a sissy or that I don’t get very pissed off with some people/things that happen in life.
  • I don’t eat meat in general. I’m not a hard liner here, but I’m trying to reduce the number of animals that needlessly die at my expense on a daily basis. I’m aware there’s a long way to go before I can have the moral victory that my sister has in this area – though I admit there are limits to how far I think I can personally go. See, I’d like to eat a greesy burger and have a rack of ribs, or a slice of turkey – I used to spend a lot of time in KFC – but all I can see when there’s a plate of that kind of food in front of me is a dead animal that had its brains blown out for my personal eating enjoyment. The bottom line is that I feel anyone who eats pre-packaged “doesn’t look vaguely like an animal” meat should be willing to kill an animal and eat it. If they’re willing to do the killing bit for themselves, then by all means eat the carcas.
  • I don’t believe guns are the answer, but outright banning them probably isn’t either (national sporting teams in the UK can no longer compete and have to go overseas to train/get special dispensation for actual events – yet it’s possible to buy knifes, bows and arrows, or millions of other potential weapons in regular stores every day). That said, I think the US constitution never intended for everyone to go out and stock up on personal arsenals either. It’s a moot point these days anyway – the federal government has weapons many times more powerful than those the average guy can go buy so it’s hardly practical to consider owning a gun as a way of preventing the government from becoming too powerful. The bottom line is that I don’t have a reason to own a gun and doubt I ever will – I’d like it very much if other people could think long and hard before arming themselves too.


6 Responses to “My values”

  1. ross says:

    The US Constitution (IIRC) specifies freedom to carry guns “as part of a well-regulated militia”, which ought to imply a periodic test every year or so that you’re keeping such weapons safe, away from children, and in good condition and that you’re both capable of aiming it correctly and in a proper state of mental health.
    I think the amendment was intended to suggest that people had the right to defend themselves, including against their own government. The problem with it is, it was written at a time when there was still a frontier and before a police force came into being.

  2. Joe says:

    I believe in being nice. – ahahahahahahaha, not always easy to stick to, eh?

  3. Si says:

    You’re a “middle of the roader”, slightly leaning towards english liberal politics (because it’s fashionable at the moment). You don’t ever fully disagree or agree about anything, and you shape your opinions such that they actually disagree with as few people as possible… even right wing, gun toting, meat eating, religious nutjobs, which is handy since you’re moving over to the USA.

    Getting some solid, well thought-out, PERSONAL (rather than a mash of other people’s) opinions would be good for you, even if they do swing in the face of some of your friends’.

    Having said that, your current “standpoint” is still infinitely better than the “I wish the world was like star-trek” opinions you held a few years ago ;)

  4. Steve says:

    Si said:

    “Having said that, your current “standpoint” is still infinitely better than the “I wish the world was like star-trek” opinions you held a few years ago”

    Ahh those were the days! Bring them back I say :d

  5. Jimbo says:

    So let me get this straight, you want less government interference in people’s lives except where it benefits you, but it’s not good to look after yourself before other people?

    And guns are good but bad but good but bad but good but bad.

    I think I need some clarification :-)

  6. barbobot says:

    “The bottom line is that I feel anyone who eats pre-packaged “doesn’t look vaguely like an animal” meat should be willing to kill an animal and eat it.”

    Cool, I’m in.

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