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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Taboo (and Morality)



Be prepared. This is by far my longest post so far. So I recommend that you have some time when you begin reading, and that you feel motivated to read it when you do, so you don't get that tired midway.


The title for this post might not be the one that fits it best, but it will have to do. If nothing else, it's connected to some of the things I'll be writing about. I'll begin by asking you to bear in mind that what I have to say is merely opinions, so I hope that you won't get too upset with it. I'm in no way the first person to think this way on any of these smaller topics, but they might still seem slightly controversial. I hope you'll enjoy reading, and that I'll broaden your perspective on things slightly, since that is something you can get out of hearing other peoples thoughts.


So the title for this post is taboo. Taboo can be anything from laughing at your own jokes to thinking that Hitler was a pretty good guy. Maybe that's not the best definition, but I'm sure you have a somewhat clear image of what taboo is in your mind already. Of course, what is perceived as taboo and what is not differs from group to group. It has to do with culture, society, and even smaller groups of people.


In this entry, my plan is to speak of a few things that are a little bit taboo to believe, or speak about, at least in western society. Granted, there are many exceptions, but you might still think otherwise. But whether you agree with me or not on anything, I hope that you'll leave a comment about it.



You've probably noticed that there have been certain changes in society over the years. The changes often start slowly, but they're still very observable. One of the changes is that homosexuals and the rest of the LGBTQ+ community have gained more rights in more countries. Naturally, these things go back and forth. From what I've heard, homosexuality was broadly accepted and not that uncommon in ancient Greece, only to be, well, oppressed by such things as religion. But what I'm saying is that now, partly due to the world being more connected than ever, more people's opinions and ideas are being shared. So slowly, but somewhat surely, people are becoming more and more open minded about several things.


But even if this is true, there are still plenty of things that are not so accepted by today's western society. And in many groups, it might even be taboo to speak of those things, especially if you go against the stream in your ideas and opinions. It's difficult beyond imagination to erase all the limiting scraps of religion, culture, and faulty perspectives. I'm very well aware that I can't myself either always not be a hypocrite. Everyone's vision of reality is shaded from time to time. And it can be very hard to accept certain traits in others, even if there isn't necessarily anything objectively wrong with them. That is also one of the main problems. Is there really anything... Objectively wrong?

If you're not religious, it can be hard to believe in objective morality. Of course, you still have a sense of morality, unlike what some radical fundamentalists believe, but it's probably rooted more in basic biology and culture than in anything supernatural, all powerful. That is also why I believe that different cultures have differing senses of ethics. If you've lived a certain way since your childhood, it can be difficult to make hasty changes to those ways. I'm sure you get what I mean without further explanation. Which reminds me, if anything I say is in some way unclear to you, simply ask me and I'll try to explain what I mean clearer. Sometimes I can be too focused in my own thoughts to get them through in the way they are supposed to.


So if there is only the morality of one's own mind, other people's morals, and society in general, and there comes a situation where you need to choose one of them, what do you do? Well, usually I guess that people tend to follow what they themselves think to be the right thing, but is that always a good thing? These are very hard questions to answer. These questions are also very interesting, to me and to many others, especially psychologically. Probably one of the reasons as to why the TV-series 'Dexter' is so popular. (Basic concept: A serial killer that murders only other serial killers).


Well, all that was actually a side note leading into one of my major points. Peoples' morality is a very difficult thing to affect, at least to a larger extent. One's basic beliefs are so deeply imprinted in one's mind, that it takes much effort, and often much time to change them. Ultimately, you don't really know yourself what the right thing is in all situations, and which consequences are the most preferable. Maybe there is never an objective answer. Still, it often feels like one knows exactly what is right. I mean, murder and torture is almost never right... or is it?


Biologically and socially, it's imprinted in one's mind to avoid pain, both inflicted on oneself and on most others. But I'm sure that if someone would get you angry enough, you'd like nothing more than to inflict as much of it as possible on the one that hurt you in some way, possibly even more if they hurt someone you love. But what I mean is, do you really know what is morally right?


Ultimately, everyone will as far as we know, die at some point. Everyone will experience pain anyway. You often kill animals when they are in pain, why not do that to humans? Naturally, there are consequences to murder. But is it really that different? Well, if you experience it to be, of course it is. But if you don't (let's say you're a psychopath, incapable of emotion), who is there to tell you that it's wrong to kill people?


I myself think that killing in most cases (excluding things such as really excusable self-defense and other exceptions), is wrong. But is it... Objectively wrong? Does the universe care, is the question?


Well, that mind game is an even longer introduction to a few smaller topics that I'm soon to write about, and it might be easier to see what I'm trying to communicate, with that introduction in mind.



My main point in this post is probably going to be that people tend to judge others, based on their own experiences, and what they know to be true themselves; If you have always been brought up with the idea that homosexuals are the spawn of the devil, you tend to believe that for a very long time, unless heavily influenced by others.


And when arguing with someone that has a different sense of morality, it can be difficult to convince each other. These differences exist because of several reasons. As I said earlier, they can come to life due to culture and upbringing (Watch "The Last Samurai", for instance), but that's far from the only explanation.

Anyway, when trying to be open minded, where should you really draw the line?

You can go pretty far if you try, but at some point there tends to come a road you can't cross. As I said earlier, should this line be pain and murder? And in that case, what is worse than murder and what is not as bad? Morality is never a simple line.

And if the only way to save 1 million innocent people is to torture and kill a guy, would you do it, no matter the other consequences? Many would say yes objectively, if they're far away from the issue, but when it becomes personal, everything becomes so much more difficult.

Let's say that the person you need to torture and kill is your closest friend, and that by doing this you'll save 13 other people (let's say that he/she would kill them otherwise)? Should you do it... Would you do it? And if no, would you do it if you saved a billion people? Is there a number that is just the right amount to make it justified?

Would you do it if you would only save 5 people.. no... only 1 other fully innocent person? And are you sure that you would really follow through with what you claim now?

What if that one person would be someone else that is close to you? Someone from your family...


Think about it... Torture and kill another person, just to save one other life?


It would be an impossible choice if we remove the part about torture. You have to kill one person. You can only chose between two of your closest friends? Who would you kill?

And what if you had to choose between you and someone else? You, or that other person, has to die.

If it's a close friend, you might say you choose to die yourself. Maybe you'd go through with that, maybe you wouldn't. (In this mind game, you can have no communication with that other person, like agreeing together who should die. Should you always choose to die yourself, and why in that case?).

What if it's between you and one of your grandparents. I mean, they're already old, and don't have as much time to live. It's better if one of them dies, and not you... right? Or is it?...


And what if you had to choose between yourself dying, and a random child in a far away continent/country. In this mind game, it might be easier to think that that random child should die, especially if they come from a place where they wouldn't have as high standards of life as you anyway. Since you're too far to really feel it; to grasp it fully.


Naturally, these kinds of situations very rarely take place in reality, but what if you were really unlucky; would you know what to do?


Well, I'm sorry for really overkilling that point... It was quite unnecessary, I feel, but I'm just too into my writing to stop. When things become personal, it's much more difficult to judge them "objectively". Or am I wrong?



Anyway... Broaden the perspective on a few smaller topics was it? Alright. I hope you got what I tried to say from those mind games. It's difficult to really draw the line between right and wrong. But here are some things that many see as wrong, but I see as potential rights.

This is to say; time to go from mind games that only show my ways of reflection, to my actual opinions.



First smaller topic:


Polygamy (Marriage, between more than two people)


We'll start a bit slowly, shan't we?

So polygamy... I don't know if it's scraps of religion and culture, still remaining, or what it is... But many people seem to see polygamy through a negative lens.

I agree that it can be for worse, but I also think that there can come good from it. Hear me out.

I think that one of the reasons that people see polygamy as a bad thing, is because of the stories told about it. At least I've heard several stories about several women "belonging" to only one man, almost like property. This is also often because of religious reasons. But who is to say that three or more people can't be married happily?


I think that this can again be a ghost of one's own life. I know that at least I probably wouldn't go in for marrying more than one person (Well, it's not necessarily about the marriage part, but about being more than two people in a relationship).

I don't think that I could love two people in such a way at the same time, and probably many of you couldn't either. But is that to say that no one can? I've seen enough weird stuff to know that this definitely isn't the case. There are so many people in this world, with different lives. How is not seeing more than two people in a relationship as a good thing any worse than thinking there should be no same sex relationships?

It's all depending on context, and where you should "draw the line". And I think that this is definitely not the place to do so.

Still, I believe that polygamous relationships can be far more complicated then only two people devoted to each other. And I don't like the idea of all parts in the relationship not being happy. The most important thing when it comes to this is consent, I think. But if you have three or more people that really want to get married together, for whatever reason they might have for wanting so (it might even be for economical gain), who are you to stand in their way? Especially if you can't even imagine yourself in their situation. If your empathic skills are not good enough to understand them for that, how can you really judge them? Because you are objectively right? Sure... (No matter what it might seem like, this is not directed towards anyone in particular. I'm just trying out a more aggressive way of writing, for fun :D [might have to do with the music I'm currently listening to]).


It's funny to think about how one of these relationships would work like though.

The usual is one man, and several women, right? The women in this case don't necessarily love each other, but let's say they both love the man, and can get along. That's okay then, right? Consent.

It's interesting to picture the gender roles being switched though. I imagine it a bit like one of those movies where two or more men fight over the attention of one woman.


Anyway, have you thought of how it would have to be if there is a relationship between three people, and they all love each other? I realized a while ago that in most cases, at least two of the three would have to be bisexual, or something similar to that (pansexual or something... I don't know... I believe that these lines regulating sexuality are really poorly drawn. They're simplified far too much, don't you think? It's difficult to keep track of it all, so I won't even try anymore) for it to work smoothly.

It's also funny how I've noticed that people seem to lighten up on polygamy every time I mention. "What if it were three homosexual women wanting to get married?"
For some reason (that I can in a way understand), people seem to not look down upon polygamy as much if that specific example is brought up...


But my main point again: People tend to judge others based on themselves. Well... I guess that the way people perceive polygamy might have something to do with biology as well... I don't know...



Well, since my main points are already brought up, these other topics might turn out to be a bit shorter... Hopefully... (edit: dream on; ain't gonna happen.)

But as I mentioned earlier. These thoughts are pretty much my opinions. So if you think I'm wrong about anything, I'd love to hear why! These things are not so easy, and I'm definitely not saying that I'm objectively right. Soooo.....

Let's bring this up one level....




Incest



Yay.... Many Christians would already judge me as immoral with that last topic... What do you think about this one?

Thinking that incest is just fine is pretty much taboo, as far as I'm concerned.

Well, it's not really that I think that incest is the best possible choice. But people tend to say: "You can't help who you love". Does this not apply for family?


Sure, most people already love their family members, but usually not in the same way you'd love your significant other... (Neither do I, no matter how much suspicion might arise from my opinions. But remember, this post is supposed to be a bit taboo...)


And this I know for a fact, is rooted in biology. Most of you know this, but if people that are too closely related get children together, the DNA and such will often be far too similar for the child to become a fully healthy normal baby. Thus, I'm pretty much against close family getting children. (Just another mind game... Let's say that a weird disease would see to it that everyone's chances of getting a healthy baby together is just about the same as getting a child with someone closely related... Would that automatically make incest more acceptable? And what if the disease caused children born through incest to be healthier in average than the ones that are not... Would that make incest... Preferable?)


Many people that are not religious in the slightest still think that incest is pretty much objectively wrong... But is it really? Who is to say that... Really?

Let's put it into perspective. How would you like it if you loved someone, and that person loved you back, but society wouldn't allow you two to be together? Classic concept; like Aladdin or something. This same story, but the main characters being held from each other because of the incest would make a most interesting Disney movie...

Let's make it even easier to see. Let's say that identical twin sisters were born. As they grow up, they realize that they're both lesbian (they're almost the same person, with identical DNA, if you know your biology). What if they for a random reason would fall in love... Would you stand in between and tell them they are not allowed to do things together, and why in that case? It's not like they can get children together... They might be judged by large parts of society, but if they can handle it, why should they not live however they want together? Many religious people blame it on that it's just wrong, because God. What is your excuse?




And let's say that two children of the same mother have been separated at birth. Let's say they were both adopted. They live somewhat normal lives, and they both happen to find persons that they love that love them back... Only thing is... They happen to fall in love with each other, without themselves knowing that they're related... What is your solution there?



These questions aren't always so easy to answer. But I think that there are far worse things you can do in this world than fall in love with a family member. And I don't see why I should be given the right to judge such people, really. If that works for them, and there is a good level of consent, it's fine by me really. They aren't really ruining anything by being together. It just depends on how you look at it, don't you think?

A lot of these "wrongs" have been taught to you by society, but what do you choose to believe yourself? The majority doesn't have to be right. Neither do you or I. But I think that people still (including myself), are often all too quick to judge what doesn't really suit themselves. Don't you think?






Pedophilia



Let me hurry by saying that I don't support pedophilia. I just think that people often seem to have slightly limited observations when it comes to this topic as well.

To begin with, people are in general more protective of children, and for good reason. But sometimes, to such an extent that one's focus is directed at the wrong things.

Pedophiles, are people just like everyone else. I think that pedophiles probably have some kind of mental illness, since that behavior isn't logical, at least biologically. Not to say that "not-biological" behavior always has to do with being mentally sick. I think that in many ways, humans have risen above simple biology, even if we're still very limited by it. It is not logical to want to direct your lust towards children, if nothing else, because the children can't yet get children of their own (I mean logical from a biological perspective, as I said).


What pedophiles should do really, I think, is to seek a professional psychologist or therapist, and deal with their problem as well they can. But if the hypothetical pedophile doesn't do anything to real children, and doesn't watch child porn with real children (thus supporting the people who took the pictures/ filmed the movies), I don't have anything to really judge them for; only to pity them for. The case of course is entirely different if they actually do something to children.

But to make it clearer, again, make it more personal. Let's say that your very best friend, if you have one, while crying admits that she/he has a weird drawing towards children, would you automatically disown him or her, or help the person get help for his/her problem? Just to put it into perspective.



A thing that pissed me off, was that a person was put in court in Sweden, and almost lost, for having around 40 drawn pictures of children, with sexual context on his computer. The thing is, this person was probably Sweden's biggest manga expert. He had thousands upon thousands (probably tens of thousands, I can't recall correctly) images on his computer. And the police were going through his house (because of an entirely different case, but that is not the point). And they took his hard drive with them and examined it thoroughly, and amongst the masses they found those some drawn images of the children, and decided that they were not morally okay with them, and the case was taken into court. The case had to be taken into Supreme Court before the man was set free.


The thing is, it doesn't matter if the guy was a pedophile or not. He shouldn't be judged by law because of drawn images. That goes against freedom of expression in my opinion. If he is a pedophile, and has done something to children, that is what he should be judged for (it's unsure, but he was set free so...), not because of the drawn pictures!!! (He had not drawn them himself, but still). I mean, if I recall correctly, there is an episode of "Lotta på bråkmakargatan", where real children are jumping naked on a bed, and that's considered art, by the very same people that judged the guy (not that part about the naked children in particular is considered to be art of course, but you should get what I mean. I do think that the 'children jumping on the bed naked' thing is okay as well though, I just mentioned it for comparison). The difference is the sexual context of course, but I think that real life and drawn images is a pretty sizeable difference too. I'd rather that every pedophile watched drawn images instead of assaulting real children.

And also, I think that trying to capture people looking at these drawn pictures is a waste of resources, better used on capturing actual criminals.


Next, and also, the final topic.




Cheating



I won't say too much about this topic (edit: sorry, I kinda failed with that). I don't think that it's okay to cheat. Still, something feels slightly off to me about the concept.

Cheating has always happened, and people find it interesting, proven by how many TV-series and movies, cheating occurs in. I mean, really... Either they want to show the harsh reality with the TV-series, or they have found that people are interested in such things as relationships and how wrong they can go.

What I think however, is again, that there are many things far worse than cheating on someone. I don't think I'll cheat myself, but I'm still as virgin as a man can be, so what do I know. Well, to be honest, I think I know myself and my limitations quite well. But looking at the statistics, it seems like quite many cheat, or at least more people than you'd think. So since I lack experience, I won't promise anything yet...


But back to topic. Humans are a very sexually driven species, in general. I could explain what I mean in detail, but this post is long enough already, don't you think? The picture I've been given is that sometimes things just kind of happen. You could be drunk, or in an otherwise difficult stage of your life, and I know that things can escalate faster than you can think sometimes.

What I'm trying to say, is that sometimes cheating is punished too hardly. I realize that it shows a lack of trust in a relationship, but how much can the person that didn't cheat really love the person who cheated if they want to break up without even discussing it first? I realize that things are different for different people. Some are very emotional, and some can't deal with issues properly, so they avoid them completely. Some people become so hurt that they need therapists. But I think that it'd be better if the people in question would try to maintain the relationship still, if it's possible. Not wanting to deal with the cheater is as bad an excuse for ignoring the person who cheated even though that person tries to make things right, as not thinking clearly is for cheating in the first place. If you just can't accept that, the relationship was pretty much doomed on beforehand, I think.

A long time ago, I read a quote that I quite liked on 9gag. I don't know how true the story is, but it doesn't matter, since the words in the quote hit the right spot.

An old couple was asked how they had been able to stay together for so long, and one of them answered: "We come from a time in which when something was broken, we fixed it instead of throwing it away and getting a new one".

Well, as I said. I might lack experience when it comes to relationships, and you might call me out on that, but I still think that I have a point.

In a way, I think that people engaged in open relationships are all the more impressive. The amount of trust needed for knowing that no matter whom the person you're together with sleeps with, you'll be the one he or she returns to, and the one that person loves. This is however, only if it works for them. As in all possible relationships, open ones can have their issues too I guess. But I like honesty, and even if I would go into a relationship at some point in my life, that wouldn't mean that I don't find other people attractive, so why pretend that I don't. At this point, I think people should understand simple biology.



But still, I don't recommend cheating. There are assholes who cheat all the time as well, but my intention is of course just to bring up the other ones. But don't think that I'm blind to the more negative aspects of things just because of that :P




I think that I'm done with my ranting for now. I'm really sorry for writing such a long post again. This time my post is longer than 4000 words (edit: Actually, the full length of the post barely exceeds 5000 words! [For better or for worse...]). I guess this could be my comeback; my excuse for only writing 3 posts in July. A reason as to why I haven't written more is among other things, a simple lack of motivation. And I don't think it's all too good an idea to write if I don't have motivation to do so. Which reminds me...






Some days ago, I felt a bit sad, well not really sad, but I felt a weird kind of negative emotion. This seldom happens to me, so I as usual decided to utilize this feeling. I tried writing a song for 10 minutes or so, but that song turned out to be crap. So I tried writing a poem again instead... Well, it didn't go so well either. After just one verse I became happier only since I wrote the word gay... God I'm childish. But at least I'm happy. Apparently, I'm not much for writing poetry, I can't even maintain the same mindset for long, but here the random poem is:



A Nightly Adventure Into a Brain Full of Random



Sometimes I just feel like crying,
Like something inside me is slowly dying
I don’t know what I should do,
Thus I let my feelings rule

Still I sense that something’s coming,
Something melancholy won’t be overrunning
Tomorrow will be a whole new day,
Hopefully a lot more gay

Already I’m almost laughing,
I guess I’m easily amused
Something inside me began dancing,
The sudden sorrow was just defused

I can’t write poems seriously,
It’s probably just not really my thing
My mindsets switch mysteriously;
Sadness has no chance to win

It’s late at night, why am I still writing?
There’s nothing more I should be fighting
No feelings that should not be there,
I don’t have anything to fear



Sadly I’m not even tired,
My active mind has not yet retired
This is not what I desired,
God my brain’s randomly wired

I should really quit the rhymes,
They contain a certain limitation
I’ve already used them too many times,
And it’s difficult to maintain your original intention

But I guess they have their charm,
They can make this sound much better
Do the positives outweigh the harm?
Who cares anyway, I mean come on…

I’ll just stop while I’m ahead,
No reason to continue this loose thread
This “poem” is not deep but cheap,

I think I’ll simply go to sleep.









And last time, I promised you a more interesting song. There's a slightly more detailed description on the website though.







The website has actually pretty much completely changed its layout, for the better, in my opinion (unlike youtube). It also has a few new functions. Sadly, the website still seems to lack a replay button. And there are some text issues (if you read my description of Scareludium you can see what I mean). The Images are reformatted to fit a certain square precisely (which is understandable, but doesn't work with many images), and there are a few weird spelling errors on the site. Otherwise, it's getting better.



And once again; I'm so sorry for this messed up LONG post. I hope that it was still interesting, and that you got something out of what I wrote. 



I won't keep you any longer, if you managed to read this far without getting reading cramps.


Have a very good night ;)!

1 comment:

  1. Remind me never to write this long an entry again. For starters, I think it takes too much effort to read all of this for most people. And if nothing else, it was a hell of a job to correct all my mistakes (well, the ones that I observed). But I think that it was worth the effort. I must say I feel quite productive right now at least.

    Oh, and I added a few things while I edited, and made some things clearer, since my thoughts were a bit messy while actually writing. But it should be better now (I feel sorry for the people that actually went through with reading the "raw" version). If you managed to read it all, I hope that you enjoyed this post filled with opinions, randomness, and hopefully new perspectives!

    ;P

    ReplyDelete