« on: October 24, 2013, 06:43:01 am »
On the subject of religion, it is worth noting that religion isn't really limited to "religion." Spiritual, organized religion is only one manifestation of an almost universal social behavior among humans. That is, we are faced with hardship, we overcome that hardship, and we codify our methods of doing so into something we like to fantasize is a set of universally applicable instructions for overcoming all future hardships.
In the absence of any real hardship, we will happily invent something to take its place. Because humanity survives on a diet of strife and misery, we sew the seeds of those things in every encounter where we can, so they can grow and eventually we can reap their awful fruit. Religion is only one system we have invented for doing this. There is also politics, sports, Facebook, and any number of other places where we go to receive our communion of outrage and self-righteousness.
The following list of Affirmations are complete bullshit, but they express what I think our modern, privileged, Western attitudes toward one another and those outside of our culture would be, if they were codified into a set of beatitudes.
1. Because I have suffered more than you have, you have never really suffered at all.
2. Because I know more than you do, you know nothing.
3. Because I must succeed, you must fail.
4. Because I am right, you are wrong.
5. Because I am good, you are evil.
6. Because I am oppressed, you are privileged.
7. Because I need, you must give.
8. Because I speak, you must listen.
9. Because I see, you must be blind.
I know I practice all of these things regularly, even when I try not to. In the moment, in the heat of a disagreement, they seem to hold true somehow, and then afterward, they completely disintegrate upon even the slighted examination. What is it about these attitudes that solidify under the stress of an argument, but shrivel and dissipate afterwards? And why is it that a calm mind can regard these nine points and the thousands of other thoughts that could continue the list as almost laughably easy to avoid, but a distressed and angry mind naturally and immediately conjures them up like armor?
What do these statements protect? And why is it worth protecting?