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Philosophy (Ideas)

This section contains some of my thoughts on those big questions affecting society and the planet.

Life philosophy

A simple statement I try to live by is: “Treat others as you would like to be treated, BUT don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of”. The second part is just as important as the first as there are plenty of people ready to take advantage of you!

I’m not a fan of organised religion but try to respect other peoples ideas and faiths.

My life philosophy is a bit of a patchwork of ideas and I freely admit to sometimes being contradictory in my statements. I must also put my hand up and say that I don’t always follow my own advice!

World population

The Worlds population is growing at an almost unfathomable rate as we continue to cause great harm to the only known ecosystem which can support us. Yet still we have most of the major religions instructing their followers to go forth and multiply. Surely as an advanced society we should be able to get to grips with this?

To help us gain a basic understanding as to the challenges we face, I always like to keep in mind the current estimated World Population:

The estimated world population is currently:

The Optimum Population Trust website contains some excellent information and resources on this rather sensitive but essential subject.

Social Justice: Indigenous Peoples

I find it hard to understand the lack of respect and understanding that is shown to the indigenous peoples and cultures of Australia. Here we are in the twenty-first century and some white people in Australia still have the mindset of colonial days. We still have people who want to deny any wrong was done or intended. The way I see it is that as an indigenous English person I would not like it if I was treated as a second class citizen in my country. The hypocrisy of many is that you get a lot of English people who move out to Australia because they want a ‘better life’ and don’t like all the “immigrants” who are “swamping” the “motherland”. Not only are we immigrants in someone else’s homeland, we often show greater disrespect to the indigenous peoples laws and customs than do those who have migrated to England.

Debt

I find the way in which global business corporations and government will try to take advantage of each and every one of us fascinating. The ballooning of house prices in all of the developed world is one of the great examples of business trying to trap the population under a mountain of mortgage (and other) debt, effectively turning the majority of the population into what is effectively a farmed cash crop. It’s only going to end in tears, and no doubt it will be the people at the ‘bottom’ of society will take the biggest hit. In this way we are building up debt that will be a burden for future generations. In the mean time the constant goal of increasing economic output wreaks havoc with our planets environment. But at the end of it all there is always that great Indian Cree prophecy that says something like: “Only after the Last Tree has been cut down, Only after the Last River has been poisoned, Only after the Last Fish has been caught, Only then will you find that Money Cannot Be Eaten.”

Environment

I think we are in big trouble as far as the environment and our future are concerned. The two are inseparable. I just cannot see how the 6.5 billion of us can keep going like we are indefinitely. The way in which growth in economies over everything else is treated as the major priority. Why do we always need to have a growing economy? Wouldn’t it be better to have a stable economy where people worked, but also had time to enjoy time with their families?

Quality of life

This one is a bit of a tricky one to tackle but I believe there needs to be a bit of a rethink on whether it is the quality of a persons life that matters or simply the quantity.

Human rights and responsibilities

If we are to talk about human rights then these need to be coupled with responsibilities.

For example, In the UK people talk about their right to free health care but many of us forget our individual responsibility to look after out health.

Equality

I am a firm believer in treating everyone as an individual. I make up my mind about somebody not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. Just treat other people how you would like to be treated – I think that’s all you can do! I think it is important that everyone makes the effort to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures.

As soon as you start thinking of people as groups (or people start thinking of themselves as a group) that is when the problems start.

I don’t think much of the ‘equality industry’ – there seems to be a lot of hypocrisy and double standards with some of the high profile people seeming to be in it for what they can get out of it. There are also a lot of people who complain about their own treatment but then will happily go and discriminate against another group of people.

Cultural or religious beliefs are often given as a valid reason for discriminating against other people.

Jonathan Tolhurst

About Jonathan Tolhurst

Based in London, my interests include photography, kayaking, paddle boarding, electric unicycling, teepees, robotics, programming, databases, informatics and pharmacy.

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Jonathan Tolhurst