I keep watching what is happening in our land of America right now, and am amazed at how insane people can be. Insane thinking is ubiquitous, it seems. I think it is our horrible education system which often claims to teach children to think, but more often than not, instead of learning critical thinking skills, children have been taught to think about emoting.
While emotions are important, many people today seem to fail to realize that you own your own emotions. And even if lots of other people have a similar emotion or feel a certain way about a thing, idea, or symbol, you still own the emotion you feel.
This idea that a confederate flag can cause offense is about as real as unicorns pooping in the clouds. No “thing” or “symbol” can cause anything; whatever it is you feel, it belongs to you. Any symbol, on its own, does not represent anything. It can only appear to represent some idea or some thing, in your mind. It cannot do it, on it’s own. If you choose to have negative feelings about a symbol, those are your feelings and not the cause of the symbol or idea itself.
And now, we are seeing the tyranny of the offended in America (and other parts of the world as well) who believe that they have some right to not be exposed to some idea or symbol that their own minds have chosen to emote over. And so, they call for outright bans or even destruction of the thing that they’ve decided to let bother them.
I am reminded at times about how people feel about the swastika. And yet historically, a swastika, to some people represented something else entirely than what many today think/feel about it. In Buddhist culture, it’s a symbol of good fortune. In ancient Hindu culture, it represents the sun, or magic, depending on how it is shaped.
The symbol cannot cause you to feel anything at all. It is only your mind, and how you allow yourself to feel or emote about a symbol or thing, that can cause any kind of feeling or offense about it.
I think it would probably be a good idea to discuss the very basic philosophical and logical notion that a thing is not the same as an idea and none are the same as the symbol (or word). Unfortunately, this is not taught much and while people often recognize that this it is a true idea, they continue to confuse ideas with symbols, and end up being illogical and irrational.
We’ll discuss this more in another post when I have more time to do so.