Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Crime of Deviance

American's have always been a violent people, quick to judge, and slow to accept. Our history displays a vast array of legal debates, with the common effort of legislating popular opinion. Disagreement even now is viewed as undesirable, and people will shun their neighbors for a difference of opinion. But most volatile amongst these differences are those of a sexual nature. We feel somehow offended that people are allowed to express themselves in manners which we do not share a desire for. There exists no concept of neutrality, and an adherence to one side or another is considered a given. If you do not share one's desire, then you must violently oppose it. There is no live and let live. We almost enjoy the illusion of safety our laws bring us. Its as though deviant choices are not allowed. But what is the alternative? Unfailing conformity? A world in which all were forced to live nearly identical lives, free of variation, would destroy individualism, and in its stead, create a herd. Why does the spirit of judgement so quickly overcome us? In the interest of preserving our neighbors, we should admonish them in the spirit of compassion and not strike at them aggressively. Even acts of destruction should not be enacted for the purpose of destroying that which is evil, but for the purpose of preserving that which is good - a minor shift in mindset that can affect a great change in critical processes and hopefully results.
Fear shows its place here as well. The reason for such violent rejection of the choices of others could be because we feel that there deviant decisions somehow threaten our lifestyle or choices. When a person espouses a different view, they then find an enemy in a person of opposing view, and instead of further deliberation and mutual enlightenment, seek to destroy each other, out of a conviction that they're opinion is absolute. In the service of this conviction, a person will find themselves commiting acts that violate their own moral code, and pursuing what they would consider dishonorable courses of action, all in order to eliminate what they see to be the 'greater threat'. And so those possesed with conviction will violently reject differing opinions as they feel threatened by their mere existence.
The solution to the error of judgementalism can be found in indecisiveness. By not taking sides and continuing in our deliberations even during the call of action, we can more effectively search for the truth. When the time comes to act on our opinions, we should still never cease our deliberations and always be mindful of all knowledge. For ignorance is the enemy of truth, but through the earnest pursuit of knowledge it is obtained. When diverging opinions emerge, each side should be tested thoroughly, being ever mindful of emotions such as fear and pride, which may cloud our judgement in the face of danger and cause us to act hastily. A closed mind sees only its own path, but an open mind can see paths other than its own, and decide whether its path should change.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you, man. Fear rules too many, too often. It prevents us from keeping that open mind, being open to other possibilties.

1:44 PM  

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