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Idealism and Belief

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Quotes give your writing credibility. I learned that in Bible school.

 

"Good Christians don't read shit like this."

-- The Lord Jesus Christ, after reading what you're about to.

 

(Did Jesus just say He wasn't a good Christian? I'm confused.)

 

Obviously, I don't believe that quotes give one's writing credibility. Good quotes, however, are good because they elegantly express an idea that a writer believes is worth repeating. Like the following one...

 

"Behind every cynic is a disappointed idealist."

 

That quote is attributed to George Carlin all over the Internet. I'm not sure he would have taken the credit everyone gives him for it, because the only time I heard a clip of him saying it, he opened it with, "It is said that..."

 

When I heard it, however, it resonated with me. That statement eloquently expressed a feeling that I often danced around in conversation while hoping that the other person would just get what I'm talking about (something that doesn't, to my satisfaction, happen very often).

 

But now, if I may, I'd like to elaborate on it...

 

It is my feeling that, as a cynic (that is to say, a disappointed idealist), idealists are setting themselves up for disappointment and/or their ideals are just downright shitty and not very hard to meet at all. The 'insurmountable' problems that they see in the world have easy fixes, and they're fixed often. They often say, "See! It all works out!"

 

When it comes to the world's chronic problems, however, if it doesn't affect them, they might as well not exist. If you bring them up, you're just a Negative Nancy. But, to say that it doesn't affect them is a mis-statement. We, as Americans, often benefit from them (child slavery, denial of basic human rights, animal cruelty, fucking up the environment, etc.)--and, when you bring that up, you're just a goddamned buzzkill.

 

Before you get pissed at me, I'm not trying to claim any nobility here. As a cynic, I've pretty much divested any hope of the world changing in a meaningful way. I just see myself as one who is fully aware that he's riding a hell-bound train and laughing maniacally for all its worth. Furthermore, I'm not blaming the idealists for contributing to the problems. They're trapped in a situation in which maintianing their own shit with any sense of pride and dignity is very time/mind consuming.

 

Now put on some elevator music...

 

Let's take this time to alleviate our consciences...

by recycling the wrapper that once contained chocolate...

that was harvested by a child...

who was kidnapped...

to be an unpaid slave...

by a supplier...

who sells cocoa to corporations...

that don't care where it came from...

as long as its cheap.

 

(That's not a shitty poem or a bad Mad Libs. Google 'Chocolate and Slavery' if you think I'm full of shit.)

 

Now turn off the elevator music and enjoy the rest of the show...

 

None of what I said is my actual point in writing this blog/article/note/whatever you want to call it. It is only my premise. The heavier shit is still coming...

 

When I first heard the idea that Carlin expressed about cynics being disappointed idealists, my mind immediately applied that idea, rightfully or wrongfully, to my being a former Christian. The quote reconstructed itself in my mind as, "Behind this unbeliever, is a disappointed Christian."

 

Without meaning to offend, I have to say that the same bag of feelings I expressed earlier applies to this re-application. You could say that my disappointment stems from applying my faith more deeply and widely--as deeply and widely as I applied my idealism. I think (though I can't be sure) my conception of 'God' was farther-reaching than what most Christians are willing to (or, have enough courage to) conceive of in their understanding of 'God', and the application of their faith in 'Him.'

 

Believe it or not, my love for my 'God' was deep. A love like that doesn't just go away. I once heard that, "The opposite of love isn't hate--it's apathy. Love and hate are two sides of the same coin..." Hopefully, that gives you insight as to why I bristle so hard every time someone gives any kind of faith expression.

 

As of right now, you can see in me the result of acquiring the beliefs that...


1. Rationalizing things is wrong.2. Rationalization, despite popular belief, is the primary function of belief.3. Therefore, belief is wrong.4. These are beliefs, therefore I can be nothing but wrong. (Goddamn it!)5. The best I can do is admit it, and take away it's rationalizing power!6. Now I can be better than you by thinking I'm not better than you.


(At least I know I'm a hypocrite! Don't judge me! On second thought, go ahead. Your opinion isn't as important as you think it is.)

 

My point in that seemingly pointless, though thought-provoking, speil is that I couldn't rationalize--through belief--my misfortune. (At least not as many times as I tried, while still maintaining a feeling of honesty.) We are taught that, with God, we can expect and do great things. When failures come, we are taught to rationalize our disappointments by saying, "It's all God's plan. He's testing me." But, in not rationalizing it, it's easy to see that it makes no practical difference whether there's someone there or not. If it was only OUR desires, OUR failures, and OUR disappointments, it would have panned out exactly the same way. 

 

Now let's put on some elevator music...

 

Let's alleviate our consciences...

but not our ignorance...

so as to maintain...

our pride...

and dignity...

never admitting to ourselves...

that we're riding...

the same Hell-bound train...

as everyone else...

 

Let it play out for the rest of your life...

 

"OR, YOU CAN JOIN ME IN MANIACALLY LAUGHING UNTIL THE BEAST TAKES ITS OWN!"

--The Author, quoting himself for credibility points! Woot!

 

HA HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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