No man is an island.
No man is a state.
No man is a continent.
No man is a planet, a solar system, or a galaxy.
No man is a universe.
Every man is a planetarium.
Every man is a nut.
Your political allegiance is one part knowledge and ninety-nine parts psychological maintenance.
We don’t choose our side for a love of a clear moral ideology. We choose our side for the community we find in the disdain toward the opposition. It quenches our thirst for conflict in a presumably safe environment. Some treat it like a game, others more like a sport, and still others treat it like a fashion show.
Everyone pretends to be serious, but when it comes time to do the homework, we let strangers teach us without questioning their integrity. It’s faster, it’s easier, and it orgasms our confirmation bias.
It’s all about the image.
Sometimes I wonder if people really do believe most of what they say, if they really put the time into understanding what they fight for and why, or if it’s all just a convoluted scaffolding of smoke and mirrors to maintain psychological stasis.
Do we act because we want to or do we act because we have to…
Human beings are tremendously complex creatures, no matter the ideology. I would be ecstatic if we could learn not to turn our ideological opponents into flat caricatures of themselves in order to justify our hatred for each other.
We do this all the time, especially in the modern political and social climate.
If you have to turn your ideological opponents into comically narrow-minded caricatures of themselves, consider that your argument against them is so weak that you must forcibly simplify them to their basic disagreeable traits in order for your argument to feign credibility.
I tend to question anyone who claims to “know” what reality is. And that’s on both sides of the aisle. All sides, really.
Science is, by necessity, based on human senses. Only what WE can observe. To think that reality doesn’t go beyond this is an unfathomable arrogance. Science has tremendous utility, but it can only stretch so far as human comprehension. That comprehension can grow, but consequentially, it can only grow to our observable universe. That’s not reality, that’s perspective.
To go into scientific thought with the idea that some day we will understand everything is a fool’s errand.
For that reason, atheism isn’t a result of scientific understanding, but an emotional reaction to it.
I’m beginning to believe that the intense fears of powerlessness and obscurity are what drive people to engage in social and political argumentation.
Every day I’m inundated with it. Everyone has a stark opinion on one thing or another, and none of them truly bear enough knowledge of the situation to have an educated or credible opinion. They have a generalized view of it, with no knowledge of the nuances surrounding it. The details aren’t present in their minds, but what they have is, in their minds, always enough information to put forth an opinion, the opposition against which is an unimaginable state of delusion.
It’s remarkable, when you think about it, that one could glaze over countless opinions from armchair philosophers just like themselves and still come out with the absolute faith that their own opinion is far more reasoned. Or to take a position on a political issue about which they only have a cursory and given (not gleaned) amount of information.
People have an insatiable drive to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They’ll dig for something to fight for when something isn’t presented to them by people with whom they’ve aligned themselves. It’s all an elaborate piece of performance art. What drives us isn’t a sense of justice anymore. That’s just a convenient excuse for what’s really taking place, which is an unquenchable thirst for purpose. It’s a latent defense mechanism against the growing sense of ennuis that inevitably rises from the decline of religious beliefs which once comforted people with the idea that they have an innate cosmic purpose and importance.
That’s not to say that we aren’t doing the right thing by fighting for social justice and other ideologies, but in many cases it’s still an argument by fallacy. The motivation is something much deeper than what you feel superficially. It’s real for those directly affected, those fighting for themselves, and for some who are affected by those who are affected, but for many, it’s just a matter of expressing the opinion to assure themselves that they’re righteous. It’s a few words on social media and the instant gratification of “likes,” “shares,” and pats on the back for being so progressive and intelligent.
It’s the gratification of being a part of a group. Groups create purpose, and following that purpose becomes more important than questioning that purpose. We succumb to group-think and actions that follow justifying the means with the end.
We aren’t strong enough psychologically to drive ourselves. We can’t motivate ourselves. We’ve become dependent, and we’re being told that it’s all right. We’re filling the gap where we once allowed for God, and that gap breeds a stench of apathetic existentialism. When we smell it, we are sedated. When we ignore it, we are weighed down by the fear of obscurity, and that latent fear manifests itself as a wildly ravenous hunt for purpose. In our hunger we become reckless, and no matter how much we want that purpose, the apathy from subconscious bereavement strikes down our motivation. We become cognitively lazy and stupid, just piecing together whatever we can find so that vague patterns become feigned reason.
The reason we become dramatically upset when our political and social beliefs are questioned is the same reason we get upset when our faith in God is questioned.
Purpose is what keeps us sane.
The problem is that we become so fixated on what works that we stop searching for what’s right.
If the Devil were to define evil, I think he’d say that evil is not an observably defined system of ideas and actions, but that evil is merely the opposition in any given circumstance.
When you are limited in words, you are limited in thoughts. A broad vocabulary helps cognitive processes by modulating ideas. Labeling and definition adds ports and leads to complex thoughts, making them easier to combine, disassemble, reassemble, and understand.
This is precisely why I am frustrated by shorthand in text and oral forms, beyond contractions and titular acronyms. They consolidate and compress ideas into more basic forms.
It’s like when you compress a file. You lose information, and the data begins to break down. It’s not as robust or complete as the original.
If it continues, we will lose our lushness of feeling, or at least the ability to express it with understanding and insight, and we will lose the nuances that define complex emotion.
From what I can tell, people will follow one of two voices; there’s the smartest voice and the most comforting voice. Occasionally there’s the voice that does both, but generally it seems that the actual REASON a person follows even that voice is due more to perceived intellect or comfort and not both.
We believe that it’s in search of some truth–something seemingly unquestionable, which gives us comfort and security–that we might hold some imagined position of enlightenment. It’s the comfort and security that betray us, because the subconscious ulterior motive is to gain that comfort for oneself, and not to obtain the truth that may well be detrimental to both the self and to others.
I find that those who embrace external change often do so in excess to reconcile a debilitating fear of internal change.