Today is 9/12/10. The day after 9/11/10. Nine years and one day after 9/11/01. Of course, in the objective perspective, all those labels and the occurrences that may be associated with those labels are arbitrary. Some people argue that the arbitrary nature of such labels and associations makes those labels and associations not worth our recurring observation. Others argue that those labels and associations only become arbitrary once we forget about them, thus we MUST remember.
This is the nature of many arguments of today. Humankind has willingly, if not consciously, made the assumption that there must be different kinds of people, thus we look at everything as opposition. It takes a real, conscious effort to move beyond that perspective and recognize the possible shades of gray – or different, pretty colors if you prefer. And that’s the thing some of us do prefer. But it takes a very strong will to consciously keep the truly objective perspective in mind and realize that the fact that everything is different means that everything is the same.
Here is a perfect example. It is impossible to determine exactly how many religions there are among humans. Do you consider agnosticism, ignosticism or atheism religions? In the subjective perspective, you have a choice. In the objective perspective you have no choice. They, as well as any possible beliefs about supernatural beings that other animals or even single cells may have (I’ve never found verification that they don’t), must be considered religion because they are collectively all beliefs about supernatural beings.
Over all of those possible religions, it is universally agreed that arbitrary killing of others is bad. Of course, that statement can be (and is all the time) argued subjectively. But objectively, even the most deranged psychopath or instinct-driven animal won’t kill EVERYTHING, and even the most peaceful, loving being MUST kill something sometimes to survive.
VEGANS ARE EVIL BECAUSE THEY KILLED AND DEVOURED MY CABBAGE!!!!!
Ooooooohhhkkkkkaaaaayyyy Now back to the original topic…..
A lot of people spent a lot of yesterday if not actually remembering 9/11/01, then telling others that “we must remember.” Since the first anniversary, it has become customary in the days after the anniversary to remember what it was like in the days/weeks/months after 9/11/01. It has also become customary for some people who spend much of their time talking about remembering 9/11/01 and telling you to remember what it was like in the days/weeks/months after to hold rallies, memorials and other such things, as though remembering in physically concentrated groups has some effect on something. Sure, subjectively it may make some people feel better but objectively, of course, it’s just another arbitrary day with people doing arbitrary things.
The subjective thing that bothers me is that some of the people who spend much of their time talking about remembering 9/11/01 and the days/weeks/months after seem to be doing so not so much in the interest of helping others to feel better but for a profit.
The thing about that, though, is that I understand. I understand all of it. Obviously I’m not profiting from my commentary so I only offer commentary after thinking twice or thrice more instead of the usual never-ending thinking and re-thinking.
What I remember most from the days/weeks/months after 9/11/01 is the conscious effort made in the US to separate “radical Islam” from every other Muslim in the world. While I think it was a noble pursuit, I also think it was kind of pathetic that it was a necessary pursuit. Now nine years later, it’s disturbing that it is a more necessary pursuit than ever. Of course, this is a subjective necessity. Objectively, Islam as a whole presents the same danger to peace and the well-being of human kind as any other religion. The battles begin with delusional people and their subjective views about God. As long as people are willing to fight for what they believe in, other people will die for what they believe in. That, I think, is what should have changed on 9/12/01 and what needs to change now more than ever.
What I don’t remember about the days/weeks/months after 9/11/01 is an objective coming together. Sure, groups got together to collectively be together, but over time they just came apart again. I don’t remember them shedding their group identities once they came together, and that’s the problem. If anything, it seems many of us have dug in harder on our group identities since 9/11/01.
I remember the time before 9/11/01. A time when things weren’t subjectively much different and objectively not different at all. I remember slowly making my way to the realization that no religion works for me because I don’t need any God to tell me that people like other people to be decent. I remember a friend of mine telling me about bombing the camps of Muslim terrorists during the Clinton Administration and wondering why the people in charge in this country would think that such action wouldn’t inspire retaliation and more and more problems. Of course, only a short while later my perspective was proven to be in accordance with reality, and we were attacked.
I don’t remember the world seeming any safer or more rational before 9/11/01. It was just subjectively a little bit different.
My point in all this is that we have needed to, and now more than ever need to, come together as living beings, recognize the things that make us different and together consciously decide that they don’t objectively matter, and therefore are not worth fighting over. No one thinks it’s rational to hate women because some of them like the color pink, and no sane person wants to kill women for the same reason. Yet, quite a few of us tend to accept it as not exactly irrational or insane when people hate or want to kill an entire group of people in response to the irrational, insane beliefs or actions of even a minority of that group. This is wrong, and we should at least try to stop it. Hate and killing doesn’t work, and reasoning might not either, but we should at least try or we really are no better than them.
The objective truth is that it doesn’t matter how we think or act as individuals or groups. The subjective, but rational and sane, way of thinking and acting is to accept that none of us thinks or acts rationally or sanely all the time. Thus, we should not necessarily forgive and forget, but hating and remembering isn’t doing us any good either. Unconditional love and acceptance do nothing for our situation either. This concept can be observed by the number of born-again Christians in prison. If a person can do irrational, insane things and still receive unconditional love and acceptance, there’s nothing to keep him from doing irrational, insane things when he thinks he’ll always get what he needs.
Religion’s unverifiable, but usually convincing, “guarantee” of happy life after death does make most people feel good now, and implies that the future can and will feel as good as it does now, but at some point many of them realize they are just as miserable and unsure of the future as they were before.
Along the same line, for some people money is their religion. Black ink on the finance report can make people happy now, and again implies happiness in the future, and while I don’t think anyone believes that money will assure them of a happy life after death, they sure do believe that it can make the lives of those they leave behind better after they’re gone. This may actually be true, but there is no guarantee that we won’t all wake up tomorrow and realize that money is just fancy paper with fancy ink on it or that gold is just a shiny metal. Objectively, money is just like your boss. Your boss can verify that you did your work, but it was the work that was done that matters, and it’s a rare boss – or job for that matter – that really makes you happy with what you’ve done instead of just happy to get away from your boss and your job. Not only that, but we usually end up at home wishing we had a different job or at least a different boss so we could be happier.
However, it’s not just about what we do but how we feel about what we do. Of course, objectively it doesn’t matter but if our subjective perspective is actually content, it’s much easier to observe the objective perspective. For an example, I personally remain subjectively contented as long as I learn something useful at least a couple of times a week, and if I every once in a while manage to refine my philosophical self to a level of clarity which helps me to be able to convey my philosophical self to others. That is what I do, so I can consider myself happy. I find it much easier to be objective where it’s necessary to my rationality and sanity and subjective only when it won’t cause any problems.
And that’s the key point I wanted to make. Objectivity is the key to rationality and sanity. An objective perspective is best achieved through the contentment of the subjective perspective. The subjective perspective is easiest to make content when we maintain a level of awareness and understanding about reality that is stronger than the fear and the urge to judge we feel about the parts of reality of which we aren’t aware or don’t fully understand.
In the perspective of 9/11/01, the “war on terror” and everything else that’s been affected by that day, my point is that too many people aren’t subjectively content. I know you might be asking yourself, “Well how/why should they be?” If you are asking the question instead of just reading it, you haven’t really understood anything I’ve said so far. To be content with 9/11 and everything else and move on is to be better than wanting and especially trying to get revenge for what was done. It’s a matter of being willing to be wronged or even killed because at least you aren’t willing to do wrong or kill anyone, especially if you want to.
When we learn about those that wrong or kill us and understand them, we shouldn’t forgive them or love them but we definitely shouldn’t fear or hate them. Then, we are able to better relate to them and maybe even change their minds. If not, they will wrong or kill us. But again, objectively it doesn’t matter and it’s much easier to deal with being wronged or killed subjectively when you understand that. At least you didn’t do anything wrong or kill anyone and – after-life or not – that should make you feel pretty good.