Friday, April 11, 2014

Strawman Dialogues: To Hell with the Future Edition

A: Hey there. I can't help but notice you drove into work in a nice new SUV today.
B: Yeah, it's pretty great.
A: I thought we talked about this? That gets terrible gas mileage, you're kind of robbing the future generation of limited resources.
B: You know, that's actually why I decided to get it.
A: What?
B: Well, you know I'm against same-sex marriage.
A: Wait, are we still having the same conversation?
B: Against women's ordination. Against abortion...
A: Right, all terrible beliefs on your part.
B: So you say. And you keep telling me future generations are going to look back on me with disgust.
A: They are.
B: Which is why I decided, I don't really give a shit about these arrogant future-twerps.
A: What!? But they're our children! Our children's children!
B: You see me with any kids?
A: Okay, but they're other people's children!
B: Yeah, other people's kids are pretty annoying *now*, pal. The point is, when I'm constantly reminded of the disgust and smugness a bunch of people regard me with, my desire to sacrifice to help them out fizzles out like a bug fart. Why - Christ aside, for a moment - should I sacrifice anything for people you're convinced will hate me?
A: That's a terrible attitude!
B: But eminently sensible.


Athena Carson said...

"But eminently sensible."


Crude said...

It's absolutely not a sensible attitude for a Catholic to have. At the same time, it does illustrate a problem - on the one hand, a lot of talk about concern for future generations. On the other, talk about how future generations are actually going to revile this generation.

It doesn't exactly build sympathy when the attitudes are put side by side.

lotharlorraine said...

Hello Crude.

Even if I were to be admired by all next generations, I would certainly not sacrifice my pride to drive a big car (and charm primitive females) just for their sake.
(I'm joking of course, since I hate such a behavior :-) ).

Otherwise I have at last written the post I promised you:
Crude's concern: progressive Christians and firing political opponents

and I'd be truly interested to learn your thoughts on it.

Best wishes.

JCDaedalus said...

Hi Crude,

I've been lurking around your blog for a couple of weeks, and I'm pretty much liking what I see.

Just to add to the strawmen here, there's this post that's floating around Facebook of late:

If not, you can look at the Google reverse image search results here:

I'm not sure if you'll be able to access it (I'm assuming you might have access to Facebook), but in case you don't, it's:

1. A fictitious woman whines to Facebook God with her abortion sob-story, i.e. she got bullied into one, her horrible Christian parents are angry, she gets feelbad because some people take a stance against abortion.
2. Facebook God says, "Oh no, you ain't no murderer, child! It's all those people who make you feel bad who ARE bad. Haterz gon' hate."
3. Woman says, "Thanks Facebook God, you sho wonderful and non-judgemental unlike those fundies who try and follow the Bible and change their lifestyles to fit Scripture...or was it the other way round? Never mind, me love you long time!"
4. Woman: P.S. This world is just awesome, like, psych!

Now I realise it might be just the tiniest bit embellished, but the idea's there. The saddest thing is that in the comments, everyone's declaring how they'd follow this God, who's so NOT judgemental unlike his stupid followers.

All I can do at this point in time is to sigh.

(Since all good arguments should also consider the opponent's point of view, here are some contra-points: Yes, there is a good point to be made that we have all broken God's laws; what's important is that we cannot justify the committing heinous sins in the name of acceptance. Yes, there is a good point that we should not condemn young women who have made a bad decision; what's important is that she shouldn't have been led into the situation where she made the bad decision in the first place. Yes, there is a point that we must help these supposed victims; what's important is that we cannot allow a tyranny of victimhood - victims must be helped out of their status, not forever placated and sanctified because they've suffered..)

Crude said...


Hey there, always nice to meet a lurker. Hell, always nice to know lurkers are in fact around here.

The abortion issue is complicated, and the tyranny of victimhood is a real thing. In fact I wrote about a kind of 'trick' in play with just this topic a while ago, in case you didn't see it.

One of the nastiest realities about our current cultural situation is that we now are dealing with people and organizations who are absolute maestros at playing the victim and sympathy card.

With the specific example you're talking about - which for all I know was just someone one facebook engaging in some one man/woman theatre - I think what's key is sincere repentance. Yet that's what a lot of people want to skip, because that's the feeling-bad part. They want the sympathy and encouragement that used to come from a sincere regret, without any of the regret or even an acknowledgment that they were culpable in their wrongdoing, if they were in fact wrong.

Put a Sock in it said...

You could have cut the dialogue in half by responding to A's assertion that B's being anti-abortion and against same-sex marriage is:

"all terrible beliefs on your part"


B: So you say. But if everyone is pro-abortion and pro same-sex marriage there won't be any future generations to be oncerned about.

Ed said...

Sock, that's what I was waiting for, too.

(Also lurking)

The Fez said...

It always seemed to me that generational hostility is perfectly natural at the same time it is perfectly unnatural. That is, to say, a younger generation owes a debt to their fore-bearers for paving the way for their very existence, but are still justified in possessing some general antipathy about how those "old-folk" handled things. Of course,in this case, I see this paradox as being relegate to matters of the practicum, like "I'm going to use robots to build this house, old man".

As might have been the case in the past, younger generations might heed the wisdom of their forefathers at the same time they turn their back on certain practices. It was the perfect balance of healthy respect and healthy distaste.

The code of my generation now is to say "To hell with all that", and just disregard everything that happened before 2001 (because, you know, terrorism and all that) unless they can use it as an ideological bludgeon.

The end result is a group of people who really have no tradition, and thus nothing to pass onto their own children that they are now (terrifyingly) raising. Except, of course, maybe a healthy respect for the Thundercats.

We'll know the full extent of the damage once these kids are old enough to start formulating their own "opinions". Ironically, the fact that children are essentially raising each-other via social-media interaction means that they are essentially developing their own cultural-traditions independent of their parents. Maybe that's a good thing? Well, probably not.