May 31, 2010

Thinking A Dangerous Occupation

People like to believe that their beliefs have a foundation in logic and rational thought. It is comforting to believe that our actions are guided by principles that come from carefully reasoned arguments that are based upon facts.

Prior to blogging it was something that I believed to be true about myself. But blogging and experience has convinced me that this is most assuredly not true. I remember teasing the Shmata Queen about how she was short, crazy and illogical. I told her that every time she tried to think she got herself in trouble. Suffice it to say that when she finished beating me over the head with that enormous black purse I had a large bruise and a revelation.

I realized that many of my beliefs were nothing more than arbitrary choices that I had made. The logical positions that I had assumed they were based upon weren't always that. I'd like to say that from that moment on I vowed never to make a choice that wasn't based upon fact. I'd like to say that since then I have never made a decision that wasn't based upon logic, but that would be a lie.

There are a bunch of decisions that have been made because I was angry, sad or happy. Yep, I made choices based upon emotion. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. It really depends on the specifics. And I have long since accepted that some of my beliefs are based on faith or things that I can't prove scientifically. I don't care, at least I don't about most of them. Although there are probably a few that would bother me. How is that for hedging. ;)

Anyhoo, I can say that I work hard not to make serious decisions based upon emotion. I make a point of trying not to react. I am not always successful. Sometimes I see/read/experience things that make me see red or shake my head at the general stupidity of others. The tweet below did that.
I responded to it and said that I thought that it was one of the dumbest things I have ever read. She didn't reply. Can't say why. Could have been because she didn't see it or because she chose not to.

But it irks me. Irks me because it is a blatant distortion of reality and part of the attempt to delegitimize Israel. That affects me. That bothers me. I don't like the double standards. Don't appreciate those that wish to serve as apologists for the murderers of friends and family.

Some do it out of ignorance and some out of hatred. As a father I am very conscientious about teaching my children to judge people based upon their actions. It is the only fair way to make a determination about people. The only reasonable way to be.

But sometimes reason gets thrown out the window. Sometimes logic follows reason and all that is left is a potpourri of people and problems and it is anyone's guess as to what happens then.

The flotilla was wrong. Peaceful activists engage in dialogue and don't engage in violence unless they are interested in intentional provocation. The San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994 makes it clear that Israel acted appropriately, but this will probably be ignored by much of the media and the world.

And so I find myself wondering what will happen in the morning. What will my children hear and how will I respond. What will I teach them. How do I prepare them for the lack of logic and the general nastiness. How do I explain the contradictions. It is a discussion that may not happen tomorrow, next month or next year, but it is coming.

I wonder.

2 comments:

Mark said...

Those kinds of comments are becoming more and more common. Here is a link to one I just read recently in the comments on this blog post -

http://dovbear.blogspot.com/2010/06/prager-tells-diaspora-jews-to-shut.html

As a Jew, I have serious doubts about the value of the State of Israel (at least as currently constituted) to world Jewry ...

The JackB said...

Hi Mark- It is a serious issue that requires more than a cursory glance.I am concerned about it.