“Legalizing Prostitution” – Freya’s Chambers – Sex

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Discussion:

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.  

While the subject is prostitution, I want to discuss economics for a minute because what prostitution is in most of my country is illegal (except Rhode Island and Nevada).  The reasons given for this are basically moral and trying to keep morality but like most things with good intentions cause a great deal of harm.  Economically speaking this harm is felt in the fact that black markets have an unknown and unstable economic effect.  Mostly it causes us to misinterpret data and the effects can create shortages and other negative economic impacts.

More gravely for prostitution in particular, much like the drug war, the negative effects of making prostitution criminals are far more detrimental that the supposed crime, if you can call it that.  As a libertarian, my definition of a crime includes actual harm was done and a victim to be considered a crime at all.  Prostitution has neither as it is a) voluntary and b) technically causes no harm.  Most of the negative effects of prostitution are caused because it is illegal not because it exists.  Voluntary consensual transactions should never be criminalized.

See the source image

The standard five reasons for legalizing prostitution are 1) reducing the influence of organized crime, 2) Health Concerns, 3) Protection for the vulnerable and underage, 4) Taxation revenue and 5) Morally there is truly nothing wrong with consensual sex.

See the source image

Reducing the Influence of Organized Crime

If prostitution is legal then if a woman is attacked by a client she calls the cops and the man is arrested.  She has rights and she can utilize the authorities to protect her and if she protects herself in self-defense then she would not be held responsible.  Without this currently pimps pretty much can do to the women what they wish and often it is a form of sexual slavery.  A woman who engages in sex work on her own runs a great risk of attracting the wrong attention and rival pimps are often violent with each other for territory. There is a sense of ownership organized crime has of prostitution as shown by the fact that pimps put their tattoos on their girls.  This would effectively end if decriminalized.

See the source image

Health Concerns:

Health reasons have been listed for legalization probably the longest.  You can require licensing, so you would have better numbers of actual sex workers.  This licensing could carry the requirements of regular monthly health screening to maintain and this would help prevent the spread of STDs along with perhaps mandating condom use and birth control to prevent pregnancy. The point is these workers would be allowed to practice freely and yet be required to get health screenings.

See the source image

Protection for the Vulnerable and Underage

Thirdly the subject of protecting the vulnerable and underaged is key.  The reason sex slavery exists, for the most part, is that prostitution is illegal.   There is no control directly on this black market at all and so anything goes. If prostitution is legalized, then they legal brothels, etc. would most definitely blow the whistle on anything illegal in order to remove competition and because of basic human decency. But also children of the prostitute cannot be used as pawns as the prostitute could call on help for them if needed and they were threatened.

See the source image

More importantly, the sex workers as rule would have legal protection against rape and violence otherwise the recourse is to just take it and then recover as best as possible with the perpetrator getting away with it.

See the source image

Tax Revenue

Tax revenue is always an issue for those of a more non-libertarian persuasion that is why I promote decriminalization for the most part as I would rather have it be that taxation was not part of it. But if you regulate it and charged a fee for the license to administrate making sure sex workers are screened then some revenue would be required. But there is much like legalizing drugs and taxing them an opportunity for state revenue and that cannot be denied.  Nevada reports that brothels generate on average 50 million dollars a year in tax revenue.  Multiply that by fifty states and that is a lot of revenue.

See the source image

Morally the question comes.  You can have sex – no crime and you can make money – no crime.  But somehow doing both together is a crime?  It also has some hypocrisy to it.  For instance, in the pornography industry, a person is technically making money having sex.  The only difference is that it is on camera. The point is there is no victim and no harm is done in the sense someone is forced, threatened or defrauded and if those things are absent I simply don’t see the point of making sex work illegal as it seems to only benefit a small group of people – notably organized crime and law enforcement. Legalizing it would change that.

See the source image

Conclusion:

It is my opinion that the making of sex work illegal has a lot of unintended consequences that are more dangerous and more damaging both socially and economically than if it was simply legal and regulated for those same concerns.  There are many arguments for this and I have listed some of the main ones.  I have never been to a prostitute myself, but I understand why some people would engage in it if they have no other recourse or as clients – options. I simply know that black markets are caused by government laws and often the results are more dangerous and damaging than if the activity was simply licensed and regulated.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Revising the Ten Commandments – Part 3 – Additions and Final Copy” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Mani’s Day

Now for the part of this where I ask the question about ‘is there something else that could be added?’ What stands outside the commandments as edited by myself that should also be on par with the other ten.  In this regard, most people don’t realize the original ten commandments does the same thing. In one place after the ten, more are listed and it has a lot to do with additions or other ideas that need to be addressed. I think that there is a call for me to do this as well.  Some other things should be emphasized.

Additions:

#11 – Until a child can make decisions for themselves, they should not have parts of their body removed, be abused or otherwise manipulated to further the agenda of adults. 

Sorry, I think children should be protected and make such decisions about circumcision, sexuality, and other religious and political matters when they are old enough themselves.  Adults should respect it is their body and their choices and until they can make informed decisions they should be protected until they can do so themselves.

#12 – In case it wasn’t already clear, the following activities should not be done as they are morally bankrupt: rape, genocide, and slavery.

I don’t really need to say anything here do I.  Other than I have just contradicted many of the commands of the Law of Moses and the ‘history’ of the Biblical Story of god’s people to say so.  Christopher Hitchens is right.  The reason these are not in the original ten is that God’s people will be asked to commit genocide and will later both enslave and rape the survivors.

#13 – Don’t do to others, what you would not want to be done to you.

Kind of a catch-all and a negative version of the golden rule.  This is because the negative so it actually prevents bad behavior in this case.

Final Copy: The Grey Wayfarer’s 13 Commandments:

#1 – You were born free.  People will try to enslave you through many means; Don’t let them. Respect the freedom of others; Don’t enslave them. 

#2 – Be an artistic human.  Express yourself and enjoy the expression of others.

#3 – Uphold the truth and be truthful with your words.  When you’re wrong – admit it. 

#4 – Take one day a week off and do what you want to do.  Life is too short not to enjoy it.

#5 – If you have children, remember that was your decision, not theirs; so be responsible parents, earn their respect, and teach them to be good human beings.

#6 – Don’t Murder

# 7 – Engage in responsible and consensual sexual activity.

# 8 – Don’t Steal

# 9 – Don’t lie to convict or harm the innocent.

#10 – Think Freely.  Never accept any tyranny, especially that of the mind.

#11 – Until a child can make decisions for themselves, they should not have parts of their body removed, be abused or otherwise manipulated to further the agenda of adults. 

#12 – In case it wasn’t already clear, the following activities should not be done as they are morally bankrupt: rape, genocide, and slavery.

#13 – Don’t do to others, what you would not want to be done to you.

They still need refining, but a definite improvement.  In the end, I think I have demonstrated that it does not require religion to come up with a solid moral code.  Rather, it seems that one simply being human can actually come up with something better than the supposed ten commandments of God through Moses.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Revising the Ten Commandments – Part 2 – Positive Replacements” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sol’s Day

I have decided that the best way to proceed in replacing the existing commands and improving the ones that are left is to follow two principles: 1) Be Positive and 2) Provide a counter in each position of the spirit of the original commandment. In the first what I am trying to do is be more of an encouragement to people to be good human beings rather than a tyrannical dictator. In the second, I am trying to provide a counter to the original commandment negative aspects.  So, here is my revised version:

#1 – You were born free.  People will try to enslave you through many means; Don’t let them. Respect the freedom of others; Don’t enslave them. 

Unlike the original, I am not going to tell you to live in bondage to some authoritative figure just because.  Rather, allow me to tell you that you were born free and others will try to enslave you.  Don’t let them and don’t do it to others.  Live as sovereign over your own life alone and protect that.

#2 – Be an artistic human.  Express yourself and enjoy the expression of others.

Make images, music, words, or whatever your heart desires.  Every human being should find some artistic outlet for themselves to remain creative and freethinking. Learning to enjoy doing something artistic and creative, and enjoying when others do it as well, is the spice of life.  Creative activity should be celebrated not forbidden.

#3 – Uphold the truth and be truthful with your words.  When you’re wrong – admit it. 

True, the truth can be difficult at times, but it is far better to be amendable to it than defy it. Speak it or don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I was wrong’.

#4 – Take one day a week off and do what you want to do.  Life is too short not to enjoy it.

The opposite of the biblical forth command which seems to tell you to live in a totalitarian state even on your day off, I am going to say to do what you want. Do that which helps you to get enjoyment out of life. A day off a week to do what the fuck you want to do is only being fair to yourself.

#5 – If you have children, remember that was your decision, not theirs; so be responsible parents, earn their respect, and teach them to be good human beings.

I think people have it backward.  Parents owe their kids not the other way around.  You chose to have them, they didn’t choose you to be their parents. It seems like from a standpoint of repsonsiiblity it falls on the parents to be responsible, to earn their kids respect, and teach them to be good human beings by word and deed.  Expecting your children to just be good little servants or else is kind fo training them to be slaves in a dictatorship.

#6 – Don’t Murder

Duh, No shit.  Yeah, self-evident to any human with basic moral capacity.

# 7 – Engage in responsible and consensual sexual activity.

I know there are social and cultural things that inject into the subject of sex but in truth, the only thing I see in truth is being responsible in that you understand there are consequences to sex that need to be mediated and that you shouldn’t be having sex with someone against their will.  It might be helpful if they knew what it was beforehand and had a choice about it.  So forcing an eleven-year-old to marry you is out.

# 8 – Don’t Steal

Duh.  No Shit.

# 9 – Don’t lie to convict or harm the innocent.

Duh. No Shit.

#10 – Think Freely.  Never accept any tyranny, especially that of the mind.

There should be no thought crime or even crimes that prevent certain words or language from being used. All tyrannies are bad, but a tyranny over thoughts and ideas is the worst form of tyranny.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Business: Doing it Right” – A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues

 

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

This group of virtues is called Business using the idea of business in the broadest possible sense of the word.  It is about the relationships I have with others and how I relate to them more than anything. The triangle of the vulknut that represents these to me is the one that is highest up. It has the position then of being the most visible and the most important in relation to dealing with other people.

The three virtues of Self-Reliance, Industriousness, and Hospitality form the virtue of justice.  Justice is a difficult concept to define but it involves treating each person I meet with respect for their freedom and trying to treat them equally and fairly as possible.

Self-Reliance:

“Self-Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual but also for the family, clan, tribe, and nation.”

Principle: To achieve and maintain personal independence and advocate for independence in my family, state and nation.

Goal:  Find a new, better paying job by March 2019.

Bucket List: To own and run my own successful business or company by March 2029.

My belief in independence and liberty is an integral part of my views on everything from politics to economics to social issues.  In addition, it is part of my ethics to respect the choices of the freedoms of others. The business of life for me then is predicated on the notion that all my relationships are freewill and for mutual benefit.  They are never to be the product of the use of force, threat or fraud.  This cuts both ways as I won’t tolerate those who try to have a relationship with me using those forces either.

Industriousness:

“Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself”

Principle: Work with the enjoyment of work itself.

Goal: Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019 (achieved)

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published by March 2022.

I think I am getting much better at enjoying work for work’s sake and the fact this leads to not being dependent on others for my livelihood is also very satisfying.  As I have said before, however, I think I can do better as far as my job and its nature.

Hospitality:

“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”

Principle: To share out of my abundance to help people where I can with their life’s journey.

Goal: By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader/participant in a group of some kind.

Bucket List: To own my own home by March 2024.

Sharing is not a problem.  I am however very cognizant of the fact that I tend to give far more than I receive as far as emotional investment and that has some real dangers for me. I suppose this virtue needs a closer look as far as specifics and safeguards.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

How I deal with others is an important consideration in life. For me, this is always about letting people be as free as possible and showing my value to them in working hard for myself and not thinking the answers to my problems are to leach off them. But also to be willing to help when help is needed is important. Justice isn’t just about righting of wrongs but also has the element of always doing things right the first time.

Work Day Routine:

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  4. Weightlifting: Gym time – 1 hour after work.
  5. Writing: Half-Hour on top of the blogging routine each day. Alternate between Non-Fiction Book and Novel.
  6. Reading – 1 chapter min.
  7. Personal Business: record financial transactions, savings plan actions, budgeting, appointments, job search, other actions, etc.
  8. Check Communications and Email after 2 pm but before 4 pm.
  9. Nutrition: Daily Carb Count – 2

Solid.  I need to be more consistent.

Still walking,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“The Topfreedom Movement” – Freya’s Chambers – Equality

 

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given this week’s topic be prepared for images of topless females. 

Introduction:

I have to say that since the first time I wrote on the topfreedom movement in the United States, they have made quite a bit of progress.  I originally examined them in my Christian blog many years ago.  Mostly the issue back then was legal.  But the real trick of any social movement is to address all concerns including cultural, social and political.  If you are not aware, the topfreedom movement is basically pressing for equal rights of women to appear topless wherever a man can appear topless.  Basically asserting that the different laws for the treatment of men and women’s chests are sexist and violates equal protection under the law.  The issue for them is equal rights under the law.

I was supportive of the topfreedom movement back then even as a Christian because unlike many other Christians I actually realized that the constitution is the law of the land, not the Bible, and even with the Bible, there is no, I repeat no, statement or even indirect reference in the Bible that says a woman exposing her breasts is a sin. From my point of view then, a Christian woman who decided it was too damn hot and took off both bra and shirt and mowed the lawn was not a sinner, she was just being practical.

But what about now without Bible as some sort of appeal to authority and being you basic deistic humanistic pagan, where do I stand on this issue now? Without the whole sin question to consider, then the issue becomes very practical and about equality.      

Discussion:

From a cultural/social point of view, this is going to be a long fight but I stand with these ladies for a lot of reasons.  Most notably to me is a simple fact that socially I feel that these ‘modesty’ constraints are kept mostly to allow the unattractive, the insecure and religious women of the world to have an advantage over those women who are attractive, secure and non-religious.  I see it every time I go to the beach and some attractive woman is wearing a very revealing swimsuit.  All the other women are judging and criticizing because they are not secure in themselves or have a positive body image about themselves. I love it when a woman asks her significant other, who is watching said attractive female, what he thinks and he says: “whatever you think dear.”  This is far more about pecking order among females than anything else. To aid them in this quest for dominance, some women turn to religious moral codes and such to force their way into the law and on other women.

See the source image

My libertarianism kicks in as well to support these women.  If an action is not about force to harm, the threat of force or fraud there is no violation of the Non-Aggression Principle and if there is no victim you can point to and say who was harmed – there is no crime. Can someone tell me who is hurt by a woman walking down the street on a hot day topless?  As far as I can tell the only thing that is harmed is people’s opinions, feelings and sensibilities and none of those things count as far as the NAP violation or a crime.

See the source image

This leads me to the legal issues that how is exposing female nipples a crime and the exposing of male nipples is not a crime?  Note that most laws talk about nipple exposure and not the actual breast itself. I have found this an interesting part of the law as the nipples on men and women are essentially the same.  It is the mammary glands that lead to the mound of the flesh a women’s nipples are on that is the difference between the chests.  However, in most places, if the woman were to put tape over her nipples then she is perfectly legal as she would not actually violate the wording of the law.

See the source image

But I started this post out with the pagan and spiritual side of this and from that standpoint, I would have to say there is something liberating and freeing to the spirit when one frees themselves from the spirit of being a moral busybody and judge of other people.  There can be no greater judgemental attitude that the one where you impose what you think is modest on another because modesty is a spiritual quality of heart and mind, not one of the dress or undress.

See the source image

The other spiritual quality is the appreciation of beauty and in particular the beauty of the human body.  I find a lot of religious believers in God will talk about the beauty of creation and then spend a vast majority of their time trying to cover up one of its most beautiful parts: the human body, both male and female.  In this appreciation of beauty, I have also started to discover something about my attitude about women and their appearance.  I have found a greater understanding that sexual desire and nudity are not always connected. Put simply just because a woman is topless it doesn’t mean she is thinking about or asking for sex anymore than a man who is topless is doing so. Personally, I have learned that real modesty is letting other people be free and if a woman wants to freely walk down the street with her breasts bare, that is her business and I should respect that and not look at it as an invitation for a sexual encounter.

Conclusion:See the source image

When I first was made aware of the topfreedom movement, only one state of our fifty had changed its laws to reflect and equal treatment of men and women regarding toplessness.  Since then there are now 35 states that have followed suit realizing that legally there can be no distinction between a man and a woman’s chest. 

See the source image

The challenge now is in these states many local governments have reacted with their own ordinances and so what the topfreedom movement focuses on there is trying to get the one legal case in that state that will bring the locals government to heel with state law. There is currently one woman bringing legal action against the city of Chicago before the Supreme Court of the United States.  That might be the legal silver bullet that brings about the remaining states and locals to realizing they can either lose money in a lawsuit every time or just let women be topless.

See the source image

The real problem, of course, is that the long term will require society some time to change. Cultural norms change slowly but inevitably.  Like when women were first allowed to show their legs and more cleavage, it takes some time for it to be more normal to everyone in a society. I see change coming for American society regarding this issue and the majority of pushback will come from women and the religious.  In time, even they will have to submit to the inevitable. Sure men will probably at first avert their eyes, but eventually, they won’t think of bare breasts, as usual, any more than bare legs. Time will tell.

Thoughts?

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Asatru and Self-Reliance” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Self-Reliance

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

“Self-Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual but also for the family, clan, tribe, and nation.”

Principle: To achieve and maintain personal independence and advocate for independence in my family, state and nation.

This virtue is much more complicated than it first appears.  We also need to remember that as we move from the Foundational Virtues to the Business Virtues that this is my distinction but in other views, this virtue is handled in a different place.  What all of us acknowledge is that the Nine Noble Virtues weave together to form different concepts and at Self-Reliance, we see a lot of that.

Mostly though there is one word that guides my thinking on this virtue – ‘independence”.  It is that line ‘the spirit of independence’.  I would say that one cannot be dependent on others and self-reliant and as such one is not truly free if one is dependent on others.  Your dependence means that the people you are dependent on can take it away and thus can dictate terms in some way in other areas with the threat of taking what they give you away.

This idea of self-reliance meshes well with the libertarian concept of the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) as to be self-reliant it can be seen that attempts to force or defraud others are not self-reliant but rather the actions of the thief and extortionist. No thief or extortionist is self-reliant.

In Asatru, the person who is valued is the one who goes and, using industriousness, makes their own life.  The person who finds ways to leach on the lifeblood of the industriousness of others is not. Hospitality is the guard against those who find themselves in trouble due to no fault of their own as in Hospitality (which we will discuss in a couple weeks) you find each person having the requirement in that virtue of helping those in need if it is in their power to do so.

Website: Ravenbok – The particular page is: The Values of Asatru

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

The need for self-reliance is obvious for personal development.  No one grows stronger or better by being in a dependent state in relationship to others.  It is liberty and independence that have as their responsible core the need to grow and be better to live a better life. We need self-reliance to maintain our freedom by working for it. As much as I believe it is true that liberty requires a sacrifice of blood from those who would try to take from time to time.  The constant maintenance of liberty is done by people working hard every day to maintain their self-reliance.

Wants (Freki):

We want self-reliance as well.  I suppose in Asatru this is best reflected in how the Norse people looked at the gods.  They certainly didn’t look to them for help all the time.  The gods were mostly invoked; if at all, through a good relationship where a person maintained a friendship with the gods but never presumed too much on it.  They only turned to the gods for help when needed like a friend would with a friend.  This creates respect that is both wanted and needed when carried over to human relationships as well.

Reason (Huginn):

Rationally this guards us against two things.  One the one hand we seek to be prosperous enough so that no one can control us.  Having prosperity allows one to look an employer in the eye and remind them you can live without them or have enough to live through hard times. On the other hand, the followers of Asatru recognize the dangers of materialism as not all one acquires leads to the utility of being valuable practically.  Simple prosperity is more desirable that opulent displays of wealth because opulence is a drain on one’s prosperity and actually threatens self-reliance and thus freedom.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom plays its part and I will let my source document speak on this issue because I can’t think of a way to put it better:

Being self-reliant also means taking responsibility for one’s life. It’s not just about refusing a welfare check or not lobbying for a tax exemption, but also refusing to blame one’s failures on religious intolerance, the patriarchy, or an unfair system. The system may, in fact, be unfair, but it’s our own responsibility to deal with it.

– The Values of Asatru

Wise words. My ultimate advocacy for self-reliance is reflected in my own success, despite the obstacles, to be self-reliant.

Conclusion:

I would say people become much too reliant on others and it robs them of what they could have.  They look too much to others, like the government, and thus borrow from the future of prosperity of others to feed their own in the now.  The national debt of the United States is one great symptom that shows the harmful results of this overreliance on others. This is not to say you can’t when truly needed, get help from others, but we often do so to the point it is harmful to others and this robs both them and us.  Life would indeed be better for all if people found as many solutions to their own problems on their own first; only relying on others when absolutely necessary.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“People as Sacred” – Odin’s Eye – Humanism

Happy Thor’s Day

Discussion:

A humanist is a person who sees human beings and the human race as the central thing to solving human problems.  A pagan is a person who finds spirituality in all things.  I want to talk about how these two intersect.  For me, people are both the solution to their problems and sacred as part of the universe.  I don’t look to political or religious forces to solve human problems.  Both of those things tap into tribalism hard and push us to fear and hate one another. If you looking for the evil that might exist, you don’t have to look too far into any political or religious organization and you will find some.

As a humanist, I don’t think political ideology solves problems. Speaking as a political scientist, I can tell you that politics is about putting groups of people against one another to gain power, not solve problems.  Unless you see solving the problem as subjecting other people to what you think is right and forcing them, politics and government is not the way to go.

As a pagan, and former Christian, I can see how religion is used much the same way as it influences culture to label things ‘sinful’.  Once again, this is then used to put groups of people against one another as ‘the righteous’ put themselves against ‘the sinners’. Using shame, shunning and general looking down noses at others because ‘they don’t have the truth of our faith’, you can see once again how this is used to control people through fear and manipulation. Sorry, religion tends to create more problems not solve them.

It seems if human beings want actual solutions to their problems, they might want to look at themselves and stop joining religious and political groups that are not about solving problems but rather are about control.  Time for an alternative way of looking at people that might actually solve their problems.  Time to start looking at people as sacred.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

Faith:

Having faith in human beings to solve their own problems is difficult at first.  Both the above forces fo government and religion do some pretty good PR to label some people as the problem and having the need for others to control them. I always marvel at political and religious leaders ability to label whole groups of people as the problem and not themselves of course.  They are the solution.

I can say that if you sit back and really think about it there are two things I can have faith in: 1) That things are getting better all the time for humanity, and 2) That a whole bunch of people are trying to convince you that things are getting worse for their own gain.  But if I look at it objectively and consider people being sacred. You can have faith in each individual human being to solve their own problems if they are given the freedom to do so. Letting people be themselves is the most sacred and loving thing you can do for someone else.

Religion:

Religion, in general, sees humans as problematic or having problems.  Paganism sees them as sacred. Not problems but wonderful parts of the universe. Religion involves chains and spirituality involves removing them.  The first step in seeing people as sacred is to stop thinking they need religion to help them overcome their problems.

Because each person is sacred, they hold within themselves the ability to solve their problems.  Religion always tries to get a person to look to the divine, or faith or something outside one’s self to solve the problems they have but in truth, each person’s decisions will either lead them into problems or out of them.  Religion makes a lot of false claims and promises they cannot prove, but one thing you can know for yourself is there is always a better path that you can take as a human being if you tap into it.

Theology:

What needs to change is our understanding regarding humanity.  As a Christian, I taught mankind is sinful and only god can get them out of the problems that cause. The problem is there is no evidence that sin even exists outside the say-so of the Chrisitan preachers. That theology certainly does not look at people as sacred, that is part of the goodness that is creation.

As a pagan humanist, my viewpoint of humanity is very much changed.  Each person is unique and the most sacred thing they all have is the ability to choose their own direction.  To choose their own path. It is this that must be guarded and protected as the previously mentioned forces of politics and religion will always try to take this away.  What makes a person sacred is their ability to sovereignly choose for themselves the path they want to walk.

Spirituality:

The spiritual side of all this is that to walk this path we have far more going for us in helping us to do do this.  That in addition to their being a rational and logical side to life, there is an emotional and passionate side.  There are also the factors of driving needs and wisdom gained through experience.  All these combine into a spiritual walk that allows us to use all we are as human beings to set and guide the choices we make.

Part of that is respecting that people are sacred and walking it as a spiritual path is to guard it for ourselves and respect it in others. To interfere in a person’s choice, even benevolently, is to look at them without this respect for the fact that they are sacred and what makes them sacred is their ability to choose for themselves what path they are walking.

Conclusion:

In the end s much as sometimes I can think people are stupid in their choices, I respect that their ability to choose is sacred to them.  It is what makes each individual unique to me and worthy of a measure of respect.  Now, this doesn’t mean all choices are good ones or even benevolent and some choices can be stopped if they violate this principle.  A choice to force, coerce or defraud someone is one that does not have this respect of another person’s sacredness. It should be stopped. But there are many choices that I would not make but they are not violating the principle of sacredness so I should not interfere.

It is amazing to me what peace of mind comes when you leave people to be sacred in their own lives. The freedom from the desire to control and manipulate is a wonderful one. It also brings about the simple truth about yourself – you are the product of your choices.  Those choices are sacred no matter if they were good or bad because as a human being you made them.  That is freedom with responsibility.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Thoughts on Freedom” – A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

Governments don’t grant freedom.  Religion doesn’t grant freedom.  The right to liberty and freedom simply is, it is others who are arrogant in their presumption that they have the ‘right’ to take it away or grant it.  If you need permission to do something from the government, religion or any other force, you are not free to do it. If we are going to say liberty is an inalienable right, no permission is needed for it to exist. The best we can do with the government is hope it will defend our liberty.  The best we can hope from religion is that it minds its own business about the way we live our own life.

But as the anarchists will point out, the very fact that government exists is an affront to the idea of rights and liberty specifically.   I agree with them theoretically.  I have always felt the problems with anarchism are not the theory and philosophy of it, but rather the practical application.  It overlooks one key thing about human beings – we are inherently tribal. I think the founding fathers of the United States using their reason recognized this, so they understood that government is a necessary evil and tried to create one that actually protected the rights of its citizens and one that was so restricted as to not encroach on rights quickly or without restraint.  Smart practical men, but they knew over time even their system would fail if it wasn’t maintained by people who value freedom and liberty.

For me personally, I am free because I am free.  I alone bear the responsibility of my actions and The Book of Rabyd 2:2 kicks in a lot. It is the following of the virtues of Self-Reliance, Industriousness, and Hospitality that do more to maintain and follow after freedom than anything else.

Self-Reliance:

“Self-Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual but also for the family, clan, tribe, and nation.”

Principle: To achieve and maintain personal independence and advocate for independence in my family, state and nation.

Goal:  Find a new, better paying job by the end of June 2019 or before.

Bucket List: To own and run my own successful business or company.

Liberty and Freedom are the two reasons why I work so hard for self-reliance.  Anything else is dependence and it can lead to slavery.  The cage can be guided but it is still a cage. The more you are independent through being self-reliant, the more options you have that are created by you and that leads to freedom.

Industriousness:

“Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself”

Principle: Work with the enjoyment of work itself.

Goal: Working on it.

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published.

This kind of freedom and liberty doesn’t just come to you, you have to work to create it.  It doesn’t mean you have to work harder but that may be involved.  You can work smarter or create something that does some of the work for you.  But freedom and liberty are found in the fact that you have chosen the work for yourself and that you enjoy it.

Hospitality:

“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”

Principle: To share out of my abundance to help people where I can with their life’s journey.

Goal: By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader of a support group of some kind.

Bucket List: To own my own home by March 2024.

Being prosperous enough through liberty and freedom with the other two virtues, allows you to be generous.  I think this is the one missing element of the entire capitalist structure. This is not the fault of capitalism but rather capitalists who succumb to greed rather than hospitality which would lead to greater overall prosperity.  If you can’t let go of what you create then you truly are not free of its control over you.  Slavery takes a lot of forms and one of those forms is being a slave to having to own and control everything.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

The best way to live creating justice is to live in liberty not just for yourself but for others as well. Justice means you let people be free to pursue their own path and don’t interfere or meddle in any way. You respect freedom and liberty as forces enough ot let others have it.

Daily Routine:

  1. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  2. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  3. Reading – half-hour. Priority order: work, school, pleasure
  4. Study / Homework / Research: half hour per day minimum or until all necessary work is completed.
  5. Personal Business: record financial transactions, savings plan actions, budgeting, appointments, other actions, etc.
  6. Check Communications and Email after 2 pm but before 4 pm.
  7. Weekly Routine Items
  8. Nutrition: Daily Carb Count – 2

June 2 starts another full week for me and I am going to try to be in a position to put all my routines into action more fully. I have a few goals that depend on these routines so I need to get better at getting them complete.

Still walking,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

Of Wolves and Ravens – Western Philosophy – Individual Rights

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

If one wants to point to the main difference between Eastern and Western Philosophy it is Collectivism vs. Individualism.  This is overly generalized on my part, and I would say there are elements of individualism in Eastern philosophy and Collectivism in Western.  It is just the results ultimately lead down these paths overall.

See the source image

Source: http://www.writeopinions.com/western-philosophy

We could argue all day which is superior, but there is one element that I personally take to heart because of where it leads. The focus on the individual over the centuries has led to an understanding of individual rights.  The people have certain rights like life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and ownership of property that no collective group can take away is something very Western.  In Eastern Philosophy you get more of a rights of the group mentality. This can be detrimental to the individual.  I suppose this debate will continue until the bitter end. I am going to side with the individual and the below cartoon illustrates how collectivism or majority rule can lead to evil.

See the source image

That said there is something to be said for Eastern Philosophy in other areas. I just get real rights conscious for the individual from Western philosophy and in this regard I think it is superior to Eastern. I am not going to go into the philosophy where our rights come from at this time.  That will probably be the subject of a Of Wolves and Ravens down the line.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

The need for an understanding of individual rights is paramount to treating each other like human beings.  If you don’t think humans have rights then it is very easy to see them as non-human.  I think it is a basic test of humanity to see what a person’s feelings about the rights of other humans are or may be. If you find they give rights to themselves and people they like but not to others, I think they fail that test.  This discussion of rights fills to needs – a) tests your own humanity and b) litmus test for others being human by how they treat other humans.

Wants (Freki):

For myself I would rather have this rights issues than the collectivist one. If the thought that you could be killed for the benefit of the ‘greater good’ bothers you, you understand why you want individual rights.  They give you the power to live your life ad protect you from those who would try to take that away from you.

Reason (Huginn):

Of course reason gets us to the point that we realize that rights only have value if they are defended and stood up for. This is another matter for the ‘where do rights come from?’ issue.  But for now, it is simply noted that the basic rights require other rights to defend them.  One thing leads to another when it comes to rights and the right to defend one’s rights stems from calling those basic rights rationally essential.

Wisdom (Muninn):

A wise world would promote individual rights.  It allows one to be both for the individual but also if everyone collectively is given the same individual rights – all benefit collectively  from having those rights.

Conclusion:

I would love to think balance between the collective whole and individual rights can be achieved, but I know people are inherently tribal and eventually they submit the rights of the individual to the fear or desires for power. There is always going to be that element in society that thinks they can come up with a better plan or system for you than you can and it seems inevitably they want you to hand over your rights to them or take them from you.  This needs to be resisted because if they can do it to you, they can do it to everyone. Individual Rights have to be defended against the mob.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

The Book of Rabyd 1:7 – ‘The Only Proper Use of Aggression is to Protect One’s Rights or the Rights of Others’

Happy Sun’s Day

Text:

“The Only Proper Use of Aggression is to Protect One’s Rights or the Rights of Others” – The Book of Rabyd 1:7

Thoughts and Exposition:

The Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) is stated many ways but the basic gist of it is a combination of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “love your neighbor as yourself”.  Every major religion in the world has something like this in it, but then all of them turn around and use fraud or even force to control others.

So leaving religion behind, it is simply that people have their rights and no one should use violence or lies to take them away.  If someone or group of someones does use violence to try to take rights away, the NAP simply states that the person whose rights are being threatened or people around them who see that their rights are being threatened have the right then to use violence in return in defense.

Aggression is further defined as the use of physical force, threatening the use of force or fraud.  This is not pacifism as the use of force or even the threat of force is allowable in actions that involve self-defense or the defense of others.  There are other types of force but the NAP is about physical force, threat of physical force or fraud.

This means a lot of other areas where things are about influence, politics and other types of force are not necessarily covered by the NAP.  However, if one thinks on this that means that much of what government does is a violation of this principle.  This really limits how much the government should do and puts it clear focus on the government as the force that protects the rights of its citizens and does not threaten them with force or trick people out of their rights through fraud.

On a personal level, this means that if I were to act in a violent manner, that means the one who I am acting on has made a decision to violate my rights or the rights of another person.  Other than that, it is never right for me to initiate violence and it is certainly never right for me to engage in fraud.  This part is actually more challenging in many ways than gripping about government.  One must always be first concerned that you are following the NAP before you judge others on their following it.  It is more a philosophy of personal responsibility than anything else.

Following the NAP leads to a practical morality.  There is nothing more frustrating on the one hand than people who, because of their politics, religion or other beliefs, think they have the right or force their viewpoint on others through law, violence or fraud. One the flip side, it is also frustrating to watch people stand aside while violence or fraud is perpetrated and they do nothing about it.  The NAP gives us a principle to guide us.  It is not perfect, but it is a lot better all others I have found so far and far more practically useful.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!