I’ve had many religious friends over the years and many of them seem extraordinarily happy. The ones I’ve stayed close to don’t push their religion on me. But they do encourage me to join their way of thinking, if only so I can join in all the good feelings.
Here’s the problem…
To a freethinker, religion is like poking out your eyes because you think you’ve seen enough.
It is like pouring concrete into your ears because you think you’ve heard enough.
It is like lobotomizing yourself because you think you know enough.
You’ve read all the books you need ever read–namely, one.
You’ve got all the answers you’ll ever need.
You are happy.
I understand this. There is immense comfort in a feeling of certainty. Even joy. The joy of letting go. Of surrendering. And of belonging–of knowing others think the way you do. Continue reading Sure, Religion is Comforting. But So What?
- Think for yourself. Most people accept the ideas they’re taught by their parents, school, peers, and culture. Independent thought is discouraged in our early lives. We are frequently punished for disagreeing with others (even if only with scorn) and rewarded for towing the line. This is how bad ideas perpetuate through the centuries. The older ideas are, the harder they are to question, challenge, or oppose. An independent thinker, however, is oriented toward truth rather than pleasing others or society. Independent thought is freethinking–they are synonymous.
Continue reading The Freethinking Manifesto
Are humans living up to their full potential as a species? I’d be willing to bet you think not. If you’re like most of us, you think humans are aiming their sights pretty darn low. In some ways, barely above savage.
Humanity makes it hard for us to be optimists. The higher the potential you see for humanity, the more likely you are to receive pain for your troubles. It would be so easy to become a cynic, just throw up your hands and think the worst, and have the comfort of being “right” all the time. Trouble is, you just don’t feel that way. You know, on some level, we are capable of so much better. The good news is, you’re not alone. There are other crazies like you, and we get it. You feel a sense of disconnect with society, as if it’s slipping along on rails toward a precipice with the bridge out, heedless to your cries that we’re all wearing wings. Continue reading What’s Holding Humanity Back?
We’re all guilty of apathy every once in a while.
The world and its problems can be overwhelming. And absurd. Absurdity, as we’ve talked about before, can be especially paralyzing to intelligent people. It shuts the thinking mind down.
If you have an opponent who can articulate a position, at least you have an inroad for discussion. You can DO something.
But when things are happening in the world that just seem, well… ludicrous–things that you feel infants should be able to see their way through–the temptation is to throw up your hands, declare the world fit for its handcart, and shut yourself away while you wait for the grey goo implosion.
To me, the absurdity is not usually the problem itself. Humans have always had problems. There always has been (and always will be) a cast of villains trying their damndest to F-over humanity. (Here’s a hint: they’re usually the ones claiming to save it.)
The absurdity is what people unthinkingly accept. What they consider “normal”.
Consider. These are the new “normal”… Continue reading This is What We’re Calling “NORMAL” Now?
In the last installment, we talked about ways in which ideology, or camp-thinking, has disastrous effects upon society as a whole. We talked about how isms:
- create enemies, by perpetuating “Us and Them” thinking
- create warfare on our lives, even with supposedly “harmless” labels, since they eventually entrench themselves within institutions of power
- cause us to fear and reject new ideas, since they threaten the status quo
- cause us to ignore/dismiss desperate cries of warning, since they are perceived as an attack on our “identity” group
- create the illusion of “sides”, hence legitimize the notion of humanity as separate tribes in perpetual competition for their own “kind”
- pervert the entire purpose of your society, such that each of us unwittingly plays part in a larger story which continually re-affirms the “Us-Them” distinction until it becomes next to impossible to challenge
Now, let’s discuss the all-important question: what do we do about it?
Continue reading The End of Isms (Part 5): Conclusions and What to Do