It seems that our culture is losing its ability to say “no.” By this I mean that we are slowly losing the ability to recognize differences and tension between various social elements. On the surface I see things like our blurring of the distinction between race and sex. We mutter the mantra of equality ceaselessly to the degree that I think we are forgetting that there are differences between the races and sexes. To think otherwise is to deny the difference between the cultures of Zimbabwe and Norway. “They are equal” we have been taught, but is this not a half truth?
I will point the finger at “either/or” logic that structures our thought. People can be equal or unequal, you have to choose which by the law of non-contradiction and excluded middle. To some, “both equal and unequal” is not a logically sound statement and definitely not one that is politically correct. The monolithic orientation to correctness seems to have blinded us to some very simple facts of our reality.
The implication of this thinking that has been bothering me is the pervasive untouchable status of religion in our culture. By this I mean “god” has taken on the attributes of always being good and that which is opposed to it is bad. The problem here is that this idea is not just contained within the community of the faithful as it seems to have spread archetypal or unconsciously through our entire society. This has given the concept of “god” taboo status. By extension, this protects religion from criticism.
Why, oh why is it inappropriate to discuss religion in non-flattering terms, as if flattery and obsequiousness are the only ways to approach religion for all. Isn’t this a demented perspective of reality? This isn’t optimism, this is an artificially induced mis-alignment of our perspective of reality. Something should not be questioned or confronted because by its very definition is should not be questioned or confronted? How absurd!
How can we add a little bit of balance back to our world? How can we return to a realistic perspective of reality where light and dark are seen as correlative pairs? When will we be able to ask honest questions and otherwise be critical of the world around us without censure? When will religion and secularism find common ground?
My current curiosities are in memetics and the viral nature of information. It seems that tautological beliefs are a pre-requisite to the propagation of memes. I hope that we can figure something out about this sooner than later as I grow weary of the social ills that follow unquestionable, absolutist authority. As it stands, when someone believes A because A is A, we are not allowed to call them out on it. Can anyone see a meaningful way to do away with this thinking? I’m hoping that the field of memetics will function much like Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity and clearly demonstrate how non-religious religion is. We’ll see where this goes.