Sunday, May 6, 2012

Join The Club

Join The Club

Fringe ideas have always been out there. The original thoughts that may go against the grain of the established ideology. The ideas that may challenge us and our society to the very core.

In my current frame of reference I see religion and factory farming as two key ideologies that are out there and currently being scrutinised by a litany of original thoughts and fringe ideas. Ideologies that are being challenged to the core. Ideologies that should be challenged to the core.

Without my degree in psychology to understand, I have encountered what I would call "ideological protection mechanisms" when confronting the ideas of religion and factory farming. A bit like the robbery shields in a bank. An internal button is pressed and *whack*, up comes an intellectual shield that is impervious to damage (YouTube - Megadeth - Psychotron). Those people who close the gates to any notion of their religion or their dietary choices being challenged or questioned.

More interestingly, if your choices or opinions don't match theirs, they feel a deep sense of vilification. A pain so bad they are close to violence trying to suppress their rage. "You won't discuss religion in my house again", they say. What is this reaction of rage? The loving, patient Christian and their god motivated rage. Other reactions may include repetitive and childish bullying. Is this just insecurity?

Last I checked, the decisions and ideas of others, unless they are imposed on me, are still only their decisions and ideas. If you choose to believe in god and choose to eat meat, good on you. If I choose to not believe in god and to be a vegetarian, when exactly does this become your problem? Maybe I will eat all of the salad and not participate in grace when I am a guest in your house? Not sure.

I get the feeling that these people have walked down the same path so many times, that they just can't change or are scared to hear an opinion of opposition. In reality though, I have found this isn't always true. It seems that football, politics and outcast relatives are all fodder for discussion. In my mind, anything in the public arena should be fair game. Why should religion get a free pass? Why should I ignore the horrors of factory farming and "just eat meat"?

I have heard the saying that you don't discussion religion and politics with people. This really is a terrible shame as it is so true. It seems we can now add animal ethics to this ban. Suppose a society that didn't challenge all ideas. Back to the caves people. The end of innovation and progress as we know it.

What is one to do? Should I just join all of the biggest clubs? Go with the majority. Go with the mob. Choose positions and ideas that allow me to just exist and become an invisible part of the pack. Buy the same, eat the same, believe in the same god, reject individualism and conform. Club Christian or Club Dead Animal anyone? No thanks.

A world where everyone conforms and is part of the same club sounds boring. However, I accept that some people are so insecure in their own opinions that they don't want to talk about them.

One thing is for sure, given questions that attack my core morals and opinions, it would be intellectually stunting to simply deflect the questions. I see that blindly accepting a position, when someone can quite obviously point out a failing in your reasoning, is dishonest. I can understand how a child or young mind may innocently fall victim to this way of thinking, but an adult has no excuse.

It is so obvious that the rejection or blacklisting of fringe ideas and questioning, as a method to protect your indefensible intellectual positions, is absurd.

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