Why Homelessness is Immoral

I have no cognitive empathy, but I do have morality, and I believe that homelessness is morally wrong. It is morally wrong because it is unfair. I have never been homeless, but I have never done anything special to deserve that status. I never did anything special to receive upper middle class parents. I never did anything special to receive a private school education. I never did anything special to receive a six figure salary. In fact, according to Amazon’s statistics, they actually lost money on me – they paid me more money as a programmer than I produced for the company. The reason that I receive a six figure salary is for the most part by chance – I enjoyed writing computer code and writing computer code happened to pay a six figure salary. I’m not and have never been a particularly good employee or team member – it’s just luck.

Everything in this world is luck. You don’t choose what country you are born in. You don’t choose who your parents are or how much money they have. You don’t choose what you enjoy and what you don’t enjoy. There is nothing about me that makes me more deserving than anyone else.

This world is not a result of God – it is the result of luck and chance. There is nothing that has ever happened that couldn’t have happened because of luck and chance. Over time as science developed, the number of “seemingly impossible and unexplained” things in this universe went down – things that would have been explained by God. Famines and floods and diseases used to be acts of God. God sent the famines and floods and diseases. When hurricane Dorian was approaching Florida, people on Facebook use phrases like “God turned hurricane Dorian away from Florida – God blessed us by not having that hurricane hit us.” No he fucking didn’t – there was a pocket of low air pressure North of the hurricane that made it go North. That’s not fucking God. Nothing is fucking God. It’s all luck. Everything from the Big Bang to the first organic molecules to the first cells to the evolution of dinosaurs to you sitting in a chair reading this sentence is a result of things that happened by luck and chance. And luck and chance isn’t fair.

Morality is a human creation. It’s based on the golden rule – not doing to others what you don’t want done to you and doing to others what you want done to you. Do you want to sleep on a thin camping mat over hard concrete outside where everyone walking by can watch you sleep? Me neither. I personally wouldn’t even be able to sleep – I bought a camping mat and tried on the floor in my apartment and even inside my apartment I couldn’t sleep. Homeless people aren’t homeless because they are less deserving than me. I don’t work harder than them. In fact I am a terrible employee and team player – I wouldn’t even hire myself and I am fortunate that there were people out there dumb enough to hire me.

Mental illness isn’t fair either. I am stricken by both psychological issues like lack of cognitive empathy and narcissism as well as psychiatric issues like ADHD, bipolar, and symptoms of schizophrenia. I have tried many medications, most of which have not worked at all (such as the mood stabilizer lithium) or have helped a little but have had worse side effects than the thing that they were helping with (like many antipsychotics). I’m a fucking basket case, but so are a lot of homeless people, and I didn’t work any harder than they did. All I have that they don’t have is luck and chance and luck and chance isn’t fair. It’s up to people to make things fair because things won’t be fair on their own. It’s not like some magic flying man in the clouds is going to come out of nowhere and fix everything without humans lifting a finger.

  • John Michael Reed

“A Redistribution of Wealth” or “Libertarian Communism” by John Reed

In a previous article, I talked about how all people are created equal. I will go further and say that all people are equal, although some people have more money than others. I will not fight capitalism because I don’t believe that is necessary. I will say though that people should receive from their government what they need to succeed in life (such as an education and healthcare).

In the USSR, they had this sort of pipe dream of Communism where the government owned everything and gave everyone a job. I don’t believe that is necessary in order to establish that all people are equal (although they have different amounts of wealth). I don’t believe in cash handouts – for example there are countless tragedy stories about lottery winners, and people can just waste their winnings. People don’t need cash – they need things that can be purchased with cash, like an education. Ultimately I envision a global redistribution of wealth such that every person gets what they need to succeed in life, but no more. Every person receives an education and healthcare. Every person receives a “safety net” to catch them after they fall in life – after catastrophic failure. Ultimately, the human race is one species – one race, and there is one Earth, and we are all one team.

Imagine four different versions of me. Version #1 has no money and no wealth and continues on that trajectory, Version #2 has no money and no wealth but becomes wealthy, Version #3 has plenty of money and wealth and continues in that trajectory, and Version #4 has plenty of money and wealth but becomes poor and wealth-less. Regardless of which one I am, I deserve the basics. We are all created equal. Fundamentally, when I am born, I don’t know if I am going to be a person who makes a fortune or is constantly poor, but either way I should get support. Some people have a very supportive or wealthy family, and that is great, but not everyone does. The people who don’t should receive that support from the government. For example, not everyone has parents who are willing and able to pay for higher education or re-education. But everyone should have those sorts of opportunities. That is why I envision a massive transfer of wealth (i.e. taxpayer dollar spending) that does not significantly interfere with capitalism and that does not naturally interfere with free trade or the conducting of business transactions.

I envision a redistribution of wealth. For example, something like Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax that takes money out of billionaire families and puts it into the hands of working families for things like childcare. Simply put, just because someone is born with parents who have a lot of wealth doesn’t mean that they deserve or ought to have lots of wealth. That being said, even if someone is born to parents who don’t have a lot of wealth (or who don’t have supportive parents), they still deserve support. Morally, there ought to be this sort of redistribution so that all people on Earth are supported. We are one people, one team.

I call this Libertarian Communism because it seeks to keep government as small as possible and protect freedom while simultaneously eliminating class barriers and giving all people what they need. Not socialism. Even billionaires like Bill Gates have realized how unequal things are and put their money into charitable causes, like for example fighting malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, one of the best ways to make sure that people are supported is to raise the status of women. When women make money, the entire family is uplifted. Just another reason to have a woman president like Elizabeth Warren.

“Human Life is Intrinsically Valuable” by John Reed

Continuation of: https://johnreedforpresident.home.blog/2019/06/01/human-worth-by-john-michael-reed/

I am an atheist, and at one point while growing up I thought that gay people or trans people were less valid as people because they can’t or don’t reproduce. This notion goes contrary to the notion that all human beings have intrinsic worth – that they are valuable regardless of whether they can attract the opposite sex, marry, or reproduce.

First I would like to say that even if you think that trans people are weird, creepy, gross, or anything like that, trans people are a legit category of people and they actually appear to benefit from a transition process that involves hormones, something that I have seen both in real life people and in people online. Example (fast forward to 0:37) :

“For me, I have absolutely no regrets about transitioning and it has made me a million times happier.”

But here is the thing. Imagine that these hormones weren’t invented yet or that they did not exist and that this transition process weren’t possible. Should these people be persecuted? Absolutely not.

Every single person ought to be valued not for what they have, how they identify, or who they are, but just for being a person. Every single one. Failing to do so leads down some very dark paths. For example, a disproportionately high percentage of trans people attempt suicide. In my opinion, suicide implies not valuing yourself as a person because if you valued your life, you wouldn’t take it away. Believing that human life doesn’t have intrinsic value means that people have to justify their existence in order to receive basic human decency like love, compassion, or care. This leads down some pretty dark paths. For example, the Nazis believed in a sort of quasi-scientific racism, one that does not value human life but rather puts different races or types of humans on a pyramid. This leads down some dark paths indeed, such as towards genocide. In the second formulation of Kant’s Categorical Imperative, it says “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.” I think that treating people as an ends in and of themselves implies that they have inherit value or worth.

Remember that whoever you are, you have intrinsic value. You don’t have to identify a certain way, attract the opposite sex, or do or be anything special in order to possess value. For example, maybe a trans person feels that a transitioning process is right for them, but that doesn’t mean that they should commit suicide if that process isn’t available to them because regardless, they themselves have intrinsic value. We all do.

In a perfect world, I don’t think people should have to fight for human rights. In a perfect world, all humans would just get them without having to fight. Unfortunately, that is not the real world.

  • John

“Human Worth” by John Michael Reed

I am one of the most self-centered people who I have ever seen, and I admit that. That being said, I truly believe the following: That all people are created equal. It doesn’t matter if you were created Black or White, rich or poor, male or female, religious or not religious, or what your sexual orientation is. Human beings have intrinsic worth regardless of their skin color, how much money they have in their bank account, their biology, how religious they are, their sexuality, etc. You could be a person who loves money and makes billions or you could live in a tent, but either way you have intrinsic worth as a human person. I have intrinsic worth regardless of my skin color, how much money is in my bank account, my sexuality, how religious I am, or even my biology, which by the way is possible to change with years of hormones followed by one or more surgeries. I have intrinsic worth regardless of these things, and so do you.

Each and every time I look at a person’s face and see them eye-to-eye, I see that they have value as a person.

These people who I met are Black and homeless, but they have human worth:

They have intrinsic worth, as do I. There are no worthless people on Earth.

In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter if you live in a tent under a bridge or if you live in a mansion. You are a person, and I am a person, and when we are together, we are people. If we look each other in the eyes, say “hello”, and talk back and forth, we can see human value in each other. I can see the worth in you regardless of whether you are a male person or a female person, a Black person or a White person, a gay person or a straight person, etc. We are all people, and we ALL have human worth.

Sometimes it is hard for some people to see the human worth in other people. For example, maybe a male person has a really hard time with female people and he is also a misogynist, or maybe one person just has a hard time understanding or interacting with the opposite sex. Or maybe they are racist, homophobic, or have some other problem that gets in the way of connecting with and seeing the worth of another human person. But I think with love, connection, and understanding, these barriers between people can be overcome. The differences between male and female people, between “city people” and “country people”, between people of different skin colors, and so forth can be overcome. Every person is a person, regardless of who they are.

That is what this campaign is about. It is about seeing human worth. Yes, I am self-centered, but I have human worth, regardless of whether you see it or not. I am a person, and I exist, and I have human worth, and this is true regardless of where I am on Earth, what language I speak, what my sexuality is, what hormones my body produces, and so forth. Each person has human worth, and maybe I don’t see it right away, but trust me when I say that when we make eye contact and have a face-to-face conversation, person-to-person, I know that the awareness will be there. We all have human worth, and all it takes to see that human worth is human connection.

We all have human worth. We are ALL America. #Love

  • John Reed

From tweet: https://twitter.com/JohnReedForPres/status/1134986992939352064

Continuation: https://johnreedforpresident.home.blog/2019/07/13/human-life-is-intrinsically-valuable-by-john-reed/

The Institution of Marriage

Although I was a US citizen at the time of my birth, I was board abroad in Russia and my family came to the US before I was a year old. I don’t know what the institution of marriage was like in the US when Ronald Reagan was president. When it comes to marriage, I can only comment on what it means to me, a 25 year old male who believes that he has found his other half.

But first, allow me to explain how I believe that marriage is supposed to work. In my world (which might not be yours), people who are middle class, smart, or above middle class should go to college or university. In college or university, they should have sexual or romantic experiences and encounters with people who will not be their future spouse. They learn social and interpersonal things in these younger years. At some point, they feel that they want a baby or a kid (personally I am more interested in kids than babies), and maybe they had a past relationship that lacked something. They hope to find someone with whom they have chemistry and can be in a relationship that doesn’t lack that something that was lacking in a previous relationship. Maybe a previous relationship lacked some form of chemistry, compatibility, or attraction, but eventually they run into a person who completes them and who doesn’t lack that chemistry, compatibility, or attraction.

Congratulations! You (and by “you” I am referring to myself) have found your other half, and at some point you decide that you want to have or raise a child with this person. You get rings and go through an engagement period where you don’t have babies. The end of the engagement period is marriage, which to me just means getting a marriage license or changing rings from an engagement ring (I initially put mine on my right hand) to a marriage ring (which typically goes on the left hand). Then you can have children (either your own or adopted). Even if you can’t produce your own, adoption is still an option, but you shouldn’t do that until after you are married. Also, I personally don’t believe in [penetrative penis-in-vagina] sex with a person who you are serious about until after engagement, and I hold this belief for reasons that have nothing to do with the Bible or any other holy book. I personally get attached, and I learned that getting attached to the wrong person can lead to being in a bad or abusive relationship. Also, I currently rent a 501 square foot studio apartment in a city, and I don’t want another person living in it full-time, so I personally wouldn’t share a living space full-time before marriage.

As for weddings, to me a wedding is just a special event like a Bar Mitzvah or a QuinceaƱera. If you’re broke or your families don’t like or know each other, that might put a wedding on hold, but that isn’t something that should prevent young people from, at the very least, getting rings. A wedding isn’t a necessity – it’s just a celebratory event or party. They can be nice, though. For example, a little while ago I met an Uber driver who used to DJ at nightclubs, but now does custom DJ-ing for weddings. He switched because the pay is better, but he emphasized that the increased price is because everything has to be tailored to and for the couple that is getting married. That’s great, but again, a wedding is not a necessity, just like a Bar Mitzvah or a QuinceaƱera is not a necessity. If anything it’s a capstone that commemorates a very important achievement – the achievement of having found your life partner. And that to me is what the institution of marriage should be about. Regardless of whether you are male or female, monogamous or polyamorous, gay or straight, or some something in between, I believe that having found your “other half” is an important goal to have achieved in life, and ultimately that is what getting married is about. The wedding is just a party to commemorate and celebrate that life achievement.

This blog post is in reply to: https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/03/incredible-everlasting-institution-marriage/555320/