APHORISM: On Patriotism

By Madison S. Hughes (08.14.2011), Updated (09.22.2011)

Patriotism is a form of false pride for those who have nothing of their own of which they can be proud. It is little more than a tribal characteristic of banal instinct that provides a gratifying sensation of self-worth.

How can one be proud of being born within a particular geographical area of which they had absolutely no input? Clearly, reflective thought is not a part of this end. Reflective thought would require one to objectively evaluate the actions of their country, and the effect those actions have on them and the world as a whole. If one were to honestly do so, one, as I, would realize a great desire to expatriate to a less religious, more equitable country as one would find in Scandinavia and Western Europe.

In contemporary America, the Tea Baggers base their definition of what it is to be an American on geography and ignorance. They are not cosmopolitan by any stretch of the imagination, nor do they show any sign of cultural curiosity. They are simply demonstrating territorial instinct, as do others with similar cerebral deficits.

Patriotism to one’s country is understood, and need not be expressed. If one feels inclined to overtly express such, then one is expressing nationalism, not patriotism.

CRITICAL THINKING: “Why Skepticism is the Right Approach to the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia” / Michael Shermer ☮

Bear with us for a second, but do you know the Belinda Carlisle song “Heaven is a Place on Earth”? It’s actually scientifically accurate. American public intellectual Michael Shermer says that any idea of the afterlife makes zero sense: your mind and therefore your memories are beholden to your body and that any version of you that made it into heaven, should there actually be one, would just be a copy of you and unable to register that they were actually in heaven. Likewise, should you be able to scan your brain and “live forever” by being uploaded to a body in the future, it still wouldn’t be you, just a copy. Confused? The explanation makes more sense from the mouth of Shermer himself… writing the theory behind multiple you’s living in various timelines gets a little too Back to the Future… another sweet ’80s reference if we do say so ourselves.

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH – NEUROSCIENCE: “A Very Hard Question for Religious People” ☮

In this short video Vilayanur Ramachandran describes experiments with split brain patients, people who have had their corpus callosum cut. It is very interesting when he describes what happens when the question of belief in God is posed.