October 19th, 2006

how big?

The one with the least emotions loses

This discussion with slammerkinbabe got me thinking, and thence to face-to-face discussion with thishardenedarm about why it is that religious objections to dress codes are different to mere personal dislikes to them, and finally to the following thoughts, which still seem woefully unconclusive to me. Possibly one of you insightful chaps and chapesses can help out.

It annoys me that when a person says "If you make me dress in manner X then the sky fairies will be upset" it's given more credence than my own objections to simply "not liking wearing ties".

Partly this is because it seems irrational to me that appeals to the fantastical should be priveliged over appeals to simply grounded aesthetic preference, and partly it's because I don't have any sky fairies of my own to call own and frankly I feel jealous. (Which reminds me that my first ever girlfriend taromazzy originally started smoking because that way she got a five minute smoke break, whereas non-smokers didn't have an acceptable excuse to stand about for 5 minutes an hour.)

However, while I definitely think that way, on an emotional level, I can see their point. What thishardenedarm pinpointed for me was the issue of identity. Religion, and the things that go with it, are very deep seated in someone's sense of identity, while my dislike of ties is, frankly, not. No matter how much I may dislike them I don't have an absolute belief in their rightness or wrongness. And it's this lack of moral certainty that dooms me, because on the emotional plane true belief beats mere dislike any day of the week.

No, I can't quite place my finger on why, it just does.

To skip-paraphrase from Life, The Universe and Everything:
"The point is that people like you and me are dilettantes, eccentrics, layabouts, fartarounds if you like," said Ford. "We're not obsessed with anything, you see. And that's the deciding factor. We can't win against obsession. They care, we don't. They win."
"I care about lots of things," said Slartibartfast.
"Such as?"
"Well, life, the Universe. Everything really. Fjords."
"Would you die for them?"
"Fjords?" blinked Slartibartfast in surprise. "No."
"Well, then."
"Wouldn't see the point, really."


Sometimes I wonder if I'd be happier if I could _really_ believe in something. I'm fairly sure that studies have indicated that people do.