Preconceived notions based on faulty subjective views

In order to properly disseminate an objective opinion about any topic, one must sever themselves from all preconceived notions they may have about the topic.

That statement above is dedicated to my friend at work, Rick.  When I first met him and managed to sit down and talk to him, it came out that I was an atheist.  His response, to this day, amuses me, “Well, I’ve never met anyone like you.  We’ll work on it and get you back on the right path.”  My first response was laughter, followed by something like, “Yeah right, not gonna happen.”

So since that time, Rick and I have talked about all manner of topics only barely glancing upon religion a couple times but not really addressing it head-on.  That changed this last week.

As I’ve slowly begun to extend myself in friendship to some of my co-workers, it has come to a serious head that I really am surrounded by quite a few very deeply religious people.  What I have learned, and should have expected, was their complete ignorance of what atheism is.  I pity these people because they really have, despite what they say, lived inside a very small box and only been allowed to see just a single small aspect of life.  For some people, that’s the only thing they’ll ever see and they’ll never know anything else, and while the number of those people is overwhelming, I accept that there’s nothing I can do about it, just like I can do nothing about death-rates due to cancer, heart-disease, starvation, war, etc.  I just can’t let myself get pulled down emotionally with that much pity.  Instead, I’ll focus on the people that are starting to peek outside of their box.

In my conversations with Rick, we’ve both sat at his laptop reading scripture, he throws out his understanding, I throw out mine.  I’ve been relentless in my attacks of both old and new testament writings to the point where we both know there is nothing more to say about it.  My last conversation with Rick about this topic was based on yet another complete misconception.  He said, “When you see it in that light, Jim, life is meaningless.  You have to just ask, ‘why even live.'”  To which I spoke most clearly, “No Rick, that is completely wrong.  There is absolutely nothing more important than living, nothing.  It is the most important thing we, as living human beings, have.”  He hasn’t spoken to me at all about the topic since then.  We’ve talked, just not about that.

So back to my first statement about faulty presuppositions, I provided a couple of examples in these previous sentences, now I want to conclude with one more.

Andy and I had a brief ‘sharing of opinions’ over an article I posted a week or so ago and his own example exemplifies what I’m talking about here.  He used the history of the Civil War and how in the south it’s taught as northern aggression and in the north it’s taught as states rights and slave ownership.  While both aspects are true, it’s not the whole story and for a northern-man and a southern-man to understand the truth, they have to forget about what they were taught and relearn it from the different perspective.  That’s when the true beauty of the human mind’s ability to puzzle together knowledge into reality comes to light.  It takes discipline to do, something that many of the talking heads on the news have absolutely no clue about.

What I’m talking about here is something that all journalists USED to know but they’ve managed to forget about such a troublesome concept such as fact-checking and being objective.  I’ll pick on Beck, O’Reilly, and Hannity just because they’re some of the well known and worse at it.

I’ve also encountered recently, people who want to argue against a particular aspect of a topic but have absolutely no knowledge of what they’re arguing against.  They don’t do anyone, especially themselves, any favors and instead make themselves look completely foolish.  I don’t want people to look foolish or act ignorantly.  It’s one of the  things that I really want to see changed in this world.

So I’ll end this topic here with the caveat that I am not any better but what I will defend myself with is that I at least try to learn and see things objectively.  Too many people do not.

Advertisements

~ by aeroslin on October 11, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: