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Posts Tagged ‘moral issues’

A response to Spufford, F. 2012. “Dear Atheists. . .” New Humanist 127:34-36.

In ethics, moral issues, religion on August 30, 2012 at 13:16
I find it a bit difficult to understand whether you defend religion on the whole or just your particular version of Christianity? If you ask me a question “Do you know for sure that there is no invisible powerful beings affecting our lives”, – of course I would have to say: “No, I don’t know”. But real religions are precise. They have sacred books which content could be proven historically incorrect, they’ve got creation myths which could be shown to be just myths and shouldn’t be told at schools instead of science, they got moral code which could be shown unkind. Religions can have rituals which my moral duty could be to declare cruel and ideas which I feel I must warn people as of potentially dangerous. For me Atheism is not about abstract unknowable things, it’s about concrete details.
People are very different in respect of what they cherish the most – hence their understanding of their own religion vary. For you, the emotions are the most important things, for others they will be something else: dogmas, rituals, moral, sacred texts, model of the world, power, hierarchy and so on. Please don’t make all believers to be just like you.
Atheists are not a political party or a club, it’s just all sort of independent people who don’t subscribe to any religion while you subscribe to just one of them – this is why there can’t be much emotions involved in the idea of Atheism. “I probably hurt your “atheist” feelings,” – sarcastically said one Christian to me. I don’t have any “atheist” feelings. I am human and I have human feelings. I can’t understand why having ordinary human feelings (which of course could be hurt) counts by believers as something less important than them having their “religious” feelings… By the way that praised by you highly emotional state that many religious people experience, together with non-questioning, dogmatic thinking, may be responsible for horrific things believers sometime commit. We all got natural empathy of social beings – towards other human beings and some animals, but there are situations when it could be overridden. On the mass scale – by feelings and ideas provided by religion, nationalism or ideology.
You are saying that a lot of Christians were atheists at some point. A lot of atheists were Christians (me included) so we know what we are talking about.
I noticed that believers like to say “we are so similar to atheists” or “atheists are really believers too” – like they feel some sort of insecurity, the fear of being left behind.
I love the comparison with Stamp Collectors and use it all the time myself. If all believers were like Philatelists I don’t think you would had much opposition at all! Just minding your own business…Philatelists (and atheists too!) never knocked on my door, approached me on the street, came to my kids’ school to teach their ways without my consent… Stamp Collectors (as far as I know) never claimed that all non-Philatelists are perverted sinners, lost souls and will burn in hell forever, they never invented a law punishing non-Philatelists for not bothering about stamps… They never executed anybody who said that stamps are rubbish. If you reject barbaric things like that it doesn’t mean that all believers do!
It is not the pleasure to oppose religion and humiliate religious people which moves atheists like me but the desire to warn of the dangers of religion, especially of the dogmatic set of mind – listed above and others, sometime much less obvious.

Honestly, which side, religious or non-religious, exhibits throughout the World and exhibited through the History more aggression and intolerance?

Greed

In art, legal issues, moral issues on January 18, 2012 at 08:22

People are surprised by greedy bankers. But they are ones who choose to work with money, what do you expect? Far more surprising is greed among creative people, among artists.

It is obviously morally wrong when you take somebody’s else work as it is and call it yours, even worse if you start selling it as yours. Everybody knows that. People will turn away from an artist who does this.

But most of the rest of “copyright wars” is nonsense and greed. Art is impossible without derivative works.

This is how we are learning, this is how we preserve our heritage. As it was said by Picasso: “Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal”. All this “just you try to mention a character from my novel and you’ll be sorry”, “just you try to even remotely base you drawing on my photograph…”, “just you try to sing my song at home and put it on YouTube…”, “just try and press this share button next to my artwork”… and so on is pure greed and stupidity.

Its also an issue of being a famous artist: I’ve seen them using magazine cuttings, etc in their collages freely. An ordinary artist could be accused in stealing for that. Yet the law should be the same for everyone.

Sharing art on the web: a bit of warning

In art, moral issues, relationship on December 11, 2011 at 07:21

You think because in all the art & photography places on the web I know there are “share” buttons next to the artwork you are welcome to press them? Think again.

It is natural to human beings to share their experience – that’s how our civilisation happened. In old days you might show your favourite book to your friends, now you share stuff on line. That’s often how people find out about artists new to them. As an artist I’m always very happy when this occur to my work. To my surprise I realised that not all artists are like this. You may think if somebody has a nickname LadySomething and does nice pictures there is a nice polite person on the other end. It may not be the truth. After pressing that highly visible “share” button you may end up threatened and offended by something who actually things that sharing is “using” and even “stealing” their artwork. And you thought you did GOOD to the artist, help them spread the message, etc. If you hate conflicts as I do you may even loss your sleep for a couple of nights if you get “i report you!!!” “DO NOT USE any other my work there!” ” i didnt asked your help!” “This has not been done with my permission and there is no credit for the image posted on the site (Although I will allow that the image is linked to the original) Doing this has removed the watermark of the image from the image and is in direct violation of my copyright. Please ensure that this image is removed from this site with immediate effect”  “It is normal to ask for permission which is sometimes granted to reproduce images but this is only allowed with proper acreditation and watermarking.” “i’m feed up with user who “share my works with the world” without asking me and my permission and uses my works below his/her name and sometimes earn money/points/credits/admission with them!!! so they stole! pitiable!!!” (and  a nice “Please, viste my gallery Thanks :)”  – after that!) 

I do feel pity for artists of this kind as it may be very difficult to live with such an attitude that everybody is trying to steal from them. People mostly just LIKE somebodies artwork and it’s a nice reason to be happy and get on with you life rather than be angry, chase innocent people across the Internet, threaten and wrongly accuse them. This won’t help with sales either.

On one occasion I contacted a site administration with that question: “Is there any single rule on whether people are allowed to share images (with links to the originals) on social media e.g. Tumblr, Facebook or Pinterest? I know lots of people do this and I know that a small number of artists is getting very angry about this but I can’t find anything about the situation in FAQ.”

The reply was as follows: “Our artists retain 100% of the copyrights for their images. If you would like to use any images, other than purchasing a printed product for personal enjoyment, you will have to contact the artist directly for their permission, as we do not have the right to give permission for the artists using our service. You will find their public contact information on their user page but please note, the artist decides what information is available to the public, and we are unable to give out any personal information.”

How it is possible to have a “share” button next to each artwork if  “you will have to contact the artist directly for their permission“? I realise that it is a common problem with many artists sites but as an artist and a consumer I would like to have an absolute clarity on that. Why not give that “share” button only to artists who want they work to be shared and prevent other images to be shared at all? Otherwise people will end up doing something they think they ARE ENCOURAGED TO DO and then have angry artists chasing after them. I hope it all will be sorted out somehow because at the moment there is a big lie in the air and this is disgusting.

Amoeba states

In moral issues, politics on October 21, 2011 at 05:45

I think it is not right to judge a state as one would judge a person – to be good or bad, to take right or wrong decision – unless that state is run single handled by just one ruler (which is virtually impossible). The states are more like unintelligent amoebae: they feed, they grow, they divide…  A state will always mind its own benefits first although some of its citizents, including even ones in governement, could be very altruistic.

Artwork pricing

In moral issues, my artworks on January 8, 2011 at 08:48

As somebody was wondering why I price my artworks sort of low, I reply here:

This how its works with selling things: if something is too cheap its sells like hotcakes and the seller has to rise the price. That’s not what is happening. Plus I work fast and don’t think I have any moral right to ask more for the work I didn’t spend too much time creating. Plus I realise that I’m not a great artist and there are lots of my kind around. It looks very pretentious and silly when an artists who is not particularly good asks a great price for his or her artworks.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Everybody!

Fellow-passengers

In books, moral issues, religion on September 30, 2010 at 19:18

Reading Dickens. Don’t want ever call anybody a heretic. All of us make mistakes. Constantly. Don’t want to call anybody evil. There is good in every person. And we all are just “fellow-passengers to the grave“…

Spin and Hostility

In moral issues, politics on May 8, 2010 at 20:40

Modern progressive democracy in other worlds. For me any hostility towards another human being is evil. It’s the absence of love. Yet politicians (some so much more than others) keep on demonstrating hostility to each other, plotting, cheating, brainwashing, exaggerating, spinning, spinning, spinning – thinking its OK for them. Or maybe they want us all to follow their example. Its so sad. And almost every day for the last few weeks we’ve heard phrases like “we care about poor and they care about rich”. At the same time they want us to believe than voting can change something. But if so, ANY party would has to please MAJORITY, whatever it is: rich, poor, working, or not…

There so much is said against discrimination. Yet there are, for example, caravan parks for adults only and for families only, there are “women in art” exhibitions and “black theatres”. Personally I’m not against honest discrimination like this. If in a cafe they don’t want people born in Russia I will go to another one. I’m a grown up person. Its not good to be hostile to another human being but you can’t force people to love each other. Especially if they see people ruling the country being hostile to their colleagues. Also they don’t seem to notice that you can’t have both “freedom of speech” and “political correctness” at the same time. The double standards and silencing – that is disgusting.
I just feel like what’s the point ever participate again in this silly farce called elections if it doesn’t change much? I’ve been told that I’ve missed real democracy in this country which was before Blair. I don’t know. Its difficult to tell.

Why anyway the brainwashed by spin-doctors crowd electing pretty actors should decide what’s best for the country? Why not the best, well educated experts and specialists consulting each other and generally being friendly? And lets hold a monarch ultimately responsible for everything. And lets get on with our life… Silly me… There can’t be an ideal country, anyway. Wait till I’ll tell how my native Russian governement took Russian citizenship from my kids. Some other time.

Godless Gloom

In moral issues, religion on November 16, 2009 at 06:32

I think atheism leads to depression and then even to a possible suicide. At least for people who think, who are honest to themselves and who perceive the world in therms of good and evil. But in atheism there is no good neither evil… One can flex his understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong depending on who’s benefit he is acting: an individual, a race, species, whole life on Earth, etc. It also doesn’t help that our honest atheist knows that his experience – hard learned during lifetime – and all the fruits of his labour eventually will disappear. There is no anchor in space or time.

I can feel this gloom in many ethical-oriented yet atheistic or agnostic sci-fi stories. All these horrible Prime Directives, “I can’t help because it affect the future”and so on. It almost makes me scream: “do what you heart tells you, only God really knows the future!”

I won’t say that religion can’t make one depressed. For example if one comes to be religious because of strong feeling of good and evil but latterly may reach a point when he is not sure if God shares his ethics, if God is really good on his terms (I’m thinking about people suffering on Earth or eternal suffering in hell in which many believe). But at least there is some hope.

Crime and Punishment

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2009 at 08:51

I hear around me lots of angry voices about alMeghari early release (e.g. look here:Lockerbie Bomber Treated Like a Hero)
Just want to write down few thoughts.

Sadly, whatever you do to this person (IF he committed the crime indeed) won’t return the victims from the dead. They don’t need any revenge. I do not really believe in Government’s compassion (sorry) so I realise that its just a political game. But I also think that compassion can’t be inappropriate.
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Crime and Punishment

In books, moral issues, politics, religion on August 25, 2009 at 07:25

I hear around me lots of angry voices about alMeghari early release (e.g. look here:Lockerbie Bomber Treated Like a Hero)
Just want to write down few thoughts.

Sadly, whatever you do to this person (IF he committed the crime indeed) won’t return the victims from the dead. They don’t need any revenge. I do not really believe in Government’s compassion (sorry) so I realise that its just a political game. But I also think that compassion can’t be inappropriate.

People call for more punishment and I hear them (without realising this) begging for some medieval torture. Imprisonment is a mild torture too, but we need it, first – to show the criminal and everybody else that what he’s done, we think, IS a crime, and second, to prevent the criminal from re-offending and endangering more lives. Eight years in prison and terminal illness did that.

Also in any case we never can be sure for 100 per cent if we caught the right person (that’s one reason why death penalty is evil). The only possible punishment may be imposed by the persons own conscience.

Absolute justice (from a human hand) is impossible. If somebody killed many people we can’t kill him back many times. We only can help him realise what he has done and prevent him from doing this again. And if God would punish us for all our crimes: committed, dreamed or only possible in future… Who would be left?

And also there is another thought: have all mass-murderers been punished “properly”? What about Colonel Paul Tibbets who killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima? “Tibbets expressed no regret regarding the decision to drop the bomb. In a 1975 interview he said: “I sleep clearly every night.” You say he followed the orders? The same they say about that Libyan, I’m sure. And what about former terrorists from Northern Ireland?

I think the only way to battle evil is to live with love and compassion. Any anger, calls for revenge, torture and executions only make things worse (here I agree with “Surprised by Hope” by Tom Wright which I am reading at the moment).

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