Thursday, December 22, 2005

What the BLOG?

I am definitely new to the whole blog thing and am mainly interested in it because I have little opportunity to just sit with friends and discuss/debate real issues relating to religion and politics both because I have less time than I would like and most people don't relish the idea of getting together with their friends and really hashing out the issues, especially in a debate format as most people have a hard time differentiating between a debate and just fighting because you disagree. I happen to love debating, not that I am necessarily very good at it, but because I like to challenge my opinions and beliefs; I think if we feel passionate about anything, it serves us well to challenge ourselves to figure out what we believe and more importantly, why.

Some of what we believe is based on misinformation or just a lack of good facts as a foundation, so our opinions and beliefs are less than objective. To me, this is where a good debate can be useful as two (or more) people share facts, opinions, and beliefs about a particular subject, each involved is able to glean from the experience of others, and all are edified.

My limited experience in the "blogosphere" has so far been dissappointing to some degree, mostly because it has been less a constructive sharing of ideas, and more headhunting to see who you can prove is wrong, or at least more wrong than you. Arrogance, condescension, and exclusivism abound as each blogger, or group of bloggers loyal to one another, tries to prove themselves intellectually and informationally superior to the next.

Is this really the point? Each time a present my side of an issue I am immediately pounced upon by ravenous bloggers who do not agree with me and therefore I am labeled "idiot" or "moron" or I am just generally condescended to as someone "less enlightened".

Also interesting is when an obviously intelligent individual, well versed on current events, presents their argument somewhat intelligently but, in my opinion, ruins there point because they feel compelled to use foul language and personal insults to communicate their argument. To me this is a shame because I have always associated the use of slang and foul language with an inability to effectively communicate.

Maybe I am just being WAY too idealistic, but hey, I am new to this so that could change. At any rate, I plan to continue perusing the seemingly endless blog sites searching for knowledge and ideally leave those who I come into contact with better than when I found them. Hopefully, any who care to return here in the next few months will find me battle-weary but still positive.

I guess only time will tell.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Government: Social Cure-All?

Why is it that, after seeing what a terrible job Federal and State gov has done with things like education, Social Security and Medicare, some think we should now also give them the job of running healthcare? It boggles me that every time there is a societal need that we are of the mindset that it is the Governments job to take care of it.

A little history. The U.S. government was established to do two things:

1. Protect our freedom from oppression by those more powerful than us, such as what is happening in the Middles East where people are forced, under penalty, to follow some leader, religion, or culture.
(Incidentally, for those of you who hate guns, this can ONLY be accomplished through force, not aggressive force, but by being strong enough militarily so that no one tries to attack us and if they do to punish them for it.)

2. Preserve justice.

At some point, the Fed became our "Mother" and the cure for all social ills. It just so happens that every time they try to do something outside of those two things listed above, they do a terrible job. This is because the government is trying to do things it was never designed to do.
What happened?