I've had a few conversations with friends over equations to determine ethics and a friend who actually created an entire project around the idea once upon a time. I didn't exactly write it out but while attempting to answer a random inquiry from my mother I at least typed out some basics and felt like broadcasting it a bit more.
ALSO: It leads to quite the bashing of people who drive SUVs unnecessarily. So here it is:
Why do they want you to feel guilty for thinking free?
Why do they want you to feel guilty for discussing reality?
I grew up thinking we all lived in the pursuit of truth. I thought the world was this complicated place where you get ahead by figuring out reality. Learning to deal with the "here and now" by truly understanding the "here and now". Don't get me wrong, it doesn't seem to hurt but what surprised me is it doesn't appear to be that important, nor does it seem to be the road most traveled. But by recanting the questions at the top of this page...
"Why do they want you to feel guilty for thinking free?
Why do they want you to feel guilty for discussing reality?"
... I'd like to point out where this feeling is coming from.
Why am I instantly made a villain by asking the validity of a religious claim? Why would I be written off by many if I asked people about gun laws? Why would a vast number of people label me a likely "pot head" just by wanting to discuss the legality of pot? Why would me asking "what's so wrong about a man loving another man" still get a large portion of the population to cringe?
These are all topics worth discussing if not topics people have wide-spread misconceptions about. Yet, just to bring them up, I become a bad guy, and that's what makes this world so hard to change: We shun people who are seeking truth. Ethical questions aren't simply "true" or "false". If you don't leave room for debate then how do you even know why you believe what you do? If you can grant me that, which you must, why aren't people open to discuss topics of which they seemingly feel very passionate about? Why levy shame on people asking questions and looking for better answers?
The problem seems to be it's very close relative "morals". That word seems to be used when discussing ethical concepts that pertain specifically to mass appeal. If you don't blindly assume the moral code of the day is the peak of ethical conclusions but rather ask questions about taboo topics, good luck not feeling scorned by many privately and almost all publicly.
To make it clear what I'm talking about, I'll describe one of the easiest examples to illustrate. I could argue that our laws against pot forces the black market of the product - because it does. The creation of a black market of a heavily sought after commodity naturally leads to increased violence since the reporting of theft is off the table. It also fills our prisons with a large number of non-violent criminals only to be submerged with a bunch of violent criminals at the expense of the tax payers and the personal families involved. Should we really not consider why we make this sought after item illegal? I'm not trying to say there is a clear cut answer, but damn it, it's a thought worth discussing. But you know why I will never discuss that with the average being of society? Guilt culture. They wouldn't even grant the scenario. The content of the concept itself is already off the table and I am guilty by association. "Why would he even care unless he's a pot head himself?" is how many would write me off. I'm not allowed to discuss things of that nature this openly because of the social stigma associated with the topic by a large portion of the population -- and my problem with that is I live in a world with this population.
You've always heard that you can't expect the world to change overnight and I think this guilt culture we have to conform to is why. Too many people feel shame and guilt for the wrong reasons and it crushes honest thought.
The real problem: Just pointing this out is not going to make anybody change their ways. All I'm doing by writing such bold statements is feeding the monster - people will see the buzz words and taboo topics I bring up and think I am off base with society and that I need to change my ways without challenging themselves to really listen to reason.
Damn it - mass shame should not control the culture or the individual!
So now, after years of trying, I have to accept the terrible, unfortunate truth that in these extreme circumstances, asking these questions only hurts me. Socially it appears I'm simply disparaging the majority of people around me for selfish reasons. I am forced to hold back deeper thoughts in order to appease people that don't know what to do with them. If only they understood I had the best of intentions.
So it goes.
Thanks for reading,
Universal truth is not measured in mass appeal -- Immortal Technique
Original Post: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150096535929653
Video Version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZbfRobMzXo
*Since my penning of this argument The Global Commission for Drug Policy has come out and essentially backed up my above concerns on drug policy: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/02/panel-drug-war-failed-regulate-marijuana/
Here is a blog version of articles I've written in various forums and for various reasons. These are probably way too opinionated to be placed on a website where I'm potentially advertising my services but whatever, get over it - ideas are for sharing and debating.