religion

Wanting to Believe

It occurred to me recently, when seeing someone talk about how much they want to believe in a benevolent creator, that maybe most people have that desire. That desire to believe some creator set things in motion, and that it all has a purpose. But there’s this question that pops up in my head, completely sincere: Why?

I don’t understand it. Never will.

Even if there was a god, it wouldn’t be one to believe in.

If ever there was an exercise in futitlity…..

Pseudo Morality

Morals, as passed down from one generation to another, are usually crap. Not just because they aren’t worth standing by, but because they’re simply inherited. It’s the same way with those normalcy’s that come about through imitating one’s peers. I think that they go unexamined in a persons life all to often, and are even used in some ways to gain respect within a given community for upholding certain ‘proper’ morals; which, you would do well to note, vary from one social environment to another. What is deemed acceptable in one group becomes deplorable in another. I would like to think that this alone could convince people that there are no universal morals, but that just isn’t the case, in spite of how easy it is to see.

People tend to see what they want to see, sacrificing perceptiveness, awareness, and useful information in favor of pleasant ignorance; to a frightening degree, both in intensity on an individual level and as a widespread approach on a societal level. It seems a prevalent phenomenon to flash your ‘morals’ at others to feel accepted, or to validate them. It reminds me of Jediism (note the -ism, reference: churchy Jedi), because a lot of those people apparently need others to validate their personal beliefs; it isn’t restricted to obscure spiritual movements either though, plenty of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, or whatever else – when meeting new people – act as though they’re compelled to announce their religious affiliation.

In my eyes, this is all silliness, and it all misses the point of morality. It isn’t for showing off, it isn’t something an individual should conform to in order to satisfy peers or parents, and there are no morals that should be lived by without evaluating your own values for yourself. The attempts to manipulate other people into validating one’s beliefs, the affiliation with beliefs for the sake of acceptance, and other similar behaviors are part of a sad facade, speaking to a lack of self-awareness… and an immature spirit. If morals are to be adhered to in any sense at all, then they should be practical and functional, geared towards a certain purpose or ideal.

To simplify what I’m saying… pseudo morals are fake morals, unexamined, untested or otherwise inadequate. A striking comparison would be of pseudo morals to articles of a Halloween costume, the more realistic and impressive the costume, the better. It’s more for show than anything else though, and usually uncomfortable to run around in all day.

To be fair, I think most – if not all – people start the earlier parts of their lives under the guise their parents, friends, and siblings have given them, and which they’ve accepted without knowing any better alternative. I’m not really calling for any rebellion either; that’s not necessarily what I mean. But learn about what you value and how you exercise those values in your world through experience and introspection, don’t just take what you’ve been taught or assimilated through imitation and live by it. Pseudo morality works real well for the weak, but if you’re anything like me then that’s not going be good enough for you. Get some firsthand experience, become more aware of what you value, and listen to your heart.

Beggars

I have what’s probably kind of an odd take on homeless folks (and the ones that pretend to be homeless because it pays so well) asking for money. I never give them any. But I don’t mind them asking for it, or getting it, or using it for whatever they feel like. If getting high gets a persons rocks off, I really don’t mind.

One of the biggest problems I’d ever have is if anyone came up to me and started bugging me for money, in which case I’d be liable to tell them to fuck off; but that hasn’t happened in recent memory. They the men and women that look homeless are the least obnoxious, in my experience (and obviously, in terms of my own locality); mostly they just sit or stand with signs. In fact, I’ve found other beggars, the kind with homes and regular paychecks, to be a lot more of a pain in my ass most of the time, like firefighters standing in a six inch divider/island (basically a curb between one direction of traffic and another) at an intersection and actively soliciting cash, or people at storefronts bugging me about tossing something into their can/barrel.

That being said…

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I might be tempted to give this guy a few bucks just because of the novelty of the idea.
Never seen that one before, and I think it’s funny as hell. I’d probably give him a few bucks just for that.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Shooting

There was a shooting at a screening of the new Batman movie. Not coming across this in the news, whether on television or the computer, is damn near impossible. It’s a popular news item in most circles, and groups centered around Marilyn Manson and his works are no exception. I kind of like the people in most of these groups (e.g. Provider Module, The Nachtkabarett, etc.), and enjoy reading their interpretations of the art and their opinions on other things, so I’ve joined some of them over the last few months. Very rarely do I participate, but I enjoy reading through threads, posts, and strings of comments.

One of my favorites among these groups is the Facebook group for Kushner’s site (The Nachtkabarett); in fact, it’s one of the few I’ve actually posted in. Tonight (or, technically, this morning, thanks to my insomniac tendencies) I got interested in a discussion there about the ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ shooting, which kind of touched on gun control, why things like this still happen, Manson’s essay on Columbine (which apparently started trending on twitter due to its relevance), the flaws of America (regardining education, lack of structure, etc.), and so on.

One guy mentioned – in large part because of comparisons of America to other countries – that we’re all just animals. That’s what really hooked me into adding my two cents. I kind of used that as a starting point for my own comments. I’m not going to quote anyone besides myself because I don’t know that anyone there would appreciate that and I don’t feel like asking, but if you want to go join the group, feel free: The Nachtkabarett (facebook group). Anyways, what I said is probably still pretty clear even without the surrounding context of the discussion, so…

“I’d agree that we’re animals. But the thing is, I think if you tame an animal you take something away from it… and not in a good way, in my honest opinion. We’ll probably always be animals, and honestly I don’t care about how violent we are, or, put another way, it doesn’t seem like something ‘wrong’ with us to me, it just is what it is. And even if I wished we weren’t the way we are as human beings, given the alternatives (the ways in which ‘tamed humans’ can be made a reality), I’d rather we be violent than tame.

I guess I’d rather we just come to terms with our violent nature and accept that things like Columbine and ‘The Dark Knight’ shooting are going to keep happening; that’s not to say I think people should like it, be okay with it, or do nothing about it, just that I think we ought to acknowledge and accept it, rather than blaming scapegoats (like Manson) or pretending we aren’t, in fact, animals. Just thought I’d throw my two cents out there anyhow 😉 .”

[A Response/Comment from someone else (omitted), then…]

“I don’t entirely agree with everything in the essay (Columbine: Who’s Fault Is It?) that’s been recirculating since the shooting, but the following part seems relevant: ‘Right now, everyone is thinking of how they can prevent things like Littleton. How do you prevent AIDS, world war, depression, car crashes? We live in a free country, but with that freedom there is a burden of personal responsibility. Rather than teaching a child what is moral and immoral, right and wrong, we first and foremost can establish what the laws that govern us are. You can always escape hell by not believing in it, but you cannot escape death and you cannot escape prison.”(~Marilyn Manson)

I’m definately on board with the sentiment that self-discpline and personal responsibility are important and sorely lacking.”

Those are my opinions, slightly altered since I changed the more interactive elements of them to make more sense outside of the discussion. I kind of had to take into consideration that these people don’t really know about my way of life or opinions… which was quite refreshing.

Vindictive

To be Vindictive,
To embrace malice,
To intentionally hurt another…

Some people say its not right,
That being walked on isn’t that bad.
I’ve heard it’s not mature to put up a fight,
Not good to give back what’s been had.

To be dismissive,
To embrace forgiveness,
To forgive your sisters and brothers…

Next time you ought to be kind and light,
The moral one when faced with what’s bad.
You ought to let it go and shine bright,
Avoid further pain and try not to make ’em mad.

When it happens to you though,
Ask yourself which is truly better.

To be Vindictive,
Well within your right?
Or…
To be Dismissive,
To allow malicious slights?

(Written March 17th, Re-worked June 2nd)

Sin With Me

Sometimes we all want to do it,
Now and then we want to be wrong.
Doing dirty deeds and inciting bitch fits,
In the righteous and the strong.

It’s such a sin to have a satisfying meal,
To feel the touch of a strange womans skin,
To get hurt so there’s actually something to heal,
And to do it all over again and again.

Don’t ignore the urges you feel,
Don’t pretend they don’t belong.
It’s the only thing that’s real,
The rythm to your life’s song.

Don’t give away your fate for someone else to seal,
Let corruption take root and truly begin.
It’ll rot whatever you say doesn’t appeal,
You’ll shed your existence as a mannequin.

It’s so liberating to sin with me,
To go against the good clean throng,
Do something bad and for yourself you’ll see,
Chase the truth and it can’t hide for long.

~~~