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Sunday, 15 January 2012

Provocation


On Christmas Eve I attended a midnight mass in which the sermon mentioned how if the Higgs Boson particle gets discovered it will not make a difference to religious life. This got me thinking about how so quickly disagreeing groups will resort to using provoking statements which often involves attacking the other side in order to make their points seem more valid.

Science and Religion are a prime example of this. You have scientists such as Richard Dawkins who will attack and question the intelligence and even sanity of religious people because they disagree with him.

Now I am a man with both a religious life and a fondness for science and Dawkin’s statements are more provocative to someone in my position than someone who is a creationist. Part of the reason for this is it is harder for someone in the middle to just close their mind and not listen to what is being said, to ignore what is being said. Some may then be even more provocative and say the reason why people in the middle find it so frustrating and upsetting is because “they know their wrong” etc.

This irritates me even more because this is not necessarily the case. It certainly cannot be denied that this could be a factor, but to me it is more a case of resenting being put into an impossible situation when you have one party insisting your wrong if you believe one thing and another party insisting your wrong for believing the other.

I should explain that for the purposes of my point, right and wrong are not what it is important; people should have the right to be wrong in peace.

Science can be equally as provocative such as with calling the Higgs Bosen the ‘God Particle’. I think this was an extremely bad move and was naturally going to ruffle the feathers of people through all parts of the religious spectrum. It strikes me almost as patronising.

Another particularly aggravating form of this is gender battles. I hate gender battles. As far as I am concerned as soon as people start going “It’s because he is a man” or “She is a woman” you have lost your argument. It falls similar to comparing things to the Nazi’s. People only start using this when they have run out of a reasonable argument. The fact is men are all different from each other as are all women, to characterise one thing to an entire gender is just stupid. Now obviously people can explain certain natural traits through instinct or things like that. Which to a certain extent is true but never enough to justify labelling an entire gender. Particularly not with “All men are insensitive” or something like that.

A final example is with national media. By this I mean propaganda in particular with comic books and TV shows. If you look at older Marvel comics you see that Captain America’s enemies were mostly Germans with the occasional Russians or Chinese thrown in. This tradition (particularly with Nazis) is still present in modern editions although not as bad. It is still easy for the Russian Government or the German Government to take real offense to how they are portrayed or more likely, the fact that they are still being portrayed as the villains.
The TV programme Firefly is another example, having a British character and a Russian character as villains which the American heroes have to defeat. There is a fine balance between national pride and then provoking hatred in other nations.

So, do not blame someone for something because of their gender and certainly do not label or judge the rest of that gender because of one idiot. If you know you’re going to say something just to spark an emotional reaction, or hurt someone, with no real validity to your argument then keep your mouth shut or else you have devalued and disrespected yourself and resorted to acting like a child.

DFTBA

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