Are Humans Innately Good?

There’s a lot of discussion, debate, and memes surrounding the nature of man and I decided to write out my thoughts on a specific question I find myself pondering sometimes and again: are humans innately good, or evil?

But this phrasing presents a false dichotomy between two extremes whereas the truth is probably somewhere in the middle and more nuanced. Some people are driven to commit heinous acts and compelled beyond reason by their own biology, which essentially makes them inherently evil by nature.

Yet, some twin studies have shown that amoral compulsions may manifest differently depending on their environment: the compulsion to cut, for instance, could lead one twin to become a serial killer and the other a surgeon.

Instead of asking “What is the nature of man?” or “Is human nature inherently good, or evil?” some psychologists believe it may be more productive to ask “What is the nature of power?” The Stanford prison experiment and similar psychological experiments along with the historical hindsight, documentation, and subsequent analysis of events like the Holocaust share the commonality of a top-down progression of evil: those with authority and power can more easily persuade, or command subordinates to commit acts of cruelty.

Interestingly though, more recent studies have revealed that the neurotransmitter oxytocin, which is important in the formation of trust, mother infant bonding, and intimacy during sex, is also released when committing, or watching an act of cruelty against someone from an out-group. This certainly seems to suggest that human beings are biologically coded to enjoy sadism in at least some capacity. But remember, we’re also biologically coded to love.

The evidence indicates we have the innate capacity for both good and evil; our brains are wired to enjoy love and intimacy along with cruelty. But, to what degree? Is the average human being 60% good and 40% evil? Is it 50/50? While it’s difficult to quantify, it may be enlightening to ask if other animals are innately good or evil, since we are just animals after all. Observations have shown creatures ranging from ants to primates are able to perform acts of altruism for fellow group members, but also violence and seemingly actual cruelty towards out-group members. Many animals compete for things like mates and social influence within in their own group, but these actions are usually limited to aggressive displays of dominance, or at the very least the conflict subsides before lethality. It makes sense to occasionally compete with in-group members while limiting the mortality as it allows more favorable traits to be passed onto to future generations without diminishing the genetic diversity of the group as a whole. At the same time it makes sense to lethally compete with out-groups over limited resources needed for survival.

So what does all this mean? Well the answers aren’t as simplistic as the question. We’re animals, we’re innately capable of altruism and cruelty, and we’re easily manipulated and often situationally dependent.  Perhaps one reason it’s difficult to see the good in this world is because the good isn’t often a spectacle; it’s the default setting of civilization where nothing is really going on because most people are good enough to the point where they just want to live and let live. But every time the terrorists inevitably shoot up another school, or church, or whatever, there are literally hundreds of thousands of people willing to aid, comfort, or to help the injured and first responders however they can.

Unfortunately, the situationally dependent and easily manipulated parts of us are being exploited and the regular quiet of the world seems to be eroding. Otherwise good people are following the examples of their respective leaders and advocates who have made it acceptable to openly mock children who were shot. The Parkland Students and those who’ve taken up the same cause have been dehumanized as political enemies: liberals, leftists, snowflakes, libtards, cucks, and the list goes on. When a good chunk of the population and people in charge have not just a lack of empathy, but disdain for kids were who gunned down during school that’s dangerous.

Mankind’s inherent moral flaw isn’t that we’re inherently evil, or even that we have a dualistic nature, it’s that we’re mostly neutral until the winds of fate push us one way or the other.

~David T.K.~

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He Works Hard For the Money… So Hard For The Money

I know it’s been awhile since I posted, but I started a new job and was a little, ok a lot, distracted for the last 2 weeks. I’ve been on testosterone for 2 months now (5 shots so far) still at 80 mg and will probably go up next visit, depending on my bloodwork.  Physical changes: most noticeable is my voice, getting deeper every day… I LOVE IT. Before I hated the sound of my own voice, now I talk just to hear myself :). Peach fuzz on the face increasing and definitely some hair on my belly….. Woo. My waist is starting to appear more “box like,” less hour glass and the acne is still there, UGH. Mentally, well, I feel this giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can live how I always wanted to…. As myself because as someone once told me “I’m beautiful in this way, because God makes no mistakes, I’m on the right track baby, I WAS BORN THIS WAY”- Lady Gaga

Speaking of work, coming out at work….. It scares me to death. Although gender identity is protected under equal opportunity RI is an “at will” state meaning that your employer can fire you for any reason, and not tell you. I cannot confirm this happened to me because I don’t have any hard evidence, but then again if they don’t need to give you a reason it would be hard to have any evidence. Coming out to your family and friends is one thing, but coming out at work WHOLE DIFFERENT BREED. Like any other red-blooded adult, the transgender person has bills to pay. Hard to do with no job.

Just to put it into perspective here’s some fancy facts for you:

2017 Workplace Equality Fact Sheet

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Workplace Discrimination at a Glance:

Well, I thought new job, new start. Yes that’s right I came out at work to my boss, who was completely cool with it. I told him he would start to notice changes, since I am already. Most of my coworkers know but not all, and that’s ok, in time they too will notice something is not quite the same anymore and I am fully prepared for those conversations. But I’m still scared to death. “At will,” what a horrible loophole.

Coming out at work, there really is no advice I can give. Other than stay strong, stand by your convictions, and never apologize for who you are. And yes, you will have to come out more than once at work, it’s ok sometimes it takes a second, or a third, or a fourth, time to sink in. I work hard, no matter the industry I am in. Working is what drives my day, and yes, pays my bills. Working is a part of who I am.

There is no right way or wrong way to do it. All I can say is I’m glad I did it.

 

~Jay Barnette~

Original content from: https://thepadiwanjourney.blogspot.com

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The Royal Harvest And Other Updates

034As this Long Night continues, especially now as more than half of each day is consumed in darkness and still drawing shorter, as cold winds howl in the night, I find it difficult to continue existing amidst constant adversity, financial instability, fascism, and mass extinction.

Still, We persist! So, I shall now share with you the summary of our first harvest and any updates of note!

Through the Spring and Summer We maintained a total of five garden beds and a number of large pots at two locations constituting the Royal Multi-Locational Urban Farming Cooperative.  Most plants did well, so well, in fact, We could not consume all the produce and recycled into compost for next season. We harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, a few corn stalks, basil, carrots, chives, pickled some of the cucumbers (though we’re still waiting to try them), made pesto from the basil,  fried the green beans as a side for dinners, and made some corn chowder too. The experience had its challenges as well, like keeping wildlife and pets out of the gardens, learning what does well and where, and watering much of it without a hose.

 

IMG_0354

Royal Recycling Boxes

The Royal Recycling Initiative has been slow to develop, but successful to date. This season We crafted small planters from old tin cans and decorated First Hearth while nurturing Spring seedlings from the yard to see what they grew into along with some flowers and herbs. After the completing the first batch of cans We found ways to refine the process further by utilizing paints and waterproof coating already purchased for other projects, but rarely completely used, thus minimizing the resources required and wrapping the cans in newspaper to recycle/upcycle more materials while creating a smoother surface to paint images upon instead of monochrome.

023Another aspect of the R.R.I. has been the collection of aluminum cans to be melted down and cast into various object. After a number of attempts and forge designs We have managed to melt over 100 cans into bar shaped ingots of (mostly) pure aluminum.  We’re always refining the process: switching from briquette charcoal to all natural lump charcoal; improving forge design and efficiency; reducing and recovering as much aluminum from waste dross.

However, work and rest take the most time while life and bills makes it difficult to supply funding to the Royal Treasury. Too few fires, only one short yard sale, and less than both expected and desired growth while disappointing, We still feel incredibly proud of the amount We did accomplish. And though it’s growing slowly, the amount collected for the treasury has funded a number of projects and acted as a personal, low interest bank which seems to have added some legitimacy to this project in the eyes of a few family members when it came in handy for meeting bills on time.

Now, with roughly a year of experience, of seeing what worked, what didn’t and how We can do it all better, We shall plan out the coming year through the winter while the temperatures , snow, and darkness force all work to require more effort and draw us indoors towards hearth and flame. The Revolution has already begun and come the Spring We’ll be ready to do more and do it better!020

~Justonius Rex~

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Transgender And Religion

FaithSymbolsToday was my 4th shot of testosterone. As of right now I am dosing every 2 weeks at 80 mg. It’s not much, but they start you small. We don’t need any incredible hulk monsters running around now do we?

I’ve noticed some physical changes: voice cracking a little and slightly lower pitch, more peach fuzz on my face, oily skin and some acne. Mentally I feel a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’m not walking around with a “doom and gloom” cloud over my head all the time.

Ok, onto the serious stuff: transgender and religion. Once upon a time I was told that there were “no religions that accept changing of the sexes”. Hmm, good point, so I did what I do best, RESEARCH. I was raised Catholic after all, but don’t worry I will go through every religion I can think of for my curiosity and because I love proving a point.

There are a lot of religions out there. The most dominate being Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as Abrahamism, are a group of Semitic-originated religious communities of faith that claim descent from the practices of the ancient Israelites and the worship of the God of Abraham. The term derives from a figure in the Bible known as Abraham.

Abrahamic religions have creation stories in which God creates people, “male and female” (Ref: 1,2). This is sometimes interpreted as a divine mandate against gender variance. The Torah contains specific prohibitions on cross-dressing (3) and damaged genitals (4).

  1. Genesis 1:27–1:27 “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
  1. Quaran 75:39 “And made of him a pair, the male and female.” 
  1. Deuteronomy 22:5–22:5 “A woman shall not wear a man’s apparel, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for whoever does such things is abhorrent to the Lord your God.” 
  1. Deuteronomy 23:1–23:1 “No one whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.”

Ok Jay, fancy stuff, but what does it all mean? I’ll start with Judaism. Orthodox Judaism views the sexes as two separate categories, male and female. There is no room for transgender. Sex-change operations involving the removal of genital organs are forbidden on the basis of the prohibition against “anything which is mauled, crushed, torn or cut” (Lev. 22:24).  Cross-dressing is seen as a crime against god (see above Deut 22:5). Hasidic Judaism has gender specific roles and therefore transgendered are not recognized. Conservative Judaism has mixed views. In 2016 the Rabbinical Assembly, which is the international association of Conservative rabbis, passed a “Resolution Affirming the Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People”. Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism have had positive views on the transgender community, even allowing them to become members of the clergy.

Christianity, oh my favorite, I was raised Catholic but am no longer practicing and you will see why in a second. While answering questions about marriage and divorce, Jesus says that “there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.”(Matthew: 19)

Christian Denominations that allow transgender clergy: there are 30.

The Old Catholic Church has been affirming and welcoming of transgender members. Old

Catholic and Independent Catholic churches have been accepting of the LGBT community in general, (https://www.advocate.com/politics/religion/2013/10/03/alternative-way-be-catholic-and-lgbt).  In 2014, one of the first transgender priests was ordained in the Old Catholic Church (https://religionnews.com/2014/11/17/living-authentically-transgender-priest-christian-church/).

Now, I’m no priest, nor do I claim to be a theological expert, BUT, I don’t see anything to validate the lack of belonging to a denomination if you are transgender. Yes, those silly Catholics, so judgmental aren’t they? If your catholic I apologize. According to the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 23:1) you are forbidden from religious assemblies.  Other denominations that welcome transgender members and ordain transgender people in ministry are the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

In 2015, the Vatican declared that transgender Catholics cannot become godparents, stating in response to a transgender man’s query that transgender status “reveals in a public way an attitude opposite to the moral imperative of solving the problem of sexual identity according to the truth of one’s own sexuality” and that, “therefore it is evident that this person does not possess the requirement of leading a life according to the faith and in the position of godfather and is therefore unable to be admitted to the position of godfather or godmother,”

(http://www.newsweek.com/vatican-transgender-godparents-368142).

I know what you’re going to say, MOST Christian denominations do not accept gender transition. And you’re right, MOST, BUT NOT ALL. So we are both right in that sense that there are some religions that accept me and some that do not. I have options.

So what about Islam?

I found some interesting reading to answer that question:

The Effeminates of Early Medina, Everett K. Rowson, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 111, No. 4 (Oct. – Dec., 1991), pp. 671-693

“In Islam, the term mukhannathun is used to describe gender-variant people, usually male-to-female transsexuals. Neither this term nor the equivalent for “eunuch” occurs in the Quran, but the term does appear in the Hadith, the sayings of Muhammad, which have a secondary status to the central text. Within Islam, there is a tradition on the elaboration and refinement of extended religious doctrines through scholarship. This doctrine contains a trans-positive passage by the scholar and hadith collector Al-Nawawi: A mukhannath is the one (“male”) who carries in his movements, in his appearance and in his language the characteristics of a woman. There are two types; the first is the one in whom these characteristics are innate, he did not put them on by himself, and therein is no guilt, no blame and no shame, as long as he does not perform any (illicit) act or exploit it for money (prostitution etc.). The second type acts like a woman out of immoral purposes and he is the sinner and blameworthy.”

Ok that’s a lot to take in, and I could keep going on the Dharmic Religions (Hinduism, Buddhism) and African Religion, Chinese, Neopaganism, Shinto, but I won’t as I am long-winded enough already.

I will say this about Buddhism:

“Ananda is a beloved figure in Buddhist cultures, noted for having been handsome, charismatic, and sympathetic to women, as well as for his tender emotionality. Among Thai Buddhists, he has long been regarded as having been a transgendered person in a previous life, and also to have taken a number of births as a woman,” (https://books.google.com/books?id=nGoag6b3JvYC&pg=PA303#v=onepage&q&f=false).

Buddhists do not distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual identities as they can be conducive to spiritual growth. For them it is about creating your path to enlightenment and doing unto others as you would do to yourself.

Am I religious? For the most part I believe in karma. I believe that God exists for the simple reason that I have seen the existence of evil while serving in the military. Logically if there is evil, there must be good and vice versa. I don’t believe that God hates me, nor anyone in the transgender community, Jesus preached love. For me, love is love, and who I am does not change how the big man upstairs will judge me. Anyone that thinks otherwise, well you can answer to God when you see her.

 

~Jay Barnette~

Original content from: https://thepadiwanjourney.blogspot.com

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The Gaslit Generation

Never before in human history has a generation experienced gas lighting on the scale millennials have.

Our parents and teachers told us we had go to college and that everyone has to take out some loans, but we’d get a good job and make more money overall.

Millennials are infantilized by the media despite nearing their 30’s and 40’s then dismissed as teenagers who don’t know anything.

When we don’t get married, don’t have children, don’t buy a home it’s because we’ve failed to mature and adjust to the real world, not because of stagnant wages, wage theft, internships, trickle-down economics, profit hoarding coupled with rising costs and massive debt.

Businesses cry murder by millennial, but don’t pay their millennial workers enough to shop, or eat where they work, let alone pay rent.

Climate change is decried a hoax and flatly ignored by mainstream networks while we are now living in the beginning of the 6th mass extinction and extreme weather is the new normal.

There’s never enough money for healthcare, or education, and we’re selfish for asking, not the Fortune 500 CEO’s and their billion dollar tax cuts.

When a cop shoots an unarmed man in the back, or in their house, or chokes them to death, and we demand justice, we’re told the officer is a victim and that police are afraid to do their jobs because they might go viral.

When rapists are caught on video in the act, or lying to cover it up after the fact, we need to think about their futures on the college swim team, the Supreme Court, and how hard these allegations have been for them and their families.

There are men trying to kill us and take everything we’ve ever worked for, a genocide by attrition of minorities and the poor, and we’re told we need to stop being tribal.

 

~D.T. Kukulkan~

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My Reflection And Rejection

MulanJB“Look at me.

I may never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter.

Can it be,

I’m not meant to play this part?

Now I see, that if I were truly to be myself,

I would break my family’s heart.”

I identified with the character of Mulan in ways, at the time, I didn’t think possible. I never had a name for it, you know, transgender. Unhappy as a girl and the role set out for her because of her gender you see Mulan come into her own when she poses as a man. Now, I know what you’re thinking, Mulan is not transgender, what the hell you getting at Jay? Bear with me on this, I’ll get to it. No she’s not transgender, but the movie is up for interpretation. My interpretation, then and now, is that it’s about having to live up to expectations of family even though nothing represents who you are as an individual person; having to go along with their wishes and hiding your real identity because you’re scared they may not accept you for who you are; always having this nagging feeling within you every time you see yourself in a mirror or a photo. Who is that? That’s not me. I don’t want to be that person anymore.

Coming out to your family and loved ones is not easy. There is no right, or wrong way to do it. Rejection is something we all fear. Human beings are social creatures and the fear of loneliness can keep us awake for days. Hiding who I really am literally sent me to the hospital three times. I was having chest pains and no cause was found. So, I went to the next best thing, my therapist. Sometimes your stress can manifest itself in the body, ignore it long enough and it will show itself in ways you never thought possible. Stress, depression, and anxiety can be toxic. Being told “We do not accept you as a transgendered man,” is probably the hardest thing to hear. I don’t expect acceptance overnight. I hope one day all of those in my life can look at me the way I see my reflection in the mirror, as a loyal, honest, and good man.

My advice, it may or may not work, is to sit your family down and talk to them. Just be honest, don’t sugarcoat it, no sarcasm, straight to the point. The most important thing to remember is to be true to yourself. Not everyone in your life will accept you. Maybe one day some of them will come around, maybe not. I am open and honest with all around me. If they don’t like it, well too bad at this point, I’m tired of hiding and I’m awesome!  Why would I want to hide that? Hiding led to depression, and like I said in earlier blogs, suicidal ideations. Suicide is the number one cause of death in the LGBTQ+ community. Never be ashamed of who you are, be proud. If your family rejects you – and yes, it’s possible that people who raised you may not accept you – surround yourself with those who do love you no matter what, people who see you for who you are.

As of May 22, 2018 (my first shot of testosterone), I will not hide who I am anymore. Come what may, I am a transgendered man just writing a blog about my journey and random stuff I like to talk about it. A friend of mine in the Army once told me something about holding a grudge, holding onto the anger. He said “If they don’t sleep with you, and they don’t pay your bills, they don’t matter.” I heard this again from Rupaul, one of the best drag queens ever, “Unless they paying your bills, pay them b@#$% no mind” So, to heck with the haters and surround yourself with positivity and love.

 

~Jay Barnette~

Original Content From: https://thepadiwanjourney.blogspot.com

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Communication: Talk, Talk, Talk

The mood swings: I started to notice them a couple of days before it’s time for my shot of testosterone. I get moody, aggressive even, not physical, but I can explode.  Currently I’m on 50mg every two weeks – that’s not a lot, but they start you low and you work your way up – and I’ve been going to the doctor more in a month then I have in my lifetime. I’ve also become more sensitive since starting the testosterone. For someone who did not learn how to handle emotions as a kid, this is quite a sight. However, since I did attend therapy for my trauma, something I recommend to everyone who has ever experienced any kind of trauma whether it be physical, mental, or both. Get help. Don’t hold it in. I can speak from experience bottling it up will only lead you down a very bad path, to the dark side (star wars references will happen with me). So, therapy helped me with processing my emotions and using coping skills. One of those skills was writing it out (oh, the irony).

Finding a support system and having the right person to talk to are key. The main person in my support system (but not the only) is my wife. She is my partner and my best friend. I am sure that this transition is not easy on her – I started my physical transition almost three years into our marriage. But, she has known since the beginning that I am a man and when I was ready to start the journey, to simply let her know. Communication is also key. Communication with your other half is crucial, it doesn’t matter the subject just talk to each other and always be honest with both your partner and yourself.

I tell my wife everything: the physical changes I’m going through, even when I’m feeling moody. Things are changing for both of us so, it’s vital for us to make sure the other knows what is going on.

Communication has never been my strength. I am reliable, loyal, will work to the bone for you. But, communicating what is going on in my head, not so much. The part I struggled (ok, still struggle with a little bit) is that it feels like there are a million voices in my head talking all at once. Sounds crazy? Well it is but, it isn’t. Everyone has those little voices in their head. It’s called your conscience. Your personality traits are there too. If you’ve seen the movie “Inside Out” then you know what I’m talking about. Let me just say that movie hit personality theory out of the ball park. Everything was completely accurate and on point. Excuse the nerd in me, I did minor in psychology after all and I gushed when I saw that movie and actually recalled what I learned. Who says you forget everything when you graduate? Not this guy.

 

~Jay Barnette~

Original Content From: https://thepadiwanjourney.blogspot.com

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