Misanthropy, Atheism, Moralizing, Luck
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Thinking about my weblog postings I discover that I've become something I once greatly hated. I'm tolerant.
I don't mean I don't dislike African-Americans (I've never been racist.), I'm not homophobic (I'm a homo), nothing against Jews (I didn't know about anti-Semitism until I read about it in books). As a gay man what would I do with sexism (I did open doors for women when I was young. Now I reserve that for guys.)
I don't have any axes to grind against the human race.. Not that I can see much use to the human race. As a lump you aren't smart, kind, loving, at all rational. You are greedy with cravings, loud, like unlovely things, and have never met a self-serving idea from low taxes to Nirvana and Jesus you won't accept (or portentously a "ground of being").
I remember fearing that I'd become one of those people whose tolerance would lead them to, say, admire The Great Gatsby. (An odd moral crime for sure. I did actually shudder when someone told me that reading the novel when he was older left him feeling more kindly of it.)
It was on Geary Street in San Francisco the week I turned twenty-five that marveling at the sheer boneheadedness of some my earlier selves that I first felt a conscious need to temper my misanthropy. Not being able to believe that God would send Einstein and Gandhi for not believing in the Christian Bible started me on my recovery from Christian faith. A sharp sense of my own foolishness gave my misanthropy a big blow. And it was standing there a half block from Union Square that I realized that whatever might separate me from 'everybody else' was just luck.
I've never surrendered to my greatest fear. I accept every event in space and time as effects of particles and their fields. I'd be mighty glad to know why existence exists or if there is a reason. But I haven't worried about it much since my teens anymore than I worry about the crabgrass. I don't see an identity seeking to recapitulate itself by uncaringly recombining its parts in Nirvana. Nor a caring God who fucked with us mightily for our special advantage like the spammer offering a bigger dick, home loan, or trip to a lovely vacation spot.
Entropy will have sway: a cosmos of undifferentiated strung along in a cloud of unknowing from one end of the curved or uncurved universe.
You, I, me, them are mere outcomes of our contingencies: combinations of place, particularities of time.
No good, no evil. Good and bad maybe. To hope to nourish men and women who share our wishes. To thwart those whose lives stand against us and our friends.
I can't help but look at politics and moral values as whining children. Sensitive are you? Pathetic is more like it.
Really I'm not a man aloft in a balloon, riding over mankind judging it like a god. I'm walking on the ground with the rest of you. Hoping the best for the good of you. Hoping unabashedly for the destruction of those men and women who stand against life as I want it lived.
I should've been a monk spending my hours in my spare cell talking to myself about my relationship with God. I'm quite a prig, aren't I?
You know, the funniest thing about the last couple centuries? We've put paid to every justification of morality. But moralize anyway. Think of the postmodern academics. Ostensibly they've cast off pretence of objectivity. But write often-unreadable books bitching about the moral flaws of imperialism, capitalism, and sexism. But without objectivity there isn't a basis for morality. Mostly Marxism in new clothes.
I've come to more sanely see myself as one of you. Some of you I love, many I care about as far away as you may be, in wishing some of you clarity I almost seem you enemy.
To get back to where I think I started: I've lost my grudge against mankind and I fear that I miss it.