Archive for July, 2015

The Future of Education

July 29, 2015

Those of us familiar with internet technologies discovered something very early on about human nature. That thing we discovered surprised many of us, but it really shouldn’t have been a surprise at all.

Before I share that secret, let me explain what education has to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

After Christ was crucified, he spent a considerable time with this disciples, showing hundreds his resurrected body. He was teaching them and preparing them for the “Dark Ages” that were to follow in his absence, the period of time when his church (the body of believers) would have to learn to live by the Spirit, the same way he did.

Shortly after this period began, the events recorded in Acts occurred. First was the pouring out of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Then came the healing of the lame man and also an outpouring of the Spirit as Peter taught the Jews and invited them to embrace Christ who was ready to forgive them for whatever sins they had committed just a few months earlier when they demanded Pilate crucify Jesus. These events lead to the conversion and baptism of thousands of people.

What followed next only earns a few verses in the Bible, but they donated all of their property to the church and began to live a life of sharing. We don’t have a lot of details about how this worked, but this idea of a society where all things are shared common has been with us ever since.

Do we have to count how many times we, collectively, have tried to build that society again? And how many times have we failed?

The closest thing we have to it that I know if is found in the suburbs of America. My neighbor’s lawn is growing too long — he’s working long hours and his wife has been ill. So I mow his lawn while I mow mine. Someone needs someone to watch their kids while they take one of them to the hospital. Our house is open. This attitude of sharing is part of suburban life. It is part of who we are as Americans. We will gladly share our things and time with those who stand in need.

Are Americans special? No, of course not. It isn’t hard to find sharing throughout humanity’s history. We all know it is a great idea, and we all wish we could do it better. True progress is made when people open their hearts and minds and share what they have with others.

The modern university is the descendant of the universities found in the Middle Ages in Europe. These hearken back to a time when people gathered together to educate and be educated. Whatever money was involved was simply living expenses. Oftentimes, in European society and elsewhere, the price of admission was a willingness to work together to obtain the means necessary to sustain life.

Universities formed because people wanted to share. They wanted to share their experiences, their insight, their questions, their ideas. They wanted to hear what others had to share as well. Over time, we became really good at sharing, and it became clear that a new breed of scholar was developing. We called these “scientists” because unlike philosophers (lovers of wisdom) or scholars (people familiar with things), they actually knew what was going on and could make predictions that came true.

Modern science is built on the pillar of sharing. Now, researchers share for different reasons, but ultimately, it is their love of learning and discovering that compels them to share their research with the world. Whatever price is charged is there to sustain the process. Countless professors and scientists live on a modest wage because they would rather share than be wealthy. We should salute them for their sacrifice. As for myself, I decided I’d rather be wealthy and have many children than become part of this club. (Besides, I had doubts I could become one of the best.)

With this in mind, the roadmap to education in the 21st and 22nd Centuries become crystal clear. We should encourage and even support the sharing of information and ideas that we all seem to possess. The internet makes this sharing possible.

Unfortunately, in many people’s minds, education has become associated with the trappings and the essences has been forgotten. The idea that schools or teachers or books or internet access can create or produce education is silly. Education is a process whereby individuals seek out and embrace change. It is an individual pursuit. Schools and teachers and books and internet access can help, of course, but they are hardly necessary. I mean, modern science developed without the internet. People were learning before words were even written in books. And who taught the first teacher?

We need to move the concept of education away from things and people and back where it belongs: a spiritual, even religious, pursuit of knowledge. That’s why I led with the story of the apostles in the Acts. It was first a change of heart that lead people to embrace sharing. That’s where we should be focused at a government, society, culture, and family.

Once that spirit has been instilled, there is nothing we can do to stop education from occurring. People will naturally form societies and groups and start sharing with each other. Now, they need food and water and clothing and shelter just like anyone else, but there is no need to tell people to quit their jobs and become full-time educators. We don’t need to separate people out by how educated they are, as if you could measure it, or by what role they play in the education process, as if anyone can’t be a teacher or a learner or author or researcher.

Education might take the form of the following.

First, we’d shut down all the schools and universities. This would take some time as our culture and society adapt, of course, but it is a necessary step.

Second, we will focus education in the home. Each family will be solely responsible for their children’s education. We can do this with government laws and policies, but we also need to engage the culture and society to reinforce this. Imagine if hip-hop stars were saying, “Kids, listen to your moms and dads. They’re the ones who will prepare you for life.” I wonder if hip-hop could even exist in an environment where the center of children’s lives were parents.

While the idea of wiring every family into the internet sounds grand, the sad truth is that we can’t trust government to do it. Involving government will only stop progress. However, an internet connection is not very expensive nowadays, and it consumes only a fraction of family budgets across the country. Perhaps we might subsidize internet connectivity, similar to how the USPS is subsidizing the package service, but I don’t want government to do anything more than throw money at the problem. I firmly believe that without subsidization, we’ll still discover a cheap way to wire everyone together.

Without schools and universities, who will produce materials to educate each other? This is the key part: It will happen on its own. People who know, people like myself, happily produce education materials for free. See, for instance, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGCHznSfCnQ.

These kinds of reforms sounds like a lot of backwards thinking, but really, were we making progress doing things the way we are now? Was it ever a good idea to lock kids in a classroom and have their only source for learning be a teacher or two and a couple of old textbooks? Why don’t we expose the children to the vast world of education? Why don’t we trust parents to navigate the way forward, or in other words, why do we think we will be better at educating kids than their own parents can be?

Regarding universities, I can only imagine what will happen if  the whole world becomes one giant university campus.

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Why we need to stop voting for Presidents of the United States

July 29, 2015

Donald Trump appears to be leading the pack of republicans with an overwhelming 20% or so. Of course, a plurality is not a majority, so the race is far from over.

But why are we having a race at all? Why do we have nincompoops running for the executive seat? It’s all because democracy is a horrible form of government.

It isn’t hard to see why we have these kinds of people running for president. Some seem to be experienced and qualified, but that is hardly their most appealing trait to the masses. Instead, they are looking for someone who will divide our country, who will put their political faction over the top, and rain down horror on their political foes.

How can we believe that a presidential election will ever unify our country under these conditions? No matter who wins, almost half of our country will be a loser in this winner-takes-all high-stakes game of political power.

Let’s pretend, for a moment, that we elected our presidents in the way outlined in the constitution and rather than having each state legislature delegate its responsibility to its people, it held on to it. Every 4 years, each of the legislatures would nominate and elect electors from the legislature. The governor would have little or no input in this process, except perhaps to cede some of his power to the state legislatures in negotiating for his people to get in.

Would this process be corrupt? Absolutely! This is the genius of the Founding Fathers. They knew we would corrupt and distort every aspect of the constitution, and in fact, they were counting on it.

Look what happens when legislatures corrupt their power. Either one faction rises to secure majority power, in which case, the minority is completely shut out of the process. The majority negotiates with themselves to put their people forward in the seat. They will likely give direction to the electors on what type of president they want or even who they want. If the former, then the corruptly elected electors will try to fulfill the wishes of the legislature. If the latter, then the determination on who should be president occurred in private conferences among the political elite of the state. If the legislature is divided, or the majority party fractured, then more people can get involved in this process.

Who can influence the legislators? The people who see to it that they get elected in the first place, people with political and economic power in that state.

All across the country, this drama will unfold. Somewhere, a group of people will meet and decide who their state should vote for in the next Electoral College. If they’re smart, they will be negotiating across state lines. All the powerful and influential people will be in on this, and eventually, they’ll settle on their man.

Now, let’s look at the man, whoever they choose. He will be made president because they made him so. He will owe them in a big way. But what happens when he becomes president? He becomes his own man. His mortal foes in his political battles will not be the state legislatures and the state elite, but the congress and the supreme court, along with the international forces at work. If he decides to totally acquiesce his authority to the people who put him in office, at worst, there are only regional effects and distortions. He still has to make up his mind how to deal with the federal government.

And this is the genius of the Founder’s plan. Supposing a corrupt person is put in charge of the country, his position means he will still be a decent president. If he is a corrupt person, he will be the person who the corrupt elite decide is the most suitable for the job.

But suppose, for a moment, that corruption is practically non-existent. What would the state legislatures do? I daresay they would nominate experienced and trusted electors, and give them direction to carefully consider each of the possible presidential picks. They would  obviously have to take time to review and even interview possible candidates, just like boards of directors do all across our country when they look for CEOs. After a period of time, they meet all on the same day to render their decisions. The House of Representatives reads the votes and handles any edge cases. The House of Representatives is uniquely qualified to be that body to review and sustain or fix this process because they are elected by the people and they understand better than the states the federal issues facing the nation.

Now, I want you to consider this. Let’s suppose there was a corrupt corporation out there. The corruption goes all the way to the top, even the board of directors. When these cigar-smoking evil geniuses meet together to decide who to make their next CEO, what kind of person will they choose? They could choose someone just as corrupt as them, someone they can control. But really, that’s not the kind of CEO that will earn massive profits. Smart, corrupt evil geniuses will choose someone who is capable, independent, and accountable. The closer he is to being a Boy Scout, the better, because that means they can trust him to do the right thing.

And that’s the memo.

If we leave the people in charge of this process, we get what we have today: a shallow popularity contest where he who can raise the most advertising dollars wins. If, instead, we leave the state legislatures in charge, we have a great deal more hope that we’ll elect someone who is fit for the job.

A Sane Monetary Policy

July 15, 2015

Whatever the Fed is doing, it is hurting us badly. We have to stop the Fed.

The Fed is, of course, the Federal Reserve. It is a private corporation chartered by the United States. It prints money and provides the cash through loans to banks and sometimes (but lately, increasingly) to the Federal Government.

Why does the Fed have the special honor and privilege of printing our money? Why can we only obtain said money by borrowing it? This is, of course, an absurd arrangement and it needs to stop.

Let’s pause a moment to discuss what money is and what money is not. Money is an idea. Anything can be money, literally anything. Money is something that each person chooses for themselves to put value in. Because a lot of people put value in money, other people do the same. For instance, I would like dollars because other people want dollars and I can use those dollars to do things like give me food or fix my car. That makes dollars money. But suppose one day everyone stopped wanting dollars. What good would dollars be? They would be no good at all. A good example of this is the pieces of paper in the game of Monopoly. No one considers that money except for the purposes of playing the game.

Money exists because we, the people, say it does. A dollar has value because there is someone out there who gives it value. This is the basis of money. Money is really something created by and sustained by us. It is our own invention.

The Constitution of the United States gives explicit power to Congress to print money. Up until the Federal Reserve was formed, Congress held on to that power. During times of trouble, when more money was needed, Congress printed more money. When there was too much money, Congress could tax it back. In this way, Congress could control the money supply. It is the truth that for much of our history Congress was very conservative with its power, insisting on using a gold and silver standard for our money. While gold and silver are a good form of money, they are money as much as pieces of paper are money. In the ’70s, the Federal Reserve took us off of the precious metal standard and just printed as much money as it wanted.

A sane monetary policy this is not. Why do we trust a small group of people to make decisions that affects everyone? Shouldn’t everyone have a say in how much money we print and what we use to back our currency? That’s what the Founding Fathers thought, and so they kept monetary policy in the hands of Congress. If there was too little currency, the people would demand that Congress print more, or change what backed it. If there were too much money, then the people could demand that Congress limit its supply. How would the people know if there was too much or too little? They can look at the prices of the things they buy. If they are going up, we have too much money. If they are going down, too little. Prices going up are a problem in and of itself, but prices falling is the worst problem imaginable. It compels poor people to spend their money too early, and pushes all the money into the hands of those who can wait the longest. Manufacturers shut down, retailers close their doors, and the economy goes desolate. This is called deflation, and is the worst possible thing that can happen in an economy. Inflation, on the other hand, is problematic because it discourages investment and saving. It gives an advantage to those who are good at math, and leaves poor people wondering why they are earning more money but not living a better life.

I propose the following resolutions to our current economic problems.

First, abolish the Fed. Have the Federal Government take over the Fed and assume all of its assets. This is perfectly moral in my mind because the Fed is using the power of Congress to create whatever assets it has. It is, and should’ve been, a creature of the Federal Government from the beginning. In so doing, a large chunk of the Federal Debt will disappear.

Second, end fractional reserve banking. This allows banks to effectively print their own money. They do so by loaning out money they have more than once. While this should have the effect of helping the economy, it does so by making debtors out of the American people. Banks should have no more power to print money than anyone else.

Third, have congress print all the money the country needs to keep our currency stable. What should congress do with this money? Spend it, of course. What is the fairest way of all to spend it? I would say it is simply writing a check to each citizen of our country. I would perhaps expand that to each resident of our country. This can appear as a refund for taxes. How much money to create? It’s pretty easy to calculate: Take the rate of growth times our economy’s size and print that much money.

Fourth, eliminate taxes. All of them. Where will congress get money to spend? See step 3 above! Taxes have the effect of diminishing the money supply. It also diverts economic action from its most productive to its least productive. If we were living in an age where productivity didn’t increase every year, then taxes would make a lot of sense. But we aren’t. Taxes are hindering progress. It is shutting down ideas before they even start. We don’t need taxes to pay a debt we don’t have. We don’t need taxes to print money.

Some people want taxes to “hurt” the rich. Seriously consider that sentiment. Why do you want to hurt someone else? In what universe does using government’s power to hurt someone who is doing something legally and lawfully moral? You may think it is immoral to be rich, but consider yourself. You’re likely in a category of wealth that the world has never seen before, and so you suffer from whatever moral failing as any of the rich do.

Note that the net effect of the above is that the only way the money supply can increase to keep up with demand (economic growth) is to have congress print more money. Congress must print this money, and they must spend it, otherwise, our economy will experience deflation. If congress messes up and prints too much money, then we get inflation. Suppose we do get inflation. What does congress need to do? Print less money, or stop printing it altogether for a little while. If they print too little, what happens? Prices fall, and spending slows. What should congress do then? Print more money. How simple can it get?

Also note that by eliminating taxes and eliminating fractional reserve banking, the full economic power of our nation can be unleashed. If we take the additional step of reducing regulations to almost non-existence, we get the added bonus of eliminating the requirements for countless bureaucrats along with the problems they cause. This will also further unleash our full economic growth potential, which demands that congress print even more money to keep up with growth.

With the economy booming, and congress frantically looking for ways to spend the money to prevent deflation, they’re going to settle on the one obvious solution: Simply cut people checks. Whether they give the money only to the poor or the elderly or the young or all people together, it hardly matters. As long as the money gets out among the people, it will be spent, it will further boost economic growth, and it will keep the people happy, and help where it is needed the most. This is why the House of Representatives was deemed to be the one that writes budgets. Since they are elected every 2 years by the people, they are careful to consider the immediate political impact on their district. What member of the house doesn’t wish they could simply write checks to their constituents?

Imagine living in this kind of society. There are no taxes. There is little regulation. Whatever you want to do to make money, as long as it is legal, you can do. If you mess up, that’s OK, congress is going to write you a check, and maybe a handsome one.

Suppose we reach a point where we can’t print and spend money fast enough to keep up with growth. I would say we would have reached to singularity where we no longer need money at all. Anyone who wants to spend money can get a hold of as much as they need. Anyone who wants anything can get a hold of that as well. We’ll be living in an era of unprecedented wealth and growth, where words like “poor” will lose their meaning.

Zo is right: Whites aren’t to blame, democrats are

July 10, 2015

Zo brings up a really good point: Liberals aren’t consistent. They talk all about giving every child a future, but abort babies, which pretty much eliminates any future the child had.

He also points out that the democrats are trying to get America to pay for the sins of their past. For instance, with slavery, the Republican Party was formed for the very purpose of abolishing it, and the Democratic Party was there for the very purpose of preserving it. The KKK was the terrorist wing of the Democratic Party, used to kill republican “carpetbaggers” and blacks alike. The Stars and Bars are a flag flown by democrats and has nothing to do with the republicans, except that republicans will defend the liberty of their enemies to say things they don’t like.

It got me to thinking about why people are even poor in this country. Why, in this land of freedom and prosperity, can’t everyone rise up from poverty into wealth? The answer lies in democrat policies.

Why Object Morality Can’t Exist

July 7, 2015

The only political argument is really a religious argument. It is, “What is right?” This question is at the heart of statements such as, “The government should not perform marriages at all.” The word “should” implies that there is something good and something bad, and also implies that we should do the good thing. All of this is based in morality. The speaker of that statement is simply stating what his morality is, as much as someone who says a statement to the contrary.

In arguing morality, it really comes down to one’s preference. There is no way we will ever agree on a system of morality unless we all choose to do so. Even the idea that we should use logic in our moral system is, itself, a moral assumption. (Did you see the word ‘should’ there?)

When I state that my moral system is God’s moral system, I am looked down upon by Atheists. They think I am just making things up, saying that is what God says, and then adopting it because I like it. In short, my idea of God’s morality is really subjective and not logical or objective at all. The funny thing is they are doing the same thing with their moral system, whatever it may be.

The difference between saying, “I think this is moral therefore it is moral” and “I think whatever God says is moral, therefore it is moral” is I am actually relying on something that could be objective and shared. This isn’t much different than people who think that morality should be defined by what the majority thinks or morality should be defined by logical conclusions from a set of initial assumptions such as “freedom is the ultimate good”. If we rely only on our own personal selves to define morality, then we are at risk of adopting a bad morality because of the limitations of our mortal, ignorant, irrational selves. But if we rely on something external to ourselves, then we at least have  a chance to get things right, or a better chance at getting more things right. The common morality of a million people is more likely to be better than the individual morality of one person. But this, again, is a moral statement. (Did you see the word “better”, “right”, “bad”, etc…?)

So really, it all starts with an individual decision. What morality do you choose for yourself? Then you expand from there.

One person might say, “I choose whatever I think is right, independent of what others say.”

Another might say, “I choose whatever I think is right based on what popular opinion says.”

Another might say, “I choose whatever I think is right based on a set of assumptions and the logical conclusions of them.”

Another might say, “I choose whatever I think is right based on whatever I think God says.”

Really, who is to say that one decision is better than another? Based on the morality you choose, you choose which of those is best.

So Atheists and others who look down on me for making my own decision based on what I think is right are really denying me the same freedom they wish they could have: the ability to choose what is right. Surely they think that treating someone else differently than the way they expect to be treated is fundamentally wrong. (A moral statement.) If not, then I think we can tell a lot about what they think of other people and their rights and freedoms, and what their morality really is. And that is simply that they think they are better than others.

So if you don’t afford others the freedom to choose their morality, really, you believe that you are better than others. This is, I think, a logical statement about morality independent of morality.

An interesting logical fallacy that I have seen used to attack my moral system is that I wouldn’t believe that murder is wrong unless God said so. This is true. Since I have handed my freedom to choose what is right to God, he determines what is right and wrong. And if he said murder is not wrong, I would not think it wrong. But God does say murder is wrong, so I think it is wrong. So really, this argument is absurd. I do think that murder is wrong. I think so because God says it is wrong. So really, if you’re measuring the value of a moral system based on whether it deems murder is wrong, my moral system is just as good as any other that deems murder wrong.

Of note, I also believe that God is unchanging. He will never, ever change his stance on murder. It will always be wrong. No exceptions. Nowhere does he ever excuse murder, except where he forgives the murderer their sins. But this act of forgiveness does not erase or change the fact that murder is wrong in God’s eyes. Does your moral system have a similar mechanism? On the one hand, is it unchanging? On the other, does it allow for forgiveness of moral wrongs?

If you arrived at the conclusion that murder is wrong based upon your own choice, then who is to say that you will not choose differently tomorrow? That makes your moral system inferior than mine, because you have no guarantee that murder will forever be wrong.

If you arrived at the conclusion that murder is wrong based upon popular opinion, then who is to say that popular opinion will not shift one day? We know from history cultures and societies where murder was not only tolerated but demanded. This makes your moral system inferior to mine, because there is no guarantee that murder will always be wrong.

If you arrives at the conclusion that murder is wrong because of your logical reasoning based upon a set of assumptions, who’s to say that your logic will stand forever? After all, we have used logic in the past, only to find we made an error. I know from my own experience that I am more likely to make a mistake with logic than not. I am no computer. I am an irrational being, just like all of us. So there is no guarantee that murder will always be wrong in your system either.

In fact, the only moral system that demands that murder always be wrong is a system that relies on unchanging facts and tenets which can never be revoked. Only an unchanging God who has spoken on the matter can do such a thing.

Now, our understanding of God’s moral system is flawed. I say this because I know from experience. However, the way you correct someone’s flawed understanding is to bring them closer to God. You have to educate and enlighten them. When necessary, you need to get answers from God himself. However, if we can come to agree on what is and isn’t God’s word, or at least a subset of it, we should be able to do pretty well on the big things like murder, even though we get minor things wrong. And I think that is most important.

The Truth

July 3, 2015

Last time I posted about love. That is, real love, the only kind of love we can learn from the Source, God Himself. That’s what our country needs and doesn’t have. It’s the critical element in bringing us to where we all wish we could be.

This time I will post about Truth.

Truth and God’s unalterable commandments are intimately intertwined. They are one and the same. Truth is reality the way it really is, and God’s commandments are a description of it.

As we begin to investigate truth, our first discovery is how little of it we really have. We may think we know something, but do we really? Investigating the truth of anything we know reveals how little about it we really know. For instance, as I studied physics and earned my BS, I was astounded at how often professors would reply “I don’t know” to questions that lay people think had been answered long ago. “What is really happening in Quantum Mechanics?” “I don’t know.” “Where does mass come from?” “These things contribute, but ultimately, I don’t know.” Etc, etc, etc…

It was Socrates who observed, “The only thing I know is that I know nothing.” This is a good thought to ponder on for more than a few moments.

An investigation of the truth of things ultimately drives us to humility. In the state of humility, we begin to see how insignificant and unimportant we are to the universe. We begin to see the pointlessness of our actions and the futility of our plans. It is difficult to accept this kind of truth, oftentimes driving people to embrace the philosophy of nihilism. But it is something we must accept and must resolve for ourselves.

I wrote a few paragraphs back that God’s commandments are a description of truth. If you think of the commandments as arbitrary decisions made by an incompetent being, then this is obviously contrary to what you think about the commandments. However, if you accept that there is a divine being who surpasses all limits of the material universe, and you accept that he is really on our side, then you accept that his commandments are a communication to us about something important and true.

Namely, his commandments describe to us what we are likely to do, what we shouldn’t do about it, and what we should do about it. We do not always understand his commandments when they are first given to us, but my experience is that over time we grow to understand them and appreciate them.

Among the category of true things, the most important truth to consider are questions about real human nature and our own personalities. The most important truth we would like to know is, “What should I do?” This is why God gave us commandments in the first place. Without them, we, in our ignorance, have no hope of doing anything right. We have no way of connecting “here” to “there”, “here” being our current state of existence, and “there” being the state of existence we would like to achieve. And so, the first steps in our journey towards truth is accepting the commandments and learning to live by them.

Once we begin that journey, we quickly discover that not only are we living contrary to the commandments, but we have little or no hope of ever living according to them. On top of that, the fruit of our disobedience catches up to us, and we suffer from the terrible burden of our own wrongdoing. Thus, the moment we set out on the journey of obedience, truth is there to stop us and remind us of our pathetic situation. In addition, as we ponder the commandments, we realize that the most important ones regard something that we can never hope to keep. Thus, like Socrates, we are left to cry out, “The only commandment I keep is none of them.”

This on its own would discourage anyone, were it not for an element of God’s character we call grace in the Christian world. In the Jewish system, there was a series of performances and sacrifices the people of Israel could do to free themselves from the consequences of their disobedience and bring their intent into alignment with God’s. In the Christian system, that sacrifice has already been paid with the blood of Christ. All we have to do is accept the free gift which he offers.

Turning our lives around to align ourselves with the commandments is thus a necessity. It requires that we accept the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ himself. It requires that we confess to him with our own mouth the many wrong things we have done and beg him for forgiveness. It requires that we confirm with him that we intend to keep all of the commandments, and that we demonstrate this with good works. We do not understand why this works, but it does. People who follows these steps find the burden of disobedience and error lifted. In many cases, they see the consequences of their bad choices evaporate, sometimes being replaced with blessings as if they had kept the law in the first place.

We begin to feel more of God’s love as we do this. This is love that we can share with the people around us.

We also begin to see people in their immoral, fallen state as peers, not enemies. The commandment that Jesus gave us to love our enemies, and do good to those who hurt us begins to be ingrained in our hearts. We genuinely seek for the salvation of those who consider us their enemies.

Thus, the pursuit of truth is not without purpose. In the end, we can find it, align ourselves with it, and live life the way God intended it to be lived, in joy and happiness and peace.

This is also what America needs. It seems today’s culture is so busy on living in the virtual, or changing reality, or rewriting the rules of human nature, rather than understanding what is real and what is not, and understanding the truth about our mortal state. We don’t need people trying to deceive each other about the way we are. We need people searching for truth in their daily lives.

For those of you who are confused about why God’s commandments are so important, let me summarize them with the following two statements. God’s commandments all hinge on showing our love for God, and showing our love for ourselves and our neighbors. In order to show love for God and people, we need to have love for God and people. Or perhaps I should summarize the commandments with a single phrase: Love one another.

If that is the case, if every commandment is ultimately an expression of love for God and love for each other, then none of the commandments are a bad idea unless you think love is a bad idea. Thus, you cannot be “pro-love” and “anti-commandments”. The two are intertwined.

For those of you who think you know better than God what the universe is all about and what human nature really is, you have yet to study history enough to know the truth about who we are and what we will do. The only times in history when we have done any good at all is when we have been obedient to the commandments. In every other case, bad things have occurred.

 

Christians, Jews, and others: We need not fear God’s commandments. We shouldn’t hide what they are. Each is a letter of love from God to man. Each is a recipe for love. It is ignorance of God’s commandments that make people hate them, not the truth. If we could all see the truth, we would all conclude that the commandments are correct. So do not give up trying to teach one another the commandments. None of us can keep them all, but we still need to know what they are, measure ourselves against them, and turn from our faults when we realize we have them.