Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Mockery and insecurity

One of the first things John Scalzi says about his Creation Museum visit article and photo essay is "if you don't want me to mock your beliefs, get better beliefs". I don't think he's kidding, because of aforementioned extensive mockery being the very purpose of the visit, the article and the photo captions. In other words, his position is "I will not mock you unless I don't like what you believe". That's not a moral position. That's schoolyard bullying. It's the same as saying "I will mock your beliefs", but it puts the onus on you. It looks like it's up to you whether you get mocked/punched/bullied, but it's really not.

Mockery doesn't change beliefs, it only reinforces prejudices when used this way. This form of mockery is rooted, deep down, in insecurity. If I am insecure about myself, then I need everyone else to validate my choices, my beliefs and my physical appearance by conforming to it. Your sheer comfort with believing something different to me is a threat to the security of my personal world view. It must be attacked.

The point is that, while you could change who you are, what you believe, the clothes you wear and the way you cut your hair in order to appease someone, why should you do that? They're the one with the problem. You are free to express your beliefs (as long as you can defend them with logical argument), just as I am. Instead of mockery, how about we have a proper discussion? We might not end up agreeing, but we should end up understanding our own beliefs better as a result, and that is always a good thing.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I just know the "get better beliefs" line is going to be repeated without thought.
PPS - Just know that, if you repeat it, it's more of a threat than a hilarious observation.

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