What the heck is it and what does he mean "Thou Art God"?
Well, for those of you who don't understand the reference, please go to the 'Background' section. For some of you who may Grok what I am trying to say, bravo!
Way back in college, I had a best friend who introduced me to so many things, one of which was Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. Well, I had always been a science fiction addict, so this was just another enjoyable reading exercise as I had read Heinlein many times before. This one was different!
I had been exploring alternative religions and practices while in college; having rejected long ago the 'Catholic' upbringing as I was raised. It just made no sense. While the moral principals were well founded and civilized, the ridiculous rules and regulations made no sense in a 'modern' civilization. Yes, pageantry, music and ceremony was nice, but as a historical reference not as a belief system.
At the 'Religion Center' at the University of Houston, a truly enlightened concept, I met so many great and enlightened individuals, many of whom were also exploring alternatives and searching for their meaning and direction in life. There were many who proselytized their belief system, but usually with an open mind and a openness for discussion.
We had energetic discussions on the benefits and negative aspects of 'organized religion' and how it had historically fostered (and continues to do so) disruptions in the progress of human civilization. Wars, torture, mental and physical torment, corruption, deceit and a host of other detrimental practices have historically been found in most religions (tell me which one has not?).
Most organized religions preyed on those less fortunate, less educated and those with poor self esteem. Organized religions seemed to always do well with impoverished classes the world around as they sought some sort of meaning to their miserable existence. Naturally the rich, powerful and power hungry were only too happy to oblige and created numerous variants to the same theme; join us, give us what little riches you posses as well as your obedience and worship and we will promise you everlasting happiness. What a crock of bull.
Now there were and are truly GOOD people, who want to help and benefit those less fortunate. Many throughout history did so. Some are famous, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Theresa and maybe Billy Graham. There are thousands who labor selflessly for others who will never be famous. Many of these follow various religions and symbologies, but most or all were selfless and dedicated to their own personal cause to help others. They all professed to love their fellow man; irregardless of condition, position or wealth.
I also came to realize that there was true EVIL in the world. It seems that the embodiment of Good and Evil were strictly 'human' situations as animals were governed by instincts and basic drives with little or no self awareness that seemed to make humans human. Man's inhumanity to man was more often than not a manifestation of ways to foster power over others. Some were more evil/sick than others as much of the EVIL was demonstrated in self serving abuse of those less fortunate, less informed or the weak (physical/mind/spirit).
History classes and a historical exploration of religions around the Globe, had a recurring theme. Dominance, Power and Corruption. Some were Geo-Political, but took on the zeal and pageantry of a religion. Hitler's Germany was a perfect example. The Gestapo/SS as the enforcement arm (priests/ministers), with the Fuehrer as the god-like leader.
Politicians and bureaucrats the world around try to emulate a 'leadership' role luring unsuspecting followers along seeking 'free' benefits with no consequences. A sort of 'heaven on earth' or a lure to better their lives if only they will 'follow' the 'preachings' of the gifted bureaucrat.
The World around, from the mighty Roman Catholic Church to the Al-Qaeda cell in a cave, and now ISIS with their caliphate, followers all do what they are told. They have forgotten or have never exercised true Free Will. They are unwittingly surrendering their true Humanity and Free Will to these 'preachers' doing EVIL to others with no consideration to the consequences. They are true practitioners and followers of EVIL.
Goodness, that is harder to find today than ever, but it IS there to be found. Goodness peeks out around Christian Holidays, Jewish celebrations, July 4th and even the remembrance of 9/11 and other celebratory holidays in the USA and elsewhere.. People reach out and help others for a time. Then it is back to cruelty and abuse, dominance over others for their own, often immoral, personal power and greed.
Now lets talk about self interest! Ayn Rand presented a philosophy of Objectivism, where the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest, that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights was embodied in laissez fair capitalism. This view of self interest did not preclude charitable activities, just proposed they were best served when it benefited the donor as well or more than the recipient.
This approach was based on individual rights and did NOT include the suppression of another's freedom or right to free expression, just that everyone should look out for their own self interest and basically get the hell out of the way of others.
Conflict can be negotiated in a self interest and mutually beneficial compromise or other balancing transaction where both parties maintain an equality or equivalence. In some cases one wins and the other looses, but there is no forceful suppression of individual freedoms or rights to personal pursuits. One bets that it will rain the other not; win or loose there is no coercion, just a matter of choice and belief. One bets that this product will sell over another; it matters not if the causality is better function or more attractive coloration; it is what it is and one may benefit while the other looses. No coercion demand or subjugation. Just a matter of free choice of the human civilization as it conducts laissez fair capitalism.
No religion or moral dictates. Each is free to practice and believe as he/she will, as long as there is not coercion, subjugation or force to apply another's belief system. Each acting in his/her own self interest independent of others individual rights or liberties.
How dose Acquanew fit into all of this. Well it is just a vehicle, not unlike (but certainly no equivalence to Atlas Shrugged) Objectivism to communicate what I believe and how I pursue my own self interest. You may accept, adopt or ignore it as you see fit. It is in my own self interest that others respect my individual rights and liberties and get the hell out of my way!
Whether it be some idiotic bureaucrat in local, state or federal government, I yield not my individual Constitutional Liberties. I embrace the USA Constitution, Bill of Rights and individual freedom and liberty as defined therein. I seek my own self interest, while not abrogating another s right to pursue his/her own self interest. Should we find a mutually agreeable path to further each other's self interest, let us continue on until it no longer serves us. So be it; c'est la vie.
To this end, the balance of this web site will have information that will aid or inform you to help seek out your own objectivism, self interest and freedom. There are threats and intrusions into our freedom of choice and ability to pursue our own self interest and happiness at many levels. There is NO guarantee that you will attain happiness at any level, just that you have the right to pursue your own self interest, happiness and ability to live free. There are so many intrusions, regulations and laws that interfere with our freedoms that I can't possibly attempt to list them or address them all. In my own self interest, I will annotate and mention the most egregious ones that impact my own self interest and liberty. If you choose to join me or ignore me, that is your choice. For a time, I hope you will at least take note, join me if you believe a mutual self interest exists and let us pursue expanded freedom, true goodness and the suppression of evil.
Working on more.... please be patient!