thread: 2006-08-31 : I think my expectations are screwed

On 2006-09-06, Charles wrote:


The culture you live in would be bizarre and alien to someone from 100 years ago, so the idea that only traditions with hundreds of years of backing are okay is pretty strange. You presumably drive a car (or at least interact with cars), an object of immense power surrounded by a set of rituals that are less than a hundred years old. You presumably do not view your wife as your subordinate property, but rather as a coequal, a violent violation of hundreds of years of tradition that has only come to full fruition in the past 4 or 5 decades. You are having an argument on a computer network, a method of communication which is barely two decades old, and which presents radically different challenges and opportunities than any preceding method of communication. For that matter, you are having the argument on a blog, a conceptual institution that is only a few years old, and which operates by radically different rules than any preceding computer network based communication system. Somehow, you seem (and so do the rest of us) to be doing all this without inflicting particularly great harm to yourself or others.

Now, it may be that all of this is radically unsustainable, and that people in a thousand years will still look back at the global civilization of the 21st century and shake their heads in wonder at the strange ways of that bizarre moment in time, but you are living in it. This is your culture. So trying to claim that you predominantly live by traditions that are hundreds of years old is a bit bizarre. And the traditions you need to make living in this culture make sense need to be judged carefully and on case by case basis. The criteria for judging is the same whether the practices are 6 months old or 10 thousand years old.

The New Testament tells us that those who are filled with the spirit can drink poison and handle snakes, but I think a cult operating off of that holy text will kill you just as surely as the one that explains that the Lectroid Aliens can make you immune to poison if meditate on the letter K. You have to judge by what makes sense and what works, not by how old it is.


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