Monday, 15 November 2010

We are on the same page, aren't we?

I read a really good piece based on an interview with Christopher Hitchens at the weekend. I know a lot of folk cannot stand him, as it is I still retain a gratitude for his take down of  the Mother Teresa's sainthood. I've seen her work, seen her interviewed in India when she was still in the land of the living. And yet when I became aware of her name being used to denote sainthood, I was nonplussed to say the least.

The first couple of times didn't quite register, then it happened to be a woman inserted her name in place of saying someone was saintly, or not. There was that weird pause where you've heard and understand everything, yet realise there is a great big hole where those two should connect.

Finally, it dawned Mother Teresa was the embodiment of sainthood therefore could be used interchangeably with the term. I swear my first reaction was," you have got to be kidding". And do you know what? I'm not sure I could have told you exactly why. I just felt that was a mistake.

Then along comes Hitchens amongst others to puncture that balloon, although I do notice all her most prominent critics are men, I felt relieved, I wasn't just being funny. It's not that she didn't have admirable qualities that her achievement was not amazing, or that her work was worthless. I don't feel that. In spite of all that, I just felt there was something deeply unwholesome about her attitudes. Indeed this critique feels more balanced than others.

During the interview, he said something in reference to religious belief that really summed up the whole of my frustration with the way FA tends to point itself;

"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

Aaaaaaaaaahhhh; that relieves some of the tension!

Time and time again I've thought we continually refer to the senselessness of fat hating tripe, of its profound  (to itself) necessary ignorance which it has little choice but to maintain, or be destroyed by the cold light of reality.

Yet, we keep treating it as if it has some logic. Why? When asked to 'prove' what is evident, we scuttle off to try and find what will often be dismissed rather than responding; "you prove reality is anything but what we are saying". A little like religion what they are asserting has not been backed up in real life, so why do we not have the confidence to make that clear, all of us, so that they are aware that they are on the back foot, as they should be.

Instead we are.

I've been guilty of getting caught up in this myself when maybe I should just keep quiet, I've been excluded from some discussions anyway. FA ends up pandering to what it dismisses and assumes that same level. I have to ask, do people in FA believe the obesity crisis is a lot of rot, or not? Are we all speaking on the same page on that?

If we are, when are we going to stop arguing as if we aren't? As opposed to saying why we are saying what we are saying? In a way that's far more of a derail that weight loss dieters who wish to turn FA into WW's bourgeois outreach.

For all I know it possibly encourages this impulse. I recognise the primacy of simplify, but even simplicity comes out of deep roots, shallow simplicity is hollow. It adds to the feeling that 'we are not taken seriously', which is sometimes code for we don't feel serious.

I'm going to have to drop my referencing of Ditchkins seeing as he's come out against the kind of proselytizing atheism, that is wearing my last nerve with Dawkins and his ilk. Tee hee, (to that last link). If you become merely the counterpoint to something, you will begin to assume the same level as that thing. Atheism has got nothing to do with religion, in essence it is something in its own right it is more than just 'irreligion' thanks. If you reduce it to that, it will become like (your idea of) religion.

There's another noteworthy thing he said, referring to religion, but very applicable to the crusade;

it's religion, he contests, that is "cosmically hopeless, as is all the related masochism that goes with it – you've got to spend your entire life making up for the vermin you are. What is that if not degrading? We don't do that to people.
Emphasis, mine.

This is what shocks me about all the non-deists and secularists on board with the crisis. I cannot understand how belief in it is compatible with humanism. If you claim that those you believe in are greedily suicidal indolent fools for the heck of it or without strong minded intrusive intervention, doesn't that pose questions about your own judgement and intellect?

* edited for something approaching clarity

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