Official Voice of Reason app published for Droid

The official Voice of Reason app for Droid has been published to the App Store and is available free of charge. This is an easy and convenient way to read posted works on this site while on the go.

See the app’s description and a video demonstration here.

Finding a Proper Role for Religion

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

From the beginning of the United States, it’s clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend to establish a state-supported religion, be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Paganism, or any of the other hundreds of religions in the world. However, there seems to be a push in certain parts of today’s political environment for America to return to its status as a “Christian Nation” and to heed “God’s Law” in our policies. Nothing could be further from the wishes of the Founders. Continue reading

A Most Powerful Statement

I don’t know.

Sometimes this can be the most powerful, insightful and honest statement of all.

I don’t know.

I don’t know what happens when we die. I don’t know if these is something beyond what we can see and measure with science. I don’t know if I have a soul or if the concept of a soulmate is a true thing. Far too many people spread certainty when they simply don’t know. They tell us that when we die we’ll be whisked off to a magical place full of puffy clouds, pearly gates and old guys with long beards and iPads full of every mundane thing we’ve ever done. Continue reading

April Fool’s!

HAHAHAH! What a great day! Great laughs and great fun!

A short chronicle of the day’s hard-core conservative Republican attitude:

Obama bad. Rush good. Palin = Amazing! Drill baby drill! ♥ ♥ $$$. Stop mooching. No insurance? Don’t get sick. Rich only rich because we’re smart and work hard. Poor people just lazy. We’ll find the WMD’s. China evil except when they loan us money. “No” until 2012. Repeal the bill. That is all. http://www.facebook.com/brian.wells?v=feed&story_fbid=10100370050128391&ref=mf
Brian Wells is tired of all these unpatriotic liberals whining about freedom of speech, invasion of privacy, limits on health coverage, etc. Sick? Then get a job, buy insurance and stay healthy while you wait for things to be covered! Maybe you should have thought about those genes before you were conceived and you wouldn’t now have a genetic disorder. So stop being lazy and mooching off me. http://www.facebook.com/brian.wells?v=feed&story_fbid=10100369856276871&ref=mf
After 4 years of research and development, I’m pleased to announcement that my long-awaited army of ill-tempered super dolphins is ready. We couldn’t get the head-mounted lasers to work but the flipper-mounted plasma cannons do just fine. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=66260291&id=2004912&comments&ref=mf
I’ve agreed to take a consulting job with the conservative think tank AEI. Consultations will be done over the phone and email so I don’t even have to move. I’ll be working on the economic benefits of regulation-free banking, studying ways to run solar plants with coal and oil and lobbying to repeal health care reform and replace it with a reality show where contestants compete for insurance coverage. http://www.facebook.com/brian.wells?v=feed&story_fbid=107089942659163&ref=mf

While being a Republican was fun, it’s time to return to my liberal Democrat ways. 364 more days until I get to join the GOP ranks once again!

I Can Finally Say It

It feels good to finally come to terms with what I believe. I’ve tried to hide it for so long, acting like I believe in liberal ideas, pretending to care about the environment and global warming, believing in the unity of humanity. Now, I can finally admit it.

I’m a hard-core conservative Republican!

I have an autographed 5×7 of Ronald Reagan on my desk.

I dream of one day getting my book signed by Karl Rove and shaking the hand of Dick Cheney.

I think people should realize companies only have our best interests at heart. When we try to regulate them, we keep them from being best able to help us.

It feels good to finally come clean and stop pretending. Hopefully, the next time I have a revelation in my life, it won’t take me decades to realize it.

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Someone to watch over us

I’ll be honest. When it came to believing in God, a higher power, whatever you want to call it – I really tried. I know it would be comforting to think there’s someone out there watching over me, someone that wants only the best for me. I think that deep down we all want to know that someone is watching over us, helping us through the hard times and giving us strength when we need it most.

But I never saw it.

Maybe I didn’t look hard enough. Maybe my mind is so full of questions and doubts, biology and physics, a need for proof and explanation that I can’t see it. Maybe I’m wrong… and maybe I’m not.

But I do have something I believe in, something I have faith in, something that gives me comfort and hope when I’m feeling down. I have faith in the promise and goodness of humanity and in the power of individuals or small groups of people to change the world for the better. I believe that deep down people really are good at heart. For me, there’s no other explanation – we simply had to be in order to survive. Sure, we make mistakes. We go left when we should have gone right, or we say a careless word that sticks with and stings those who care about us. However, we can also give two of the most powerful words that, when meant, show our goodness: I’m sorry. We acknowledge our own shortcomings and we make amends for offenses.

We cooperate.

We forgive.

But it doesn’t end there. People show their goodness every day whether it’s stopping to help someone change a flat tire, volunteering at a soup kitchen or offering to share their umbrella on a rainy day. I’m sure you can think of a time that a total stranger did something nice for you, not because they were expecting something in return but because it was the right thing to do.

Richard Dawkins noted that “[the brain’s] rules of thumb influence us still, not in a Calvinistically deterministic way but filtered through the civilizing influences of literature and custom, law and tradition – and, of course, religion. Just as the primitive brain rules of sexual lust passes through the filter of civilization to emerge in the love scenes of Romeo and Juliet, so primitive brain rules of us-versus-them vendetta emerge in the running battles between Capulets and Montagues; while primitive brain rules of altruism and empathy end up in the misfiring that cheers us in the chastened reconciliation of Shakespeare’s final scene.”

Perhaps the desire to do good, to be generous and compassionate is hard-wired into us as a result of our evolutionary history. This makes perfect sense in my view and makes me stronger in my faith in humanity. It’s enjoyable to think that within each of us is this desire and even more thrilling when that desire is manifest into action.

I often dream of a day when humanity will wake up and realize that we’re all in this together. When we’ll all realize that we must care for one another because each voice gained enriches us and each voice lost diminishes us. When we realize that the world speaks with many languages but with one voice. The world speaks with the voice of hope, honor, strength, integrity, compassion and togetherness.

My faith tells me that humanity has this power all within itself. I believe that one day we will all be able to work together to resolve our differences peacefully without resorting to the derogatory distinctions and old hatreds that only serve to keep us apart.

I know that I will likely never live to see this day but I can dream, I can believe and I can have faith. I can do everything in my power to help make this dream a reality through my work as a doctor and hopefully through my future work in politics. My belief in humanity’s potential and my belief in the power of individuals or small groups of people to change the world for the better helps me go on when times are hardest. It gives me the strength to continue on my path and the hope that one day I can make a difference.

And for me, this dream is my “someone to watch over us.”

 

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Great ideas

“When the poet Paul Valery once asked Albert Einstein if he kept a notebook to record his ideas, Einstein looked at him with mild but genuine surprise. “Oh, that’s not necessary,” he replied . “It’s so seldom I have one.””
— Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)

Great ideas are rare. Rarer still are people with great ideas willing to pursue them no matter how popular or unpopular they may be. Think about the last time you had a great idea. Did you pursue it? Did you put it on the back burner and tell yourself that you’ll get to it later, that it will still be there?

I know I’m as guilty of this as the next person. I may come up with an idea, spend some time thinking about how it would work and then promptly push it to the back burner because I’m too busy or people might not go for it. No longer. Today I’m making a commitment to follow through when I have what I think is a great idea. Now is the time for unrestrained creativity.

In 1905, Einstein had one of the greatest ideas in the history of humanity that, in 1915, lead to one of greatest revolutions in thought, science and culture the world has ever seen.

So I ask you now, if you pursue it, where will your great idea take you? Where will it take us?

I think we all look forward to finding out.

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