Freedom of Religion or Belief

It is not enough to tolerate religions or personal convictions or beliefs. We should recognize the power in beliefs and religions.

Yesterday I attended the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (#IPPFoRB) in Berlin.

ippforb

Tolerance of religions and beliefs is an important human right. Taking action to stop or limit prosecution based on faith is paramount. But I think we can take this one step further. Beyond stopping oppression of faith, passive tolerance of faith or even promotion of a tolerant society, there is recognition of the power of faith.

Religion or belief gives purpose. Purpose gives strength, and with strength can come accomplishments.

Witness the early civilizations, the building of ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Mayans and social structures throughout our history. Religions have given purpose, strength and accomplishments to the benefit… and detriment of many. The strength has yielded the foundations for civilizations. It has also brought oppression, even terrorism. In any case, with conviction comes strength.

Religion or Belief -> Purpose -> Strength -> Accomplishment

This we should recognize and help use for the greater good. Faith can be a basis for individual strength and strong societies. Thus faith should be applauded regardless of what the person chooses to believe in.

The diversity of this conference is amazing. More than 100 MPs from more than 60 countries. All major religions are represented. Academia, NGOs and other interested parties attend.

Having attending this conference, I am left with a couple of questions. Firstly:

How can people with directly opposing purposes honestly cooperate for Freedom of Religion or Belief?

I spoke to people at the conference who have the goal of their religion winning at the expense of others.

Answers to this question could serve also to answer how we could make anarchy work in practice.

Another impression from the conference was that several of the attendants insisted that there was absolutely no connection between religion and terrorism. I believe such a refusal to discuss such a connection is both naive and dangerous. It can obfuscate a possible cause of terrorism. The blunt refusal of a discussion is never healthy.

Then there is the question of a battle of two basic human rights. Which takes rank – the freedom of religion and belief or the freedom of speech? What’s your answer to this potential dilemma?

93 thoughts on “Freedom of Religion or Belief

  1. If we start with the agreement that a right is some form of a basic principle that gives a person the freedom to do something. With freedom of speech comes the freedom to communicate in all forms. This could be spoken, written or an artistic rendition.

    The freedom of belief/religion allows one to decide what guiding purpose of principle the person wishes to align to.

    Freedom of speech must come first. Otherwise we would not have the freedom to publish written works in the various religions or beliefs.

    The freedom of speech can then be used to communicate and bring about an understanding and tolerance between the various belief systems. The radical believers always cut the freedom of communication. There is no tolerance of any other belief to speak or promote or have public discourse on a belief that is different that the radical one in control.

    This is my comment and my opinion. It may seem incorrect or wrong to some, but then that is their opinion. The fact that I can write my opinion is my freedom of expression or freedom of communication. Belief or not in what was written by myself, or by another, is secondary to the fact that an idea or concept has been communicated.

  2. There is one word missing – Respect.

    As in the Norwegian story (for kids) “People and robbers in cardamom city” -by Thorbjørn Egner; there is only one Law! – §1 You can do whatever you like, as long as it doesn’t bother anyone else.

    Religion should be kept in private, whereas free speech is a public concern. We should not respect subjective lies or any effort to make religion an objective manifestation.

    I can respect public speeches that are constructive. Either positive or negative. But not destructive.

    I can respect religions that are not enforced on others and practiced in private.

    On a historically time-line from Armed conflicts, archeologist’s has mainly found artifacts from the five crusades before Gutenberg. After Gutenberg, the conflicts just escalated from the spreading of written words, mostly about religion and ideology, until the next major achievement or quantum leap in typesetting – The Internet!

    To claim that conflicts has nothing to do with religion, is in my opinion absurd!

      1. Freedom of speech is not the same as freedom of action. I think one is free to speak affirmatively about one’s own religion. Anyone is free to speak about misdeeds of others, but not about the affirmative beliefs of others. One is not free to incite the killing and destruction of others, that goes against the idea of living socially with others. I think you get my drift here?

        1. “Then there is the question of a battle of two basic human rights. Which takes rank – the freedom of religion and belief or the freedom of speech?”

          I don’t see it as necessarily a battle between the two with one taking rank – both can exist simultaneously. But what is required are agreements to cooperate for the good of all. If one particular group seeks world domination, for example, they could have that belief/purpose – but if they also wanted peace, they would have to seek their goal peacefully. If they didn’t, all agreements and bets would be off. This is more or less how things work in Western society. It isn’t always smooth sailing, but that’s the destination we sail towards.

          1. The two rights can of course coexist, but there are a multitude of situations where they are in conflict, as we can so easily see in the world today. ISIS is on Twitter. Anders Behring Breivik published his manifesto and others republished. South Korea is using giant speakers for propaganda purposes against the North. Swastikas are forbidden in Germany. Burkas are allowed in many countries and disallowed in others. There are real and deep issues here. No Pollyanna answers will help resolve them.

            1. My point is that I don’t think there’s any getting around having to make difficult decisions on difficult issues by means of a hard-and-fast rule. Neither free speech nor freedom of of religion can arbitrarily be made senior to the other. As the wise old saying goes, circumstances alter cases.

            2. So let’s start hashing out the difficult situations rather than supplying brush-off answers that serves best as thought stopping techniques.

              Take the examples I came up with. When does one right take rank over the other. Your view?

            3. How do you hash anything out without a basis? What is the basis for requiring burkas, or fatwas against those who “insult Islam” or “insult Mohammed”? Or burn at the stake anyone who “insults Jesus” or disbelieves in him? Any loonyness at all can be backed or “charged” by religious fervor. What’s there to hash out with such people? You can appeal to their reason, but in the meantime you have to guard yourself and your society from their actions. They may believe anything they want to believe in the privacy of their own minds or hearts, but it’s the effect on others of their actions that count. Brevik is in jail for his actions, isn’t he? Could those have been prevented? Can destructive beliefs be changed or prevented? Suicide bombers are not motivated the same as you or I, are they?

            4. Well, Geir, I was answering the question you posed in the last paragraph of the blog post: “Which takes rank – the freedom of religion and belief or the freedom of speech?”

              With regard to hashing out the difficult situations, I would have to agree with Valkov that the basis for evaluation would have to be determined first. Personally, I don’t know of a better guiding principle than Hubbard’s “Optimum Solution” – the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.

              That principle is too “relative” for some people, and they may be right that there are more “absolute” values. However, I imagine those would still align with “the greatest good . . . ”

              Adyashanti refers to such “absolutes” as awakened values or spirit values. He describes them briefly in the video below, under 10 minutes. One of these values is “truth” and I can see how that would apply as a senior principle to the various dilemmas, along with the other “spirit values” that Adya cites. IMO, this short video is quite relevant:

            5. OK, let’s takle the “Greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics” right here 🙂

              This is the recurring issue in the Scientology Ethics Office – the interpretation of that concept.

              Is an action justified if it benefits a group more than myself? Is an action justified if an action benefits me more than the group?

            6. Thi is straw man to what marildi posted. She said “the greatest number of DYNAMICS. not some group or groups. Any group is just a small part of the overall Dynamics as represented in scientology theory. Any group is only a small part of one Dynamic, the 4th. Example: a large company employs many people who support their families and many businesses in the larger community by the money they earn working for this company. However, the company is engaged in producing products that are destructive to the environment and the health of humans and animals. In other words, overall it is engaged in the production of overt products. It is supported in the State and local community because “It provides jobs”. But a Buddhist may consider that it is not engaged in “Right Livelihood”. This is a possible case of it being destructive to more Dynamics than it is constructive towards. It is constructive towards some of the groups involved, but possibly destructive to some of the larger Dynamics which are the setting for the existence of these groups. All human groups collectively only comprise one single Dynamic. There are at least 7 others.

            7. A question could hardly be a straw man.

              If you like, substitute “a group” with “mankind” if you like. My question still stands.

            8. Whether it meets the technical definition of “straw man” or not, my point is that your question is non-responsive to what marildi actually said. At best it is tangential. She posted about the concept of the Dynamics. You narrowed it down to “groups” And for my purposes, “Mankind” is still insufficient, as it is only 1 Dynamic out of at least 8. If Mankind destroys the environment, which includes the 5th an 6th on this planet, Mankind will likely not survive.

            9. It depends on whether it does the greatest good – not just considering you and the group – for the greatest number of dynamics.

            10. But if a decision is marginally better for me than it is for mankind it would be a ethical decision, no? Cause they’re is no weight difference in the dynamics as outlined by Hubbard, it is only the NUMBER of dynamics that is taken in the account, right?

            11. “But if a decision is marginally better for me than it is for mankind…”

              It doesn’t matter how just you and mankind compare on greatest good; what matters is what results across the dynamics. For example, a course of action might mean a greater good for you than for mankind, but it might do more harm to other dynamics than the amount of good it does overall – in which case, it isn’t ethical.

            12. I am talking about a hypothetical example where one dynamic is slightly more in plus than another is in minus and all the rest of the dynamics are left unaffected. Then it would be an ethical action to take?

            13. I would say yes. But this is pretty abstract. Can you give an example?

            14. Saving my life at the expense of 2/3 of my group would thus be an ethical action. Given that the other dynamics are insignificantly affected.

            15. What expense? That is the crux of the matter.

              For example, did 2/3 of the group lose money in the stock market, or were all of their children kidnapped by terrorists? The former would make saving your life the ethical choice. the latter perhaps not. And this is where the tough decisions have to be made. But I don’t know of an ethical system that makes those decisions any easier than the optimum solution that is based on the greatest good and least harm for all dynamics. Do you?

            16. That’s similar to the example Hubbard gave. If I remember right, the idea was that if the polio vaccine killed one in a great number of people but saved many times that number of children from getting polio, then it would be the greatest good.

              In your example, you tell me your thoughts this time. Fair is fair.

            17. But then we are comparing number of people and not number of dynamics. Do you see the difference? If I choose to have half of humanity executed to save my first, second and third dynamic, then that would be an ethical decision according to Hubbard.

              I don’t know of any other philosopher advocating anything near this, do you?

            18. “If I choose to have half of humanity executed to save my first, second and third dynamic, then that would be an ethical decision according to Hubbard.”

              It’s a matter of how much collective good vs. how much collective harm is done – not just the number of dynamics.

              If half of humanity were executed, it would affect not just their first dynamic but all their other dynamics as well – and that would amount to more harm on the 4th dynamic than the total harmful effect of your being killed would create on your first, second and 3rd dynamics. A similar comparison could be done on the amount of good that would result from each of the two choices, and then both comparisons would be considered in making a choice.

            19. Ah, so it ISN’T just the Greatest Good for the Greatest NUMBER OF DYNAMICS. It’s simply THE GREATEST GOOD?

              As for your example, and if we keep to Hubbards original concept of The Greatest Gold for the Greatest Number of Dynamics, then the execution of all Aborigines to save me and my family… then that would in fact conform to Hubbard’s ethics. Or move that further away so as to not intermix with any other dynamics – the extinction of an alien race on a distant planet to save me and my family – now that would be highly ethical. Our do we need to interpret Hubbard in different ways than his written words in order to make his ethics ethical?

            20. “Ah, so it ISN’T just the Greatest Good for the Greatest NUMBER OF DYNAMICS. It’s simply THE GREATEST GOOD?”

              It’s not just comparing greatest good but greatest harm as well – sort of a checks and balances system.

              “…the extinction of an alien race on a distant planet to save me and my family – now that would be highly ethical.”

              Besides the good to your 1st and 2nd dynamics, you would have to consider how much harm that would do to your 7th dynamic.

            21. Sure. But to kill off a few million aliens would hardly make a dent on the 7th dynamic as, according to Hubbard there a trillions upon trillions of spirits in the Universe (according to several other religions as well), so we have 1 (first Dynamic) + 1 (second Dynamic) – 0.00000000001 (seventh Dynamic) which is pretty damn close to +2 on the scale of ethical actions. There’s no debate as to what to do in that situation. Civilization must go! Bang!

            22. I would let me and my family die to preserve a whole civilization. And if we leave out the family here – to remove much of the emotions, Hubbard would let that civilization die to save only himself (+1 – 0.00000000001 ~ +1). I would happily die to save the civilization.

              To summarize; I think Hubbard’s ‘Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of Dynamics ” is not only slightly wrong. I don’t even think it’s very wrong. I think it’s outright dangerous.

            23. So does your idea of ethical mean doing the greatest good for the greatest number?

              I think that’s oversimplifying. Would you choose for your family to die instead of some larger number of terrorists?

            24. No. And No. You asked me for an answer to my own example. Don’t jump to Straw Man here.

              My ethics would align with THE GREATER GOOD and NOT with The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of Dynamics. The Dynamics is a construct and not a universal truth. And as I said, I believe it leads down a very dangerous path since it can be used to justify unethical acts. Exactly like we have seen in Scientology – with the GO and Operation Snow White, with various OSA Ops, etc.

            25. “The Dynamics is a construct and not a universal truth.”

              Hubbard would agree. The dynamics are defined as arbitrary divisions of the most universal impulse or thrust – which was first said to be survival, and ethics was designed to rationally achieve that. Later, with the addition of the last four dynamics, the impulse was to BE all those dynamics.

              “My ethics would align with THE GREATER GOOD and NOT with The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of Dynamics.

              The latter is just a way to determine what IS the greater good. Virtually everyone wants that, and yet they come to different conclusions because they base them on different values. “Greater good” is too vague.

              How, for example, does one determine what would be the greater good in any of the dilemmas you’ve mentioned? It’s pretty difficult to do if you don’t break it down somehow and not just leave it at “the greater good.” I feel there is a universal truth here, and I don’t know of anything better than Hubbard’s “optimum solution.”

            26. To break the GREATER GOOD into “dynamics” and then make them of equal value is certainly Not the right way to go about it as I have thoroughly pointed out. Making them equal in value when determining the ethics of an action is at the very best a serious analytical mistake.

            27. The dynamics are just a way of breaking down the big picture into pieces that are more manageable to think with.

              But let’s take a simply example. If someone is looking over the dynamics and sees that a particular decision (such as quitting his job for one that is more to his interest) would greatly benefit the 1st dynamic but somewhat harm the 3rd (because it would lose him), he might make the decision to take the better job. But if he also knows that it would seriously harm his 2nd (such as by taking a cut in pay that would put the family under great financial stress), then he ethically would not make that decision. In other words, looking at just the 1st and the 3rd dynamics makes it appear that the greater good would be to change jobs and would “justify” doing so, but that would not be looking at the greatest good or least harm for the greatest number of dynamics. An obvious example, just to make the point without getting too complicated.

            28. That doesn’t refute my point.

              I believe that many of the unethical actions done in the name of Scientology is a direct result of Hubbard’s “Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of Dynamics”. It really does explain a lot IMO That a Scientologist can easily come up with examples that justifies Hubbard’s basis for ethics (like I myself did when I was in) makes it just the more scary.

            29. “That doesn’t refute my point.”

              I didn’t mean it to. I just meant to show with an obvious example how the principle of “greatest good for…” can help determine ethical decisions because it gives a relatively clear-cut and workable way to analyse the situation.

              And you still haven’t refuted my point that your principle of simply “the greater good” is not very workable because it doesn’t say how that is determined when the situation is relatively complicated.

            30. Leaving the Greater Good to one’s own sound judgement is at least miles better than a system that justifies unethical acts from killing pets and slashing tires to spy operations against the US government and the horrendous operation against Paulette Cooper to ordering of murder. The system of equal weight for the Dynamics will in fact easily justify genocide better than the philosophical basis for the Nazis.

            31. I disagree, Geir. You’re talking about misapplications of that principle. As a common example, the Ethics Officers and MAAs would often made sure that anyone doing a Doubt Formula (such as deciding whether or not they should take some time off) would make Scientology and the CoS (which they incorrectly called “THE 3rd dynamic” even though it was only part of the 3rd) were always chosen as the greatest good – for that person’s dynamics. Misapplication big time.

            32. None of your arguments justifies the equal weighting of the dynamics or refute my point about that being a horrendous mistake on Hubbard’s part.

            33. What do you mean by “equal weighting”? The thing that is ultimately weighed is the amount of good or harm – in the view of the person himself. If, for example, his 2nd dynamic was more important to him than others (and any one dynamic validly could be more important, per the references) then he would see the good or harm being done to it as that much greater. “Ethics is a personal thing.”

            34. I haven’t thought much of this through, but a couple of things occur to me. First, it’s a question of relevant Dynamics. In your example, of you and your soccer team, which Dynamics are relevant? Principally your 1st and 3rd, from yur viewpoint. But your 3rd is composed of many other 1st Ds. So aren’t you talking about saving ONE 1st D, yours, at the expense of many other 1 Ds? How many are on your soccer team? There re 11 players on a team on the field at one time. So assume 30 players total. By your logic it is ethical for you to save yourself knowing 20 others will die. Or you can save all of them by sacrificing yourself. You do the math. Your 1sr D bersus 20 other 1st Ds. You tell me which is ethical.

              That’s pretty much how I understood the concept and how I use the concept in my thinking. You and marildi may disagree. But I think I will stick with my understanding and use of the idea.

              I think possibly it’s the difference between looking at it from a self-determined vs. a pan-determined way.

            35. Va;” “First, it’s a question of relevant Dynamics.”

              That’s right. I had forgotten about that. In the Optimum Solution, one is supposed to consider the dynamics “directly involved.”

              “But your 3rd is composed of many other 1st Ds.”

              Yes, but the person applying the formula is to consider HIS dynamics, not the dynamics of others as such.

              “I think possibly it’s the difference between looking at it from a self-determined vs. a pan-determined way.”

              I agree. In fact, I think “pan-determined” is the essence of the Optimum Solution.

            36. I think you should stick with your idea which is much saner than Hubbard’s idea and very close to The Greates Good for the Greatest Number (something Marildi was opposing, though).

              But then again, with your interpretation, would we need that “Dynamics”-construct anyway? I mean, the Dynamics may be useful as a construct in other ways, but not in determining what actions are ethical.

            37. “…would we need that “Dynamics”construct anyway?”

              Geir, the thing is this – we don’t just look at individuals. We also care about the group as an entity in itself. In the example I gave of the guy who is considering taking a job with a different group, he cares for the group he has been working for as an entity in itself.

              And you are either up very early or up all night. Time for me to go horizontal. 🙂

            38. My point has all along been very specific in only taking into account the dynamics “directly involved”.

              Marildi; When you say “the person applying the formula is to consider HIS dynamics, not the dynamics of others as such”, then that is exactly and precisely the core of my criticism – and a cause of the egoism and the lack of compassion in Scientology, the WHY for many unethical actions.

            39. I believe that is a misinterpretation of Hubbard’s teachings about the Dynamics. (These posts just showed up in my email now, so I’m replying here.)

        2. And I think you brush off the matter. If I think that you, in practicing your religion is harming your child by indoctrination, am I then free to vehemently speak out against that? On the front of the local newspaper? Even though nobody else believes you are in any way harming your child?

          … Just one of several dozen cases that I can easily envision that will force a decision about which of these human rights must take the front seat. And I am not necessarily saying that one always takes rank over the other. But to brush this off as no potential dilemma is naive.

          Were the publishing of the drawings of the prophet Mohammed OK?

          1. What does your example have to do with an affirmative statement of your religious beliefs? Not much. However, I think you are free to publish whatever you can afford to publish. Of course it is OK to caricature Mohammed. It’s just your opinion. The problem here was recently posted on a Philosopher’s Facebook page – How can an Ethical or moral standard be developed that is as free as possible from arbitrary appeals to authority. I proposed that “most constructive, least destructive” was my standard. If you kill someone, or promote the killing of someone for caricaturing Mohammed (or Jesus) you are promoting a destructive criminal solution and shoud somehow be held accountable for that. It ties in with “do ends justify means” and those kind of questions.

            1. Valkov: “However, I think you are free to publish whatever you can afford to publish.”

              Me: Wht about “hate speech”. Where do we draw the line?

              Valkov: “Of course it is OK to caricature Mohammed.”

              Me: Why is this OK, knowing that millions of people will be offended to thir core?

            2. This is a big issue in the US right now, especially on callege campuses , and in work settings. Some people promote the idea of “trigger warnings”. Here’s a sample: http://time.com/4493480/university-of-chicago-faculty-trigger-warnings/

              They feel this trumps freedom of speech. America was built on this kind of idea to start with. Diverse ethnic communities lived more or less in proximity to each other by observing a certain amount of distance, social and physical, and refrain from speaking to each other on subjects that might provoke the other, inflame passions, and lead to conflict. Religion was one of those subjects. This approach is built into American law and society in may ways. For example the anti-discrimination laws that forbid employers from asking about a prospective employee’s religion or political beliefs.

              The problem with religion, politics etc, matters of “belief”, is they usually have no basis in reason. Thus, what’s to hash out? First a basis for discussion has to be established. I believe in the value of freedom of speech, but this is a BELIEF. The Muslims who choose to be offended by caricatures of Mohammed are basing their offended state on a BELIEF. Uness they ado[pt a belief that overrides that, there is no discussion with them. They won’t have it. right?

              I think Russia’s Putin has it right. He doesn’t cater to Muslims. There are a ton of them in Russia, coming from the “Stans” which are Muslim. But they behave themselves in Russia for the most part, because the official attitude is “You want to live with Sharia, go live in a Sharia country. This is Russia, you want to live here, live like a Russia and adopt Russian values.” I think this is common sense. Yet I see news stories about Muslims in Europe harassing pubgoers or women wearing shorts. Those people need a dose of reality.

  3. it’s a well established fact that freedom of speech does not allow on Alanzo blog nor Marty blog. Freedom of speech is allowed here and on ESMB and Tony O blog, provided no ad hom.

    Does freedom of speech allowed on other blogs, or at the conference?

    1. However many people are allowed to vent on Marty’s blog, that they would not be on other blogs. To say Ortega’s blog or ESMB isn’t censored, is absurd.

        1. Perhaps what you mean by “venting” is not the same as what I mean by “venting”. LOL. There have been several people venting over there for the past few days, since his last post.

      1. Well, here’s my experience. I made several posts to Marty’s blog. Some were allowed thru. Some were clipped or edited of content, or Marty or the moderator deleted some of what I wrote. Alanzo admitted he would do this, but now he has closed comments completely.

        I have posted to Tony O blog and ESMB, the posts I made simply show up in present time, boom, there they are showing up on the blog immediately, no time delay.

        I do not ad hom in my postings, never have, never will.

        Geir’s blog here does have a time delay but he has never deleted, edited or not shown my posts. Same with Mike Rinder blog from the few times I have posted there.

        There’s a saying, I forget the quote, but it goes something like He who controls the news can control public opinion or something like that. In other words, no public debate. Hubbard did that quite well with his “No verbal data” allowed policy letter and even made it a high crime, which also means no public debate even by members, by scientolgists.

  4. Geir, in response to marildi, you posted: “OK, let’s takle the “Greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics” right here🙂”

    You then proceeded to not tackle it at all, just shifted it to the idea of a group vs. an individual. That’s not “tackling the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics”. It’s far enough off to be straw man in my book.

    1. Read up on Straw Man. Your book includes a whole new definition of the term unknown to all but you.

      Let me rephrase my question so as to avoid any defence of something I never opposed: With Hubbard’s concept of “Greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics”, are all dynamics to be equally weighted? Why or why not?

      1. Appeal to authority is out, in my book. The relationship of the dynamics to each other is self-evident, if they are represented by the concentric circle format. Their relative weights are implied or illustrated in it. The 8th encompasses all the others, and so on down. The 4th encompasses all human groups. The first 4 are all symbiotic with the upper ones. If we disagree about the existence of spirits and God, we can at least see that without the 5th and 6th, we would not have an environment in which to exist and survive. Thus pesticides which destroy bees are overt products, no matter how many jobs the companies manufacturing and selling them provide to some groups of humans.

        I suggest that even sticking to the objectively verifiable, we can develop standards by which we decide what is “Good”. It seems obvious to me that any religion or belief that involves killing a lot of people is not “good”. The killing in the Middle East is a good example. Someone obviously believes it is in their best interest to foster that killing. It may be a combination of weapons manufacturers and sellers, and oil oligarchs, whatever. The USA and Saudi Arabia are the two largest oil producers in the world. What do they have to gain by keeping that region in turmoil? Is it worth the possibly hundreds of thousands of dead and displaced? Where does any rational person begin, in trying to improve the situation? I think the kind of conference you describe is better than doing nothing, but it will take a lot of conferences to make a difference. Precisely because some of those people simply believe they are right and what anyone else thinks, doesn’t matter.

          1. OK, I’ll try again. Marildi posted in terms of the greatest good for the greatest number of Dynamics. You said OK let’s tackle that here, but then you didn’t. You responded in terms of a group vs. an individual. A group vs. an individual situation doesn’t take into account 99% of the overall Dynamics involved in existence. The example is basically non-responsive to marildi’s stated parameters.

            1. You didn’t get my point. Marildi did. Just follow our exchange on this and you’ll see my line of questioning into this.

  5. For me, “Freedom of Speech” takes precedence over ANY Human Right, because without it, NONE of them ever exist. But Human Rights can’t just be analyzed independently, but as a whole package that works together harmoniously.

    The problem with Scientology’s “Greatest Good for the Greater Number of Dynamics” concept (though this concept is NOT LRH’s original in any way, shape, or form), is that it tends to prompt one to decide one dynamic over another or the others, and this type of “evaluation” is flawed, short-sighted, simplistic, and even dangerous when applied by the “not so smart”, which are MANY out there.

    What is lacking here in this analysis is something called “Judgement” and “Discernment”. If a person really, and I mean REALLY have the best interests of every living being as his/her priority, instead of the usual selfishness with which we humans usually handle our problems and conflicts, then the “greatest good” becomes an AUTOMATIC response to life, w/out any need for any “moral” analysis.

    The “Greater good” is a quality inherent to life in its higher states of beingness. And we ALL intuitively and inherently KNOW what we should do about ANY given situation without any need to be a priest, a holy man (or woman), or an “enlightened” being. We ALL know the right answers, and that’s why we SUFFER from the wrong ones, which are prompted by selfishness.

    The problem with Scientology, was trying to get concepts into the skulls of uninitiated individuals – people fixated on materialism and acquisitiveness – and the OBVIOUS result was a GROSS misapplication (SPECIALLY by L. Ronald-the-con Hubbard) of concepts as ancient as civilization itself. The “greatest good” was then viewed through the filters of selfishness and self-protection, and not through a clean, pure, kind and compassionate way, where the welfare of others takes precedence over our own.

    A life where one mainly seek to survive in a pure materialistic way, where the obsession to be liked or loved, money, possessions, and acquisitiveness is the MAIN factors to consider, is a very empty existence where the real joy of living is absent.

    Do not see Human Rights as isolated entities to be evaluated independently. Do not see your own dynamics as independent items as well. The key to the apparent dilemma lies in being able to see the WHOLE picture all at once. Then it all start t make sense, and solutions become simple and even natural.

    1. thetaclear: An excellent answer to the dilemma posed and a good supplement to the discussion on Hubbard’s flawed ethics. It amazes me more and more how scientologists fail to see that Hubbard’s ethics must have done serious damaging basics given the state of Scientology in general and the demise of the subject since it’s introduction in the late 60s.

  6. The discussion thread with marildi and you about the dynamics seems to have run out of room, so I’ll post down here. marildi posted in reply to me “Yes, but the person applying the formula is to consider HIS dynamics, not the dynamics of others as such.” You, Geir, seem to feel this is from Hubbard. Bluntly, I think this is a misinterpretation of what Hubbard said about the Dynamics, because I believe I got my ideas about them from Hubbard, from his writings and lectures. It seems to me he was quite clear that the basic building block in the first four d Dynamics is the Individual – the 1st Dynamic. This was his objection to pure communism in the first place – it neglected the individual. Bluntly, I feel marildi’s statement is in error. In actuality, HIS 3rd Dynamic is the group of which he is a member, not his “consideration” of it. To say his consideration of it is somehow different from its actual reality, that is a commingling of map and territory. The reality is there is a soccer team. That is a physical reality composed of individuals who play soccer together. – it is a group composed of 1st Dynamics. I believe that is how Hubbard originally taught it, and originally meant it. It ties in with the scale rising from self-determinism to pan-determinism 1st Dynamics. If a person considers and thinks with “his/her idea of a Dynamic, that actually places him/her on another scale in the Book of Scales. That would be where the person “is aware only of own evaluations”. That’s on the State of Case Scale in the 08 book.

    Obviously it has morphed into something else entirely, probably because of where many people are on that State of Case Scale. These are people who are worried about what wil happen to them and are introverted into those kind of considerations. They do not see objective reality very well , if at all.

    1. Val, I’ll be going out shortly so I only have time right now for a short reply.

      By “consideration” I only meant that he would have to consider the effects on each of his dynamics, when applying the Optimum Solution. And by HIS dynamics is meant his own 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. – not someone else’s 1st or 2nd, etc. – even though that someone else may be part of his 2nd, 3rd, or whichever, in which case they are considered in terms of that dynamic. The reference is the one on Conditions by Dynamics, which I can find later and quote if you like.

      1. I don’t see how that alters the fact that those other 1st Dynamics are part of his 3rd. It’s purely quantitative. I recall reading about a man, perhaps in Israel, somewher ein the Mid=eat anyway, who hugged a sucide bomber in a crowded cafe or market. Of course he was blown up, bu he saved a lot of people at his own expense. He didn’t have to “consider” or know anything about those other 1st Dynamics, except that they existed as such. Even if they were all strangers, they were part of his Dynamics.

        1. “He didn’t have to ‘consider’ or know anything about those other 1st Dynamics, except that they existed as such.”

          Yes. But he apparently thought of (considered) those 1st’s as part of his “4th dynamic” (although he wouldn’t use that term – he’d probably say “people” )- and considered that the harm to the 4th would be greater harm than to his 1st, 2nd, etc.

          1. Yes exactly. So what was the difference between him and the others present, if any? He notived the bomber, maybe no one else did. But if anyone else had suspected the bomber, would they have acted in the same way? It seems he was just more aware or observant of the things around him. A person in Serenity of Beingness may have just sat there an watched, possibly at the cost of his own life, or if he was far enough away, he may have survived. Or he could have intervened. There are no easy answers, is my opinion.

            1. I’m not sure why you are bringing up things like how aware the person is. The discussion was about applying the Optimum Solution when a person has a difficult ethical choice to be made. S/he would obviously have to be aware of there being a situation before s/he would apply that or any other solution.

            2. I was just ruminating on the situation. What set that person apart from all the other people there? How or why did he realize the danger?

            3. Okay, got it. I see what you mean. I watched the first part of the video below (will watch the rest tomorrow) which seems to answer the question of how that guy might have realized the danger. Below is a description of the lecture, posted under the video:

              ——————————————-

              “Lecture by; Michael Persinger, who is a cognitive neuroscience researcher and university professor. He studies brain functions, sub-consciousness, remote viewing, information field and possibilities of telepathy. He believes humans share emotional connection over great distances – based on a 100 monkey experiment [the link is posted].

              “Remote viewing – The scientific understanding of the remote-viewing phenomenon has greatly advanced in recent years, and as a result the process of remote viewing can now be reliably demonstrated in both laboratory and operational settings…”

              ———————————————

              Btw, Ingo Swann is featured in the part about remote viewing, which is early in the vid.

  7. Geir, what does this refer to? “You might want to go see what they’re up to! Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked your comment!” Is there a link to the blog you are referring to here?

  8. If he is wise and loves his brother man he will not do such a thing, and he will speak out to those who abuse their freedom in this way.

  9. The law in most democracies limits our freedom and it is quite right to do so otherwise we would unleash anarchy and mayhem. The law is decided upon by agreement and has constantly evolved and is always changing. In the west we have the greatest freedom ever known in human history but it is fragile and could easily be swept away by the rise of intolerant politics.

  10. I wish I had his brains but I’m mighty glad I’m not walking in his shoes. He is an expendable pawn in the high-powered games governments have always played. The ordinary man in the street is busy getting on with his life all this stuff means little to him except a good read in the Guardian on a Sunday after lunch.

    1. Religion should be regulated by the government as I told some time ago to my dear friend maria. Abuses are abuses, anywhere they are committed.

  11. I’d like to think that both freedom of (and from) religion and freedom of speech can exist in a happy balance. Ideally, they would go hand in hand. Separation of church and state can keep religion out of places that it shouldn’t be (like public schools and courthouses), but freedom of speech can allow people to freely exhibit their beliefs where it is appropriate (like private schools and on their own terms).

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