Archive for May 2009
I have a friend who maintains that true tolerance is apathy. It’s actually got something going for it, that description.
True tolerance, when you say “I’m gay”, says, “Oh, okay.”
True tolerance, when you come out as trans, doesn’t much care.
True tolerance, upon learning that you are kinky, or vegan, or Jewish, or mentally unusual, or anything, shrugs.
Not because a tolerant person doesn’t care about you, but because they care about you, and are unchanged in their caring by revelations, disclosures and deductions.
It’s a nice picture. I like it. I dream of a day when I can make bold revelations and be met with oh, okay then. We’re not there yet, nowhere near. We’re still living in a world where any kind of difference is cause for suspicion and horror. In this world, tolerance must, I think, include spreading tolerance. It must mean more than mere acceptance: it must mean a desire to see more universal acceptance.
But perhaps, in an ideal world, true tolerance would be apathy, because it simply wouldn’t matter what you were.
It has been discussed by several people recently that men are not often told that they are attractive. I have nothing clever to add, so here is the only tuppence I have.
He is tall and dark and handsome.
He is long in all his parts, limbs and face and hair alike. His hairline has receded, slanting back from a point, puffing up on top to make him even taller. His nose is large and his cheekbones are high. His beard looks ginger, but from close up – close enough to kiss – you see a mixture of dark and blond hairs, and none of it is actually red. His lips are softly pink and his eyes are green.
His skin is pale and freckled, soft as velvet, smooth as satin. His belly is sparsely haired, like the small patch at the base of his spine. His back is long and straight, tempting the hands to explore its wide canvas and draw patterns on his skin. His limbs are narrow and lightly muscled, nothing wasted and nothing missing. He is slender and lovely, graceful bones and gently rounded tummy.
The world should hold its breath to see such beauty.
I’ve seen many people, especially recently, labouring under the delusion that Christians believe that atheists are inherently immoral. That we think that, absent a god to punish us, humans cannot do right.
Close, but so very not quite.
It is no part of my faith that atheists cannot be moral. It is a part of my faith that atheists cannot have a logical basis for morality. A logical basis: not that I can derive my entire morality from cold hard logic, but that I can use cold hard logic to explain why right and wrong exist, and why they cannot be rewritten by human endeavour.
It’s a long and complex argument and I do not have the skill to give it in detail.
The basic gist of it is that God exists, and God is good; therefore goodness is like-God-ness, and evil is unlike-God-ness. Without God, there is no such foundation; we may decide that hurting people is bad, but why should it be?
I know that on the face of it this is absurd. I sound like a moral idiot, not understanding that hurting people is bad, relying on a policeman in the sky to tell me that. Actually, I know it for the same reason everyone else does: I have a conscience and it works. I am human, and therefore possess a basic understanding of right and wrong.
So why am I arguing that atheists can’t know that hurting people is bad?
I’m not. I’m saying they can’t explain why hurting people is bad. Of course they know it is, and act on that knowledge. They are better than their philosophy, as I am worse than mine. Their understanding of the universe cannot include morality as a Truth, and yet they act as though it were.
Lack of logical basis does not equal lack of morality, because humans can believe contradictory things and not mind it.
I am tired of American exceptionalism. Thoroughly sick of it. It’s nonsensical. Hey, listen up, Americans. You aren’t special. You are not God’s chosen people. Your precious Constitution was written by a bunch of rebels trying to stop anyone else from getting power over them. You’d probably have called them terrorists. Cars, guns and health insurance are not the pinnacle of human civilisation. Being socialist in your terms is having basic human compassion in everybody else’s.
You ain’t special. Youre big, but you’re not clever. I am not going to bow at the altar of your self-importance, and you will just have to cope with that.
This is a fluff post. You may feel free to skip it.
Campus is covered with life. Goslings (at least two kinds) and ducklings (I only saw mallardlings, but the rest are probably breeding too) and moorchicks. I saw coots and the white swans nesting. I haven’t checked if the black swans are breeding this year.
It was really quite shocking to see white swans on the lake. They’re a native variety, of course, but the lake is the only wild breeding ground for black swans in England, or so I hear. We all expected them to move on, but it seems they’ve achieved some kind of coexistence with the resident blacks.
The hedgerow at the edge of the school field is full of sparrows. I love sparrows.
We rescued a hedgehog! It was in the middle of the road, so we moved it over to the hedge. They are very cute and snuffly, but better carried with a jumper than bare hands.
Flowers are pretty, warmth is pleasant, animals are interesting, baby animals are cute, nature is nice and so is spring.