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The Self Thought Police

I often think of a quote I heard in a movie I saw when I was a teenager. I cant remember the name of the movie, or what it was about, but I do remember one person warning another to be careful how close they stood to the edge while staring into the abyss, its very easy to fall in. On the surface it doesn’t sound like much, but for years I have been reading a little more into it that maybe I should ever have, and I have applied the concept to many aspects of my life as a sort of beacon from which to gauge my objectivity in approaching matters which have affected me and the people around me.

As flippant as it may sound, I have always seen opinions as somewhat like Arses. Everyone has one, a lot of them stink and you can just about manage your own. But on further consideration it becomes clear that, although you might do your best to avoid the hairy ones that don’t interest you, like it or not you will probably have to share a loo with someone some day and a little understanding in both directions goes a long way. You see, I have noticed that most people, ultimately, have the same opinion about everything. When you boil it down to its base everyone is of the opinion that they are right, and the semantics of it are simply a different means to the same end. That end of justifying their own position to themselves and to those around them, and swaying the opinions of others in order to create an environment where the needs of said justifications are best served. I am pretty sure about my opinions, I’ve thought about them carefully and taken what evidence I can find to help fit the pieces together in order to produce a lucid world view with which I hope to impart a little objectivity into my children in the hope that I can arm them with the power to deduce their own world view and not be influenced to heavily by others, including me, which is the crux of the point here.

In trying to make society accept the ways and opinions of non believers, how close to the abyss of repression are we willing to edge before we inevitably plunge down the dark path of actively suppressing opinions that don’t fall into the category of acceptable to Free Thought? What is acceptable? I think the most fundamental ability that needs to be considered in any free society is the ability to objectively analyse ones goals and means of attaining ends. Is it acceptable to judge those who choose to think differently, or grant exceptions or simply choose to ignore faith rather than challenge it? How can we call ourselves tolerant when we are openly and obviously no such thing?