Saturday, May 03, 2003

A Rant And Such Concerning the 'Non-Interference Imperative'

I get annoyed by what I've seen as a kind of "moral imperative" amongst those who believe in the equivalence of all beliefs, those who hold to the relativism of all truth.

The imperative seems to boil down to the following: It is wrong to attempt to persuade anyone of anything. Nevermind that those who iterate this imperative cannot, even in principle, speak of wrongdoing. And nevermind that they themselves do not follow it. Nevermind that this imperative is incoherent if one gives it a moment's thought. And finally, nevermind that such an imperative is ultimately not followed nor desired by any sane person.

I call it an imperative for lack of a better term. It may be more of a sentiment. It may not be anything but a sub-cognitive belch. In any case, it is time to put it to rest once and for all, and claim victory for free thought as we shout, "It's dead, whatever it was."

The insecurity which drives this non-interference imperative seems to be rooted in a fear of the strong oppressing the weak through the imposition of values, traditions, and institutions. The strong in this case are those with confidence in their beliefs, enough confidence to attempt to persuade others of what they believe. We can call them Proselytizers. The weak are those who fall prey to the more confident ones. I'm not sure who these people presumably are. Perhaps those without a significant education. We'll affectionately call them the Teeming Masses.

[begin quasi-sarcastic cut]

The Proselytizers who are truly to be feared are those evil, sneaky evangelists who prey upon those Teeming Masses who can't think for themselves. Oh yes, I'm talking about those dogmatic fanatics with razor sharp teeth and who hunt down and corner unsuspecting victims, brainwashing their prey into believing in outdated ideas like reality, truth, God, right and wrong, either/or, this or that, [place your favorite exclusive claim here]. Oh, the horror of it all!

Now let's face it. Those who promulgate the above non-interference imperative are arrogant, dare we say condescending. Having been schooled by, or taken up residence in academia and/or Hollywood, they believe themselves to be superior to the great majority. They are the beings capable of truly independent thought, as opposed to what Alexander Hamilton called "the masses are asses" in his day (which was a mere echo of a famous Yiddish folk saying, "der oylem iz a goylem". The golem is that brutish being incapable of independent thought, and keyed to the will of its master.)

It seems consistent to say that in the view of the independent, open-minded, Elite, the Proselytizers are simply re-programming the zombie masses. Thus, can we really even call it proselytizing? I mean, the zombies are liable to get re-programmed by the next forceful salesman that comes along selling them a toaster they don't need (and should much less even know about in the first place!).

In fact, it may simply be that the Elite are just jealous that the Proselytizers are more successful in their ability to induce conversion to a belief or cause. And so their sneaky strategy became one of promulgating a Commandment-to-end-all-Commandments and deny the inalienable right of the Proselytizers to practice their insidious craft of openly making claims about reality.

The Elite must do this to protect their own. For when one of the few, thoughtful Elites changes his mind about something, especially if that something carries the label religion, that, my friend, is a true crime against humanity.

To be consistent with the non-interference imperatice, individuals, especially the Elite, should never have to read or hear any claim, or be persuaded of anything, by anyone at anytime, especially if such a claim comes in a tone of moral clarity (another thought-crime, I might add!).

In sum, we should all come to conclusions behind closed doors in isolation from any evidence, reading, if anything, descriptive narratives devoid of exclusive proclamations.

[end quasi-sarcastic cut]

Okay, enough with the sarcasm, Shane.

My point being that to make up one's mind by experiencing the
world means to deal with the claims and feelings of others one encounters.

To communicate is to, in some sense, manipulate the mind of another, taking away 'airtime' from their own thoughts, and giving some new, and perhaps unanticipated data which must be processed and digested. To make a claim of any kind is to attempt persuasion. Otherwise, one offers one's thoughts up only for admiration.


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