Friday, February 12, 2010

Atheists 'just as ethical as churchgoers'

Why did we somehow suspect this already.

What is important for pro-religious people, I believe, has always been to establish the value of religious life and spiritual practice independently from claims that religion positively impacts morals and ethics. The consistently problematic behavior of believers has long suggested these results now argued by researchers as well.
Atheists are just as ethical and have as strong a moral compass as churchgoers, new research shows.

People who have no religion know right from wrong just as well as regular worshipers, according to the study.

But people who did not have a religious background still appeared to have intuitive judgments of right and wrong in common with believers, according to the findings, published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

Dr Hauser added: "The research suggests that intuitive judgments of right and wrong seem to operate independently of explicit religious commitments.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Obama Hopes 2011 Budget Proposal Will Bring Recovery

I am no expert on economic matters. I credit these thoughts and reflections on the influence of Gordon Anderson and his positions expressed in much of his writings including Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0.

Here is today's news:
WASHINGTON (Feb. 1) -- President Barack Obama sends a record $3.8 trillion budget to Congress today that he hopes will move the nation from recession to recovery by creating millions of new jobs and spark investments in education, clean energy, infrastructure and research.

The 2011 budget estimates the deficit at $1.3 trillion, or 8.3 percent of gross domestic product. Deficits are projected to continue for the next decade but will shrink as a percentage of GDP, going from 10.6 percent this year to 4.2 percent in 2020. The numbers are based on the assumption that the nation's economy will rebound and grow.

"This is a budget that makes tough choices while investing in programs to produce jobs," Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, told reporters in a conference call. "This is not a left-wing budget. This is not a right-wing budget. It's a pragmatic budget."
There is everything wrong here. Governing is not a wealth producing activity, so it cannot produce jobs in the real sense. Jobs are created by government at the expense of the economy, not to its benefit.

The claim of WH communications director Dan Pfeiffer is false. This is a left wing budget (even if Republicans aid and abet). The right wing believes that smaller government creates opportunity for free citizens to produce wealth.

It is one thing for the United States to go into so much debt that it will collapse under the weight of it. If the citizens allow that, so be it. But at least we should be honest. Creation of jobs is integrated into the creation of wealth. Governing does not create wealth. It is confiscatory. It depends on seizing wealth earned elsewhere.