non-religious driven by compassion, i refuse to be cheated out of my deathbed scene, some teens wired for addiction tendency

black and white surf runners

Atheists More Motivated by Compassion than the Faithful

Atheists and agnostics are more driven by compassion to help others than are highly religious people, a new study finds.

That doesn’t mean highly religious people don’t give, according to the research to be published in the July 2012 issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. But compassion seems to drive religious people’s charitable feelings less than it other groups.

The very religious are highly motivated in their giving by social pressure. I’m kind of suspicious of studies like this. It might be true as big pictures of mass behavior goes, but there is a tremendous amount of personal differences, thus personal considerations that go into altruistic behavior.

graphic art


I refuse to be cheated out of my deathbed scene

In 1912, after she called him “the Old Maid of novelists” in a scathing review of his new book, Marriage, journalist and author Rebecca West met and fell in love with H. G. Wells. The often-explosive affair that resulted lasted for some months, until, in March of 1913, Wells — 26 years her senior and already a married man — broke of their relationship. West was distraught, and responded with the following intense letter.

Dear H. G.,

During the next few days I shall either put a bullet through my head or commit something more shattering to myself than death. At any rate I shall be quite a different person. I refuse to be cheated out of my deathbed scene.

I don’t understand why you wanted me three months ago and don’t want me now. I wish I knew why that were so. It’s something I can’t understand, something I despise. And the worst of it is that if I despise you I rage because you stand between me and peace. Of course you’re quite right. I haven’t anything to give you. You have only a passion for excitement and for comfort. You don’t want any more excitement and I do not give people comfort. I never nurse them except when they’re very ill. I carry this to excess. On reflection I can imagine that the occasion on which my mother found me most helpful to live with was when I helped her out of a burning house.

I always knew that you would hurt me to death some day, but I hoped to choose the time and place. You’ve always been unconsciously hostile to me and I have tried to conciliate you by hacking away at my love for you, cutting it down to the little thing that was the most you wanted. I am always at a loss when I meet hostility, because I can love and I can do practically nothing else.

The rest of the letter is at the link.

The Plough and the Harrow (after Millet) Saint-Rémy: January, 1890 by Vincent Van Gogh

Some Teens May have Innate Neurological ‘Risk’ for Drug Abuse. Thus most at risk seem to have neural networks wired a little differently from people/teens who are more likely to become addicts or even try an addictive drug in the first place. The researchers hope that the findings might lead to a medical screening for this risk tendency.

Tea Partiers Who Opposed Bank Bailout Take Campaign Donations From Bailed-Out Banks. Thus the potential for a new bath soak called Hypocrisy Bubbles.

Romney Wrote NYT Op-Ed Entitled “Let Detroit go bankrupt.” Now Claims Auto Industry Reorganization by Government Was His Idea.

Back in ye old days exploitation of one’s deeds, deserved or not was considered the patriotic thing to do, When Did Conservatives Exploit Terrorist Deaths For Partisan Political Gain

1.Mozart’s Requiem – I. Introitus-Requiem aeternam

annals of creation, fallacy of false equivalence

“Yao Annals of Creation” page 2

“Yao Annals of Creation” page 3

The author of this translation of the Annals is unknown. The colored symbols are actually a form of text called Dongba text or Naxi. Though the Dongba symbols are not always directly translatable nto Naxi because the artist/writer may have personalized them in such a way as to only be intelligible to them. The black symbols below are Chinese text. Naxi was developed as a written language around the 7th century. As the title suggests The Annals of Creation tell the story of the Naxi people, the origins of humankind, how they understood the natural world to be and how the Naxi migrated during the course of their history. To exist is to struggle thus the stories of their struggles to survive against the forces of nature are also part of the Annals. Also included are their matrimonial ceremonies, religious philosophy and tales of their daily social life. That religion incorporated a lot of ancestor worship.

The Library of Congress where I got the map below has a good entry on the Naxi.


In western culture, if we exclude Native Americans, ancestry worship is a minority religious belief. Though it is clearly a form of theism. maybe it is obvious or maybe not, but if you were a Naxi and did not believe your ancestors were alive in the spiritual realm or adhered to any other forms of theism, that would make you an atheist. If there were people who owned swans and people who did not, we could list all the things they have in common, but we could not say that swan owners and non swan owners are the same thing. They are different because of that one characteristic. The same is true for theists and atheists. To say that theists and non-theists are the same is to say there is no difference between them. Thus non-believers are really believers and/or the reverse is also true, that believers are in this new semantic reality, non-believers. One could list all the ways those two groups are the same – say for example both groups are very rigid in their beliefs. Both groups have beliefs, thus they are the same. That would not be true because theists have logically unjustified beliefs and atheists have justified beliefs or are waiting for logical justification before they will believe. So we’re back to both groups sharing some qualities, but with – in a cultural  and logical context- at least one major difference. I’ve mentioned before that most libertarians are similar to religious fundamentalists in that their thinking is very dogmatic, replacing the belief in a deity with belief in money. Beliefs in unregulated free markets that has much of the cult mentality of some religious groups. Some libertarians – a surprising number – are also theists. Because some atheists or simply non-religious are zealous about what they believe that does not make them a category of theists because one one essential characteristic – they do not believe that one or more deities/spirits exist. This probably all seems fairly fundamental, if not silly, yet it is easy to find people, ironically some theists who claim that atheism is a religion. Religion by definition in the belief of a god, gods or spirit. If you were to list all the ways both groups are the same you would come up with a list of similarities in terms of general human attributes that would be far longer than the differences. That still does not make theists the same as non-theists any more than it would make swan owners the same as non-swan owners. There are real world consequences to say different groups are the same when they differ on some important aspect. Let’s apply the there is no difference logic to people who are allergic to peanuts being  the same as people who are not allergic. So when everyone is fed peanuts, the allergic group goes into anaphylactic shock and dies. If some theists want to have atheism designated as a religion that would entitle them to certain safeguards and financial benefits reserved for religious groups. Or it could also mean that since theists are atheists in the new logic, they lose their religious based rights and privileges.