March 31st, 2011

Doksleepless

Pure eastern philosophies often fall outside religious connotation. Which appeal to you, if any?

As has been noted previously that rather depends on your definition of religion. If it involves faith (belief without evidence) it doesn't appeal. If it invokes spirits, gods, magic or defies what is known based on fact then it doesn't appeal (save in a mythological sense). I love mythology but still, these things don't appeal as religions or philosophies.

Of the Eastern philosophies some forms of more secular Buddhism probably appeal the most, but I still have issues with the more secular versions of Buddhism. The extreme passivity, the commonality of vegetarianism and even in some of the more 'atheistic' forms the insistence of ideas about reincarnation and so forth.

I'm also not a fan of the fawning adoration for Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama when, frankly, what they had before amounted to a system of religious serfdom and there's implications in terrorism etc.

Short version, I can't think of a damn thing that is or is labelled a religion, in any sense, that appeals in any way save as a fanciful story.
Help!

As a prelude to rioting I sent this to my MP

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you because I am very, very, very concerned about the future of the NHS as reported upon in this article by Channel 4 News:http://j.mp/gJCd2C

As a self-employed small businessman I find it very hard to afford medical insurance in any case and so I am reliant upon the NHS. I also suffer from depression and while the support for mental health issues is not great on the NHS it is the only help I can afford to have and my GP is very supportive.

I also have many friends in the United States and, as such, I am intimately acquainted with the deep failings of US style private healthcare systems. They provide less adequate care and cost a great deal more as is easily seen in the league tables of cost and effectiveness. Every single healthcare system that is considered better than that of the US private system by WHO and other health concern bodies is socialised. People choose death rather than beggaring their families after they're gone, people choose to let a would or illness fester and spread because they cannot afford the drugs and care.

Healthcare is not and never will be a marketplace. Capitalism has its place, markets are positives in some arenas but pushing marketplace ideas into arenas like healthcare provision is ideological, not practical, not pragmatic and not budgetary. A healthy workforce is an effective and productive workforce - if you want to argue on productive rather than humanitarian terms. The NHS is worth paying for, it is not worth metaphorically sacrificing to the banks on the altar of Mammon.

If price is truly the problem, rather than ideological opposition, we could still provide great medical care by learning lessons from preventative care as found in South America. There are ways to save money AND provide decent standards of healthcare at the same time and they do not involve bringing in markets which, frankly, have done nothing to improve any of the privatised institutions from rail to telecommunications. A choice you can't afford is no choice at all.

I, and I think most British citizens, regard universal healthcare as an absolute requirement for a modern, civilised society and any threat to it is a step too far, a potential repeat of the Poll Tax debacle.

I haven't been out on the streets over any issues since I was much younger and the media misrepresentation and police brutality I see thanks to modern social media mean I am reticent to take to the streets to register my protest, but rest assured that if the NHS is threatened I will be joining the marches, sit ins and other protests despite having - relatively - mellowed in recent years.

Please give me your assurance that you will not vote in support of any measures that seek to privatise the NHS or infect it any further with market ideology. There's a place for such things, but healthcare is not it. The focus of healthcare should be on the patient, always, not the profit.

Yours hopefully,

James Desborough