by Kenneth Justice
~ Last night I heard about a protest going on over the subject of police violence so before I realized what was happening I was standing outside of a police station talking to a group of twelve or so people with picket signs.
First off, let me say that standing outside of a police station with a bunch of people who are yelling is a bit disconcerting. After all, I’ve seen the videos of police beating up (and choking to death!) citizens that have been popping up all over the Internet the past year. Police violence against citizens has become a major problem that our country faces, and in the midst of all this ruckus, standing outside of a police station alongside the protestors made me feel a tad bit wary regarding my safety.
While I was not holding a sign, nor was I yelling any protest…
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For those who don’t already know, I have been sort of busy lately recording and editing audio podcasts with a group of cohosts. Here is a blog with some info about it.
There are so many cohosts and they are fun to talk to. I feel a little behind on it all myself, but I have learned the basics of recording through skype, editing with audacity, and even embedding the audio into video files which I have been uploading to my youtube channel. I add them to this playlist:
Sometimes I get confused about exactly who is supposed to be posting what episodes on what days. The main thing is that we still manage to get something new out each day because each team of cohosts schedule their recording times on a calendar.
One of the members of the Vegan Atheists group on Facebook posted this and said it was free to share.
“Do you hear the screams of my friends, of my family?
Can you look into my eyes?
Can you feel my pain and loss?
I assure you I have feelings,
Our flesh is not yours,
Why do you consume it?
Our skin is not yours,
Why do you wear it?
Our milk and eggs are not yours,
Why do you eat them?
Why do you steal from us?
Where is my baby going?
I hear him crying for me,
please do not take him,
please do not kill him,
my child is everything to me,
This cage it is so small,
I have no room to move at all,
Why do you kick, punch and prod me?
Am I lesser than a human being?
My legs ache from standing,
My udders are sore,
My weary body cannot take anymore,
My wings they need to spread,
My eyes need to see the light,
My body is too large for this space,
I am getting sores all over the place,
Why do you confine me so?
What is going to happen to me?
Am I going to end up like my friend?
Hung upside down, suspended,
Her throat was slit, my eyes squeezed tight,
I wish I could run, no where to hide,
It’s my turn next, I am scared,
I shall fight the good fight,
Why should you get to end my life?
I want to thrive and live, and flourish,
Not perish at your hands,
You humans do not care for me do you?
I am nothing more than a morsel to you?
Please see this is not the way,
Life was meant to be,
You do not have to kill me,
You can see me as I see you,
We are earthlings,
I would never harm you,
Why not do the same for me?
The words I wish I could speak,
My voice goes unheard,
Your knife draws near,
I am hung for all to see,
it will be my blood on that floor,
My life will be no more,
and thousands will die after me,
with a voice yet to be heard,
We are finally free, finally free.” – Ashley Farmer
I came across an incredible article the other day, which perfectly sums up my thoughts on human responsibility. I remember this topic was something I wrestled with when I was a Christian long before I started to experience any serious doubts. It’s often conflated with the ‘free will vs. determinism’ debate, but the subject of human responsibility or blameworthiness is a slightly different issue.
I hope you get a chance to read it, as it’s well worth your time. This topic has important implications for our justice system, as well as for society as a whole.
The crux of the issue is whether humans can truly be blamed for their actions. Or more specifically, whether a person’s actions can make them worthy of punishment. I take the stance that the writer of the article, neuroscientist David Eaglemen takes: vengeance and retribution should play no part in…
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