Before reading this post, you might take a minute to review the comments on a previous post so that this post makes more sense. I figure this is long enough and involved enough as a response to warrant a new post.
Firstly: Random I like the baking idea – next time you should get off your ass and Photoshop!! You could win something cool, like BOJ did.
Secondly: scot and Random, I sadly doubt it (consideration) as well, but I cannot stop hoping for the better, for people to think. People individually are often intelligent and thoughtful. People in groups tend to be astoundingly stupid.
Thricely: arguments can still be beneficial despite one’s intent – winning is often the goal in arguments. As long as actual listening and processing is going on, it is still potentially somewhat valid. Some people listen only deep enough to find points to counter and devalue. But, even in this, there is consideration. Many of us have gone into an argument or discussion playing Devil’s Advocate or simply taking a tack different from the one we personally align with, whether for amusement (of ourselves), annoyance (of others), or pure whim. This is completely useful – you are able to find and back thoughts other than the same ones in your head. I firmly believe that no matter how smart you are, how much time you have or how ‘open-minded’ you think you are, one cannot effectively hone their systems of thinking, beliefs or views only inside one’s own head. There must be some outside, introduced influence (which does not necessarily have to be a person in an argument with you). Even if a person spends hours vehemently and genuinely expounding on some point countering yours, they will still have to consider your views, even peripherally. Some tiny seed will from then on exist in their minds. It may shrivel, untouched and it may never thrive or grow, but it is there. Espousing your beliefs with intelligent conversation, putting your meme (not in the new, blogish definition) out into the world, even if that is only by living your beliefs in good stead; these are some ways to effect some hope of change in our existence.
Fourthly: I think many businessmen, politicians and lawyers are satanists, even if they are still looking for the religion. The philosophy mostly fits, even if it comes with a lot of mythical baggage in tow. Also, yes, a good read. A new take and turn on a hashed and rehashed set of ideas.
Fifthly: Psychic vampires, energy suckers, histrionics, anorexics, all the pretentious, self-important sympathy/attention seekers everyone has encountered = sad. Everything is about them and how they have suffered, or been singled out, wronged, blah, blah, fucking blah. They need self-confidence. They need to stop seeking the validation and acceptance of others and get over their shit. They are very much their own enemies as they seek and seek, dramatizing and agonizing (others) while the response only furthers their weakness. I don’t know how to help these people and have no idea if they ever improve. Everyone has times or phases when they seek approval, acceptance, love, reassurance, comfort and some bolstering of self on occasion. Remotely healthy people (in this respect) can ‘pull themselves up by the bootstraps’ and get on with it, while these broken people only further their abyss. I don’t know. In the end, I’ve cut these people from my life and not regretted it, but have regretted that I could not do something to put them on a better path. MandEvil and I have a wish for anonymous “Seek Help” emails to some, but even that doesn’t seem like a useful end if the sucker is unwilling to acknowledge their problem and actually work to solve it. It seems that (in one case, for example) the therapy only encourages and reinforces the ‘poor you, it isn’t your fault, these other people fucked you up, you are fine and such a unique snowflake’ mentality. I just don’t know, but I am remorseful for the otherwise useful and (plausibly) contributing members of our society.
Sixthly: I am repeatedly amused, astonished and curious of all the factors, events, reactions and people in one’s life that help form a person. Discovery of self, of others, reasons and tales; people are fascinating creatures.
Seventhly: As far as favored (especially to mock) religions go, I like wiccan, since they embrace the internet, have a holistic approach to health and yeah, dancing naked in the night, bonfires, happiness and fulfillment – sure thing. Also, when scot said “…a bunch of outraged wiccans riding your case about…” I swear I read it the first time with a broom image in my head.
Eighthly (this number + adverb thing is fun): Yes, “Christians”. I try to include the quotes as I would include the dubious emphasis on the word IRL as I speak it. All religion is bullshit. I am deeply disconsolate that what should be the most obvious behavior in humans must be laid out as rules set forth by a mythical character. I despise religion. I despise people who push religion. I despise anyone who makes judgments of others based only on their religion. I understand that millions were unfortunately brought up to believe that God, gods, fictional historic accounts are real, instead of rebuffed like the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus all were after they’d served their moral purpose. Religion can serve a purpose, but as it is held, it is far too dangerous a thing in the hands of man. Religions were/are created by man, for man and thus, fallible as man is. I wish we could all behave as humanists, instead of relying on some false, enforced morality of fiction. It angers me. I have hope, though. All the people who are generally good people, who try to not fuck up, who try to do what they believe is right, whether or not they label themselves religiously, give me hope. For every person that does good despite their religious label, is to me a humanistic atheist that just has a few more childhood stories to dislodge. This gives me hope. People should do good because people should do good, not because of a title or because of the name of a building where they go sometimes to be social and consider philosophical lessons. I am regularly lachrymose that religion and morality are considered inexorably linked, especially in America where the whole damned country was founded on the idea of open betterment that the founders could not hope to place into words and wisely, with purpose, did not specify instructions or restrictions.
[ On the same tirade, I am also disappointed that so many accept belief structures that set up man as a shameful creature, needing salvation and forgiveness. As if by existing, one had wronged! Man is an incredible, capable race that could do so much – it can be a scary thought. So scary that many feel there must be some limitation, some dampening of potential and being. Simply requiring a life of sacrifice and proper behavior (again, fallible man, manipulative man systems) to earn your life is much less scary than the wide open universe of potency. The thought that you are responsible for your own life, your happiness, your self – that is a lot to consider if you’ve been taught it is not in your control! ]
So yes, “Christians” are the ones who take a religious label as a statement of given morality and goodness, those who further the blind idea that belief in a largely fictional, yet often education grouping of tales from the far past equals the goodness and right of a being, of a group. “Christians” are the reason so many bristle at the very word and associate them with fundamentalists (of all religions and philosophies of belief, it is happenstance of location that the christian religion comes under fire in this discussion). “Christians” are the ones who segregate, judge, condemn, ostracize, who foolishly take something as pure as love, in action, and twist it into a set of laws, books, rules, pronouncements, buildings and labels. I have nothing (or not much) against Christians (non quotes to emphasize the difference, as in speech) who use a set of myths and tales as a general guidance for their behavior and philosophy of life. Honestly, I wish they could use these tales and acknowledge them as tales only, but in the end, it is a small point for me. The reasons behind the actions, for me, are vastly more important than the names of the characters or the paths to betterment. scot said, “Stupid people follow ritual and habit and never question it. What this world needs is more skeptics. Question everything and don’t let yourself be bullshitted, because sure enough, as soon as you turn your back, some bastard will be trying to grift you” and I cannot agree more. Thank you, scot, for once again being brave and genuine enough to bring up a sticky, beautiful subject (like this) in a (partially) public forum where words can be twisted and faulted and so much of one’s self can be questioned heartlessly.
I realize that entire section above probably angers many, but I hope that I’ve put enough of the right words up there to make my meaning clear, clear enough to gently waft past the triggers and buttons that may be.
Ninthly: There is no ninthly, I just wanted to get to nine.