So, I don’t usually do this these days, but today I read something and it made me really, really mad. Like, I had to shove my cat off my lap because if he decided to dig his claws into me I wouldn’t have a cat anymore, just material for a new pair of slippers.
So, I guess I need to throw a caveat in before I give you the link to my rage. These days I think it’s pretty safe to say that I am firmly in the “agnostic camp” when it comes to thoughts of God and stuff, bordering on Atheism. Sometimes I think that the only reason I don’t think of myself as an atheist is a natural aversion to make any extreme choices at all, one way or another. As in, I may not be a Democrat, but I’m certainly not a Republican. I admit that there could be a creator, a God or Gods, and that he/she/it may indeed be benevolent and actually care about what humans do. I just will never believe that it’s exactly the Christian God. Why? Because I’ve read too much. At the very least I know that translations are never perfect and so what Christian’s believe now is nowhere near close to what they believed a couple thousand years ago. And humans are bastards. Not all humans, but most powerful ones are. So they made plenty of changes over the years and, at this point, I really just don’t care enough to even try to believe.
But I like to think that I’m not an asshole about it.
So anyway, I was browsing the reddit, as I am wont to do, after a long day at work and no real intention to engage in any strenuous activity, be it physical or mental, for the rest of the night. Then I saw this.
Remember, I’m as close to atheist as makes no difference.
So, foolishly I browsed the comments on the link, read what people were saying. Basically they were being a bunch of 6th graders beating up a 3rd grade boy for wearing pink. Yeah r/atheism, I get it, it’s different and scary. Doesn’t mean you have to condone “mocking” a person who’s probably a whole lot smarter than you even by your own warped standards.
So anyway, here’s why I actually wanted to post this here tonight. I’d already broken one rule of the internet (never read the comments on something you disagree on), and I decided to break one more: I replied to the comments. I thought I was being civil. I basically said that the belief in the devil isn’t exactly uncommon and therefore it shouldn’t seem bizarre (their actual word, mind), and definitely not worthy of ridicule.
I got a reply. It’s just the first one. Even now engines are revving, torches are being lit and somewhere someone is drawing a parallel between me and Hitler (Godwin’s Law, look it up folks). Here’s the reply.
“So is santa. But how would you feel if a judge said he believed in that?”
Word for word. Anyway, I just wanted to leave my reply, because I thought it was pretty God (lawl) damned eloquent, especially after the harrowing day I had (If you’ve never been to a toy store on a weekend this close to Christmas, try it sometime. It’s like storming the beaches of Normandy. Only with less Germans. And more toddlers. Probably the same amount of German toddlers). Here’s what I said, and I think it basically sums up the way I view the world.
“I think my reaction would be “What?….Okay….”, and then I’d move on. I wouldn’t mock him for it.
What we have here is a man’s ability to perform a task being called into question because of his beliefs. Should we question his ability to drive a car? If he believes in the devil strongly enough, he could be overcome with a sudden desire to pray and would crash said car. Danger to himself and to others. Yes, I realize that this analogy is silly, that driving a car and acting as arbiter over some of the most important decisions facing an entire nation of people are two completely different things.
Think of it like this. What if he didn’t believe in the devil? What if he believed that evil, such as it is, is a completely man made occurrence, that “evil” is a social construct and every person has the capacity to commit it. Shouldn’t THAT affect his decisions also? If he looks at every defendant and believes, truly believes, that that person is capable of evil, wouldn’t that color his perception of events and cause him to deal more harshly with the defendant?
No. Because that is a false dichotomy. The world isn’t black and white. A man’s opinions are not binary. The belief or disbelief of a higher power, of a Devil or a Nirvana or a Gaia, is only one aspect of an individuals personality, one of untold numbers. It’s not all he is.
Do I agree with all of his decisions? No. Do I think that belief in the Devil is silly? A little. But to dehumanize someone by reducing their entire multifaceted existence to a single point is not only silly, it’s dangerous and really fucking stupid. Pride goeth before the fall, as they say. Wisdom’s wisdom, no matter where it comes from.”
So yeah. That is my rant, my one bit of thinking for the day.
And just in case anyone got the wrong idea, I’m not ranting about Christians or Atheists or Democrats or Republicans. I’m ranting about stupid people who can’t see the world from a different person’s point of view. That’s all. Don’t be that kind of person. Just….just try to get along, okay?