Entries Tagged 'society and culture' ↓

“The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple
of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the
ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the
extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere
monetary profit.

“Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in
the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The
joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in
the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be
worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is
not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our
fellow men.

“Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of
success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false
belief that public office and high political position are to be
valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal
profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in
business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness
of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence
languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the
sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish
performance; without them it cannot live.”

- Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. President, from his first Inaugural
Address, 1933.

arghh

“When Women Rule – New York Times”:

“In one common experiment, the “Goldberg paradigm,” people are asked to evaluate a particular article or speech, supposedly by a man. Others are asked to evaluate the identical presentation, but from a woman. Typically, in countries all over the world, the very same words are rated higher coming from a man.

In particular, one lesson from this research is that promoting their own successes is a helpful strategy for ambitious men. But experiments have demonstrated that when women highlight their accomplishments, that’s a turn-off. And women seem even more offended by self-promoting females than men are.

This creates a huge challenge for ambitious women in politics or business: If they’re self-effacing, people find them unimpressive, but if they talk up their accomplishments, they come across as pushy braggarts.

The broader conundrum is that for women, but not for men, there is a tradeoff in qualities associated with top leadership. A woman can be perceived as competent or as likable, but not both.”

“Culture, which we put on like an overcoat, is the collectivized consensus about what sort of neurotic behaviors are acceptable.”

Terence McKenna

My concern with the use of the term “atheism” is both philosophical and strategic. I’m speaking from a somewhat unusual and perhaps paradoxical position because, while I am now one of the public voices of atheism, I never thought of myself as an atheist before being inducted to speak as one. I didn’t even use the term in The End of Faith, which remains my most substantial criticism of religion. And, as I argued briefly in Letter to a Christian Nation, I think that “atheist” is a term that we do not need, in the same way that we don’t need a word for someone who rejects astrology. We simply do not call people “non-astrologers.” All we need are words like “reason” and “evidence” and “common sense” and “bullshit” to put astrologers in their place, and so it could be with religion.

– Sam Harris

on religion

“We do not believe in heaven or hell, yet no statistic will ever
find that without these blandishments and threats we commit more
crimes of greed or violence than the faithful.”

- Christopher Hitchens, “God is not Great: How Religion Poisons
Everything”

qotd

“In absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.”

— Unknown