Health and Fitness Philosophy Politics Religion Religion, Politics and Philosophy

Space, the Final Frontier – Religion and Politics

Perhaps one of the funnier things I have seen recently, is the assertion that man will find his or her way into space and that this will help to solve various problems that exist here on our home planet.

I wanted to take just a moment to address why such an idea is not particularly realistic.

In the interest of “full disclosure,” allow me to first indicate that my “information” surrounding this topic, was collected in a very short, non-comprehensive session. As such, there may be issues with the accuracy of some of the information presented. I want to apologize for that fact in advance, as well as make it clear that I am “open to correction” where such inaccuracy may have occurred.

I can come up with just three scenarios surrounding mankind “making the leap into” space for the purpose of habitation:

  1. Near-Earth Habitation – Mankind building “space stations” or similar that surround Earth
  2. Habitation of Other Planets (or other Bodies) in the Solar System – Mankind occupying other bodies “under the direct influence of” the Sun.
  3. Habitation of Exoplanets (or other bodies) – Man attempting to inhabit bodies outside of the direct influence of the Sun.

The first of these three pretty much relies on people continuing to have interaction with the Earth, since doing so would pretty much be a necessity for folks to survive, based on a scarcity of resources of various types. As such, where people may choose to live in the space surrounding planet Earth, that really only allows for an expansion of what already exists on the Earth.

The second is not really a great idea for multiple reasons. The first being that none of the other planets in the Solar System seem to be habitable without extreme activities to cause them to be so (and maybe even with such activities). Further, in the best case (assuming we could have a colony on Mars), it would take a bare minimum of a year (and more like five), just to get people there. None of the other planets or other bodies in the Solar System appear to contain anything like the necessary elements to readily support human life. All of this considered, it seems pretty unlikely any of them will ever be inhabited at all—much less in large scale habitation.

The third option is actually even worse than the second in pretty much every way. To begin with, according to most current estimates, the closest star to the Earth (other than the Sun, of course) is more than four light years away. Translation? With current technologies, count on a one hundred year trip to even get to the closest star to Earth other than the Sun.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, where it is considered that there might be a habitable planet in that system, the first one that most folks consider habitable is “only 11 light years away.” The assumption would be that getting to it would require a two hundred and fifty to three hundred year journey.

Keep in mind that—like every trip in space to this point—such a journey would require all necessary supplies to be acquired on Earth, since there is probably little to nothing between us and the entity in question.

As if that were not bad enough (and it obviously is), the next consideration is that, just because a planet “may be habitable” (which, to begin with, means it may not be habitable as well), that does not mean there will be usable resources there. Put another way, there may be no plant or animal life present, and though it may be habitable, that doesn’t mean it will readily accept “transplants” of plant and animal life from Earth.

About now, I hope what I’m saying is pretty clear. In case it’s not, allow me to put things in a succinct fashion. It seems quite likely that no space travel of any distance by humans—much less extraterrestrial habitation will ever be possible. Even if such a thing ever does prove possible, it seems equally likely that it’s a long way off, and probably not “large scale” to boot.

Now allow me to present the “kicker.” The person presenting the argument that space is our “best hope” failed to recognize a pretty important fact. “What?” You ask.

Less than five hundred years ago (really, quite a bit less) people were saying the same thing about what is now the United States. Most of us looking at things today can’t help but wonder, “What went wrong?” But the truth is, many of us really pretty much know the answer to that question. It can be summed up in two words (you can add a third, and it’s a bit more accurate), “(Unregenerate) Human Nature.”

There are—essentially—two problems. The first is that there are people out there who assuredly do not have the well being of even themselves, much less their fellows, in mind. They do what pleases themselves, and that in the “short term.” Even if is to their own detriment in the long run. And these folks are far more common than people want to admit or acknowledge.

The second problem is he failure of those who “know better” to keep those who don’t, from all but destroying the very entities that “give them succor.” Put another way, to not only be “good stewards,” but to keep others from destroying that which they work to build up (which I suppose can be considered part of good stewardship as well).

So the reality is, even if interplanetary habitation was a reasonable or even a likely thing, so long as there are people out there who fail to consider even their own futures, much less those of their fellows, or of coming generations, the same things will happen in extra-planetary societies as has been happening here on Earth.

To be clear, many would assume I’m talking about things like deforestation, and destruction and abuse of natural resources—and these are things that ought to be considered without a doubt. The reality is though, you can start by talking about things like incivility, evil intent towards one’s fellows and things of similar ilk.

Final word? If we cannot find a way to convey to those unwilling or unable to hear them at present, the direness of our circumstances, and the potentially horrible future we face if we continue in the same ways as in past, space travel and extra-planetary habitation aside, we are lost.

Okay, here I am at my “word limit” (having finished my text, “in the nick of time”). As such, allow me to wish you the very best of times and thank you, as usual, for reading.

Philosophy Politics Religion Religion, Politics and Philosophy

Left and Right are not Ends – Christianity and Politics

Anybody who has spent very much time reading my writings might well be convinced that I am a “political animal.” Let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. My “interest” in politics is not born out of my tendency towards things political in and of themselves. Rather, I could be considered to have “ulterior motives” which are by far more significant than anything political in nature.

The fact that I appear to not only be political, but that my politics seem to be rather “right leaning” come from the recognition that—particularly in the modern day—politics and those involved in them, have far too much say and control in the lives of everyday people.

In fact, if I felt it were possible, I would entirely do away with politics and the political process. Unfortunately, I don’t only not believe it’s possible, but as a Christian, I see direct support for its existence in the Bible. I could go into the details of this, but you can do your own “research” and come to your own conclusions.

Though I believe that government—and by extension politics—must exist, that by no means implies that I want to be governed by either, by and large. Rather, my political interest all but begins and ends with my desire to reduce the action of government on myself and other Christians.

My tendency towards “right-leaning” perspectives is based on the fact that I see a desire on many truly “on the right,” to reduce the size and power of government (most particularly on a federal level, but overall).

This is an important realization (that politics is nothing close to the entirety of my “world”), since it means there must be other things that “drive me” in the broader sense. The fact is, I hope this is the case for pretty much everybody.

Whether in the political sense, you tend to lean to the right, or to the left (or, as is highly unlikely, are a centrist), I would hope that what “drives” your “politics” is your beliefs outside of politics. I’m sorry to tell you that, I don’t believe this is the case for many “professional politicians.”

For Christians, it is my hope that what makes you at all interested in politics and the political process, is how it affects you and others—and that grounded in your beliefs as a Christian.

The reason I bring this up is that I believe there are a bunch of folks out there who have not considered the consequences of their political choices, decisions and beliefs.

Let me give you an excellent example. As a Christian, I believe it is not just my responsibility, nor even my right, but my privilege to help others in positions and conditions of need. Further, I believe that to be something that I should be doing consciously. That is to say, it’s probably not a good thing for me to assume that a “regular contribution” to one or more charities is reasonable. Rather, I should consciously control where my various resources end up inasmuch as it is in my power so to do.

In case you’re wondering, I like people relying on the processes of government, to “take care of” their “fellow humans” far less than I like the idea of people contributing mindlessly to various charities.

There are at least five strong reasons for this:

  1. Far too many politicians and bureaucrats have a vested interest in doing what will keep them in positions of power and authority.
  2. Your authority over that which you have to give is usurped by that process. Rather than you deciding where that substance is used, for whom and why, government is given the authority to make those decisions.
  3. Even if you start with a government who works perfectly in line with what you believe in terms of resource allocation (not highly likely), it only takes a change in those “in charge,” to entirely change how all of that is managed.
  4. Because politicians who are generally elected, tend to give their authority to bureaucrats who are not, it’s entirely probable that, at least at some point or points, those unelected individuals will use your substance in ways with which you will at least partially (if not totally) disagree.
  5. Many such political processes are at best extremely inefficient. If the “private sector” or various non-government public groups were to spend their money in the way government does, they would soon cease to exist one way or another.

The point is, that government is uniquely unsuited for such activities—a thing that becomes more true every time you consider the idea of “regime changes.” One “set of” government leaders may do things perfectly, or at least nearly so. The next though, is likely to be the exact opposite, based on the simple fact that there tends to be a “pendulum swing effect” over the course of time where government is concerned. So even if you like how things work when they’re first implemented, there’s no assurance they will continue to work that way.

If no other message can be gained from what I have said, there is one that is very clear; that politics is not the place to “fix the human condition.” Most of the time, the best it can offer is to keep people from killing or seriously injuring one another; any expectation of it doing more is essentially a “pipe dream.”

So, if you were wondering why many Christians support extremely limited government, maybe this blog entry will clarify that for you.

The final part of the message is this; just because I don’t support using government to help others—or even to govern me in any meaningful way—doesn’t mean there are not other, far more important things that govern me, and that cause me to be interested in helping others. You can assume that other ways of looking at the world are proper and appropriate, but you will have to forgive me as I disagree.

Having “reached my limit,” allow me to wish you the best of times, and thank you for reading!

Philosophy Politics Religion Religion, Politics and Philosophy

Taking and Giving – Christianity and Politics

There is a subject—a rather broad one to be sure—to which I find myself being drawn back on a regular basis. As with most such things, I see something—a comment, a “status post,” an essay, a video clip or some other such thing—that serves to act as impetus or catalyst (or both) to my chosen topic.

In this particular case, one of my friends (and I do consider him to be a friend) who is considered—in the “modern or post-modern” definition used in the United States at least—a Liberal (a person leaning to the left of center politically) and a Christian, made the statement about a “major political figure” that essentially, “Either I’m confused about what Christianity is and says, or he is not a Christian.”

My immediate response to that individual’s statements (I by intent, did not reply directly to the individual) was, “You are indeed confused about Christianity in some quite major and significant regards.” Part of the point saying this, is that many left-leaning Christians fail to recognize the more important reasons that many of us who are more to the center, or even to the right politically are in the place in which we find ourselves.

One of the most important things that “draws me” as a Christian, to a more “right leaning” perspective, is the tendency for true right wing folks to want less government. You may question why that would be such an important thing to me; let me help you to understand.

There are a great many people who appear to be confused into believing that it is a reasonable thing for government to be used as a mechanism to take from anybody else in order to supposedly give to others. Entirely aside from the consideration that government tends to be most inefficient in doing this (often spending far too much on “administration”), most left-leaning Christians seem to think this an appropriate and proper thing. I have an ongoing challenge for such folks. What I would ask them to do, is to give me any reason to assume that Jesus called Christ, would accept or agree with such  thing as either reasonable or acceptable.

The funny thing is, pretty much all of Jesus’ “interaction” with government cast Him as an “outlaw.” Further, to hear Him talk about government, little to no good thing was ever said by Him concerning it.

The reality is, Christianity is at its heart about free will. That’s not to say that we can and should do anything we wish. Rather the intent is that we should be allowed to at least attempt do anything we wish. By this, I mean that constraints on Christians (and according to Christianity as I understand it, unbelievers as well) should be minimal. 

To be clear, that’s not to say that government has no ability to constrain Christians in unreasonable or unacceptable fashions. On the other hand, it does not seem to me reasonable for Christians to support government that seeks to constrain Christians (or, again unbelievers) in any but the basest ways, for in so doing, we are “transferring our authority and responsibility” to constrain our fellow Christians and unbelievers to government.

The essence of what I’m saying here, is that if you even think it reasonable to vote in the first place, you probably—if you claim Christ—ought to be voting for folks that are not intending or attempting to place any but the most basic limitations on their “fellows.” Doing otherwise can, as a rule, result in little to nothing good in the long term.

This is particularly true when one considers that heavy handed governments can start out being seemingly “in line with” one’s beliefs, only to be “taken over by” folks who are not.

By the way, an interesting “side-effect” of a government that reaches into much of one’s life, is that if they prove “good at” what they do (a relative idea, to be sure), you can count on a decrease in believers in the place they govern. It turns out that, put another way, people in adverse conditions become Christians in greater numbers. 

As if that were not enough, it also appears, that folks who live in countries where oppressive conditions prevail (not where the government seeks to “take care of everything” in a benevolent fashion, mind you), end up being stronger believers as well.

One need only look to places like, China, North Korea, Rwanda and Uganda to see the apparent truth in both of the following assertions. Amazingly, harsh conditions—whether or not as a result of government action(s)—appear to result in not just more believers, but in stronger believers as well.

Where you can trust that I am by no means saying that I desire to live in harsher conditions, I am assuredly saying that, considering the options, I would rather have government be less involved in the daily lives of the citizens of a given entity, than deal with a harsh or oppressive government. And this is consistent with my belief that Christians ought not “abdicate” their privilege of helping others, handing those actions one can perform in the service of others off to government (or generally anybody else).

I can understand that benevolent entities like churches and associations can help to deal with the needs of others in need and can even sometimes be more effective or do so more properly than can individuals. Even so, you must be ever vigilant, since—just as with government—such entities can become “tainted” in various ways, making them questionably effective in such causes and activities. Even so, such are preferable on the basis—if no other—that they tend to be voluntary. This means you can lend your support to them when you feel it appropriate, and cease doing so when you do not. Like it or not, this is typically not the case for government. Most of the time, the best you can hope for, is that those holding those in government up, will recognize the need to change those in that place.

In this consideration, we must more or less entirely ignore those parts of government in which reside appointees, hoping that elected individuals will deal with them appropriately; all the while, knowing it is likely they will not.

Okay, here we are at my “self-imposed word limit” yet again. Let me make my final words that which these words follow.

If you spend your time worrying about who in government is Christian, you’re probably worried about things that are not particularly significant, but if you choose to “call out” folks as not being Christian, allow me to make two observations.

  1. I recall a certain One saying (essentially), “Let the one among you who is without sin cast the first stone.” I hope that is not me (and for your sake, not you either)
  2. There was a man called Saul of Tarsus. Saul was not a particularly pleasant man—particularly before a specific event transformed him, and least of all, to the followers of Jesus. You likely know that man as Paul the Apostle. A person with problems in his past, and even in his present—faults aside—can not only be a Christian, but be considered great in so doing.

As usual, thanks for reading, and here’s hoping your time is pleasant.

Health and Fitness Philosophy Politics Religion Religion, Politics and Philosophy

Helping the Needy

One of the saddest realities of the modern day, is the strong difference of opinion on a variety of fronts, between people who are “intended to be” united.

An example of this comes to mind, in the form of a “reply” to a comment I made on a post on social media that was intended to encourage somebody who had done her best to help an apparently struggling individual.

The reply made implications—if not direct statements—surrounding my reply that showed that the person had a misunderstanding of exactly what I was trying to say.

I’m going to take a moment to clarify a couple of things I was saying, as well as to point out a “standing fallacy” among many folks in the modern day.

I urge you to understand that my interest is not to “attack” anybody, but to set the record straight on a couple of fronts.

The above being said, let me move on and address the things I want to discuss.

The first issue I want to talk about is the fallacy I stated exists (particularly among folks of a liberal mindset, but for some conservative and other folks as well). This is the idea that, “Most people are just one paycheck away from homelessness.”

This is a gross exaggeration to say the least. The fact is, if a person is making a paycheck to begin with, chances are exceptionally good that the person in question is eligible for “unemployment insurance” (and possibly other “benefits”) on losing their job. The result is, unless a person makes bad choices, that person very likely has a good six months they can work to survive on the various available “safety net benefits” that are supplied, all while looking for suitable employment.

This assumes that the person has no other source of either income, or support. This also, is largely not the case. Most folks have family, friends or both who can help them out one way or another for a time.

Further, unless a person is behind on rent or mortgage, the chances are exceptionally good, that they have months to deal with losing gainful employment from a position of having a place to stay.

Of course, nobody wants, much less likes to be unemployed, and those of us who are, seek to gain a position as quickly as possible. Further, I recognize there is a level of stress that comes with unemployment that can be very hard to deal with.

I’m not trying to make unemployment, or low pay sound fun or easy. All I’m doing is indicating that the truth doesn’t match the all too common narrative.

I think that’s sufficient for that topic, so let me proceed to the next.

People saying folks get where they are as a result of bad choices and/or want to be there, are just trying to keep from helping others.” This is, in a nutshell, the second thing I need to address. Essentially, the person who “wrote against” what I said, said him or her self, something roughly equal to that which I have stated above.

Unfortunately, the person in question fails to understand one of the most important lessons some of us “older folks” have come to learn as a result of our time on this planet. The lesson sounds simple, but many people fail to internalize it or even to recognize the truth in it.

The fact is, if you don’t know what’s causing a problem, you generally will only ever “fix” it as a result of “luck.” What that actually means is that most of the time, you won’t fix or help the person with it at all.

Recognizing that most of the people I have met who are homeless or otherwise “down and out,” are in that position as a result of personal choices is the first step to helping them to no longer be in that state.

I can throw a homeless person a couple of dollars (or even a hundred or more) as I walk by, and that in itself may or may not end up being a “good thing.” I’m going to say something that may sound at the very least controversial. Most of the time, it will not be a good thing.

About now, you may be asking, “Why on Earth would you say that?” The reason can be very simple, or greatly more complex. I’m going to give a simple example, as I’m trying to maintain sufficient brevity to not “overwhelm” the reader.

The fact is, many people who are on the street (probably most) are on the street as a result of drug abuse, alcoholism or both. There are those in the position stated on the basis of mental health issues, but many of them are also making bad choices that need dealt with. I want it understood that I am not attempting to castigate such folks. They’re dealing with something that may well be an illness in one sense or another. That being said, when you’re pretty well aware that the person in question will use resources funneled to them to acquire the thing that they need the least as a rule, you must realize that you are doing them no favors by giving them those resources.

To be clear that does not mean they are not in need of help, just that how you try to help really matters.

This brings me to the next topic. Summing the matter up looks something like this: “Help always looks the same for every person and situation.

I have learned an important lesson in my over thirty years as a parent. That lesson can be expressed in the idea that no two children are the same; nor do they require or even desire to be treated the same way.

You see, what will cause one person with a drug or alcohol problem, for example, to find themselves on the road to recovery, may have little to no effect on another such person. Each person must be considered as an individual and treated differently as a result of that fact.

I know that there are people who will hear what I have said, and decide that I am just trying to “not help the needy.” I cannot help or fix that for those folks, nor do I owe it to them to do so. What I need to be doing, is truly finding a way to help those in need—the badly broken folks (we’re all broken to some extent, that’s why I use the word “badly.”).

Last words. I’m not saying you should not do your best to help those in need, in fact, quite the contrary. What I am saying is, you may be doing more harm than good if you’re giving a person resources he or she can use to continue to harm him or her self. Please, I ask in all humility, seek the best course when helping others. Don’t just assume giving resources is the “end of your responsibility.”

Am I saying, “Don’t give?” May it never be so! Am I saying, “Give without concerning whether what you do will be harmful to those to whom you give?” Equally not the case.

As usual, thanks for reading, and may your time be pleasant.

Philosophy Politics Religion, Politics and Philosophy

Media Bias

I want to take a moment and play a little “game.” You can consider this game a sort of “role playing, make believe” game.

I want you to imagine you are an everyday person, and that you go in search of a car to purchase.

You begin your search in good faith, assuming that people want to sell you a car with the intent that you can afford it, drive it, and not have to do repairs to make it run unless you agree that you’re willing to do that.

You go out in search of a car throughout all of the local car dealerships, but are surprised to find that pretty much all of them are selling from a perspective that is not just not in line with your expectations, but that is generally dishonest.

This process rankles you so very much that you seriously consider starting your own car dealership based on the ideas and ideals you think should be common among car dealers.

Finally, after searching for far too long with no success in finding a dealer you consider to be honest, you set out in earnest to start your own car dealership that embodies the principles you believe to be reasonable.

When your dealership is started, you go virtually unnoticed by the bigger, more powerful dealerships,  but as time goes on, it becomes obvious that you’re “taking a pretty serious bite out of” their market.

You conclude that this is not a surprise, as you’re pretty sure that many people who have tried to buy automobiles have had similar experiences to your own. Put simply, you somewhat expect that others will want to be treated as you desired to be treated by those many dishonest car dealers out there.

Before long, the dealers are beginning to see their market slipping away. You’re not taking all of their clients, but a significant number of them now come to you when they’re in the market for a new car.

Funnily, your presence in the market, makes it so other “honest” dealers pop up. One could say they are “emboldened by your success.” This makes the “old guard” that much more concerned.

The begin to denigrate you, They begin to lie about you. They begin to attack you. They begin to try and smear your reputation. Interestingly, the “new guys” in the game with you, don’t generally do that. Maybe it’s because they see your existence as important, maybe not. Nonetheless, you have their support by and large, and support them when the entrenched, dishonest dealers try to find ways to take their business or put them out of business.

On top of everything, you try to applaud the “old school” dealers when they do things that make them at least look if not actually be more honest. That does not seem to endear you to them though—it might even make them dislike you the more.

One definite outcome of the sequence of events that puts you where you now find yourself, is that you appear to be distinctly different from the folks who were already in the market; and the folks long in the market do all they can to make that into a bad thing.

Perhaps at this point, you’re wondering what any of this has to do with media bias. Some of you may be very well aware at what I am driving. For those who are not, allow me to take a moment to explain.

For a very long time here in the United States (and possibly in other parts of the world as well), there has been a more or less unified news media “presence.” This is true to the degree that, you could find the “origins” for many of their reports in a couple of places and trace the resultant reports from those origins. The origins have names like UPI and the Associated Press or AP.

The point is, if you wanted news that was not “sourced from” one of these lovely “founts of (supposed) wisdom,” you were hard put to find it. About thirty five years—maybe a little more, maybe a little less—ago, certain individuals began to challenge the reporting of the mainstream news media.

Just as in our car dealership scenario, they were initially ignored—considered by many to be “kook fringe” folks. You’ve heard their names, and maybe even heard them speak now and then. Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Michael Savage and others. Then, not too much after that, came a network (I think technically “branched off of” an existing network) called the Fox News (not sure which part of Fox came first, not all that important) Network.

All of these folks pretty generally argued that the mainstream news media presented news with a decidedly liberal bias.

They sought to counteract what the mainstream media was doing and saying, by reporting from somewhere between a moderate, and a strongly right-leaning viewpoint.

Some of them purported to be “news” people, some made no such allegation. Put in simplest terms, they “billed themselves” essentially as editorial or opinion based speakers.

Though it surprised the mainstream news media folks, many were entirely undisturbed or surprised, that the viewpoints of these “kooks” gained them vast audiences.

One important realization about these folks is that, though they appear to be “right leaning,” if their assessment of the mainstream was valid (and looking at their evidence, it appears it was), some of them are, some are not. This should come as zero surprise. You see, if the mainstream media was as “left leaning” as it appears to be based on various “data mining expeditions” done by more conservative entities, those who seek to “counteract” that lean, more or less needs must “come off” looking right leaning by comparison.

One more important point. Rush Limbaugh’s “pitch man” regularly refers to him as “The big voice on the Right!” The point being that Mr Limbaugh is pretty much stating openly on the air that he is a “right leaning individual.”

And almost all the other folks who live in the “same little Universe” do the same.

For a very long time, the mainstream media, on the other hand, has made two claims, neither of which appears to be valid.

Firstly, they claim to have no bias. This would be a very hard case to make, considering how easy it is to “be to the right of” them.

Secondly, they have claimed to be the “arbiters of truth.” Funny thing is, more and more, they have been “dinged for” everything from “light falsehoods” to outright lies (that have literally caused them to ditch long revered media icons).

You may believe that the mainstream news media is the unbiased arbiter of truth. As for me, I don’t make that assumption about the left leaning news organizations, the ones that claim “centrism” or even those on the right.

Okay, must call this good, over my “word limit” and running quickly out of time!

As usual, thanks for reading, and may you have the best of times.

Philosophy Politics Religion Religion, Politics and Philosophy

Lives Matter

I’m sure by this point, just about everybody has heard something about various “movements” stating that “(fill in the blank) Lives Matter.” The ones that come pretty immediately to mind are, “Black Lives Matter,” “Blue (or Police) Lives Matter,” and “All Lives Matter.”

To be entirely fair and clear, I’m pretty sure all of these “movements” piggyback off the “Black Lives Matter” movement, and that’s fine.

I want to make it crystal clear, that I’m not trying to “take the wind out of the sails of” any such movement. At the same time, I want to clearly state that none of these movements has my “unwavering support.”

I’m sure some of them were intended to replace, subvert, usurp, or do some other thing to one or more of the others. I’m equally sure that folks are “doing things in the name(s) of” one or more such movements, the like of which I cannot in good conscience support. As such, I choose to “stand aloof of” all such movements.

That being said, I think it important to plainly state where I stand on “what lives matter.” This is not intended to start a “movement”—though I readily acknowledge, that it would not hurt my feelings in the least if it did. My intent is to state my belief on this matter, and maybe, to see if others who read this “resonate with” what I’m saying.

It would be fair to say that I believe all lives matter, I don’t say that because at present—as I have already indicated—a movement is attached to that idea. But the point is no less a valid one for the expression being used.

Put simply, I cannot come up with a “life that does not matter.” I can’t conceive of such a thing.

In my view, all people’s lives matter.

Does this mean nobody will ever die—for example—at the hands of police officers? Sadly, no, it does not. If a person chooses a course of action that causes a law enforcement officer to take that person’s life, the only question is, “Did the law enforcement officer do what he or she did according to the rules and policies that govern his or her interactions?”

Law enforcement, like pretty much everybody is liable for breaking the law they are sworn to serve.

Does the fact that somebody died at the hands of another person who killed them in self defense, or the defense of others, mean the life of the person killed “didn’t matter?” Certainly not. Their life still mattered.

Are people killed in various ways for reasons considered to be justifiable, always hardened criminals, or even necessarily (at least intentionally) criminals at all? Assuredly, the answer is in the negative.

Does law enforcement always only harm or kill people it ought? Again, of course not.

And without doubt, the same applies to those killed by folks defending themselves or others.

You may be able to come up with more reasons for people to “legally” kill others, and I’m equally sure the same things apply in those situations. It’s not always reasonable, proper or correct.

The fact is though, even if people were killed by others in scenarios where it was considered legal, even where it was considered reasonable, much less where it was considered morally correct, that does not mean the lives of the people in question were of no worth—that their lives didn’t matter.

It should be obvious, based on my statements, that I don’t consider whether “peoples’ lives matter” to be the “real question.” If they all matter, how can it be that this is what we should be asking?

Further, I don’t think it unreasonable to clearly voice the idea that I would have no other human being die in “ideal circumstances.” Unfortunately, we’re generally not in ideal circumstances.

Folks will do things they ought not do, and though I would would rather not see them die even in such circumstances, it’s considered entirely reasonable that they do. I’m not saying I consider it so, but then again, I have never killed, and hope to never kill, another human being.

As I have already stated, by no means is it true that everyone who claims even reasonable cause for the death of another, is or should be considered correct in his or her assessment.

Part of the point though, is if there are circumstances considered reasonable, it should not be a standing assumption that a person having killed another could have had no justification for so doing.

In a country that professes a belief in the idea of, “innocence until guilt is proven,” this is in fact, directly counter to such a presumption; that totally ignores other circumstances, situations and pertinent facts and considerations.

Put simply, without a “fair hearing,” where guilt is not assumed on anybody’s part, it is far less likely that the truth will be reached.

I well understand that folks out there have emotional attachments to the ones about whom they care, whether it be a loved one, a casual acquaintance, or someone “in between” these. I get that people come to believe things about others that make it hard at best, to assume they have taken an action that could reasonably result in their own death (barring heroic circumstances and accidents).

I also entirely realize that my emotions “lie to me,” and that my beliefs may be wrong. And of course, this applies to others just as to myself, like it or not.

I know that not all investigations and discoveries are fair, and even when fairness is strived for, that facts are missed or ignored that ought not be. To not investigate and to not presume innocence in that investigation is not the “answer” to such failures. Yes, it’s a reason to take greater care. True, sometimes a new investigation is necessary to correct the failures of one already performed.

And if investigation—if “standing back” and dispassionately looking over a given matter, situation or circumstance is called for, how can we assume judging without knowledge is acceptable or proper?

I know people can feel “robbed” of the presence of loved ones, friends and acquaintances. I’m aware this can result in a great deal of pain. Nonetheless, judging others and finding them wanting without proper consideration and actions perpetuates ill will, and really accomplishes little else. What if you’re incorrect?

Final word? Let us work to improve our investigation and consideration of events where precious life is lost. Let us strive—even where emotion gets the better of us—to refuse to find others “guilty” before such investigation occurs.

As usual, thanks for reading, and may your time be good.