Saturday, May 08, 2010

There Is No Evolutionary Benefit To Peaceful Coexistence

I have a real hard time engaging the haters.  Further, I have a hard time finding the right way to relate to them.  I dislike categorically writing off a whole segment of the population with such a broad generalization, but I can't think of any other way to think of them. 

The hypocrisy drives me nuts.  There's not way to break through the hatred to find a hook on which I can hang an argument that might make a difference.  I suppose I need to remember the discussion we had a few weeks ago that said that the purpose of such an argument is not for the opponent, but for the audience, the spectator, the lurker who might be watching and not participating actively. 

I know that as I was growing up, and even well into my young adulthood, I did not understand anything about, well, sexuality in general.  I was afraid of my own sexuality, and I absolutely did not understand what it was to be gay or lesbian.  Those words didn't even exist in my thinking.

It took time even after college to understand.  It's during that time that I was introduced to gay and lesbian friends, and that they weren't "different" from me after all.  That's an experience that most of the haters will never have.  I fear that the cycle of hate and hypocrisy will continue for generations to come.  It may never change.

It's natural for humans to fear the other.  I've written about that before.  Further, it's natural for humans to resist external pressure to change the way we see things, the way we relate to things.  The biological imperative is to develop a standard that works and adhere to it.  Anything that deviates from that standard is considered a threat. 

That's when we get into reaction and overreaction.  Anything can be a threat, and anything can be a threat to the standard.  Some people over react to a threat in ways that are irrational.  And therein lies the problem.

There is no rational argument in opposition to an article of faith.  Faith is completely irrational.  It is, by definition, irrational.  The haters, though, don't even recognize that.  They are wrapped up in some sort of set of instructions and call that their world.  The grasp on those instructions is so tight that any challenge to that world view is considered an affront, anathema, a threat of the most high order.  As such, they feel, the response must be swift and overwhelming.

We are a species built for violence.  We are the most effective, although not efficient, hunters on the planet.  We take what we want and damn the consequences.  As such, we hold no special place in our heart for the other, for the opposition, for anyone or anything that falls outside the standard of what we believe.  We react to those threats with violence.  We close our minds to alternatives and we challenge the opposition to a fight. 

We are developed enough to, mostly, offer these challenges on an intellectual level rather than a physical one.  But, it's still about protection of territory.  You, the other, are not allowed here.  You are unwelcome.  For now, I will prevent your access to my territory with societal barriers.  In the past, I may have prevented your access with weapons. 

I know that I want to fight.  I suppose that is one of the places I get most confused.  It makes me no "better" than the haters.  I see the way that some of the arguments are constructed and my first thought is that's the most stupid, illogical, irrational, hypocritical thing I've ever seen.  When I try to engage the argument, I see that there is no way to enter into dialog, and that makes me angry.  And instead of being able to come up with stronger and stronger arguments, I get frustrated and the desire to take up arms becomes prevalent.  I want to line up the haters and bitch slap every one of them.  If I could remove them from my society, I would.

And that's what makes me no better than them.  And that's why I, and others like me, will never prevail.  While the haters are willing to cloak themselves in a protective armor of unthinking, I am willing to let them coexist.  Where they would remove me and those I stand for from their sight, I would let them stand with all their offensiveness.

There is no evolutionary imperative for tolerance and peaceful coexistence.  It's not built in to the human DNA.  Peaceful coexistence is a choice, and a very hard one.

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