As a sentient absurdist, I hold these truths to be self-evident:
- All sentient beings are of equal value.
- Sentient beings do not always treat one another equally.
- Each sentient being harbors their own subjective truth.
- No sentient being can ever know objective truth.
- If we could know objective truth, we wouldn’t like it anyway.
- The universe doesn’t care.
I bet you Assad believes his god put him there. I bet he believes the evil devil wants to overthrow him. His enemies believe he worships the devil, and their god wants him out. What’s better? A violent dictator or a violent fundamentalist Islamic state? The lesser of two evils is still evil. Replacing Assad with a “transitional government” is no answer. Recent history is proof of that, but when both sides in a war use torture on their enemies, there are no good guys. No one in Syria deserves to be in charge, but that’s not limited to Syria, that goes for all of humanity. What right does any one man or group of men have to control the lives of countless millions, and dictate the direction their slice of humanity is going to take the rest of us as we all tumble down the rabbit hole of reality in the decades and centuries to come?
There have been cultures, and perhaps still are hidden tribes in jungles somewhere, who deem it okay to cannibalize their enemies. They found this behavior totally acceptable inside their community. I could argue that objectively it has never been acceptable, but as a subjective creature in this universe, am I really in a position to determine what is objectively, morally right? Are you? Who died and made you right about morality?
Indentured servitude was never okay, even when it was deemed acceptable. One human being claiming ownership of another human being was, is, and never will be a good thing. It’s always objectively morally wrong, even if the servant signs his name in blood on a dotted line, that doesn’t make it right. There is objectively nothing that makes some human beings owning other human beings okay. Yet it happens. There’s human trafficking even today. You think it’s past? No. People get abducted and some of them end up in the slave trade. We have extensive reports on this. There IS evidence, and no one’s pretending this DOESN’T happen. However, some are pretending if you pray to your god he’s gonna set things right. He hasn’t. He isn’t. He isn’t gonna ever set things right. Indentured servitude NEVER should have happened, but it already has, and it will again. I can’t stop it. You can’t stop it. People will continue to own other people and subjectively speaking they will rationalize that this is totally acceptable behavior.
Forcing women into submissive roles has never been, in my subjective opinion, okay, even if billions alive today still believe it is. Even if there are women who acquiesce to this behavior. Even if some women LIKE to be forced into submission. Even if I discovered under the right conditions that I could even get off on playing the dominant role in a bit of BDSM, that still doesn’t make it objectively right, in my subjective opinion. Are you seeing the absurdity inherent in this conundrum, yet? This permeates our society on levels that are a little disturbing.
Pedophilia was never objectively okay, even if there are cultures that accept it. We have evidence that catholic priests have committed sexual acts with little boys. Not just one or two, but scores of priests worldwide, and it’s been going on for decades, perhaps hushed up for centuries before that with only anecdotal evidence, and as far up the chain of command as arch bishops, cardinals, and perhaps even the previous pope have actively sought not to seek justice but to cover up these accusations in order to protect the sanctity of the church, but by definition a church who has even one act of pedophilia happen under its umbrella ceases being sanctified. It’s very over, but with billions of people and billions of dollars at stake, seems people are unwilling to let go of this farce. That’s just Catholicism. Protestant pastors and deacons have been caught having sex with children too. However, because of how protestant religions have schismed over the centuries, when one guy is caught, the entire religion is not marred. Perhaps just that guy, and maybe his ministry suffers, but another comes along to take his place who pretends to be more saintly and everyone just sweeps the past under the rug and pretends the problem isn’t inherently blind faith itself. They just blame it on a rotten apple: yet another sinner who sadly succumbs to Satan’s treachery. And you can be next if you don’t tithe to the church!
Mormons have had situations where multiple wives are taken by men, and some of those wives were very young when they got married. Officially this has been frowned upon for decades, but only after extensive legislation and enforcement. Recent cases that showed up in the news awhile back indicate this still goes on, but some are perhaps better at hiding it than others.
And that’s just Christianity. What about Islam? It’s even worse! In some parts of the middle east, pedophilia is not only acceptable behavior but they don’t see a problem with it. This is NOT across the board. One can argue that most muslims are “moderate” but just like in Christian societies, some are just better at keeping it under wraps.
Muhammad (peas be upon him) allegedly married a girl at the age of six and deflowered her virginity when she was nine. He probably waited until she started to bleed down there. When the leader of Islam was himself a pedophile, why would anyone outside the faith think his followers wouldn’t, y’know, follow suit? There are people still today that think pedophilia is totally acceptable. Maybe they draw the line on heterosexual behavior, and are appaulled at homosexual catholic priests. Somewhere in this world right now as you read these words there’s a good chance a child is getting raped. I don’t like this. You may or may not like this, but that’s not relevant. It’s happening whether we believe it’s a good thing or a bad thing.
Now I would think that if there was a god, he’d prevent such behavior. However, this behavior IS happening. We have evidence it has occurred, that it’s even pervasive. Yet if you believe in a god, he’s doing nothing to prevent this. He’s allowing everyone to have free will, even if their choices affect others. Even if these choices take away other people’s rights to have free will. Why would an omnipotent omniscient benevolent god come up with a system that restricted his power? That we have free will at all means any potential god that may exist CAN’T be omnipotent, cuz such a god “allows” us to have power. Allows us to have free will. So if you still believe in a god, your god is by definition NOT a god. He’s not omnipotent.
Are you okay worshiping a god that’s “near-omnipotent”? he’s still not a god. You just call him that. he allows brain cancer in children. That’s not a god, that’s a monster who uses “free will” as an excuse. I mean is he allowing cells in your body to have the free will to mutate into cancerous tumors? How far does this “free will” crap go, anyway? Just the fact we have evidence this has EVER happened, proves your god (if he existed) would be a monster. “Oh he works in mysterious ways.” There is NO rationalizing this. There is NO codifying it.
Unless of course, you don’t believe in objective morality. I mean, who gets to decide what’s objective morality? We are all human beings trapped in these flesh bags. You know what makes you you? Cuz I don’t! The only part of us that I can tell which doesn’t change much over time is our nervous system. The other systems are replaced over time cell by cell. Molecule by molecule but so far as I can tell, the brain and central nervous system are mostly the same from a young age around puberty until we die. Perhaps there’s some cell growth even into the late 20s, but after a certain point your brain is what it is most of your adult life. Skin, hair and nails change every few weeks. Muscles and ligaments every few months or years. Bones every few years to a decade. Who you are today is not on a molecular level who you were seven years ago. Except probably for your nervous system.
So you witness reality through a sensory array that’s matter which is transient. You feel solid and whole in this instant but as you read these words somewhere inside you cells are dying and being replaced by new cells. When you eat food, some of that food is going to become you. When you excrete bodily wastes, some or all of that used to be you. The bulk of your body is an exoskeleton that houses your central nervous system. It’s a transport shell for what’s really you: your brain. We’re kinda like Daleks, I guess.
And because of all this, we experience reality through a filter. through several filters actually, and they change from one individual to the next. We can’t even be sure if what you think is red is what I think is red, but that’s a whole nother blog post. i can’t know what’s objectively real any more than you can. We feel we know what’s real, but we disagree on details. And of course you are wrong because I’m right, and you probably feel the same way. We’re both wrong. And because we’re both wrong, it’s impossible for any of us to know for certain what is right. But I do know this:
Hate and fear are how animals live. Predator and prey. Animals on this planet which haven’t attained some level of self-awareness or sentience tend to just eat what they want and be eaten by what wants them, and their lives are restricted because of that constant threat of mortality. Most animal species can’t seem to ever achieve the level of sentience and self awareness that we have, and perhaps that’s partly because on an evolutionary level, they’ve simply never had time to achieve it, with some possible exceptions. Some marine mammals show signs of self-awareness as do some apes. Domestic dogs and cats have been known to sometimes exhibit behaviors that would indicate they’re no longer suitable to live in the wild. They would not be able to fend for themselves because their first instinct may no longer be to kill or be killed. Maybe they’d want to try to make friends first. Maybe a beagle would try to sniff a wolf’s butt, while the wolf swiped claws first and asked questions never.
Sentience, self-awareness, may start simply with the desire to be more than hate and fear. To be more than kill or be killed.
So when human beings resort to violent behavior, to fear of THEM and hatred of the Unknown, we risk DE-EVOLVING. We risk culturally becoming what our ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago fought so hard to suppress. We risk losing the something more than the sum of our parts that we’ve achieved after billions of years of evolution.
And maybe objectively speaking this self-awareness thing IS NOT A GOOD THING. Maybe objectively speaking this actually makes us weak. Maybe it makes us prey. Maybe if we aren’t trying to kill or be killed, we’re just setting ourselves up to fail, but last i checked we were still a formidable force on this planet and our behavior for better or for worse has massive consequences on this planet.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were able to use this power and influence over our own environment in ways that were beneficial to ALL of us? Not just some at the expense of others? Not just some of our own kind at the expense of others? not just OUR SPECIES at the expense of every other species whose extinctions are our own fault either indirectly or directly?
There is no such thing as status quo. There is only change. We are not the end of evolution. We’re just a stepping point on a long ladder that’s maybe halfway wherever it’s going to go. Where mankind goes from here is going to be determined by us and our offspring, just as how we are where we are right now is directly because of the countless men and women whose shoulders we now stand upon.
What is the law? To walk on two legs. Not on four. That is the law. Are laws made to be broken? Or are laws really just reminders of what we know works and what we know doesn’t?
I hold this truth to be self-evident. I don’t know, but I got a very good idea.