Uncommon Sense

February 24, 2020

Why the “Bernie’s a Socialist! Bernie’s a Socialist! Campaign Will Fail

Quite a few establishment defenders are claiming that if Bernie Sanders is nominated by the Democrats to run for president, that the GOP will wage war based upon Bernie being a Socialist! A Commie! and wipe the floor with him.

That approach really would have worked in this were the 1950’s or the 1960’s, maybe even the 1970’s. Back them everyone knew that capitalism was the best system and the USA was the champion at capitalism. (U . . . S. . .. A . . . U . . . S. . .. A . . . !) But right now, there are huge swaths of this country who have been decimated numerous times by “capitalism.” For example, the big banks caused the largest economic recession in the history of the world in 2008 and who gets bailed out by the capitalist government of the U.S.? Answer: the big banks, which are now bigger than when they were just “too big to let fail.” ordinary people lost their homes and jobs in the millions.

So, the old aversion to socialism is just not there. Conservatives seem to conflate socialism with communism, which is why they are the same thing but have different names . . . ? If Bernie were a communist, he might have a problem.

Bernie is not even really a socialist. A more accurate categorization would be he is a social democrat. I think Bernie has clung to his self-description as “a socialist,” which he might have been at one time but is not now, because it is a clear way to say “I am not like those other politicians.” This will actually help him in the general election.

Think about this. when Donald Trump entered the race for the GOP nomination (with the other dozen and a half plus candidates) how many people thought his chances at the nomination were “good” or even “possible”? If you think back, most people, even while enthralled by the chaos and hijinks of his campaign, thought his chances of getting the nomination were “slim to none.” But win the nomination he did and then, what did people think his chances were of winning the general election against a seasoned, experienced campaigner like Hillary Clinton? Most thought he had no chance, his campaign was too disorganized (at least it appeared to be so). But Ms. Clinton couldn’t have been a more stalwart defender of the status quo and she lost.

If the Dems were to nominate another icon of the status quo, Joe Biden maybe, they would lose again. But if Bernie and Mr. Trump go head to head, who do you think will capture the “anti-status quo” vote this time? Mr. Trump often tackles the status quo but in strange ineffective ways that maybe affect one at the gut level, but don’t really effect positive changes. Bernie promises changing the status quo in favor of the down trodden. He has all of the favoritism Mr. Trump has bestowed upon the rich (tax cuts, environment deregulation, oil drilling leases on public lands, etc.) and the well connected (pardons for his friends, loosen rules for his friends, etc.) to show that Mr. Trump has proven that he has no poor or even middle class friends and that we can expect no favoritism from him.

Bernie is not some shy, wilting flower that will wither under a Trump attach. If Trump thunders “Bernie’s a socialist!” Bernie will respond, “Yes, and you are a liar and you are fat. So what?” End of controversy.

Hint: Trump already has locked up all of the voters who would not vote for a milquetoast socialist, so the Bernie is a Socialist! Campaign will win him no new voters.

February 19, 2020

Whoa! Really … Whoa!

An article in the most recent issue of Scientific American had this title and subtitle: Will Past Criminals Reoffend? Humans Are Terrible at Guessing, and Computers Aren’t Much Better A new study finds algorithms’ predictions are slightly superior but not under all circumstances

I don’t give a rat’s ass about the predictability of recidivism. Even if we had perfect predictions, what would we do with those predictions? Keep someone in jail because our AI says that he is just going to go out and commit another crime? Is it no longer “three strikes and you are out?” Is it is one strike and a computer’s say so?

So, a person gets picked up for littering or vagrancy and the judge was feeling grumpy and sentences them to a month in county jail. Then the counties AI says there is a 100% chance this guy will go out and commit another crime. Then what? Then fucking what?

Why is any one investigating this ability? Are we going to go all in with precogs like in the Tom Cruise movie The Minority Report?

Where are the small government people screaming to get the government out of our lives? Is this another situation like the anti-abortion people being also pro-death penalty? Life is sacred until somebody pisses me off? We’re in favor of small government except. . . .

Does anyone seriously want this ability?

Stepping Back from Faith, Not Works

Filed under: Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 11:25 am
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A major battle during the development of Christianity was, and still is being, fought over the path to salvation (aka whether Yahweh’s original curse gets lifted for you). Some indicate that by doing good works, one got into Heaven. Others claimed that you only needed faith to get into Heaven. These two camps, no longer armed, are still in existence.

The Old Testament, aka the Jewish Bible tweaked somewhat, clearly has a primary theme and that is “Obedience or Else.” The poor Hebrews were slammed from pillar to post and every time they were on the short end of the stick, that is losing a war, succumbing to a plague, etc. the cause of that catastrophe was always laid at the feet of the Hebrews in the form of disobedience. Their lord Yahweh didn’t bail them out because they were disobedient to his commands.

The New Testament claims that a new covenant has replaced the old and that it applies to all people and not just Jews. Of course, a small problem exists in that the god that supposedly created us all only had a covenant with only a tiny fraction of all of us, but that correction got made after a few thousand years under the old covenant.

This New Covenant, some Christians proclaim, only requires faith and not works to be saved. This, I am sure, was designed to keep the atheists (and the Chinese and Japanese and Indians and . . .) out of Heaven, at least those who were good people and did good things their whole lives and obeyed the Christian god’s commandments better than many Christians, unknowingly of course.

So, stepping back, this disagreement seems very silly. Shouldn’t a religion expect people to believe certain things and do good works? Why would anyone want to ban good works from a person’s judgment process? You can’t buy your way into Heaven! we are told. So, doing what your god wants is considered buying your way into Heaven? Why should such a god care how one is obedient, if one is actually obedient? Actually why would a god care if you had faith or did good works? What does this mean for this god? Why does it care?

What potential consequences does disbelief have? Does it hurt this god somehow? This doesn’t seem possible based upon its description, but that description doesn’t say he can’t be hurt. “He” is described as all-powerful, but that doesn’t exclude him from getting paper cuts. All-knowing, all-present, etc. etc. Ah hah! Not believing in Him is like a paper cut is to us. He cannot die, but a thousand cuts can be annoying if not lethal. And if we acquire millions (done!) and then billions of disbelievers (working on it), imagine how uncomfortable we could make this god! Wait, all-comfortable . . . nope, not in his description.

So, are you up for the challenge? No? Neither am I. Why would I want to campaign against a nonexistent god? It is enough to play with Christians (except when they get out of hand and act like the Taliban).

Costing Out Medicare for All

There is still a great debate going on as to whether we can afford Medicare for All. I prefer, rather, to use the term Universal Healthcare (UH) as I do not want to be restrictive in what we can come up with. Maybe Medicare for All is too expensive but a better plan is actually cheaper, etc.

The first stage of this discussion is the one we need now, which can be couched in the form of a single question: Is there enough information to believe we can afford UH to vote politically to have such a thing?

The answer is a clear yes. Other Western countries have better health outcomes or equal health outcomes than we get here and they pay far less for those outcomes.

Therefore we can afford to do UH and we should vote to do so.

The big question is then “Can we do it well?”

Those who believe in American Exceptionalism (U . . . S . . . A . . . U . . . S . . . A . . . !) must believe that not only can we do it, we can do it better than those other countries, especially the shit hole countries.

But, but “God is in the details!” (Not the Devil, people, get it right!) Yes, that is true, but any details being offered up in the current campaign for president are irrelevant because they are non-binding. We can also count on doctors working to protect their earnings. We can count on Big Pharma working to protect their immense profits. We can count on actual costs going down naturally, if for no other reason than Health Insurance company profits will no longer be extracted as rents from the system (see Addendum below).

The attractive thing about Medicare for All is that it has a proven track record of service, of frugality (3% operational overhead), and acceptability. That is political thinking however.

We could either: put health insurance companies out of business or allow them to offer supplemental insurance coverage (true catastrophic insurance) or we could do what Switzerland does. All of the health insurance in Switzerland is offered by private insurance companies (thousands of them). The government, however, limits how much profit those companies be made and dictates what is covered and what is not (no more insurance company death squads). (That this is acceptable to those companies is the fact that over 4000 of them are doing that business, the profits being like they were 50-60 years ago and steady and safe, just like insurance companies used to operate.) The Swiss government also forms and reforms risk pools to make sure that the risks are shared widely. So, UH can include private insurance companies as Switzerland does or it can basically relegate them to the high risk end of the spectrum or even eliminate them.

For example, I don’t think UH should cover rare medical events, e.g. the birth of conjoined twins. If we go down the road of “Oh, we can’t let anything bad happen,” we will soon be broke. Rare, almost untreatable cancers, well, that is sad but not an obligation of the many to the few. So, I think UH should focus on the common ailments that are treatable and allow the insurance companies to sell expensive policies to those who want protection from rare life threatening diseases and accidents, e.g. ‘Every bone in his body was broken but we were able to put him back together.”

But, that’s a detail, too.

Battling out the details in a political process is a vain effort and will not inform us. All we need to know is that other countries can produce health outcomes equivalent to, or better that, ours for much less than we currently pay. This tells us that UH is something we can do. Then it is a matter of political will, and unfortunately, power politics.

Addendum Check out The American Health Care System Costs Four Times More Than Canada’s Single-Payer System (and the Public Option Won’t Help)

Here’s a taste: “The average American pays a whopping $2,497 per year in administrative costs — which fund insurer overhead and salaries of administrative workers as well as executive pay packages and growing profits — compared to $551 per person per year in Canada, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine last month. The study estimated that cutting administrative costs to Canadian levels could save more than $600 billion per year.”

“Despite the massive difference in administrative costs, a 2007 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Canada’s health authority found that the overall health of residents in both countries is very similar, though the US actually trails in life expectancy, infant mortality, and fitness.”

February 18, 2020

Stepping Back Once More—Heavenly Condominiums

Filed under: Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 12:40 pm
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Many theists I read on the Internet are claiming to want or to have a relationship with their god and that their future includes going to Heaven and being with their god for all of time remaining. This is somehow linked to their “purpose” in life, which is a strange concept simply because a purpose is a reason for doing something. Having a purpose in one’s life doesn’t give people a reason to live. It gives a reason to live in a particular fashion. I know this because people who do not have a “purpose in their life” do not automatically commit suicide.

As part of my effort to get people to take a step back from their beliefs to be able to address them a little more clearly, what happens if you take a step back from this one?

I can see why a person would want to believe this is so. An afterlife provides additional life and for most people that is a positive. For many of the very elderly life can be tedious and painful and not worth living but, we are told, in the afterlife, all of your fears and pains are wiped away and being in a god’s presence may result in an ordinary human being blissed out. Whether one can stand being in that state for any length of time is debatable but since the conditions of existence in these afterlives is anything but clear, such discussions will bear very little fruit.

But, I can see why a human being might want this state, but step back and ask “Why would a god want to hang out with you and a billion or two of your fellow travelers for ever and ever? What’s in it for the big guy? One of the properties of these gods is that they are complete in and of themselves, meaning that they need nothing and want for nothing, so there is nothing human beings in an afterlife can provide these entities to meet any kind of need, because it has none.

Would the fields of human souls waving in a heavenly breeze give a visage similar to what we take pleasure in looking at like a field of ripened wheat or spring flowers? Would we make a pretty sight? If this god the interior decorator for Heaven? But this god cannot need or want such a sight, no?

More primitive gods had needs, but as human one-upmanship progressed, our gods got less and less humanoid and more and more supernatural. So, gods with sisters and brothers and husbands had needs and this played out in spiritual dramas (consider the story of Osiris). But a monotheistic god has no siblings, parents, etc. and needs nothing from them even if they did exist, so we have kind of painted ourselves into a spiritual corner.

To answer this question with “Our god works in mysterious ways” is to punt on the question. It isn’t an answer any better than “I do not know.” And, if you don’t know, shouldn’t you want more information? People seem to buy into the, for example, Christian Afterlife™ wanting even less information that they would in choosing a retirement or assisted living home. Yes, one could trust your god to do the right thing . . . if it had a track record of doing only that, but still, shouldn’t that information be more available? Apparently it is not readily available as questions about Heaven on Quora range from “Will our pets be in Heaven with us?” to “Do we still have/get to eat?” and “What will we be doing in Heaven?” ‘What will it be like when I go to Heaven?” and “Will there be free will in Heaven?” and “Do people in Heaven hear us?” and “What does Heaven look like?” and “In Heaven is everyone pretty and thin?” and “Will there be money in Heaven?” and “Is there time in Heaven?” and so on. At least the retirement homes have brochures and web sites and contracts.

PS Some claim that you can hear the screams of anguish of those in Hell in Heaven, which would make residence in Heaven very much less pleasant. (Heck, we don’t even like freeway noise, so the screams of people who may be your friends or relatives might be unendurable.) That question should probably be added to the list.

February 16, 2020

A Little More On Consciousness

Filed under: History,Philosophy,Reason,Science — Steve Ruis @ 12:38 pm
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In a blog post (on broadspeculations.com) whether the “hard problem” of consciousness could be differentiated from the “soft problem” of consciousness, the author felt that the dichotomy was unnecessary and the main question was simply “Why am I aware?” I made a comment which I have paraphrased here:

As to “Why am I aware?” I have to believe it has to do with the evolutionary benefits of having an imagination. To benefit from an imagination we need short term memory and the ability to keep a number of things “in mind” while we do the modeling that imaginations allow us to do and survive thereby (Is the wind rustling the grass or is that a predator sneaking up on me? These are two scenarios. Long term memories are also helpful but are not at the crux of the matter.) I believe this leads logically to some form of awareness of oneself as me, myself and I am a player on the stage of my consciousness. That predator may attack me or one of my family or …

I want to expand upon this a tiny bit here.

The common example of the role imagination plays in our survival of the “predator in the grass” scenario was not created by me and I don’t remember where I first encountered it. But compare the differences in responses of a typical prey animal and a human being. The prey animal hears a suspicious rustling in the grass and immediately stops what it is doing and becomes hyper vigilant. It may stand taller (to get a better view) and prick up its ears (to hear better) and swivel around (to see what is happening in other directions). But if nothing happens in short order, it goes back to what it was doing. I have seen this interaction filmed many, many times. The stalking predator seems to have learned how much it can get away with without spooking the prey, so it performs iterations of: stalk, stalk, stalk, freeze . . . repeat. Since a great many of the times, the prey figures it out and high tails it out of there and the predator goes hungry, this approach works often enough that both species pass on their genes and survive. It is not a bad survival technique

But consider the advantage the human has. He/she hears the rustling in the grass, knows that it could be a predator which it cannot see or just a zephyr of wind. Since the penalty for a misjudgment can be severe, the human moves away from that spot, making him-/her-self a less likely prey. The cost of making a mistake in the case of there being no predator is tiny compared to the cost of making a mistake and there is a predator there.

All of these scenarios play out in human imagination. We create a simulacrum of reality in our mind and we can run experiments in it. (Imagine . . . our own personal Matrix! Pun intended.) In order to run such experiments effectively we need both long and short term memories available to us. Just observing the family dog, I am quite aware that he possess both of these memory capabilities, so us having them is no big thing. The imagination function, however is quite different. In order to make the little plays in our heads that help us evaluate the merit of various courses of action, we need to keep in mind quite a few things simultaneously. We need to know what kinds of predators might prey on us. (Being attacked by a killer field mouse would frighten no one.) We need to know something about their stalking patterns. We need to have in memory other times the wind blew the tall grass around. If we have a hunting partner or family member with us, we need to have those characters there, too. So, imagining them as well as ourselves is all part of the process.

So, a sense of self and of others, at least as a form of labeling in these imagined scenarios seems reasonable.

And the characters in our little mind plays would not all have the same degree of knowledge associated with them. We would know a great deal more about our self than about them just because we are always present and they are not.

All of these aspects of imagined scenarios leads, in my mind, to a sense of awareness of us versus anyone or anything else.

These boundaries are not at all sharp, though. I am reminded that it is likely that the idea of ghosts/spirits arose from the fact that we observed our relatives dying and being dead and buried and then we dream about them; they seem to be alive again or still. Since they are not visible when we are not asleep, we assumed they were in some sort of spirit realm or that they were now invisible or. . . . The belief in spirits of this type seems to have been universal in primitive cultures.

I will be fascinated to learn, if we can, how imagination developed as an emergent property of brains with sufficient neural connections., as that is where I think the bridge to understanding consciousness begins. And, as always, I could be dead wrong!

February 15, 2020

The Transactional Idea of Gods

Filed under: History,Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 8:36 am
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I am currently reading a wonderful book, An Atheist’s History of Belief: Understanding Our Most Extraordinary Invention by Matthew Kneale. The author paints a picture of how religion came to be that is quite compelling. He starts with a chapter entitles “Inventing Gods” which begins with a purpose for religion and that is keeping a primitive people’s worst nightmares at bay. He points out that widely dispersed cultures, which didn’t interact had a great deal in common. The commonality involved going into trance states and seeing or becoming spirit animals. In all of these cultures, these spirit animals had three basic abilities: the ability to help you when you got sick, the could also control the movement of prey animals, and they could improve the weather.

He argues that many of the cave paintings which typically are claimed to describe hunting scenes actually represent spirit animals.

The commonality of these things bears upon his claim that primitive peoples could be terrified by the three occurrences and the reassurances offered were welcomed everywhere.

The next stage in the development of gods is based upon the Theory of Mind, which is rooted in the human ability to winkle out what others are thinking without having to have them tell you that. This is a survival skill every mother taught every child when I was growing up: how to tell when an adult was being nice and how to recognize danger. Of course, having no cable TV or Internet meant our minds were busy imparting human feelings and thoughts to not just people, but other animals and even inanimate objects. We saw human points of view in anything that was important to our survival. These spirits were entities from which we could seek help just as we sought help from people. Ta da, animism!

Humans, of course, operated as many social cultures do, on a basis of reciprocity. If you do something nice for me, I will do something nice for you. Grooming is one such thing, another is a clever way to store food. When a hunter came back to camp with an antelope, the meat was often shared out with the whole tribe. If one tried to keep it, it more often than not spoiled, so sharing it out converted that meat into obligations of the other members of the tribe to share their finds when they harvested and hunted.

And, if these “spirits” or “deities” they saw all around them were helpers in case of illness, etc. then if they were going to do something for us, we needed to do something for them (reciprocity) and thus was born the idea of sacrifice.

How important people thought such sacrifices were is shown in places like Göbekli Tepe. As long ago as ten thousand years or so, maybe twelve, gigantic stone obelisks were dressed, carved and placed in a “high place” for reasons we do not fully understand, but were clearly not related to quotidian needs, but some sort of “spiritual need.” The amount of hard labor involved was immense, which is testimony to how important they thought this activity was. It apparently also took place over centuries.

The idea behind sacrifice seems clear but the manifestations of it are wide and bizarre: burying human children under the walls of a building, cutting living people’s hearts out to appease a sun god, etc.

And all of this existed and happened before there were systems for writing things down (paintings and carvings, yes, but writing, no).

Once writing came into the picture, after accounting, religious topics were most popular. And one thing is clear. In early religions, morality was not the coin with which gods were paid, it was ritual. The early religions had no heavens, no hells, pissed off gods extracted their revenge and provided rewards in the here and now. If there was an afterlife is was a gray, shambling kind of existence in a grey underworld. So, appeasing gods with sacrifices and rituals was the name of the game for a very long time.

This is about as far as I have gotten, but I didn’t want to wait to recommend this book to you. It is quite fascinating and well written and paced.


February 9, 2020

I Have to Believe

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 10:56 am
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In President Trump’s state of the union address, he singled out a school child from Philadelphia who was “trapped in a failing government school” and announced that the girl was at last getting a scholarship to attend the school of her choice. Ignoring for the moment that the term “government school” only has purchase with certain right-wing groups, it has now been made know, thanks to the Philadelphia Inquirer, that the young person under discussion has been a student in a charter school since September and that prior to that she had been in a private, for pay, Christian school (with a partial scholarship). In fact, she hadn’t been in a public school since kindergarten, and kindergartens are hard to describe as “failing government schools.”

So, I am not going to make the unnecessary claim that “The President lies!” yet again as that is unnecessary. The fascinating thing is that it is clear to me that the President did not find this young student all by himself. Someone on his staff must have orchestrated this. So, is that staffer: (a) incompetent, (b) trying to undermine the President with a set up that makes him look bad, or (c) doing exactly what is expected of him?

We all know what Mr. Trump does to people who fail to serve him as he desires, so (b) is unlikely. Option (a) is always on the table, but I think that Option (c) is the most likely explanation.

If you look at the scope of the President’s actions (not his comments, just his actions), I would suggest that maybe a few percent of those came from the President himself. The rest were created and served up by others, the enablers of Donald Trump, as it were. So, it is clear, at least to me, that the President has staff cooking up lies that are beyond his powers to create.

This has to be, just has to be, by design. As we rush about debunking fairy tales about a single Philadelphia school child, Trump’s minions are unraveling environmental regulations (CAFE standards, climate change regs, light bulbs, low flush toilets, is there anything too small to receive their attention?), banking regulations, food safety regulations, etc. I think in the future we will look back in horror at what this wrecking crew is accomplishing and the means by which they accomplished it.

Addendum When the Trump administration took over, they basically dumped all of the transition documents that had been created for them. This was an amateur move, of course, because those documents would have explained in great detail all of the things they wanted to dismantle and thus saved them a great deal of time and effort. In any case, the law requires the Trump administration to created such a process for its successor, either in about one year or five. Does anyone believe that (a) they will actually do that (their record as scofflaws is quite secure) or (b) if they actually do it, that it will help the next administration. It will be decades getting back to the point we were at before this wrecking crew swung the first wrecking ball.

February 8, 2020

The Bricklayers’ Parable

Filed under: Culture,Philosophy,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 9:54 am
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Have you heard of the Bricklayers’ Parable? If not, here it is:

* * *

The Bricklayer’s Parable
Three bricklayers are asked “What are you doing?”
The first says “I am laying bricks.”
The second says “I am building a church.”
The third says “I am building a house of god.”

The first bricklayer has a job, the second has a career, and the third has a calling.

* * *

Before I address this for the point I want to make, let’s explore what we are told. Is there anything in the text of this parable that tells you which bricklayer is more skilled? How about who works harder? Anything? There is not a single thing in the text that indicates anything of this kind but we bring certain attitudes along with us. Many of us assume that the bricklayer who just has a job is probably not doing work as good as the other two. But, I have known people who are in “skilled trades” who had a great deal of pride in doing high quality work. They hated being pushed to work faster than a high quality job required. They hated being given poor materials to work with, etc. If, at the end of a work day they felt they had done a good job, they came away feeling some satisfaction in that.

So, no, I don’t think the bricklayer who looks at his work as a job is doing any less of a quality job than the other two. He might be, but there is nothing in the text to indicate that. There is also nothing that indicates that the other two are doing less of a job.

So, What’s Your Point?
My point is that each of these three characters claims a different purpose for their work. For the first, his purpose is doing a good day’s work for a day’s pay. (A “good” day’s work is necessary or one might not have a job for long.) The second seems to be building an asset for this community (it may not even be his community, he may have driven in from a different county for this job). And the third is claiming a “higher purpose.”

Do these purposes change the job required? I can’t see how, but I guess it is possible. The relationship between bricks and mortar and taught alignment strings doesn’t seem to have even a whiff of the supernatural and I can’t think of a natural cause that would change the process of the work being done.

So, where did these purposes come from? Were they given to these three people or did they create them themselves? If they were given to them, who gave them?

My argument is that “purposes,” which are basically reasons for doing something, are sometimes given but almost always created by the person themselves. An example of one that is created by others is when parents ask their children how they are going to support themselves. This expectation of purpose may have its roots in our pay-as-you-go culture and the parents are just vehicles for its transmission. So this purpose can be considered to be given by the collective “us.” This is how we want our society to run.

Just because a purpose is pressed upon someone doesn’t mean they have to accept it. There are ne’er-do-wells in our society who have no “visible means of support,” who live through the charity of others, for example.

The bricklayer “just doing a job” has a purpose: supporting his family, putting a roof over his head, having something to eat, etc. Is this purpose any better or worse than any other?

If anyone claims they know the “purpose of life” I would grasp my wallet and walk away. That someone is making up a purpose for your life and will try to press it upon you. If you accept it, then it is indeed yours, but watch out, you may be being conned.

The third bricklayer is one of these folks. He is helping to build this building, he is not building it. He is, presumably, just laying the bricks for the walls, etc. but he will probably not be roofing the place, doing the floors, installing the windows, the HVAC, the plumbing, wiring the building, etc. He is putting on airs by saying “he is building a house of god.” And what if he were, say, a Southern Baptist by denomination and finds out after the building is finished that the church was being built for the Church of Scientology? Would he still think he built a house of god?

People who claim to know your purpose in life are putting on airs. Doing this makes them feel special, I am sure, but it is hardly something one can put any stock in it when so many people, doing the exact same thing are doing that thing for different reasons, which we call “purposes.”

You make your own. You are powerful!

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