Death To Fanatics

“Human beings by their very nature are worshipers. Worship is not something we do; it defines who we are. You cannot divide human beings into those who worship and those who don’t. Everybody worships; it’s just a matter of what, or whom, we serve.”
-Paul David Trip

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How rude of me, to not even get you acquainted with the name of this blog “Death to Fanatics.” With great pride I can say I came up with the phrase (all by myself, mummy) and if you hadn’t noticed already, it is an oxymoron. Death to _____ is a common saying among fanatics, whether it be directed at witches, traitors, heretics or any sort of unfavourable groups. I find the phrase interesting because I believe it capture the essence of the ironic atheist movement that has sweeping across the world and is a social norm among many online communities. Why it is it ironic? I believe this because the religious fervour that some atheist go to the efforts of calling all people with religious beliefs ignorant, it is almost like fanatics calling for the Death To Fanatics.

Just like how the much hated zealots of Christianity quote the word of God from the Bible, so do the zealots of atheism quote the word of Richard Dawkins (he may as well be God  to them) from the God Delusion. Just to get this out of the way I should probably mention that I myself am a agnostic which is basically the closest religious statues of not caring. In my opinion, people will always need to have religion, almost of these fanatical atheist are white and live in a first world country. You don’t need faith in that position, but if you are a low income farmer with a family to feed, you absolutely have a right to pray for a better harvest that year. Just because you don’t have any need for faith because your food and shelter have been guaranteed your whole life doesn’t mean that gives the mental stability and spiritual scaffolding from those that are less fortunate than you. Yes, I know that they’re are plenty of overzealous god-fearing men and women in suburbia, this fact still doesn’t give you the right to be an arrogant wanker with a superiority complex… two wrongs don’t make a right. Overall the most ironic thing is that there are respectful, friendly atheists and Christians who get along, unfortunately you only hear of the bad and not of the good. One both sides of this conflict their are a few bad apples, and we shouldn’t let them ruin the barrel.

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Since when did being rude become a trendy subculture?

“If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already — it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on.”
-David Foster Wallace

Feedback is appreciated, but not required.

Thanks,
Conor

Be more than part of the equation

I thought that I might talk more about my own personal philosophy because of it being an ongoing theme from my last post. The topic of this post was actually triggered by the combination of an anime show that I enjoy and a popular hip hop song. And its to do with apply the notions and rules of a mathematical equation into everyday real life. Before I really get into the dynamics of this mindset I talk about how it was conceived. The anime show mentioned before was the prominent Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, as well as being hugely entertaining  it was also quite deep with some of its morals and one in particular stood out for me. In this fantasy world where alchemy has many more capabilities that border on magic, there are certain laws of nature that dictate this skill, the most well known and heavy talked about being the Law of Equivalent Exchange.

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“Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is Alchemy’s First Law of Equivalent Exchange.”

This law is talked frequently within the series and arguably the show’s moral and philosophical base. Although not mathematical, but more scientific this proved to also be the base of my own personal philosophy as well.

The second base for this thought process is the rap song Mathematics by Mos Def. Once again being an excellent song in its own right, but the words and messages within interested me greatly as well. A vague description of the song’s message would be; as a memebr of the public you need to apply the hard and cold judgements towards a system that apply’s equally hard and cold on you, in order to understand your world.

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Here’s the song if you want to listen.

This is not exactly a new idea, even the Bible had an important lesson within it relating to this. This proverb often used with the same understand could be “You will reap, what you sow”. A more modern version of would be “You get out, what you put in”. I had always grouped these idioms within my mind as being clichéd  motivational fitness motto’s. I never thought that they could be applied to everything around me.

Now to get to the actual meat of the concept, I will show you a series of examples in style with this idea.

______

Parent(1) allowed child(2) a lot of freedom =  Child(2) becomes unruly when limits are set
Child(2) rebels totally against parent Total freedom
(No experience Bad Judgement)
Total freedom + Bad judgement  Irresponsibility +Thrill
Irresponsibility + Thrill Teen pregnancy Child(3)  Responsibility + Boredom
Child(3)  Responsibility Boredom
Child(3) Neglected
Child(3) ≠ proper role-model + stable home
Child(3) becomes unruly when limits are set = Child(3) rebels totally against parents
Child(3) rebels totally against parents = Total Freedom = 
Irresponsibility
Child(3) Irresponsibility Bad outcome for Child(3) (teen pregnancy, substance abuse etc)
Child(3) = Becomes a  exactly like parent(2)

______

White society neglects black people into ghettos Black people rebel against rules of their society

______

In some respects, these equations could also be written using scientific signs, but I find it easier and think it requires less explaining with the math theme. A notion that would be improved from a more scientific view would be the aspect of “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” An application of Newton’s famous third law is also possible within real life events such as:

KKK -> Black Panther Party

______

Unlawful conduct by Israel -> Anti-Israel Groups in Palestine (HAMAS) Loss of face with Muslim world

______

It doesn’t matter whether your mathematical rules or scientific but that it is an equation and that what ever you do to the left side the right side and vice versa. It has also occurred to me through that some people might think that this is a bit closed minded, which it entirely is, as well as being completely simplistic, but these things do happen and sometimes people just stupidly react to the equation because that’s what’s natural. I challenge each and everyone of you to become more than just part of the equation as I know humankind has proved it can do time and time again.

Feedback is appreciated, but not required

Thanks,
Conor

Jumping in

Introduction: Hello and welcome! I will begin this blog in a style with a writing exercise that I was taught in highschool. It consists of simply writing your thoughts out and basically chucking whatever you feel like onto the page. It can be pretty enjoyable, not having to go back and rearrange ideas within a piece. In fact I am expecting a large number of these posts to be just writing my thoughts straight onto the page I will of course also indulge in . The therapeutic effects it has on my are great, as I feel more relaxed and can feel less crowded with my thoughts. With that cleared up, let me begin. }

One issue I am was trying to deal with a years ago that I thought I would like to share, was the notion of human character. It is common fact that everybody is a product of their genetics and circumstances as well as our past experiences. The more I thought about the idea the more I was leaning towards the idea that circumstances have more of an affect than our natural chemistry. Of course this excludes activities such as athletics and singing etc, which are definitely based on born talent. Not that I am saying you don’t have to train yourself as these things, in my (perhaps overly optimistic and clichéd) opinion that talent is just a head start and that you can accomplish anything (within physical limits) that you set your mind to. Anyway back to the original issue and that is, do we really have freedom of choice in our values and convictions? I honestly don’t believe we do.

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(The Nature vs Nurture has been debated about for decades)

As children, we are brought up to either be inclined to our parents views or in a polar opposite effect, be disinclined to the same extent with our parents opinions. I am not saying this is 100% true in all cases, and some parents do allow their children to grow and develops their own opinions to an extent, but it is only natural for a malleable child to gravitate towards (or away in some cases) their guardians. I won’t try and act blasé and say  (I should be a rapper) “Yeah, it was a interesting thought”, in reality this realisation of mine really caused me to think about my own values and whether they were really mine. It wasn’t that I felt like I was being exploited by a dark secret cult of any kind (not at that point anyway) but that I didn’t really know who I was deep down. Did I really own of my qualities or was just another product of circumstances that were thrust upon me. With that in my mind, is it justified that I judge a soldier of the Taliban or Al Qaeda (just using mass media bogey men for an easy example) who has most likely lost a family member or friend to American and/or NATO forces  and also lived in and around poverty all his life. All the while; glorious, white suburban me sits in my nice home miles from any war or conflict judging this man’s character.

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(All worship the New World Order! /sarcasm)

Furthermore on this topic, even this writing exercise can be traced back to an 11 year old kid with not many academic talents being told by a certain South African 5th grade teacher who decided that , creative English piece was the best in the class and then it being read aloud (this is the bit where you cry with happiness), retrospectively it wasn’t that big of an achievement but it was the seed. I began to question the seed however, “What if she just chose my piece at random because she was lazy?” or “What if the piece was not that great and she just wanted to encourage me?”. This thinking caused some anxiety with my self image, how could a major part of who I am be created  by just a small trivial event? I felt like a phony, I had never been confronted with the fact I might be living a lie! Then with a great relief I had a moment of clarity. It didn’t matter that my love of writing and literature balanced on a singular affair, and it didn’t matter if I my 5th grade English piece on Martin Luther King was not that great. What mattered is that I was inspired and I did something with that inspiration even if I maybe was a phony at the time because as a result writing as well a literature shave been a passion ever since.

Through this sort of  “journey of self-discovery” I believe I gained more of a less childish, black & white view of the world and maybe even matured a little bit. Thanks for reading and I hope this gave you some food for thought.

Feedback is appreciated, but not required

Thanks,
Conor