MacDonald Mark

Waterloo, Canada

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Comments & conversations

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MacDonald Mark
Posted over 3 years ago
Cannabis legalization; Are we in the middle of a global paradigm shift?
In what way do you think it would be bad for the economy? It seems to me that re-legalizing cannabis is a sound economic decision. It would eliminate the wasteful costs of criminalization while effectively legitimize a multi-billion dollar industry and open it to the economy rather than the black market. Yes it would be fair to assume that public health costs would be involved but there is no evidence to suggest that it would be anywhere close to tobacco or alcohol.
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MacDonald Mark
Posted over 3 years ago
Do you believe in the Law of Attraction?
Hello to you Colleen Like I mentioned earlier, I don't discount the concept of positive thought/energy/whatever you want to call it. I don't think it's scientifically verifiable, but if I had to guess I would say there is some degree of truth to the concept in reality. My point is that it is intellectually dishonest to consider this concept to be "The Secret" to life as the commercially popular book suggests. Taking your personal story Colleen, remarkable as it is... you would concede that there have also been cases where victims of traumatic brain injury fail to live up to prognosis despite tremendous effort and positive energy on their own part and the part of their families. Life isn't that simple. We are all at the mercy of circumstance to one degree or another (despite our efforts to "attract" positive circumstances); the "birth lottery" is the easiest to comprehend example of this. With that all being said this concept is certainly not a harmful one to base a personal sense of spirituality over or follow as an existential "rule", if one is so inclined to.
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MacDonald Mark
Posted over 3 years ago
Do you believe in the Law of Attraction?
Surely you are not suggesting that an issue like hunger is brought on by negative thinking on the part of the individual? I'm not discounting the merrit of positive/negative thinking. But to suggest major issues in life can be effectively solved by simply thinking positively and "attracting" good thoughts or whatever is naieve to say the least.
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MacDonald Mark
Posted over 3 years ago
Is the mass media telling us how to think?
In my mind, Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent even 20+ years after it was written offers the best insight into how the mass media really works in America. It's essential reading to anybody interested in the subject. As others have suggested, the best way to combat media bias and corporatism is approach every bit of news you see with a healthy level of skepticism.
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MacDonald Mark
Posted over 3 years ago
Do you believe in the Law of Attraction?
I reckon the millions of starving folks in this world would contest this concept based on their lived experiences. I'm sure they have all done their best to attract food to their bellies with thier thoughts, but with no luck.
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MacDonald Mark
Posted over 3 years ago
Do we need to have a discussion with our Governments about the proper roles and, duties of government?
In the case of the United States, their government has been completely poisoned by their own political culture. I think that this can't be forgotten when you access the state of the US government. To answer the questions: 1. To represent and protect the interests of their citizens is a good short hand definition I'd say. 2. If you go by my definition than 100% yes and this should be obvious to anybody. 3. To ensure/protect basic individual rights under law; represent the greater interest for all their citizens (not just some) 4. I think the internet and new communications technologies clearly are enabling citizens to hold governments more accountable and I think things are moving to this. "Coding a better Government"
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MacDonald Mark
Posted over 3 years ago
Do you think people are natually good or evil?
I'd say we clearly have the capacity for both. Discussing what comes more natural almost seems irrelevant. It's more complicated than that. I like to think of this old question as a paradox We as individual and collective rational actors *should* always choose good because the contrast between the two has never been more clear with the exchange of media. And yet still, plenty of evil and atrocious things take place in all the earth's nations even the developed "first world" ones albeit at much less of a rate than third world counterparts..
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MacDonald Mark
Posted over 3 years ago
Is Islam tolerent religion or not?and do you think that Muslims are isolated?
There is no merit to single out Islam as a militant religion when the fact is that all major religions have militant histories. Christians were responsible for a remarkable amount of what we would label today as terrorism and war crimes throughout Europe during the middle ages. Even the west have dealt with fringe Christian militancy in modern times like the mentioned example of the KKK. Timothy McVeigh is another name that comes to mind. The Jewish state of Israel currently militantly oppresses the Palestinians effectively on the basis of ancient religious dogmas. SO I would propose that the very premise of one religion being more or less tolerant and militant than others is a faulty one. Islam has been singled out as a militant religion by the western media since the September 11th 2001 attacks, this is quite obvious in hindsight and not entirely difficult to understand. That is all neither here nor there the point is that we have a political model where all religions are tolerated and granted freedom (secularism) and it has had a reasonably successful track record thus far. It should be promoted more.
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MacDonald Mark
Posted over 3 years ago
Is Islam tolerent religion or not?and do you think that Muslims are isolated?
The issue is the same with all religions that follow ancient texts and dogmas; the old books are open to a great degree of interpretation because of the rampant contradictions that exist in the Bible or the Quran or the Torah. As society progresses, it becomes harder and harder to reconcile the old and archaic bits of religion with the reality of modern day society. This inevitably results in intolerance and/or isolation. Islam isn't unique in this problem the same issues exist with Christianity and Judaism. Secularism gives us the best chance at people of all religions co-existing and happy under the same proverbial roof. It doesn't necessarily reconcile the archaic bits of religions though eventually the religions have to own those and move past them (i.e- Certain delusional religious folks in America trying to get fiction taught as science in public schools as "creationism").
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MacDonald Mark
Posted over 3 years ago
"If you can't win, change the rules." this is what we should do with financial crisis.
Neoliberal economic thinking needs to be done with. This much is obvious. All it does is create a never ending series of economic bubbles and super-bubbles that all eventually pop. Then when things get really bad the rhetoric of "to big to fail" rears it's ugly head. Then governments intervene to financially bail-out the entities who cause the bubbles. Then the governments accumulate debt. Then they print more money. Hello inflation. And on it goes... If "new rules" aren't created then it's just a question not if but when the house of cards comes tumbling down again. I don't know what they would be though. Some say a total free market with zero government intervention (Austrian economics)... others look at the Scandinavian model and think that's what the world ought to move towards.