I sometimes wonder, with all the writing I do, whether I can find time to write for a BLOG, let alone maintain it in much of any way. Not to worry, I have a wonderful source of inspiration in the form of the women who spur me on with their questions, comments, ideas, and their absence of any reluctance to argue with me and point out the errors of my way. I end up like a daily drunk on his front stoop, explaining to the woman in his life why he did not meet her expectations and why they might seem unfair to him.

Not that any of the fair ladies in my life would really treat me that way, including the love of my life, Mama Lou.

————————————–

from D—- (she knows who she is) “The ones pushing religion onto us have the gall to go up against the great erudite minds past and present, with their noodly platitudes and dogma and imagine they have a legitimate argument. THAT pisses me off.”————————————–

Noodly platitudes? Shades of the flying spaghetti monster! No, not in Xianity! I will rebel against them taking over the only reason for meatballs to exist. I cannot have that. No!

Whew!!! (wipes brow)

The great erudite minds of past and present are thinkers.

The great power of religions arises from feelers.

Feelers (thinking according to emotional rather than reasoned input) direct themselves according to what *feels* right versus what *feels* wrong. Objective reasoners have been taught (they claim) methods by which they can avoid the effects of emotional input upon their thought processes. For the most part, it works because reasoned input can be subject to testing and verification, and sooner or later will pass or fail inspection not only by other objective reasoners, but also by the feelers who will pick it apart in all the strange ways they can find and question every jot and tittie of it.

As a result, the feelers end up improving the very things they pit themselves against, and, hazardous though that process be, the information pool gets polished, corrected, and perfected, while the god-pool gets drained just a little bit more. You can hate the feelers, their ignorance, their slimy methods and the tracks they make across the contents of our minds, and the interim influences they make upon society, but the objective result of their efforts is against their own beliefs. They do, as it gets said, shoot themselves in their feet with every effort.

Why is that? I an sure you have noticed (if you will pause to realize it) that the process of thinking is incompatible with that of feeling. Feeling, in fact, prevents reasoning within the same body, except according to terms laid down by whatever is the ongoing emotion. It affects us in all ways, not just in our religious beliefs.

We *feel* lust, call it love, end up married, and wonder how it happened that pint-sized humans are making such strenuous demands upon ourselves.

We see someone doing something that appeals to us and struggle to become like that person, only to *feel* disheartened by all the unappealing effort it takes.

We hear a threatening noise in the darkness, and freeze in place because we *feel* too afraid to find a way to escape.

Our parents and all the adults we *feel* a need to trust for our very survival all seem to agree there is a world full of demons and angels that somehow shares tangential space with ours. Even though *reason* tells you that violates natural laws, you (and plenty of others who give you reinforcement) can imagine how it must be true, as almost everybody you know tells you it is. The only people to argue against it are a very few whose ideas seem wierd according to everything we have been taught to be true, and so we *feel* like they are just a bunch of nuts out on a limb.

So, I violated the rule of threes to show you how *feelers* are just normal people who have gotten trapped in a memeplex from which they can find no escape, nor any need to. Think of someone born in isolation, inside a room of some kind from which no exit ever gets made. All the awareness of anything beyond that confinement will come from bits and pieces of information planted in his/her consciousness by the parade of visitors whose support is necessary for survival.

Imagine how frightening the outside world would seem to such a person, how worried she would someday feel about its possible encroachments into her domain, how protective of her room she would eventually come to be, and how much invective she might spew against whom-or-whatever seemed to be threatening to her security. Imagine that, and then think of that room’s walls as representing the parasitical memeplexes that enclose most people’s minds, and how they act in just the same way as would that person when someone tries to poke holes into the complex makeup of that.

What it boils down to is this: Should we continue to *feel* hate against such persons as are trapped within memetic walls?– or should we *feel* sorry for them? Should we not, instead of either, *realize* things are the way they are at this time in the evolutionary phases of planet Earth, and attempt to *reason* out ways to increase the influence of *reason* upon a world that’s stuffed to overflowing with those who *feel* their ways through life. Remember: emotions prevent reasoned thought except in terms demanded by the emotion. It is a powerful trap waiting to snare all of humanity, and none of us are immune to falling into it.

We all need to always question our own emotional responses to assure ourselves the trap is not about to snare us and drag us down to the level of what-or-whoever influenced us to *feel* a response we can only express in emotional terms.

————————————–

D. responded with what boils down to “Why should we feel sorry for the religious, or pamper them? (They) have been coddled far too long, it is time to stop mincing words and tell it like it is, political correctness be damned.”————————————–

Well, maybe. :8^)~

The trouble is, we gotta find out what actually works and do that, because argument and reasoning doesn’t work. All it accomplishes is to arouse their feelings, and stunt their thought processes, and ends up having that same effect upon ourselves.

You make it quite clear that you are going through that process right now, and are feeling upset by it. Since I, too, had to live through that, I wonder if people are naturally incapable of taking pain/pleasure lessons from it, or if the necessity of living through the entire process is a result from our being so completely unschooled about the place of pleasure/pain in the human animal. Being a philosophical hedonist, I frame things that way because it seems to be more real than other methods I’ve tried for assessing human actions.

————————————–

She returns with (edited):

“…they have a brain like I do, eyes, ears. It is not like they were living incommunicado, born on, and isolated within, a desert compound.”

————————————–

The Mormons are extreme examples of exactly what I refer to. Islamics are another example, terrorists especially, but the Mormons are regarded to be Xians (same, only different).

They are taught to not use their brain for thinking, to never question, doubt or be skeptical, and then mainly get placed in the midst of others who will do nothing but support them in that, and who make “feeling” explanations of why alternative ideas are erroneous. Reasoned ideas are foreign to their mentalities, so their eyes and ears serve to warn them they are in the presence of something to be regarded as a threat, that the voice of Satan (or whichever) is speaking to them, to not listen or they will be guilty of sin, etc. They are thus, in effect, isolated from reason, which (considering the numbers) is regarded by them to be “incommunicado, born on, and isolated within, a desert compound” somewhere they are not, and so different from their larger view of the world as to be beneath their contempt. I hate that as much as you, but it is true, and it is up to us to use our eyes, ears, and ability to reason and project potential results, to figure out how best to make our views accessible to “feeling” at the outset of their exposure to them. They have already been well taught ways to respond to natural facts and the reasoned arguments derived from them by the time they are matured enough to go out looking for prey on their own.

————————————–

D. further comments about a previous message (see the foregoing):

“I think my “feeling” response to believers’ stupidity and irresponsibility springs from a rational thinking process – the situation was examined and a clear judgment made. Where is their skepticism? Their doubt? Their curiosity? They are pathetic. They are cowards.”

————————————–

They are “cowards” because they are taught to fear their gods and their demons, not because of anything real or physical. They are given lessons all their lifetimes about “Doubting Thomas” and the wiles by which devils will lead them off “the path of righteousness” that they and most of their peers expect each other to walk. Their skepticism, doubt and curiosity were vanquished at a young age, to be replaced with the regard that such things are evils imposed by Satan to tempt them, and by their gods to test their worthiness of access into Heaven and avoid Hell after death. They are living tortured, hopeless lives into which they were indoctrinated so young they had no thinking processes developed yet, all that is real replaced by myths and misinformation to which they refer for their own support.

Knowing that, I have no explanation for myself, but I do know what it took to show Mama Lou how to face the truth she so fully accepts at this stage of our lives. It took my patience, my love, my constant willingness to explain, to demonstrate, to be as entirely honest with her as I could find ways to be and so earn her trust. I have watched other couples (my own folks at times, for one set) get into violent arguments that got them absolutely nowhere, so I believe my advice is well-founded and worthy of consideration.

I can too well understand the urge to fight that religious people induce in us, but we have to remember that fighting equates us, at a smaller level, with the USA’s pogroms upon the world and all such attempts to induce Xianity –oops!–I mean “Democracy”– into all the world’s citizenry so that Jesus will hurry up and come back to haunt us with his nail-pierced presence. It could be that in reverse, of course, but that avoids the point.

Xians come to taunt us, of course, just the same as the Bush war was begun against Sad Man Hussein, and still continues beyond King W’s reign of terror. If we willingly engage them, let it be to harden ourselves against their attacks, to find the chinks in our own armor, and to have nothing to do with the hordes of them who, for so long as others will back them up, do not hesitate to jump onto us using the same failed tactics over and over again until they can wear us into submission.

They hope! Take a lesson and let them teach you how to be a stronger atheist. They will try all kinds of ploys upon you, and your only purpose has to be about yourself and not about them. Let their ability to piss you off inspire you to discover how to respond in ways they cannot destroy, however and whenever you can. Let your piss-offedness inspire you to remember that reason is futile and for good reason, and so you must find “feely” ways to respond to them and make your points.

They are there to fight; show them some hedonic responses that they will not have any idea what to do with. Show them the love that getting you pissed off arouses, give them some praise for the (even if you have to invent it) good parts of what they said to you, explain how it benefits you and what support it gave for your own positions, and lay it onto them. They will hate discovering how they shoot their own feet full of bullets with the only result of that being to give you new reasons for suporting atheism. Want to inspire pain in them? Give them that and you will have invaded their “feely” domain with your powerful presence. The “luv” people are so unfamiliar with love they will likely faint from exasperation, guilt and shame for a moment of pleasure they tried their dambdest to not have.

————————————–

Predictable questions: “Why should I be the one to do all the giving in and walking on eggshells just to avoid offending them? That is what this is all about, right?

————————————–

That is definitely not at all it. Try to remember, this is about ‘feely’ thinking versus ‘reasoning’ and an attempt to examine the incompatible differences. ‘D’ mentioned above about her own feelings that resulted from reason, that lead to support for her atheism because she cannot substantiate what the religious propose to her as true in any reasonable fashion. The problem is that her own questions about how to deal with the fundies in her life result from feely thinking, thinking in response to their actions against her and their treatment of her, rather than by any thoughtful approach she could contrive, try out, and adopt according to her testing and refinement of it– in other words, rationalizing is not the same as reasoning.

But, that my making of kind of response to her problem is nothing other than a demonstration of how pitting reason against emotions fails. I can only help her by following my own advice, which is to appeal to her emotionally originated question with a response aimed at feely actions. Before I do that, however, I want the reader to know there is no reason to condemn emotionally inspired reasoning, if one learns its place and contains it there.

For one thing, people incapable of emotions are also incapable of such laudable feelings as empathy, and so are incapable (as I understand it, correct me if I’m wrong, please) to realize how their actions affect others, good or bad. It is empathy, more than anything, that enables us to be sociable animals capable to live together and work together as humans must for species survival. The most effective moral and ethical codes, for that reason, are those that promote empathetic values and expectations of congruence.

Secondly, emotions can inspire an animal (which includes us) to respond to apparent emergencies much faster than reasoning out how to go and what do do while assessing the conditions to see if the emergency is real. It is that, in many situations, that means the difference between life and death, or escape and maiming. Emotions do have a valid place in our lives, but we need to understand that place a lot better than we seem to.

As ‘D’ has pointed out, emotions lend strength to help support the results of our reasoning. They arise because we have vested interests in the results of our reasoning over time, and that interest grows with the amount of effort we have invested into it. Just because one has had problems with feely thinkers invading her life does not mean emotions must be condemned; it does mean that she must recognize how to respond in kind, which apparently is not all that obvious, especially to the kind of person accustomed to subduing her emotions while struggling to correct her own worldviews in the most objective fashion of which she is capable. She knows she is right in her assessments, she can prove she is right, and she rightly feels upset when others refuse to see that and so devalue the investment she has made to gain her own sense of rectitude.

So, does that lead us to believe, as she seems to sense if my prediction of her next response is anywhere near right, that she should just “give in” and pacify those who molest her sensibilities with what she sees as offal thought? We ought to recognize that it should be understood without having to say it, she possesses the same rights as do those who violate her space by imposing their views upon it. Having said it, she should seek to generate effective responses rather than bow down to their aggressiveness.

Since reason obviously has no effect upon their feely-gained thought processes, the futility of attempting to apply it seems obvious, especially when all attempts to do so have failed her to the point of frustration. Effectiveness can only result from expressing herself with feely words, if anything at all she does has any hope of showing the validity of her own point of view to feely thinkers. She can do so by trying several roads to see which has any hope at all of establishing her credibility to them. Resorting to tears, though obviously an emotional response, will not work in this situation, as her accosters would take that as a sign of their success at “breaking her spirit.”

Rather than argue right and wrong, she could try to explain her disgust at their actions and violations of her rights and hard-won standards; her offense as a result of their condescending arrogance; her sense of injury as a result of what can only be emotional attacks as they slander her person with their disgustingly fallacious edicts; the sense of threat they present due to her awareness that they have nothing real to give them guidance, which they demonstrate by their disdain; the fear instilled by their presence due to her awareness of their religion’s violent history; the trepidation she feels about there being so many variations of their beliefs, all of which claim to possess the only truths available to humans…. Oh, yes, the list of potential feely arguments goes on and on, but I am sure that by now the idea is clear, and that how to put it to work is now apparent.

————————————–

That’s not all there is to it, folks. Stay tuned for subjects of increasing relevance with this BLOG’s main interest (Yes, we will eventually get to that). After all, pleasure and pain are ‘feely’ aspects that how to keep in balance remain of interest to us, hedonists or not, and it all ties together into a cogent whole. You can learn more by paying a visit to http://www.hedonwriter.com or http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0050UV8DS

Advertisements