I was planning on posting a brainstormed world here today, but my energy levels are just too low to muster that kind of thing.
Instead, I think I’ll share a little story from my college years.
I took the only class on science fiction available in the English Department of my college. This class was full of people I thought were jerks at the time, including some with whom I never reconciled our differences. That’s fine. People aren’t usually able to get along with everyone else.
Now that I think of it, I may have mentioned this story before.
See, back in that time I had a very religious view of writing fiction. If someone wants to write and doesn’t for whatever reason, they cannot be considered a writer. This used to be very important to me for some reason.
So when a person would say something like, “I want to be a writer but I’m waiting for a good idea.” I would disdain them almost immediately. I still think the approach is not very effective, but its hardly any reason to be as dismissive or mean as I used to be.
One such person took the science fiction class with me and I grew annoyed with her daily.
Yet I never did tell her how silly I thought this approach to writing seemed to me, though it seemed as bad as the people who tried to claim that science fiction writers write to inspire scientists. Admittedly some may do this, but I would guess they form a a supreme minority of writers in the genre.
I guess the small point I want to make is that people can turn anything, any concept into a reason to persecute or belittle others who differ from them.
A good example of this from outside myself would be the online news show The Young Turks. Though I usually appreciate their approach to reporting actual stories they are also a very biased network in terms of reporting as if all religious people are stupid or ridiculous.
I figure they’re pushing back against Fox News and ages of fundamentalist religious influence on this planet.
I’m not overly fond of fundamentalism, but the way the various talking heads on The Young Turks discuss the issues are frequently no better than the Fox personnel they frequently mock, just reverses. This lack of moderation makes them seem unreasonable. To my present self its a major issue with their program.
The moderate religious take flak from both sides. And that’s where I find myself too often. I don’t want to use my religion to hurt others. I don’t demand people think the way I do anymore. It’s a value of mine to allow people to make up their own minds. But it seems like most people in the media do not share that one value, even if they try to insist that they do.
I understand the urge, but whether one crusades with swords or words, the result is similar. Division along lines of opinion. I think I’ve written here before that I see beliefs as more a matter of opinion than of fundamental truth. Without the power of proof we are left with personal opinions and guesses. None of these are authoritative, and I wish people didn’t feel the need to fight over their indefensible stances.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we need to respect each other, and the things we do differently from one another. If an individual’s beliefs are not taken to a harmful extreme it seems ridiculous to start lumping that individual in with dangerous extremists of any stripe.
Gosh, I got kinda political there. I’ll try to keep my opinion to myself in the future.
Have a good day!