Friday, March 06, 2009

Brain Hurters

Is this (above) an example of "hate speech" or is it an expression of First Amendment rights?

I'd be the first to admit that I am prejudiced against Scientology, so my first instinct was to "honk"...but I paused, realizing that a "honk" was a tacit expression of hatred directed at a specific religion. Aren't we, as a modern society, supposed to accept the religious beliefs of everyone? All religions begin as minority cults and are initially met with opposition from the established order. Is it unfair to persecute Scientologists or are they dangerous criminals hiding behind a knowingly false prophet and not a "religion" at all- are they fair game for scorn and prosecution?

I tend towards the latter answer, but these sort of questions come with enormous swathes of grey.

What if you drove down the street and saw someone holding a sign reading "Honk If You Hate [blank]", with 'blank' being your faith?

I do know that we have the right to question any given "Belief System" (BS). There is nothing that compels me to respect of any BS that sounds crazy to me.

I don't have a BS of my own, but I do have opinions and speculations.

It's my opinion that there is no such thing as a universally omnipotent and omniscient being or beings. Instead of trying to please the Unknown, we should collectively make an effort to be nicer to each other instead. This shouldn't be done as a hedge against the afterlife , it should be done to improve the Earthly plane. If there's a happy afterlife , consider it a bonus.

Sometimes I think about the idea that there may be a God , but there is no afterlife of any type, you just die and God carries on without you...but then I consider the idea the the Universe itself is a gigantic recycler of matter and energy and maybe souls are just a form of energy that change form in different stages, life being one and death being another. Perhaps there is an afterlife but no God.

I occasionally fantasize that there really are super-powered heroes such as Superman and the Flash, but in reality they don't have costumes or codenames and they operate covertly, helping (or harming) people without leaving behind a trace of evidence. Some humans may have glimmed onto these beings and seen them as Angels or aliens or ghosts.

It's possible. There are too many unprovable variables to draw any serious conclusions.

But it is fun to think about. As long as no wars get started.

11 comments:

yinyang said...

I think it's okay to hate Scientology, without hating Scientologists. Since I'm not a big fan of hate, and it's targeted at one of the Bad Religions(TM) du jour, I wouldn't have honked, though.

As for aliens and souls, I like Occam's Razor. Makes my brain a little tidier.

yellowdog granny said...

haating is like taking poison and hoping the person you hate dies..

NYD said...

I'm too busy living in the here and now tobe worrying about the after life. Hating stufff just takes energy and time away from doing all the things I like doing.

Live and let live.

schlep said...

Honk!

oops

Allan said...

YY- I don't like any religion that has drawn blood. Covers a lot of bases?

I prefer Occam's Cudgel.

JS- That didn't work at Jonestown.

NYD- I'm not at all worried about it, I don't think it exists...but there are fun scenarios to play with.

S- Honk! Is that Carytown SciTol branch still open? I never see activity there...eerie.

whimsical brainpan said...

Sadly hate speech is a First Amendment right.

I wouldn't honk for any sign that said hate.

citizen of the world said...

I have to agree. As much as I like the goombahness that is Scientology, I don't approve of rallies for hate.

the projectivist said...

hello - i've just popped over from Donn's place.
it's quite nice here.
plus
i just learned a new word from citizen of the world:
goombahness.
excellent.

Craig D said...

Whatever happened to "HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS?"

Infinity is a difficult concept, isn't it?

angel said...

as you know- i do believe in god, all powerful and all knowing. and i believe that good manners and being nice to one another is a part of what he wants for us too.

and i wouldn't honk.

more cowbell said...

Good call. I think Scientology is a load of crap, and that Katie and Suri should be freed, but honking for hate? No thanks, hate mongers of any sort are bad news. Hate takes too much energy to sustain.

I admit I feel a bit better since that data came out showing that non-believers are on the increase. I'll be glad when religion goes back to being a personal choice, not a method to excuse the morality police mindset that wants to run our laws and government these days. We're so polarized now, and I think a big part of that is fanatic elements that thrive on hate and judgement.