Jesus, Mohammad, Vishnu or Zeus are not gods or prophets. All constructed religious systems have been proven to be wrong. Lets take some Christians statements as an example. It is proven that the man derived from monkeys, it is proven that the earth is not flat, it is proven that the earth rotates around the sun.
Christianity is just an example, all the religions are full of wrong statements, and most of them are so incoherent that several people preach different things within the same religion.
Religions made sense in the past. Historically it was very hard to disprove religions, especially if you were not literate, like the majority of the world population. Plus religions where used to define culture and they where often expanded mainly through military conquest. Religions are in a sense a practical way to assert influence over a region.
Some reasons why people still believe in religions nowadays:
Limits on your knowledge? Some people stick to religions saying: I do not exactly believe in (whatever people around you believe) but I do think there is some other God out there, beyond my and your comprehension. Instead of putting God in whatever thing you do not understand, would not be more honest and easier to think: I simply do not know/understand.
Meaning of life? You should figure it out what is your meaning, do not expect God intervention for that. I can give you few hints: the meaning of your existence is to preserve your life, improve your living condition, and procreate, hopefully more than one kid.
Life after death? Religions might give you some false hopes. The truth is that you will most likely decompose, and hopefully your legacy will leave after you.
Unlike things you do not decide such as: age, sex, race etc… It is ok to judge people based on religious believe. It is ok to believe whatever you want to believe. But if I find it absurd, than you should be prepared to be judged.
I personally judge religious people at the same level as flat earthers. They both just do not want to see the truth.
People should not be judged based on things that they do not decide, like skin tone, sex preferences, age, birth location etc… Apparently people are proud for something they never did or accomplish. I am proud to be gay, I am proud to be black, I am proud to be a man or woman.
A small off topic consideration, there is not such thing as a clear distinction between skin tones. There are thousand of genes contributing your skin tone. Sun exposure changes your skin tone. Therefore, there is not a clear distinction between black and white people.
What I see is deep insecurities, weak people seeking recognition or simply spot lights.
Tell me what you accomplished in life, where do you want to go, what are you trying to achieve. If you put a lot of emphasis on who you are, than keep in mind that there are probably a lot of people like you, and therefore you are not that interesting.
Preaching about your problems or political campaigns, really annoys people. Immediately alarm bells ring every time somebody is trying to convince me about whatever topic. I know that this statement might annoy some people, but the best way to seek recognition is to be a nice person, if there is no violence involved.
Plus if you are or were nice and useful to other people, than you would have something to be proud of, and most likely you will have all the recognition you deserve.
Big disclaimer, in general I do not personally care about people race, sex and age. I try to treat every person fairly.
I keep on earing that racism is bad. If so many people are racist there should be a good evolutionary explanation why it is so.
People coming from different places (villages, tribes etc…), could potentially bring diseases or destruction. Therefore, it was in the common interest of the tribe, to have some skeptical individuals, which want to keep similar people around. By similar I do not mean only racially similar, but culturally similar, same language, religion, tradition etc…
It was not unusual in the past to get diseases from outsiders or to be conquered and than enslaved. What often starts with innocent trade generally ended with death and subjugation. Therefore, people where selected to be suspicious of outsider and therefore racists.
Plus most of people tends to favorite people that are close to them. Given the same skill level, you are most likely would hire your cousin over a total stranger.
Now my interpretation of history:
Slaves where generally taken with conquest. If you can get power militarily or economically, then you have access to slaves. The majority of people did not consider humans of different races as inferior, but slaves as inferior.
Now if the sun is intense, then people with a dark skin tone are more fit to work in fields. The Trans-Atlantic slave trade involved mostly black people. That was not a racial problem but an economical one. Economic and not racism is generally the reason for slavery. Slaves were resources, civilizations needed slaves to run the economy, and therefore, people organized military campaigns to get human labor elsewhere.
Hitler and Jews. I personally do not think that the problem there was racial but economical. Jews are different from Arians but not that different. Black people or eastern (Chinese, Japanese etc..) races look more different than Arians. Jews were persecuted first because they were richer in average. Racism was the official reason they where persecuted but not the practical reason.
Racism is almost always the outcome, and almost never the cause. Instead of fighting racism, which is embedded in human nature after millions of years of evolution, we should understand what are the underlying economical problems in our society.
It is not illegal to avoid taxes, rich people avoid taxes all the time.
Capital gain is generally lower than income tax in most countries. This is because most of the people earn their money with wages and not by selling stuff. Therefore, the first way to avoid taxes is to earn more money buying and selling things.
If you do not sell, then you are not taxed. Rich people avoid taxes accumulating valuable stuff (stocks, properties, art, cryptocurrencies etc…). If the stuff you buy goes up in value, you earn unrealized gains, and therefore you do not have to pay taxes if you just hold.
The third legal way is to get loans against the valuable stuff you have. The loan terms are lower than paying taxes. And the money you get with loans are not taxed.
Furthermore, if you are rich and the taxes are unfavorable in your country, then you can just leave. If you are poor and you do not have much money, than you need and must to be a good citizen and pay your taxes.
Tax is like every other market if you can access it. Is it worth paying your amount of taxes in exchange of education, justice, healthcare, protection? How does your state compete with their tax system and their services?
Cults are always the practical way on how to impose subjugation.
To belong in a cult you must: Believe in what other people believe. Say what everybody say. Do what everybody is doing. Dress as everybody is dressed. Idealize people above you.
Cults are everywhere. Lets make some examples.
All religious institutions
And many other weird stuff…
A good way to start being a sheep is to identify yourself with what you do or what you like. Here a few examples:
If you eat vegetables than call yourself a vegetarian. If you support women rights than call yourself a feminist. If you want equal distribution of resources than call yourself a communist. If you listen to punk music than call yourself a Punk.
To stop thinking like a sheep you should draw a clear distinction between what do you think and who you are. Therefore, stop seeking the meaning of your existence in external groups.
It is easy and lame to box everything like a sheep, just base all your world view on unquestioned preconcerts. You are a “old” “white” “woman” “western” “blonde” and therefore you must be … You are a “black” “African” “man” “with tattoo” and therefore you must be … Everything outside those rigid mental schemes are normal and not weird anomalies.
The sheep are at the base of every cult, and if the leaders are charismatic enough the sheep can do anything for them.
The most eye opening example for me is Jonestown 1978 where 909 people committed suicide mostly voluntarily.
Accept who you are as an individual and stop seeking a false sense of belonging.
Very seldom we tell other people that they are cute when they eat, poop or run around!
People that love their pets have generally the power of life and death over their life. They separate puppies from their mothers right after they are born. Then they generally get castrated and put in leashes or cages for the rest of their life.
I keep hearing excuses such as:
But the dog and cat are happy living with me! I make sure that my pet is taken good care of! The dog follows me anywhere and happy when I get home!
Like the pets ever had a choice. I would be happy to see my master too if he/she is the only thing I know and my only chance of survival.
I understand people using animals to achieve some goals, like food production milk, meat, eggs, honey etc. I understand people using animals to guard properties, to ride around, keep rats or other pests under control or something somewhat beneficial.
What I do not understand is people that “love” their pets, while putting them in complete subjugation.
Against all hygienic norms, kissing cats and dogs is somewhat normal as well as sleeping with animals in the same bed.
By any means take responsibly for your pets. If you have animals take care of them. Do not see them as things you love, see them for what they are… animals.
By the way it should be obvious but it is worth mentioning. People are animals too.
Take care of animals, and try to not subjugate just for your not corresponded love for them.
What is your job? When it comes to that question my general answer is to manage my resources: time, money, connections.
I like to think that if what you do is useful and meaningful, than money can be a natural outcome from your work.
Do work that matter for people who care. “Seth Godin” And I would add to that: you should care about your work and about the people you serve.
Does the job you currently do give you meaning or motivation? Is money the only motivation to keep on going?
I believe most people live deeply unsatisfying lives. They are stuck with responsibilities, upcoming payments, habits, maintaining social status, debt.
First advise I would give to someone that feels stuck is to stop wasting time. Stop consuming content that does not benefit you directly. TV, books, songs etc… Stop living your life as a compulsive consumer. You should invest your time to produce, improve, work on yourself, relax and to be with people that you care about you.
Second advise would be to reach a point where you gain leverage. Get out of debt and get enough money to take decisions in life. Save and invest. If you do not have a positive cash flow than you do not have many choices in life. If you do not own any asset, you have nothing. Inflating currency give you leverage but it will be worthless in the long term.
Third advise is to find things you like, and build on them. Consistency is the key. Focus your effort on few projects, and work on them as your life depends on them. It takes a lot of time, effort and resources to make things happen. Therefore, money can not be the only motivation, money should be one of the outcomes. It takes consistency and work to make change happen.
Fourth advise consider risk and rewards for every decisions. Do not change radically your life on the premise of future change, analyze objectively the risk/reward for every situation.
Fifth advise think for yourself. Do not do things just because everybody does them. Stop caring about social expectations. Your look, things you own, and things you want to do are fine if you are ok with them. It is ok to do not fit within a group. If you want to be free, do not let any material thing own you (house, car, Disney+, etc…) Or any expectation dictate what you want to be.
Sixth advise, take responsibility. If you want meaning for your work and life in general, be responsible, take ownership of successes and failures. Failure is a fundamental part of life, and it is the biggest opportunity for future successes.
Big disclaimer, I know there are many motivated professors and researchers that do a wonderful job, and push humanity forward with their contribution. I have great admiration for those people. Plus, I think that the research world has done more positive than negative overall.
Having said that, I will generalize by saying that: I believe that the research businesses is rotten and broken beyond repair.
Why do we need to pay to access the research when most of the publications are publicly founded? Why do researchers pay 2000-3000 dollars to publish open access articles? Reviewers do not get paid for their work, after all.
What service do actually research journal provide? The review process takes mounts in average to read a 8 page article, and at the end reviewers come back to you giving in general a mediocre feedback. In the meanwhile you can just hope that the paper gets accepted, since you can not resend your paper to another journal.
The only value I see in scientific journals is not the scientific community behind, but it is the artificial cite score, which is the only metric to judge the quality of my work.
Every researcher is forced to publish even if the results are mediocre. And the results need to be good and not bad. Research leading nowhere is a useful and honest outcome that should deserve a proper publication outlet. Researchers can generally get away with rubbish work. What you need is a complex mathematical proof full of new symbols, which I bet 90% of readers (including reviewers) will not bother to read. Furthermore, if you want to publish, make straightforward achievements incomprehensible, cite a lot of recent work (preferably from the journal you intend to publish), put on some beautiful graph and derive obvious conclusions.
In my straightforward view, it is useless to provide a complex mathematical model if it is not translated into working code. If you are modelling anything, you probably should not only do the calculations as Newton or Galileo did.
And then we can ponder… Why research is fallen behind industry?