We get one life. This is it. It's indescribably precious, so to quote the Jaine wise man Mahavira "do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being."
Or at least damn right if you're going to. Some folks just need killing. See also Jeffery Dahmer, Uday Hussein, Ariel Castro, etc.
Morality is a evolved social impulse. I help you because together we share a greater chance of surviving. I might even not like you, but at the minimum the tiger is unlikely to eat us both and this field's a pain to plow alone.
Nobody has to hector or menace me to be cooperative. I am the best person I can be because I like being that person; your happiness is a reflection of my own. My cooperativeness is a kind of selfishness, but frankly that's good enough. I will never promise to refrain from thinking evil thoughts, but I will promise not to act on them.
I do have my stupid, shallow hobbyhorses. You've probably worked that out. Too many of them revolve around my being an ex-Japanophile.
I live by a "no-harm" standard -with extreme moral reservations about the lives of children. You can believe any damn thing that pleases you, but (for example) circumcision is to reserved for consenting adults. So is Christian Science's refusal to treat diseases with modern science. Or Suttee. Or any kind of Human Sacrifice.
If you can't sell your practiced mutilations to a 30 year-old adult, then into the trash bin of history they're probably going to go. Don't feel singled out, all kinds of very bad things went the same way.
There is no soul, sorry. I place confidence in what I can prove exists. Much as I like the poetry of having some ineffable, eternal part of me soaring through eternity it just ain't a thinger, and I have made peace with that.
There are also neither demons nor angels, much as sexy ladies with horns and/or wings push my buttons.
Without Heaven or Hell my actions and my choices are still important and impacting. My, yours, everyone's, time is limited. What wrongs I inflict are thusly without recourse, so I view my worse impulses as being potentially terribly unjust. I have a problem with sometimes wishing people I encounter online dead, and often being angry enough to do the deed myself, but I also know that if I were to actually succeed the burden of the sorrow of that killing would be a shadow on the rest of my life.
People rarely deserve death for moment of personal affront, and I do not deserve the capacity to make that call. I doubt anyone does.
Otherwise I believe in tolerance. Hurt nobody, and we don't have to be friends at all -though we can be.
I treasure knowledge. You don't have to, but you've got no right to impede my learning. Tolerance goes both ways, if you want it learn to give it.
Expressions of morality are not attacks. What I vouchesafe is no criticism of your beliefs. Yes, this makes Hatespeech tricky
and even simple guidelines like "Don't Be A Dick" problematic. The U.S. Constitution's 1st Amendment is a great basic guideline, but it's there to protect us from being suppressed by government forces.
It does not guarantee any kind of lifelong private speech rights -if I violate the Crafty boards ToU it's not a 1st Amendment controversy to ban me.
I recognize this, and do my best to behave appropriately.
And, I'm a Jew
There are non-practicing Jews. I am one of them.
There is no "Jewish Gene."
There is a kind of Jewish Inheritance, but it has no actual genetic corollary. This may sound confusing/contradictory/stupid -welcome to being a Jew!
There also plenty of splinter-sects of Judaism, so the rules are quite often arbitrarily different.
Yes, Israel is a terrifying mess.
Yes, the Palestinians are victims.
Yes it's not at all simple.
Yes that mess has gone on far too long.
So that's myself, Valentina, 36 year old American Male in a couple of hundred words.
Yes it's unusual that I covertly masquerade a woman. Yes I have some mild
gender identity issues and yes I've met people who had, and probably still have, it far worse.
To my comrades I am stalwart and generous, I give far more then I ask for -but what I ask for I do so with great expectation of receiving. This is sometimes detrimental to our friendship.
I am not open and trusting of unknown people. I wish I was, and I envy the children of successive generations who appear to be, but my open hand staunchly remains paired to a fist tight to the grip of a MAC-10.
I do my best to help others, but I'm never far from ready to defend myself. I kinda wish it wasn't so; overwhelmingly my experiences with random strangers is at least neutral, and frequently positive.