Reflections On What We Believe

Fool’s atheism.– “Why would an omnipotent and benevolent God allow evil things to happen?” So says the scientific fool with great smugness, believing he has thereby confounded the essence of all faith. The problem is that this very question reveals the nihilistic and trivial perspective of the questioner, based as it is upon a child’s presumption of absolute certainty, and an infant’s standard of certainty regarding the ultimate meaning of good and evil.

The compassionate.– Pity may honorably be felt for those who suffer, but only for those whom one sees suffering, and at the moment one sees them. Pity in the abstract, on the other hand, which is to say pity as a position, as a (supposed) virtue — pity as one is forever hearing it extolled in the modern age — is quite dishonorable, being nothing but a subtle variant of the vulgar instinct for power, the tyrannical impulse adapted to the spirit of the weak and conniving.

News.– Almost all of what is called “news” is just the unpleasant but existentially irrelevant details of some stranger’s life which the geniuses of information marketing insist you are supposed to care about deeply, either because it keeps you buying their product or because it helps to drill an agenda into your mind.

Memories.– Propaganda is in part the gradual and deliberate imparting of distorted memory, reinforced by the seeming unanimity of a collectively reinvented past. For example, how many people over the age of thirty will not tell you, on a hot day, that it was never so hot in [name of month] back when they were children, or conversely, during a storm, that we never had storms like this back then? And yet a two-minute comparison of these anecdotal accounts to what even the most alarmist climate change theorists are claiming about the quantifiable changes in climate over the past hundred years shows these anecdotes, en masse, to be not merely exaggerated, but utterly impossible. But simply pointing this out exposes you to boundless indignation from the majority, who are emotionally invested in their expertly distorted memories — after all, those false memories, though objectively nothing but the fabrications of propagandists, are their very lives, as they understand them. How dare you challenge their subjective, or rather collectively reinforced, truth!

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