A long overdue debate breaks out about whether rational atheism is being used as a cover for Islamophobia and US militarism.
I am willing to let other people attempt to convert me mostly because I am very curious as to why on earth anyone would take something humans wrote in a book to be the word of “God.” The idea baffles me and I am sincerely curious. Conversations I’ve had on the matter have ended abruptly after I make this point and the religious person claims faith, which is like a different language to me and we don’t have much more to discuss. To convert me I would need someone to (1) convince me using the scientific methodology I described above, or (2) convince me to dismiss logical reasoning in favor of faith-based thinking.
Oh and I suppose I am asking you to convert me to anything non-atheistic, meaning to consider religion and/or God as valid possibilities.
I can't decide to not wear a seatbelt while driving or being driven. The Justice component of our fair governing body has passed legislation requiring me to wear my seatbelt, and they base the justification of these legislations upon the ethical consideration referred to as Legal Paternalism, which inherently describes that the law must father citizens within it's jurisdiction or society. I understand this concept, and I agree with it.
However this is merely an example that I like to cite when discussing a different topic- the topic of ethics in society regarding the use of cigarettes and alcohol. There are many ways in which laws outright contradict each other in their intentions. Also, and most importantly, the ethical considerations which are referenced as the basis for the justification of the creation and implementation of legislation are not- in fact- the true basis for justification at all. The true and logical precept is not the ethical consideration, because if the only basis were the ethical considerations then the law would not be as it is. It is my honest belief that the true and unwritten justification for the precise legislation in this matter is and has always been a form of class warfare. In fact, it is my honest belief that the entire justice system is essentially a form of class warfare.
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When one thinks about alcohol or cigarette consumption, and considers the weight of scientific data which concludes that such things are vastly detrimental to the health of the user, it becomes immediately apparent that people should not consume these substances at all. Therefor if this is the only thing we consider then we would naturally tend towards the creation of legislation the requires people to not consume these things at all, and requires any company or individual to not create or distribute- whether for profit or not- any of these substances to anyone within our society. However this is not the status of our current legislation. The form of our current legislation would rather give someone the freedom to handle fire, and then punish them when they get burned, but those with money do not get punished. Those with enough money may simply purchase their freedom instead, with some slight restriction. For instance one may pay to stay out of jail, to be fairly represented, and to have their punishment stay off their record after a short time. They still are punished, but it does not affect their lives nearly as negatively as someone who cannot pay for these things, and for that reason I believe that the the system is designed to push down the poor and uplift the rich as an aside to any relevant punishment.
American society, or perhaps Western society as a whole, uses these substances as a mechanism for the perpetuation of chaos and death. Death and decay is an essential part of nature. The lowest parts of the food chain feed off of and consume the decay, which brings from it new life. Being a naturalist myself, I must say that though I have a distaste for the incidence of this happening at all, I understand it to be inevitable and quite necessary. So here we have an entertainment industry that is largely dependent upon the consumption of these substances. We have a workforce that is kept underfoot through their willingness to keep themselves underfoot in the first place. I might think of this as wrong that some higher force would "do" this to the lower forces, but I don't believe that is true. I used to, but now I do not see it this way. We are here underfoot, because we decided by our actions to be here. We did not aspire to obtain greater education. In many cases our confusion about reality causes our thoughts, our actions and our intentions, to be terribly misguided. Of course the most important thing to understand regarding this situation we are in as a society is that we asked for this in the first place. As a society we asked for there to be a system above and around us which takes care of everything we become too complacent to take care of for ourselves. Also there are things we cannot do as individuals, but only as a collective can we do great things, and so it is inevitable that there is a system.
One question remains now, which is to ask, "is this wrong that the system is this way?" I cannot say that it is necessarily wrong. Perhaps certain aspects are questionable, but we must be reminded that the system was created in the first place by the adherence to social contracts which were created and implemented by the people themselves- the rich and the poor. Rather, the educated and the rich created the contracts and the poor either actively supported it or passively ignored it. The world is not perfect, and in no case can anyone claim that, but we may look at case studies which conclude that doing it any different way might be worse for everyone than the way we have it now.
For much of my life I have felt that I don't want to be part of this society- that I never asked for these social contracts and that I don't want them, and that I wish there were somewhere I could go that had no such thing. I think it would be interesting if there were a place set aside in the world where anyone who had such thoughts could go to, and there they could play out the disastrous consequences that would arise as an effect of the decisions they make as individuals. That way the rest of the world could use that place as an example of why it is necessary and inevitable to have societies and systems. Then we wouldn't have the problem of everybody thinking they know what's best, but never being able to prove it or fully explore their ideas. We wouldn't have radical anarchists running amuck and disestablishmentarianists terrorizing innocent people. We wouldn't have the backwoods rednecks who think that we should turn back the clock on hundreds of years of social and political progress to return to a way which didn't work in the first place. If they were able to just practice what they preach they would come to understand the error of their aspirations, but when it is impossible for these people to even try what they believe would work they become restless and resentful in their convictions. That's when they act out and become unstable or in other words destabilize things external to themselves.
It is not necessary, though, to actually have a place to go which has no system, because through social education we may run scenarios in a soap box type of existence- essentially within our minds- and we can come to these vital understandings that way. Therefor it is my belief, finally, that people should undergo such social education. Should they be required to undergo this education? No I can't say that, but only because of my uncertainty. The system we have isn't perfect either. I just think it's the best choice as of now, and so we always need fresh minds to bring unique ideas to the table. If we politically indoctrinate people then we would lose that variety of unique ideas, and so for that reason we must allow there to be the anarchists and the backwoods politicians. We must allow people to drink alcohol even though it's terrible for them. We must allow people to smoke cigarettes even though it is terrible for them. We must allow this, because it doesn't always cause a problem with someone else. It may be unhealthy, but legislation requiring people to be healthy would be seen as terribly unconstitutional. Does this mean that there are fundamental problems with the constitution itself? I think it does. Do we have anything better to work with? I don't think we do. So we carry on, in spite of the flaws, and perhaps one day we can forge a new social contract which will eliminate those flaws and create a utopian society as a result. However this may never happen, because there will always be new life and eventual death. This is the law of nature and cannot be changed.