- (no subject)
- December 2nd, 2010
I don't seem to be able to hate anybody anymore. Some people make me angry, sure, but my anger is always tempered with some kind of understanding. They are only human, and don't think the same things I do. Some people seem pretty fucking evil to me, but I still understand their motivations most of the time. Where I used to be judgmental, now I'm just pretty accepting. In all human creations are the good and the bad of our species.
Take religion. I'm an atheist. I see no evidence of a controlling intelligence in the creation of the universe. And in my personal life I only see my own intelligence (or lack thereof) at work organizing and responding to the other intelligences that surround me. I don't believe in any invisible sky man, or woman, judging me for my actions, or requiring me to judge other people for theirs.
However, I understand that religion provides something important for some people. Me, and most of the people I am friends with, are not those people, but I do know a few. Religion offers a sense of community, of belonging, and more importantly for some, a set of easily repeatable rules of behavior. Some people need that. A lot of bad things happen in the name of religion, but that's because people are pretty shitty creatures a lot of the time. They want to do hurtful things, and religion offers them an excuse to do so in the name of righteousness.
Ahh righteousness. If I could eliminate one behavior from the human animal it would be that one. So much is done to earn, maintain, and enforce people's sense of righteousness, and rarely is it ever helpful. In fact, maintaining righteousness requires making someone else wrong, and punishing them for it. It's too bad human beings seem to enjoy punishing each other so much that we will destroy ourselves, the people around us, and as much of the world as we can take with us to do it.
But see I don't blame that on religion. That's people being people, and using their religion as a way to mobilize the community, and call upon unquestionable authority. Organization is a beautiful aspect of life, and humanity has found ways to organize to pretty amazing effect. Unfortunately we are also an angry, violent and destructive species, and we have managed to organize with pretty horrific consequences as well.
Behind everything that makes me angry is a primate brain doing something I don't agree with. But I have one of those primate brains too, and the things I do sometimes make people angry as well. I'm pretty forgiving about it. I understand that people behave differently in groups than they do on their own, and I am unwilling to hold the crimes of one group of people against an individual. Just because someone agrees with something I don't like in principle doesn't mean they are a bad person.
However people who try to force that opinion on me can pretty much fuck right off. I don't hate them for being pushy about their beliefs. Everyone wants the people in their lives to accept them for who they are and to agree with their view of the world. I want the people in my life to accept me for who I am, although I don't expect them to agree with me on how I, or they, should live their lives. What I hope for is people who will love me despite our differences, and who can enjoy our similarities that make us happy instead of focusing on those differences.
I don't believe in an invisible sky cake god, or that my morality is right, or that someone 2000 years ago wrote down the best way for me to live my life. I believe that people are responsible for their own choices and their own lives, but I recognize that not everyone in the world thinks like I do. I also don't think the world would be a better place if everyone thought like I do since my views are based solely on how I've lived, who I've met, and the situations I've dealt with. And most of my life I wouldn't wish on anyone.
If you bothered reading all that then you might just have the patience to be a friend of mine.