There is this odd habit that people in this country seem to have. People want to over-simplify the problems that face our world. For real, everybody does this. Everybody looks for the simplest, easiest, more direct answer to the problems that they have, often ignoring all the parts involved. There are some pretty major examples of this in our lives.
The worst comes from a group of people who basically choose to step outside of society. It is the reason that I HATE conspiracy theorists. I hear people all the time making some pretty crazy-ass arguments. I remember when I was with AFACT, there was this one guy who is skeptical of the truth about 9/11. My stance on 9/11 Truthers is the same as my stance on people who think we faked the moon landing- this government is too incompetant to have a scheme that big, and a cover-up that large. For both of those concepts, the cover-up would have to have been enormous, and I genuinely refuse to believe that our government is as clever as all that. I’ve just seen too much evidence to the opposite to believe that.
That’s the other big conspiracy- that we have the “shadow government” or that the corporations are all secretly running the world. Ladies and gentlemen, it isn’t that simple. While I am totally on-board with the fact that the corporate world does have kind of a strangle-hold on this country, it isn’t so simple as them just owning us. There are all sorts of elements that make our rather inefficient government run.
But the problem with simplifying the world is that it isn’t right. It is a way for people who don’t have a fucking clue to believe that they do. Probably the greatest example is religion. Religion has a gift at giving people the ability to believe that they know something, when the truth is that they don’t. Like they believe, and some claim to know beyond any form of doubt, that when they die, they are going to some sparkly paradise that they will live in for all eternity (eternity, the dumbest concept of all). But the truth is, they don’t. They don’t know. And you know how I know that they don’t know? Because I don’t know, and you do not possess powers of thought that I don’t.
Religion is mainly about simplifying the world into something that is much easier to understand. What I don’t get is, why would you want to do it? The world is such an amazing thing. It truly is a place of marvel. But people want to simplify that down, to make it so that they don’t have to think too hard. If you look at a beautiful sunrise and say that God did it, the world becomes a simpler place. But God didn’t do it. Forces of nature did it, and the forces are incredible to learn about. The irony is that what makes a beautiful sunrise and sunset is actually toxins in the environment which affects the light and how it is seen by us. Nature is so fascinating, and so beautiful, but so many people seem to just want to say that it is God, and that is all that matters.
Another reason that religion’s need to simplify things is a problem is because of some of the really horrible shit that happens in this world. There was an article published in Rolling Stone magazine about a group of soldiers in Afghanistan called “The Kill Team.” These guys are basically a group of soldiers who decided that they wanted to kill an Afghan civilian. At least, that’s where the problem started. It ended with them photographing their episode of psychocir murder. For real, these guys went a spree of killing Afghan civilians and mutilating their corpses, and posing in pictures with their corpses. Originally, this story was leaked to a German newspaper, and now, it is a massive scandal with this country.
How many religious people are going to say that this is the Devil’s handiwork? Does that make it any better? Does it make it any better. It doesn’t with me. I don’t feel better knowing that there is a God who will judge them. I don’t care. I honestly don’t give a shit what will happen after these guys die. It’s here on Earth that is what matters. It’s the war-crimes that these guys committed that is what matters. It is the fact that we have people in this country who go out into towns and villages in Afghanistan and just decide that they should brutally murder and mutilate other people, and that people in this country will defend these psychos! These guys thought it was a good thing to do! They genuinely believed that nobody would give a shit. These maniacs thought that killing a bunch of innocent people would be fun.
The simple fact is that nothing in this world is simple. Ask anybody who is an expert in any particular field and they’ll tell you that nothing about this world is simple. It’s a complicated mess. Life is a complicated mess. And people who want it to be simple- like that God is all things, or the corporations run America, or the moon landing was faked, or Obama is a Kenyan socialist marxist Nazi, or any of the other stupid-ass things that people tell themselves in order for the world to be a smaller place, these people are not realizing just how wonderful and how complicated our world is.
But where there is wonder, there is also sadness. Like with these soldiers. Everybody in their Company knew what these guys had done. They killed 4 people, and were planning even more heinous shit. One of their ideas was to get into town in their armored vehicles and throw candy out to children, and then mow them down as they came to grab the candy. Americans thought this! These were Americans who had this idea! My god, what diseased people. And how many are going to try and simplify this?
The world isn’t a simple place. And those who try to simplify it are people who want to believe that they are endowed with some kind of sacred knowledge that the rest of the world lacks. Socrates had a rather nice quote about trying to understand, and not being willing to seek out the truth. Pity religious people don’t listen.
Until next time, a quote,
“It’s better to know that you do not know, than to think you know, and not know.” -Socrates