I was introduced to the concept of “evil” at a very young age. It was introduced to me through religious conservatism, as well as through television news. Both were saturated with incessant talk of evil things that people were doing all around the world. When my religion taught me that I was evil, when I watched “the news”, I equated my evil with their evil. I equated myself to the murderers on the television, even though I hadn’t killed anyone. If we’re all lost as sinners, then who cares about comparisons?
Just thinking about evil is exhausting. There is no way to create a perfect man. How do we “measure” ourselves as good? Or, better yet, is there value in measuring how “good” we are?
In the past, I would’ve said “Yes”. I measured my good (as well as the good of the whole world) to see who among us, including myself, was going to Heaven. But I never knew what that amount of good needed to get into Heaven was. But I measured away anyway, completely dissatisfied, as the only result I came up with was that “None of us are good enough.”
Well, my religious beliefs have changed over time. And so have my ideas about “good”. But evil still bugs me. I still notice it everywhere. I seem to notice it all of the time. I don’t think it is really possible to ignore it. Throughout the day, I think everyone will, at least one time throughout that day, say “Damn. That isn’t right.” Evil is simply too prevalent to ignore. Sure, when we’re playing with our kids, or reading a book, we aren’t thinking about someone getting raped or murdered in the world. But surely it’s happening. There will be no “end” to it until we die.
Since none of us are sure when we are going to die, and surely we don’t want to think about death constantly, what do we have to look forward to? Why does “looking forward” matter? What do we have but to “look forward”? We look forward as well as looking back. We pleasantly reminisce about the past, while being thankful for getting passed the negative times. We dread the future, while looking forward to what we believe we will enjoy about it. There’s no “constant settling point” with regards to the past and the future (besides the fact that we are alive in the present). There’s no “perspective” that ultimately takes precedent. The past, the present, and the future engage all of our minds. But there’s something special to be said about “moving on”. To hoping. And to just being thankful. You can’t be thankful for anything when your whole life is spent anxiously lamenting and condemning the lack of perfection in the present. Sadly, even this can be taken over by anxiety. There’s nothing that anxiety can’t ruin. It’s a shame.
I should state that, once again, I’m not against lamentation completely. Of course, I’m not completely (there’s that word again) against anxiety. Both serve important functions. But there’s a difference between compassionately bringing up a serious subject that needs attention, and being an asshole about it that no one wants to listen to (being an asshole, I should know this). The latter ultimately boils down to a fear of the lack of “perfection”. I think, ultimately, the motivation comes into play, as well as the “soundness” of one’s argument when one brings up an issue. Is it objectively an issue? That should be argued. After that, why are you bringing up the issue? That should be discussed as well. After those are discussed, it can then be determined whether or not the issue being put on the table is worth “tackling”. Even with this, there will, ultimately, be breakdowns in communication, as ends will conflict with ends, means will conflict with means, etc.
My solution to this is: do what you want. If you want to argue, then argue. If you don’t, then don’t. One can try to bring to the attention of others as many wrongdoings as one can. My measurement is “However many one wants to”. Does it bring you some sense of joy to bring a problem to light? Do you receive something from it psychologically? If so, bring it up. But if you do not gain anything from it, I think the whole situation is fruitless. The nurse that tends to others as a “duty” without getting any pleasure from caring for others is missing the point of her helping others. Of course, they are being helped. That’s important. But the issue is: why wouldn’t that bring one joy? That is the even deeper issue at hand. If one is compassionate, wouldn’t helping others out bring that person joy? (Personal Happiness as a Virtue).
I’m not being stabbed right now. That’s a good thing. I focus on doing things in the present. And that’s what we all do. We all go through our day, working our jobs, reading books, doing a whole range of actions without thinking of the people getting violently attacked throughout the world.
Many would see this as a bad thing. Many people spend their whole lives pointing out these wrongs. Indeed, I would have to say I’m included among these “Hey, this is bad” pointer-outers. Should it not be the case that each and every single one of us should point out each and every single wrongdoing that we are aware of constantly? Wouldn’t this be a good thing?
In the first place, most “moral” ideas never take into account man’s limited nature. Man has to sleep. Poop. I’m not going to be able to help a man getting stabbed while I’m asleep. Nor when I’m pooping. What if the murder is happening hundreds, if not thousands of miles away? What if I have to poop? Not only that, but even if I didn’t have to poop, am I really to fly all the way around the world, only to risk my own life to save someone else? I’d certainly find it noble if someone decided to do that themselves. But should I do it for the “overall good”?
I have reasons for not flying to Africa to help out, for example, someone getting murdered, or for not flying anywhere to help out anyone suffering any kind of injustice. Why? Well, I don’t want to spend the money on a plane ticket. Nor drive to the airport. Figure out where I’m going to stay once I got to wherever I was going. Not to mention, I’d, more than likely, be putting myself in danger. What if I, for example, get kidnapped? Who will help me? My point is that when it comes to “good” and “action”, there has to be some other way to think about it besides the “perfection” attitude: that everyone must spend all of their time and energy to combating every injustice in the world all at once until every justice is eliminated. That is impossible. But, more importantly, I don’t want to do it.
This, of course, does not mean that I am completely against helping out people in need. I, personally, am not going to go out of my way to search for people in need (I commend those that do), but if I see someone get hit by a car, I’d, of course, have no problem with dialing 911. It isn’t that I’m against any person receiving help at all, but I am against an attitude of “moral perfection”. Words like “perfect”, “complete”, etc., really can’t be applied to humans; especially when “good” is involved (this, of course, does not mean that punishment should never happen).
I learned a long time ago that nobody is perfect (I don’t think I learned it in a particularly healthy way). But I was asked “WWJD (What would Jesus do?)” I was taught that I should live a “Godly” life. I spent much of my life being worried over “doing enough.” But enough is enough.
There comes a point when we have to accept our own limitations. I certainly don’t ever think we should say “Welp, that man raped that lady and stole her purse. Oh well. What are ya gonna do.” In an immediate circumstance, when one becomes aware of a wrong, it is certainly commendable to try to “right” the wrong. And there’s various different ways to go about trying to “right a wrong”. But the key to this and what I mentioned earlier is anxiety. Anxiety relating to “perfection”. Of course, it is perfectly natural to feel anxious if one witnesses an attack. But why do you feel anxious? You feel anxious for your own safety, anxious about the health of the one attacked, anxious about the safety of anyone else that may happen to run into the attacker, etc. Anxiety isn’t the problem, but why are we anxious, and what are we anxious about?
“Moralistically”, “good” must be done because one is unsettled by the lack of perfection or perfect good. Any philosophical axiom based on “perfection” must be rejected. We are not God. We don’t have the strength of Superman, the speed of The Flash, etc. Perfection is a destructive goal. It becomes counter-productive. The purpose of doing good is that…well, it is just good. It spreads good will throughout humanity. Compassion is natural and genuine. But the idea of “perfection” waters down “compassion”. Imagine you are a nurse. There are one-hundred seriously injured people under your care, all wailing out in immense pain. “Good perfection”, besides being the case in one definition that no one would ever suffer anything negative ever, would require you to be able to at least completely alleviate the pain of all one-hundred patients instantaneously. This simply isn’t possible. The “ultimate good” would be that no one ever experience pain. The “perfectly good” action would be helping everyone at the same time. But these are, quite obviously, impossible. Striving towards an impossible goal is pointless. Life is not about “the struggle”. “The struggle” just exists: we don’t have to manufacture it. In fact, our whole lives are spent alleviating “the struggle”. If “the struggle” is such a noble idea, why do we all spend so much time trying to relieve ourselves from it? We naturally hate our human condition. Conservatives exacerbate this problem by perverting the human condition, and telling us that we must enjoy it: that God is “testing our faith”, and that we should “be thankful for it”. That our suffering gives us credit that we later redeem to God when we die to get into Heaven. (In addition, according to these same conservatives, there’s a billion little things that will take away this “credit”. I think the fact that we all naturally hate “the human condition” says a lot about these perverted conservatives). Liberals exacerbate the problem of the human condition by striving for perfection to pursue the good. They equate compassion with perfection: if we don’t spend every hour of every day fighting poverty, rape, and racism, then we aren’t doing enough good. And, once again, “enough” is only a complete elimination of poverty, rape, and racism.
The problem, once again, is one of “perfection”, or “the perfect good”. “Perfection”, “completeness”, etc., are words that should not be part of one’s ethical vocabulary. One can never be “completely good”, or “perfect”. “Good”, “helpful” action should never be based on perfection, but should rather be accepted as they are: as “good”, and as “helpful”. One man being saved from starvation is good, even if there are countless others that are, at the same time, not being saved from starvation. We must not lose sight of “the good” simply because we can never achieve “perfection”.
Of course, it is true that, in the Christian belief, perfection is required to be saved from eternal damnation. But it is also true that, in the Christian belief, Christ died as a forgiveness of sins as this perfect requirement. That is Christianity. Christianity is “Perfection is required. Welp, here you go. With love.” That’s it. That’s the “extent” of the “perfection”. A nurse can’t alleviate the severe pain of one-hundred patients simultaneously. I suppose God could. But what if He doesn’t? What is the nurse to do? Should she sit around “believing” that she can simultaneously alleviate the pain of all at once? Or should she focus on each patient, one at a time, doing what she can with compassion?
The thing “to do” is what you want. Eat what you want, read what you want, do what you want. If you want to do evil (besides the fact that you’d do it whether or not you had my approval, or anyone else’s), people are going to want to bring you to justice. I think that is the ultimate point of all of this. Expecting everyone to be a sheriff, an executioner, etc., is impossible nonsense. It is an impossible “moral” goal. Someone will want to bring murderers to justice. Someone will want to be a nurse. The key word is “want”. People’s wants will find a way to meet people’s needs; whether people “want” to get paid, or “need” medical care, things find a way to get done. Never perfectly, nor completely, but they happen enough to be significant enough to garner well-deserved positive attention.
This diversity of values truly is a testament to how peaceful coexistence can happen at all. We’ll go back and forth, arguing over how to increase “the good” and decrease “the bad”, but a perfect, complete elimination of “the bad” will never work.
True compassion does not need an anxious duty to ignite action.
“Perfect love casts out fear.”
“‘Respect another’s beliefs’ is another way of saying ‘You’re wrong, and you need to reconsider your beliefs.’ I co-exist, but I do not co-believe. I will always choose the diamond over the piece of coal studded with diamonds.” – Devin Stevens
I realize this is a very odd question for me to ask (most of them are), but it’s nonetheless a question that I feel like asking at the moment.
Actually, it’s a question that I have asked myself ever since I was a child.
I was raised a Free Will Baptist. I know that many people who share that religious experience had more negative experiences than mine, but many of mine were detrimental to my health nonetheless. But, despite that religious upbringing, I was still a naturally compassionate person. I didn’t need religion to tell me to be compassionate. Which is what confused me when I was first introduced to the concept.
You see, like I said, I was naturally a compassionate person when I was a child. I really cared about others. I especially cared for those that I felt were “disadvantaged” compared to me. And this is still painfully true today (I’m just more outspoken than I used to be). But when I became introduced to religion, I began to ask myself “Why am I not a murderer? Why am I not a thief?”
This is important because like I said, I was compassionate. I didn’t have a desire to murder or steal. But yet, I began to worry over them. Isn’t it odd to worry about doing what you don’t do and don’t want to do? Well, ladies and gentlemen, that is religion.
I became consumed with evil. It occupied my mind. I thought, day and night, about “horrible” people. The miscreants of society. The unforgivable. My compassionate nature kicked in, and I asked myself “Why am I not as bad as them?”
Religion introduced me to the horrors of the world (that and news). They showed me how bad man can be (and religion told me that I was the one who was bad). They gave me an image of the world that the world was a dark, unforgiving place, where monsters ruled, and the only salvation was asking Jesus into your heart.
A little later on, some other circumstances solidified my negative outlook on life. And the only thing that restored my sanity was comedy. My negative outlook and sense of humor are still who I am today, and I don’t think that will ever change (for better or for worse). But I developed a deep sympathy for those who were lost: those who murdered. My heart went out to them deeply. I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t want to hate them, because everyone was hating them. I wanted to understand, and I just couldn’t. So I just felt sad. I just felt helpless. I couldn’t help anyone. I wanted to help the murderer, but everyone else wanted justice. I can’t say that they are wrong. But I’ve often felt in a minority about this subject.
To this day, I still wonder about blessings and curses; peaceful people and violent people; healthy people and unhealthy people. The inequality is really hard to bear. Sure, people make choices. But why do some choose violence? It’s the question that will bug us all for all eternity, no doubt.
But, why am I not violent? Why don’t I desire to kill? I think this question comes from a “Christ-like” attitude: taking on the sins of others upon myself. Making myself relate to someone who is in desperate need of help. Trying to empathize with the lost, and sympathize with them because that’s what I want to do. I want to love, and help. But sometimes, you lose. You have to cut your losses. And that fact slapped me across the face harder than a domestic abuser.
So around this time, as I said, my natural empathy mixed with shitty religion for a terrible concoction. Fear was introduced in my life, and so was depression (but depression was caused by other factors as well). The religion took over my empathy, and left me with fear. Just the constant fear that at any moment, I would be cast into Hell. God damn that fear… I can probably say that’s the one thing that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I may say “I hope you get cancer”, or “burn in Hell”, but I don’t think I could ever spitefully say “I hope you fear going to Hell”…(I shudder at those that feel like they are saying that “compassionately”…)
Religion fucked up my life. And I’m still fixing it. I still struggle with accepting sexual feelings, and just having a good life-perspective in general. So much of religion is about hating people (at least the way I received the message): hate the sinner, hate the sin, condemn, condemn condemn. And you don’t learn a goddamn thing when you do it. I’m so fucking ignorant because of that attitude, and I am depressed because of it. I am not as smart as I could’ve been, and I can only lament. My sexual pleasure was reduced because of religion. A large percentage of my childhood was spent in fear because of religion. My perspectives regarding women, and relationships, and romance…all fucked up because of religion. And my heart can only lament…
I am confident that this will continue to change, however. It’s just a matter of having it unravel one little step at a time, which I’m eternally grateful for.
I can only hope that God will continue to grace me with positive feelings, and help me experience this life the way He originally intended. I hope to separate my mind away from the old religion, and experience sexual feelings, romance, and a world perspective, that was originally intended.
I still will have many hurdles along the way, many of which I can’t even think of at the moment, but I’m confident that God will continue to send me along this good path.
Now if only He can send me a good woman, some good pussy, and the desire to keep her along for the ride with me, I think I’ll be set…
People who ask for permission every time they want to initiate physical intimacy with their partner have NO fucking passion in their lives.
What’s the point of being in a relationship?
If she doesn’t communicate to YOU that she DOESN’T want it, how can she expect YOU to do all of the communication? It’s a two-way street.
This does not mean that a man who continues physical intimacy after a woman says “No” has the ethical high ground. But if you ask “Is it okay if I kiss you” EVERY FUCKING TIME you want to kiss her, she is going to leave you due to boredom.
Of course, in SAYING this, I am not offering solutions to PREVENT rape, or what to do AFTER it occurs; but, the most effective way to prevent rape, in my opinion, is a gun. When he starts to try to rape you, kill him. It’s the most effective solution.
“Teaching men not to rape” is childish on MULTIPLE levels, as it patronizes male NON-rapists, and doesn’t deter a man who is willing to rape. It’s attempting to solve a problem with insufficient means, and will only serve to decrease the self-esteem of those shy men who only want PASSION in their lives (I am a firsthand account of this, as this deeply affected me growing up. In fact, you could say that it made me “sexist“. (Feminism creating “male chauvinists”? Ohhh yes. It should be completely fucking obvious why this is the case)).
I’ll never say that there aren’t problems with the way that rape is treated from a rape-victim’s perspective. And I’m not going to compare victims here. But anyone who attempts to discredit male victims of false rape accusations have already discredited themselves.
I have yet to discover if ignorance or covert malevolence comes more into play with emotional issues like this, but I think it’s a combination of both.
In conclusion, I think the best solution to rape is a gun.
Treating all men like children will not slow down rape.
“Rape” must have a clear, coherent definition.
There is a point when unwanted sexual advancement is NOT rape, and a point when it IS. For instance, a compliment on one’s attractiveness, even if it is lewd and unwanted, is NOT RAPE. Smacking women on the ass in public IS sexual harassment, AS ARE verbal sexual compliments when she has made it CLEAR to you when she wants you to stop.
Of course not. She consented, even if begrudgingly. This is NOT rape. I can’t believe this has to be explained.
What if she consented, and then regretted it? Of course not. Keyword: “consent.” Not until she tells him to stop. (Communication is a very nuanced thing).
And what if drugs are involved? Simple:
If she CHOOSES to do the drugs, WITHOUT being physically coerced, and then, while high, agrees to have sex, AND THEN LATER REGRETS IT, then it is CLEARLY not rape, as she made her choices and gave her consent. Therefore, it is SHE who must live with the consequences, INCLUDING the GUILT she might feel: NOT HE.
Physical coercion is a different matter ENTIRELY.
And, of COURSE this isn’t to suggest that there is no such thing as rape. That’s an ignorant conclusion to take from this.
Passion is not rape:
RAPE IS RAPE.
Jokes are not rape.
Books are not rape.
Video games are not rape.
RAPE. IS. RAPE.
(And if you’re stupid enough to ask “Why are you obsessed with rape?”, I’ll simply ask you: “Have you been living under a rock?” If you have been, then go to this site and propose that same question to its users).
I’m looking to make pedophilia mainstream…