Identity, free speech and some thoughts in between…
Some Sunday writing…..So…Humans are biological programmable machines. Easily manipulated to act out the program under the dubious pretences of free will and choice. The conscious mind will step in and say “no, I make my own choices and am in control” reaffirming anthropocentric delusions of grandeur that have kept us locked within our own cage of our ego. A generation in love with their own reflective identity, as with Narcissus gazing upon his pool. As a programmable biological machine, who pray tell is doing the programming?
There seems to be a movement towards, which on reflection has most likely been the case since time immemorial, the group identity, where individuals are forsaking their own values and unique thinking for the collective hive mind. Automating the identity so as to be accepted by the group is easier than looking in the mirror, getting to the core of your being and values, and becoming your own individual self. Individuals will act within a group, that which they would not do individually — the group mind gives permission to act out moral and value transgressions, which would otherwise be deemed unacceptable. I, along with liminal cats, say (or meow) “do not outsource your identity unnecessarily”.
Democracies are great when the public is educated — unsure why it is that we know more about our favourite sports teams than the policies and important decisions that govern our lives! Democracies are not so great when the majority of societal participants are largely uneducated bigots with little understanding of critical thinking and empathy. As a society it looks like we’re the latter, with a downward trend line.
It is great that everyone has an opinion — but opinions are not necessarily truth. They are merely the information and data that a person has exposed themselves to, that to a large extent essentially confirms their own biases and partialities. Oh what a joy to be aware of your own biases, when listening to another — oh the wealth of new information you would be gifted — imagine approaching an argument or even discussion with a framework of “what if this person is correct”, how that would uplift your interactions beyond the comfortable, defensive walls of your own ego!
Imagine having the ability to take in information without feeling the need to cancel it or have it censored for fear of it disrupting your perspective of reality. Oh the liberation to be able to entertain ideas objectively.
In light of the current state of affairs, what I find worrying is that the use of the term “conspiracy theorist” is now a seemingly acceptable way to respond to an idea or concept different from your own or doesn’t fall within the consensus/mainstream view. This term is also great at shutting down critical thinking.
It would be a worthwhile exercise for anyone who thinks this term whenever they read something, or come across an idea that they don’t agree with to think “Do I actually know anything about this idea? is this an emotional response because this idea challenges my thinking and framework of reality? am I confusing the message with the messenger?
There are relevant theories and there are whacky theories — just because you know little to nothing about one of them, doth not mean it is a conspiracy. Pay attention to your emotions, and how they can drive beliefs which inform opinions.
It would be great if schools produced inquisitive and curious young adults, that were able to think for themselves and questioned that which both makes and doesn’t make sense. Because why not. We are the sum total of our consistencies and the more you outsource your opinions and emotions to external agents, the more you fall under the influence of your conditioned behaviours. If you want, outsource your research, but please do not outsource your opinion — it is a gift and thus is worthy of mastery that enhances the life of this biological shell we’ve been gifted with.
Free speech is a thing of the idyllic past, or actually never existed, except in the minds of inspired philosophers. You are not free if you are bound by parameters defining what faux freedom you have.
Seems like ideas are being shut down due to fear of them gaining followers. People don’t necessarily have ideas, but ideas have people.
I’ve typically found people, a generalisation yes, to be more interested in being right than correct, and will argue the point regardless of the correctness of it. I enjoy this as a cognitive exercise, but lay no attachments to it so as to get offended by another’s thoughts, opinions, speech or ideas. Long live the reality that other people have ideas different to your own.
Market pro-tip: Go long on bigotry, whilst shorting critical thinking. Epic and easy profits for the unsophisticated thought investor.
Herded like cattle, the Dylan Thomas in me doth say, in a manner fit for, and reappropriated for the critical thinker today, “do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light”.
And in the spirit of a different Thomas, one who Jesus held close, question, question, question, and believe if you will.
Namaste, strength and honour.