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Posted on 2013.03.04 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
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The last time I quoted President Obama concerned our disagreement over the subjective use of the word "rich" and how much he thought was "a little more." By surrounding myself with really smart people who subscribe to a different ideology than I do, something magnificent occurs - knowledge. I don't have to agree or change my own beliefs, but only the most close-minded of us can walk away from enlightening conversations without a broader view of ourselves.

I like George Takai. More now than I ever did on Star Trek. Because of what he does. Because of who he is. Today, I stood at the confluence of two posts, one which posted this picture found on his Facebook, and the other an RSS feed in which I found something completely unexpected in the (presumably anti-Obama) linked article. The paragraph simply read,

Obama has a complicated history on gay marriage. As a presidential candidate in 2008, he opposed the California ban but didn’t endorse gay marriage. He later said his personal views on gay marriage were “evolving.”

I replied, "What a powerful statement. I'll admit I was surprised to find this quote in the article. If only more people would "evolve" their personal views to such a level where blind ignorance or hate or even something as archaic as religion would dictate to an individual which opinion to have on a subject rather than using reason or logic. I applaud that statement."

My personal views are evolving all the time as well. I'm pretty sure that's how the learning process works. I'm pretty sure that's how critical thinking works. It is easy to spot those who don't. They display it on their person like a beacon with every labeled affiliation, every bumper sticker.

Considering using the Takai graphic as an avatar but running into translation problems with the size requirement, the one poster suggested I remove all the text and just use the rainbow tulip with the word, "Ally." But I have learned to shy away from labeling myself - it can be so limiting, and at times not all-inclusive.

When I was ignorant, I really disliked the ACLU. They always seemed to be bringing up asinine cases against the most absurd things. Until one day, for me, they didn't. What they were arguing this time made sense. Had they changed or had I changed? Confused by this sudden logical streak they seemed to have, I started thinking back at the other absurdities I thought they had committed and realized all this time they actually had a point. They were watching out for our freedoms by all means possible. The things they were against were things which I simply didn't agree with at the time. That didn't make them wrong, that made me wrong.

This lead to many years of trying to figure out what else I had been wrong about. A great many things as it turns out. Due to programming; upbringing. Nature and nurture in concert doing what these things are supposed to - teach us. But at some point, thinking for ourselves becomes more important than simply seeking out further confirmation of our own beliefs. Under that guise, we will always find what we are looking for.

Once again I quote crowy who recently spaketh, "One of my duties as a human is to grow."

The world is a complex place. Don't be a part of the problem by irrationally dyeing your wool with simplistic solutions. If it doesn't work for everyone, its not a solution. Those who disagree with you are likely just as smart as you, just as hopeful for a better future as you, and just as close-minded as you.

I decided to make my own avatar. Granted its a bit busy design-wise, and may be initially limiting in its scope, but its flexibility allows for growth, and its a starting point. Rather than simply pro-specifics, I'm hoping its message is more anti-ignorance. Because that can be applied to nearly everything, and these are just a few. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm saying I'm willing to consider your point of view.


slchurchman at 2013-03-04 13:50 (UTC) (Link)
I have had a hypothesis for some time that the human mind is designed for growth, challenge, and learning. When it is not allowed to embrace new knowledge, the mind turns to negativity. I've not researched this, but have seen many examples--one being the fanaticism of religious beliefs. Not allowing the possibility that there may be other ways to live in society with out a particular religious construct has led to suppression of peoples and ultimately war. And of course, there are always those individuals who reject growth and face the world with negativity.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-03-04 18:45 (UTC) (Link)
You're so Takei!!!
codekitten at 2013-03-04 21:52 (UTC) (Link)
He later said his personal views on gay marriage were “evolving.”

i remember reading that and being pleasantly surprised.

someone was saying that they were further considering an issue and that their position was changing (implied) with more and more knowledge? refreshing!
ehowton at 2013-03-05 19:09 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, and am a fool for allowing myself to have been erroneously pulled into a discussion concerning politics which had nothing to do with my original statement. Ah well, another data point in the identification learning curve to not fall into that trap.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-03-04 23:10 (UTC) (Link)
I've tried to tell you all these years that you were wrong. You just wouldn't listen.

This is how I view the world most days.

title or description
michelle1963 at 2013-03-05 13:38 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the giggle!
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-03-05 23:24 (UTC) (Link)
You're most welcome. Was the giggle in response to my telling him he was wrong all these years or my the GIF from The Big Lebowski with my world view?

Edited at 2013-03-05 11:26 pm (UTC)
michelle1963 at 2013-03-08 13:34 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the clip from the Big Lebowski - in the context of this blog discussion. Delightfully dichotomous. :)
michelle1963 at 2013-03-05 13:50 (UTC) (Link)
It appears that some people were programmed not only with certain beliefs, but given an added bit of code that causes extreme distress if they or anyone else questions those beliefs. I am never able to read the full spectrum of emotion when confronted with this phenomena. The two obvious ones are fear, often accompanied by anger. But I wonder if there is at least one more? Guilt or perhaps shame when doubt arises? Guilt and shame are very powerful emotions. But this is only a shaky hypothesis at best. Given the extreme response, I have never been in a position to ask. And honestly, I am not sure they would know.

To believe something simply because one is afraid not to is a very sad state of events. So let's consider gaydom. Acceptance means what? Acknowledgement that being gay is not simply a choice to embrace a "sinful" lifestyle? Well, if not a choice, then what? A trick of biology? There is empirical evidence to support that. PET scans reveal that the functionality of the gay male brain resembles neither straight males nor straight females. It appears to be another thing entirely. So if we accept a biological underpinning for the phenomena of homosexuality, then we have to accept the idea that with a biological twist of fate, we ourselves could have been gay.

Oh holy shit! Fuck no! Can't accept that. It has to be a choice and scientific research can go fuck itself.

The result is no growth; no mutual understanding; only dogma.

So yes, it is very refreshing to hear the phrase, "personal views on (insert anything you'd like) are evolving."

Edited at 2013-03-05 02:04 pm (UTC)
michelle1963 at 2013-03-08 13:36 (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful graphic, btw.
crowy at 2014-05-14 06:22 (UTC) (Link)
You quoted me again. :)
I searched for crowy after I resurrected my LJ and it brought me here.
ehowton at 2014-05-14 11:56 (UTC) (Link)
Well howdy! And welcome back. Yeah, you're one of the few people who get it. Often your quotes are wonderfully contextual. I was down rubbing elbows with your bestie a couple weeks back; good times.

Would love to see more of you around these parts. Your unique point if view is often humorous, and always refreshing :)
crowy at 2014-05-14 14:10 (UTC) (Link)
Blogging is cheaper than therapy, so I'll be around. :)
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