The title of this post is supposed to be filled with layers of irony and misdirection. Primarily that is because the use of personal anecdote is celebrated as knowledge in the place of real information, and the anecdote is steeped in an emotional view of one’s personal experiences. It may be hard to hear this.
It is easy to dissect, for those who already see it. For those stuck in the feedback loop of emotion>anecdote>opinion and back around again, I have yet to find a way to consistently penetrate. On rare occasion, and only because the person is close enough to me to allow lengthy discourse, have I actually had someone start on that circle, then peel off onto a linear path. That doesn’t mean at all that they then start to agree with me, it means they try and use something reasoned to support their opinion. Unsurprisingly, those who are able to peel off, usually can find some way to make rational points about their beliefs, or at the very least keep the discourse on the topic, addressing what has been asserted and avoiding straw men and red herrings.
Big issues are big issues. Comfort and ease of life have taken big issues off the people’s radar. Most people jump from one experience, and the feelings it evokes, to the next experience, etc. If asked an opinion of a larger matter, these experiences are what they have to inform them, and usually the most recent experience at that. They are emotionally invested in personal experience, hence they are emotionally invested in opinion. Somehow, because people are people, we all have similar experiences. When talking about experiences, people like to feel empathy, so they tend to morph feelings about experiences into the groups apparent feelings about experiences, then its one big self actualizing empathy cloud as Ive described before. The sense of empathy with those close to them, and even those they encounter online or see in the news or on reality TV buttresses their feelings of being “right”, no greater reason needed than everybody knows that. Operating outside of what everyone knows will make you uncomfortable, maybe even unhappy, unless you find the simple joy of intellectual honestly worthwhile.
Everybody knows Republicans want to starve kids and old people so millionaires can get more money
Everybody knows conservatives are racists
Everyone knows Christians are ignorant closed minded folks
Everyone knows that women are oppressed.
Everyone knows men are untrustworthy, sexually dysfunctional, and morally less than women.
Everyone knows men and women are the same, and the differences alleged are constructs of patriarchy
Huge numbers of people operate under a set of assumptions similar to these, strengthened by “everyone”, and by personal experience which is jaded by preconception. There are also some very bad stereotypes about things like race for example, that were/are equally rooted in ignorance and what everyone knew (________people are _________), and these geniuses see no contradiction in refuting those while embracing these other ones. That the outcome may or may not be correct objectively is secondary, it FEELS correct. That’s where emotion leads to ignorance, refutation of one set FEELS good, affirmation of the other set FEELS good. Why bother subjecting them to standards when how they make one feel is basis enough for picking and choosing? Besides, ignorance really is bliss, and easily angered if the bliss buzz is interrupted. The bliss buzz is best when shared.
This question about application consistent standards to over arching beliefs is important. Intellectual consistency and honesty is important. But a question about the inconsistency cannot be asked, because the silliness is so thick that the most common response would be something like “just because people disagree doesn’t mean they are ignorant”. That is an emotional response, a straw man, and a red herring.
Odd that, the question, if asked, expresses no opinion about anything, yet the response infers some ideological disagreement. Yes I am creating this imaginary dialog, because Ive seen it take place and I’m paraphrasing.
Lets look at an example:
Divorce has been a topic among a group of Christians online. There are men who have the audacity to talk about no fault divorce, ones where there is no infidelity, addiction, or physical violence, having some 60 day “penalty” that would encourage these couples to maybe try harder. No limit on availability, no law changing making divorce less accessible, and no effect at all on those who really want a fault divorce.
On Christian Forum, there are some men who say divorce is generally bad for society. (GASP!) These men explicitly state they favor no laws that would limit access to divorce. No long term penalty for getting divorced, and no condemnation for those who HAVE divorced. They describe some harmless proposals . To wit:
The problem is, somehow down the rabbit hole went the notion that actually filing a divorce IS one of the reasons for the split. If Im woefully unhappy, and I say she is mean, she wont have sex, we dont get along, I am miserable….I want a divorce….when i go file that, that filing SHOULD go on the list of things that end the marriage, its only logical, it doesnt happen as an out of body experience. I wouldnt take anyones right to file that away, mine included, if I was so unhappy then I want to be allowed to divorce. Im all for that.
But if by filing, THAT ALSO factored into the causation, that it said ok, we will let you out of this marriage, no issue, no waiting, no problem….just for the 60 days before filing you move out and be a visitor to your kids, Id weigh, hmmm, am I REALLY trying to sort this out. Up until I have to make that call, I would tell anyone who would listen that Ive given my 1000% effort, that no one can say they tried harder than me….then something happens, we have put a value on my pain. Is the pain in the marriage so bad, that EVEN WITH this sacrifice of 60 or 90 days of discomfort, Im willing to suffer that little bit rather than rethink my gut level honest evaluation of my efforts to fix it, and would it not be better for everyone , including and most importantly the kids, that I reset myself, set some kind of goal, commit to some effort that if it doesn’t work then, then yes, its worth that small suffering to go ahead and get that divorce.
The person who suffers immediately is the person least likely to file. The abstract of whats to come later is rarely if ever truly thought through, which is why some large majority of no fault divorce filers come to a place before its final that they suddenly see the end and THEN they have this epiphany. Ask any family lawyer about what Im telling you, the ladies that handle as clients filing for true no fault divorces, more than half come with attempts to either reconcile, or worse, attempts to delay finalization for all sorts of reasons. I frankly dont care about anyones personal anecdotes, these are the results of studying the issue over thousands of divorces.
The sheer absurdity of the responses by men and women astounds me. One women describes her husband had a gun and was going to kill her, and how dare we suggest she had been forced to stay in the marriage.
If I had stayed with my ex even a moment longer than I did, my children would be orphans. After 13 years of his addictions and abuse, I found myself running for my life. He had called my then 9 year old daughter into our bedroom & told her to tell me to come talk to him. She came to me & told me that daddy has a gun & please don’t go in there. I took her hand, scooped up my baby boy & ran. As I reached my neighbors lawn, I heard the shotgun being cocked behind me. his intent was to kill me, then himself.
I am so sick of hearing all this. For the record, I am now happily married to a wonderful man who my kids call Daddy. They have a father.
and another women says to her
Yes .. if you’d just gone in there .. maybe he would have just been cleaning the gun. Maybe he was ready to hug and make up. Bah. Or – it was your fault for marrying a man with a habit .. even if he didn’t have the habit when you met him .. and anyway you probably drove him to drugs.
Finally a man comments
I suppose the answer will be…
..but maybe if you’d stuck it out… lol
This part can be skipped, its just more data, to those who don’t understand what data is, its what rational people look at to find truth I will keep pasting new responses here as they show up in the thread,. These will continue, escalating in stupidity until we have it stated that they guys are for global thermonuclear war, followed by rape pillage and plunder, all that from a comment about no fault divorce.
EDIT number 1
I thought the degree of ignorance was just about the divorce talk, now its like, like, existential of sumthin
Actually, she is not supposed to have any say in who she marries, but yet, it’s still her fault. She is supposed to go through her life at the mercy of others, and if that means that she and her kids, and their kids, have horrible lives, and end up hating God because they learned that this is what a godly woman does, then oh well, right?
EDIT number 2
She managed to redirect the topic. Tactic…..succeeds. here is her comment, and this will lead to now a piling on of the evils of these men who beat and threaten women, anecdotal tales of worse and worse instances, maybe a news report or two, she is particularly sold out to the idea that men are rapists, child molesters and murderers based on years of posting. So expect her to link up some (anecdotes) proof. For now, they have the gal they will USE, right where they want her
I wasn’t aware of his drug addiction till a few months After we married when he emptied our savings account. He was a bigger who could be dry for months. The physical abuse started after our daughter was born. We went to our priest, a marriage counselor and I paid for his rehab 3 times. I was anti divorce & a good Catholic girl. We separated once & it was shortly after the birth of our son & daughter’s diagnosis with juvenile diabetes that the abuse escalated. I have no doubt in my mind that I would have been a statistic instead of a survivor. The sound of the gun being cocked is permanently burned into my mind.
EDIT number 3
Full circle, its one hour later, exactly as I predicted, they are posting news articles about male killers. They are so patterned in their ignorance the idea of an original thought is anathema. Everyone knows men are prone to be killers, and other men support th
If someone is being tormented by a dangerous person, then the ability to think clearly is severely diminished. Getting away to process is the only way. If the person reacts violently to that attempt at clarity space, then why should the person go back to that dangerous environment? Have you ever heard of Thomas James Ball? He honestly couldn’t get why his evil feminist wife made him go to prison or get counseling in order to see his kids. All he did was smack his 4 year old daughter, making her mouth bloody, for licking his hand. He doesn’t see that as non negotiable violent. And who is this guy? He was a leader of the Worcester branch of the Massachusetts-based Fatherhood Coalition. He wasn’t just some isolated madman either. He convinced others to get violent as well. I believe Dalrock holds him up as a martyr, since he doused himself with gasoline.
not to be outdone
It’s ridiculous to suggest that it’s more dangerous to try to escape a violent person that to remain with them. Better to find a safe place before the situation goes nuclear. That way, they only take out themselves.
I guess that people have already forgotten Josh Powell, Scott Petersen, and Drew Peterson. You stay with these people at your own risk, because they will kill, and it doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do to try to appease them. They are inclined to kill by their own selfishness and evil intentions, not by “provocation”.
I guess the same people who would call James Ball a martyr would call Josh Powell a martyr too. Doesn’t matter that in one case a kid was abused, and in another the kids were murdered. Nope. All that matters is that an adult took it into their hands to kill themselves because they had quite obvious psychological problems compounded by innate selfishness. They are no loss. The loss of the Powell kids (and the mom) is another matter. I can only hope that Ball’s daughter survives unmarked from her father’s abuse, and from the subsequent trauma of his suicide. I hope that the family takes her far, far away and she never hears about it again. That’s the only way to defeat bullies. Close the door on them permanently.
EDIT number 4
I cannot leave it just picking on women, and one small comment by a man. A male poster comes in at the very end of the now closed thread and says:
That wasn’t really an answer to my question (although in a way – I think the lack of answer probably *is* very telling).
So – in a scenario like that – would you say that divorce was the right thing for her to do? Or – would the direction of your advice be to simply put some distance between them – and give him the opportunity to “cool off” (but remain married)?
I’m not approaching this solely from a safety standpoint. I’m also approaching this from a “she needs to get away from him…forever, and move on with her life, which also allows for taking on a new non-abusive spouse.”
That’s what I’m getting at.
So, in that scenario, yay or nay?
So, he reads the clearly laid out ideas of two other male posters, then a woman comes in with her horrific (but completely irrelevant to the topic) story, and this man decides he needs clarification from the guys as to whether or not they would suggest she stay and risk being murdered, go away a little while, or is it OK if she goes ahead and divorces. This crazy question has a simple answer…DUH, of course divorce. But more important is the thread dynamic that occurs as a result of such inanity. To have responded in the thread would invite , likely from the women, responses like “so, we have finally determined that they will favor divorce when there is a loaded gun aimed at a woman’s head”. Meanwhile the very premise is clearly no fault divorce that lacks a set of specified grounds.
Reading the initial statement of a casual idea, and these reactions, does anyone thing the Christian church is a place that holds traditional values? Honesty is a traditional value, wisdom is celebrated in church, and yet when a harmless idea is posited the tools used are lies, misdirection and misinformation:
Lies, misinformation and misdirection are rapidly transforming our society into a no-man’s land. Between the half-truths, the outright lies, the spinning of facts and news, the diverting of attention and the attendant knee-jerk responses, what has always been difficult to do now flirts with the impossible.
What about lies, misinformation, misdirection and apathy? They are the flip side of spirituality as well. If we look at the dark side of spirituality, we see the qualities of delusion, confusion, deception, often with an attendant loss of faith. Chasing a pipe dream is delusional in nature and leads to disillusionment. We can use lies, deceit and subterfuge to attain our own personal dream, but at what cost? Our spirit!
That is very effective ginning up FEELINGS. That no one said anything about that, well, that fact be damned. How else can a rational person read that tripe and not conclude that emotionalism has led to ignorance….or worse, that some people are stupid. I prefer for former, its more forgiving. But both are dangerous misuse of the God given ability to reason that we all supposedly have. Nice men try and allow a toe in the door, suggesting maybe there are some guys out there like that. They need to realize that whether there is or isn’t it totally irrelevant. There are freaks in the world, crazy idiots, violent and evil. There always will be. They do not define anyone, to even acquiesce that they maybe said such and such is affirmation to the crazies who misrepresent everything for emotional bang for the buck.
For heavens sake, disagree if you wish, but disagree with whats been stated, not some ignorant emotion based straw man constructed expressly to make people FEEL anger at the initial proposal. Integrity is questionable when these things happen, Ive gone to far as to call it willful lying in the past. Ive backed off that, deciding it is a sad degree of ignorance born of life in an emotional bubble reinforced by the cloud of empathy.
Truly, for GODS sake, this has to be pointed out everywhere, every time. Be prepared, once it has light shined on it, it gets downright vindictive. But, the moral cesspool doesn’t FEEL like a moral cesspool, because, to borrow from the example above, these men advocate that a woman be murdered rather than divorce.
Should people with this type of reasoning be allowed to vote? Should they be sought for advice or relied on to be steady and consistently wise counsel as Christians? Does God change because of what He sees us doing, and how he feels about it? Are there absolutes? If its not fair to ask these questions, tell me why? Defend the display of ignorance.
Do ends justify means, even to the point of lies and distortions?
And what are the ends?
The preservation of a set of feelings, from which a wall is constructed to keep all objective knowledge out, because objective knowledge and truth impairs empathy.