I was thinking earlier about Christianity and Islam, and made some interesting observations.
Consider the following facts:
* The majority of Muslims are good people, following the pillars of peace and charity pretty well. Given this truth,
* The “Muslim” extremists are rarer but more violent, typically, than “Christian” extremists. “Christian” extremists are a lot more common but tend to not be as violent. “Christian” terrorists are rarer and tend to have smaller targets, killing fewer people.
Given these facts, and given that terrorism is the last resort of people who don’t think they’re being listened to any other way, I think the reason the “Muslim” extremists are more violent is because extreme “Muslim” believers are so much rarer than their “Christian” counterparts. They don’t have the same high numbers to support them, so they get more extreme in their behaviors than their “Christian” counterparts that have more community support.
Then add this fact: Islam traditionally values knowledge and science, and Muslims are the reason modern Western culture turned out so well, by preserving ancient knowledge and coming up with their own maths and sciences as well.
Of course, all this means Mohammad did a better job of reforming his culture than Jesus did in reforming his. Not a perfect job by any means, just a better job.
I was thinking earlier about Christianity and Islam, and made some interesting observations.
Something I wonder about the Potterverse… do you have to know what a broken object was, and what it looked like, to use “reparo”? Or can you find out what a mysterious broken object is with that spell?
there is a difference between liberation and equality!!! and equality within the parameters of a society that is entirely built on oppression and that relies on oppression to operate is going to be shitty and can only exist by perpetuating other forms of oppression!!!! things don’t exist in a vacuum!!! whoa!!!!
This was originally started as a comment about Ron’s attitude toward house elves:
I don’t think Ron was wrong about house elves. All the evidence of all the books is that house elves genuinely like serving humans, and don’t want to be free; Dobby was a weirdo, like Hagrid said.
For a long time, I’ve thought that Hermione is a symbol for all the privileged people who try to talk for oppressed people without actually bothering to find out what those oppressed people actually want. I don’t think house elves are meant to symbolize human slavery. House elves are not humans; their motivations, habits, wants, and needs are different from those of humans. Even freed, Dobby genuinely loves work, genuinely loves serving humans, and while he wants paying, he doesn’t want much because work is almost its own reward for Dobby. And his final act is protecting his favorite human, giving his life to do so.
House elves aren’t the only non-human sophonts in the Harry Potter series that have very different motivations from humans. The centaurs don’t seem to care much for magic or advancing their technology beyond bows and arrows; instead, they’re obsessed with star-gazing and reading the future. So is it so unusual to think that maybe house elves DO like being slaves?
Should house elves be treated better? Of course. But Hermione charges ahead thinking she knows what they want, ignoring all the evidence that contradicts her flawed reasoning. She’s the perfect symbol of all that’s wrong with “white savior” types both in fiction and in reality. And I don’t think she ever did realize that she was doing anything wrong.
I think this series needs a sequel, where the rest of the issues remaining, like house elves, are tackled. But then, it’s also kind of perfect without that.
I was gonna make this whole huge rant about how much I detest Sundays, but I don’t have the energy to.
I’ll just say this: If you’re not supposed to do any work on the Sabbath, why are you expected to go to church/temple on the Sabbath? Isn’t that work? I mean, it ain’t fucking leisure, that’s for fucking sure. Or if it is leisure for you, then son, you have some issues.
Our justice system is broken. As pointed out to me by a friend, George Zimmerman got let off on a technicality: insufficient evidence. It’s not that he was proven to have not done it, it was that they didn’t have enough evidence to prove that he DID do it, even though it was fucking obvious to anyone with a brain that he did it.
And he’s not the only one. How many violent murdering scumbags are let out into the world for lack of evidence? Or dangerous rapists, for that matter? Too many.
Even worse: once you’re tried for a crime, you can’t be tried for the same crime again, no matter what new evidence turns up. It’s called “double jeopardy.” Which is good in some ways, but in the case of violent murderers and rapists (like George Zimmerman; yeah, did you know he’s both?), it sucks because we’re basically saying “You’re a menace to society and everyone knows it but we can’t prove it so LOL we’ll just let you out and hope you don’t do it again. Enjoy your freedom, shit-face.”
So here’s my proposed fix: along with Guilty and Not Guilty, jurors should be able to rule “Inconclusive,” if there isn’t enough evidence. A ruling of Inconclusive would still let the fucker free, but it would nullify double jeopardy, so that if enough new evidence comes up, the pigfucker will be able to be tried again for the same crime, like he should have the first time.
Granted, it could be abused, even if it’s only applicable to highly dangerous criminals/certain types of crime like murder and rape. So to cut down on the likelihood of abuse, it would require the prosecutors having to prove to a judge that there’s enough new evidence to be worth the time and effort, and to justify re-arresting the guy.
There may be other things someone would have to think of to perfect it, but really, letting dangerous fuckers like George Zimmerman or even serial killers good at covering their tracks, that’s just bullshit and something needs to be done about it. And I think my idea is the way to go about it.
I feel it necessary to make a post about hate and love, and my thoughts and observations on them. This is that post.
There are, in essence, two types of hatred:
* Fear-based hatred
* “Love” based hatred
Fear-based hatred is easy enough to understand. When you hate someone or something with this type of hatred, it is because you fear that person or thing. And you fear it because you don’t understand it. And one may also have no desire to understand the thing one fears. This kind of hatred is the kind of hatred that racists, homophobes, and sexists of varying degrees of severity have. But anything or anyone that you fear can be hated via fear-based hatred.
Now explaining “Love” based hatred is a little more involved. This is because there are two types of love:
* Fear-based love
* True Love
It may be odd to hear a Satanist say this, but that famous Bible quote about love is true, insofar as it’s describing the truest, purest form of love:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (NIV)
Naturally, because of its purity, hatred cannot ever come from True Love.
However, True Love is extremely rare in humans. Almost nobody has ever actually felt it. We’re mortal, and we live in a violent world with violent people in it, and as a result we fear for our lives. We fear for the lives of others. We are awash in fear, and the Right Hand Path religions tend to encourage this fear. Thus, our experiences of love are actually largely Fear-Based Love.
(Something else to keep in mind is that sometimes, people DO feel True Love, at least for a little bit at a time, but then fear creeps back in and taints it. And they often don’t recognize the difference; true love and false love become entangled in their minds.)
Fear-based love is a false love, it is fear and neediness in disguise. It demands others love us so we can feel better about ourselves, or causes us to see in others what we cannot consciously see or accept in ourselves, thus again being self-serving. But being based in fear, it is tenuous. The slightest things can destabilize it and thus cause the illusion of positivity to get washed away and replaced by fear; fear of being rejected, fear of being cast aside, fear of being unlovable. And so Fear-Based Love is only mildly to moderately patient; it is kind only as a ruse; it envies, it boasts, it is full of misplaced pride. It is self-seeking, can be rude, and its ease of anger depends on how strong or how tenuous the feelings. And being based in fear, if those fears come true, or the person thinks they’ve come true, then it can quickly turn to anger, hatred, and venom; it will reveal that it was always jealous, always keeping a record of wrongs. And it may show its true colors in times of difficulty in a relationship; anger is, after all, based on fear. You cannot be angry at anything that doesn’t cause you some degree of fear, whether that’s fear for yourself, fear for others, or fear for the environment. Go on, I dare you to disprove this point.
A lot of atheists, Satanists, and other critics of the Right Hand Path like pointing out that God as He is portrayed in the Bible is NOT a God of Love, no matter what believers may say. But the thing to keep in mind is, whether God is real or not, whether you believe God is an invention of the human mind or believe that the experience of God is merely filtered through human experience, anyone capable of feeling True Love, of banishing fear from their lives entirely, will recognize that there’s a disconnect between some views of God and others. The problem with religions like Christianity is that they fail to recognize the difference between True Love and false love; and by making this mistake, they fail to recognize that the God of their Bible acts out of false love more often than not.
Then again, this is understandable. Most human beings have never had any experience at all with True Love. They don’t know what it is, have never felt it, and so they point to Fear-Based Love and call that Love, when it is not.
Another mistake of Christianity and other RHP religions is the failure to recognize fear, anger, and their related emotions as natural and healthy emotions to feel. Yes, one should always strive to achieve True Love, because if everyone knew the differences between true love and false love, and strove always to achieve true love, the world would indeed be a better place.
But this will be hard to achieve because so many people have mistaken notions about what even True Love is. Even you, having read this post, probably have misconceptions about True Love. For instance, one common mistake of Satanists, a mistake LaVey made and others continue to make in his wake, is that True Love is bigger than human sexual and romantic, or familial, love. True Love has more in common with “basic human respect and dignity for others” than with romantic or familial love. But Yeshuah ben Yosef (“Jesus Christ”) used the word “love” because they had a lot more limited vocabulary back in the day.
When Satanists say “you can’t love everyone,” they’re kind of right; if your only experience of love is Fear-Based Love, that’s correct. Fear-Based Love is small, self-serving, and cowardly. It is thus impossible to love everyone if that’s the only love you’re capable of.
But if you can have hope for humanity, if you can recognize the wonder that is human consciousness, and if you have the large-scale thinking necessary to recognize that all human life is valuable, and that the smallest hurts all add up to make a large and ugly system of centralized bigotry, violence, and fear, then you come to realize that if everyone treated one another
Now I don’t claim to be perfect at this. Or even very good at it. I mentioned above that one can alternate between True Love and Fear-Based Love, and I mentioned it because this applies to me. I get so angry so much of the time BECAUSE I can feel True Love for humanity, BECAUSE I can see the big picture. I alternate between wanting to counteract all the fear and hatred in the world, and contributing to it when fear creeps back into my thinking. Fear for the earth, fear for the viability of the human species, fear that we’ll wipe ourselves out of existence; fear that this precious jewel, consciousness, will be extinguished. Also, when I see how stupid people tend to be, dismay and doubt that humanity will ever live up to its full potential. Fear that humanity will continue to wallow in fear, anger, bigotry, and violence. These fears creep in and taint my thinking. I then get angry at humanity, and take it out on whoever is handy; usually people whom I feel embody some aspect of that disgusting and hateful system. This is why I tend to target militant vegans: they embody rigid modeltheism. So do a lot of religious types, but targeting them is too easy and too boring.
I don’t enjoy being filled with anger all the time. I wish I lived in a world where everyone was good to one another. If we did, it would most likely be a post-scarcity anarcho-communist utopia. That would be awesome. All the things in my life that fill me with fear and rage would vanish. But as long as those things exist, I find it nearly impossible to be a source of positive energy. I do generally try to aim my anger at deserving targets, though; racism, sexism, capitalism, corrupt RHP religions, and so on. I make a special exception for militant vegans because they’re EVERYWHERE and they never fucking shut up, and I have a special hate-on for rigid modeltheism anyway. Which is why I also target the people who take skepticism to extremes of close-mindedness, like Dick Dorkins (Richard Dawkins), Carl Sagging (Carl Sagan), and the ass monkeys at CSICOP.
So if I don’t like being an angry asshole, why am I a Satanist? Because it focuses on what is natural for human beings. It doesn’t condemn any aspect of human nature. I think even LaVey had a kind of fucked-up idea of what constitutes human nature, but then so do most people in Western civilization. I don’t believe hatred is a part of human nature. Fear, yes. But if we work to overcome fear, by striving to understand the things we fear, then fear and anger need never go into full hatred. The only thing that may seem to support the notion of hatred being part of human nature is the fact that negative energy feeds on itself and mates with itself and, thus, in a world full of fear and anger and hatred, those emotions become far easier to experience than more positive emotions.
And so I’m a Satanist, but one that disagrees with a lot of what LaVey said. Even the tone of his book: it just exudes this vibe of hatred. While understandable, I have found over the years that I don’t like it. I still relate to it, I still resonate with it on an energy level, but I disagree with that energy and I disagree with lots of his points. Which is why I gave up the label “LaVeyan Satanist” ages ago, and became a kind of semi-theist Satanist.
That’s another thing I disagree with LaVey on: while I agree that human gods are created by humanity, I don’t feel this means they’re not real to some degree. To rigidly believe in the atheistic point of view is at least as much of a mistake as to rigidly believe in the theistic POV. And again, I am strongly opposed to rigid modeltheism of all stripes. I dislike zealous atheists and zealous theists with equal fervor. I criticize both with equal fervor. Anyone whose mind has been locked shut by any kind of dogma is someone I oppose. Because minds are like parachutes: they only function when open. And in some ways, rigid atheists and rigid “skeptics” are worse than rigid believers, because they’ve convinced themselves that they are open minded, when nothing could be farther from the truth.
Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough. I hope I was clear enough. I have doubts about how many people will understand, and how much. But whatever. I just thought it was important to say.
Every damned one of us is an idiot about something or other.