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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

Questions and More Questions...

    Your request found 161 questions.
    The newest (or most recently updated) are displayed at the top. Just click on the question to see the answer.

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  • The Question (ID Number 655): It seems to me that half the problem with everything in this world stems from organized religion. People are so sure that when they leave this world all their sins will be forgiven and because the world was made through a divine source we cannot really hurt it or any other species occupying it because God made it his way, therefore we cannot improve or impoverish the world. It almost invalidates life to think that afterwards we go to a perfect place were everything is perfect and that our lives were a test to see if we were ready for perfection. It seems that this is the most perverse way of thinking I've ever heard. If I thought my life did not matter because I was heading to a perfect place and anything I did wrong would be forgiven as long as I confess, well I wouldn't feel as guilty because it is all God's design. I think the biggest step in this revolution would be to change minds about this issue. Am I way off base or is there some truth to this?


  • The Question (ID Number 650): I'm 14 years old, and i live in southeastern michigan. The main reason im writing you is because i cant get people to take anything involved with saving the earth seriously. when i say people i mean the kids in my class, but it scares me that if people take that attitude towards these kinds of issues then we're pretty well doomed. its not that i want to tell them how they should live there lives its that i want them to at least try to understand what were in for if we continue to treat our world this way. i am hoping that since most of them will have read ishmael by the time i go back to school, that it will have had some kind of impact on them. i dont really know what kind of response im expecting or if im going to get one, but i just wanted to see if there's any way i can get people to listen to me and you and all the others that seek freedom from the doom that is sure to come upon our world.


  • The Question (ID Number 645): My question concerns your thesis regarding food production and population growth. If you are right, and I rather think you are, then a human community should not grow beyond its ability to subsist on locally produced food sources. My question is this: how do we define local? I would like to define local ecologically in terms of "bioregions". For example, my bioregion, northern Canada, produces no bananas, oranges, grapes, etc. But it does produce very good raspberries. So my fruit diet should consist of raspberries. And if I recover a bit of old wisdom I could learn how to preserve a variety of rasberry products for use over the winter. This makes perfect sense to me, although in an era of global trade it does limit my food choices. Still, ecologically this makes sense to me. So the second question is this: Do you think the ideas of global trade and competitive advantage (not to mention cheap oil) have led us to an artificial understanding of things like food production. Is this one more source of our disconnectedness with natural processes? If I am understanding you correctly then the modern "supermarket" is a disturbing place, but the local "farmers market" is to be supported and encouraged. I would be interested in your response.


  • The Question (ID Number 641): I am a LCPL in the Marine Corp. I am 2 years from finishing my contract, and going to college. recently I returned from Iraq and while over there I read Ishmael. It changed me. Or it defined something I already knew. my question is this, and I think it apply to all military personnel interested in Ishmael and its message. My being in the military, is it an asset, a way to understand and maybe grasp the weaknesses of the ultimate symbol of taker influence or is it a detriment? A brand making me a liar to my desire to, as you say 'save the world.' that's my question.


  • The Question (ID Number 640): What is the difference between the methods of business organization advocated in "Beyond Civilization" and the business concept movement of "Beyond Hierarchy"?


  • The Question (ID Number 638): I was watching the tellie (television) the other day, and one of those "The Truth" anti-tobacco commercials came on. While watching it, I got the idea that we should write and produce a bunch of commercials that tell people the truth about our planet, our culture, and our possible future. T.V. reaches millions of people (as opposed to the 30 people privy to the speeches I give in my philosophy classes), and if the commercials were demographically targeted for maximum effectiveness, it may be able to help get the message out faster than any way we've tried thus far. I was wondering what you thought of this idea, and also if you knew of any people in this little community of ours that has the means (read: cash) to help make it a logistical possibility.


  • The Question (ID Number 634): It has been said that politics will be the last to change because politicians will not move ahead with ideas before the electorate changes. In "Beyond Civilization" there was a look at how homelessness could be managed through changing how people think and "My Ishmael" talked about education and wealth in general. Could you see a situation in which people change their mind about one specific area, say homelessness, enough so that politics will change the policy in that area or do you instead feel that the change will happen all at once? Further, although you think politics will be the last to change, do you feel that there is any hope for people interested in politics to enact changes in the short term?


  • The Question (ID Number 632): What age is it best to tell kids that our culture is not working?


  • The Question (ID Number 629): You ask a capitalist how he expects to survive without biodiversity, and he calls you a tree hugging communist. Defending yourself against the abuse of a vegan, you point out that you believe you have as much right to eat meat as a lion does to eat a gazelle, and he calls you a capitalist pig.

    I think, that amidst the war and turmoil of the world at the moment, people are being whipped up into a frenzy of irrationality.

    It seems to me, that as the water around the frog is reaching boiling point, people are pedaling away at the taker mobile with a renewed, and alarmingly frantic urgency. With extremist voices being heard the loudest in a time of war, I find myself desperately hoping for a period of calm, in which your message can be heard clearly, without being bludgeoned into submission by fear, and the blind pursuit of reckless, idiotic leaders like bush, howard etc.what do you think? how can the turmoil of the world show people the inherent flaws in the taker lifestyle, rather than make them pursue it with an increased urgency?


  • The Question (ID Number 628): I am writing a short story about a small community in present day California that decides to implement your ideas from Ishmael and My Ishmael (ie, not locking up the food, laws that work for the way people are, an education system that lets children follow their noses and learn from thier environment, etc.) into their society as social experiment. I am a fiction writer and I think this will help me to understand your philosophies. This has been a fun and challenging project. I was wondering if you have a vision of what a modern day "leaver" society would look like? I would be interested in comparing your vision with my own. I have searched the Q&As to the best of my ability and did not see a specific answer to this question, if there is one, could you point me to it?


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