I’m pro-choice, always have been and – based on the science of fetal development – always will be. But long have I been frustrated with the two most popular arguments from either sides of the debate.
I own a gun. Well, I did. An H&K .45 caliber USP Compact. People remarked frequently on what a good gun it was. I kept it, unloaded, in my closet for about four months before I sold it. I never bought any bullets for it because I always felt kind of silly having one. I’ve had a few conversations about gun control over the last couple of weeks and since I’ve never formally communicated my position on gun-control, I thought it would be a good idea to pool my thoughts together and do so today.
I have always been a Liberal. I don’t take any particular pride in it. I don’t have a presidential election sticker on my Jeep (I don’t have any stickers on my Jeep), I don’t go to rallies, I don’t call conservatives bigots, and I don’t spend a whole lot of time seeking out information that confirms my liberal position on this or that political issue. I’m a left-of-center Liberal who believes in free speech, democracy, capitalism, and free market. Some liberals seem to dislike those things but I never paid much attention to things people much further left I thought about things; the Progressives and the Leftists.
As someone who has always taken health seriously but has only recently begun to take his own health seriously, I find myself in a state of constant annoyance with some internet activists who advocate for Fat Positivity (#FatPositive). I find that while all of these individuals are coming from a good place with good intentions, more than half of them are doing more harm than good. Thoughts as to why I feel this way have been swimming around in my head for a few years now, and can be found in what follows.
I’m a white cis-gendered male. I’m not particularly fond of this sort of labeling, because it’s frequently used to invalidate my position on a given topic, but that is what I am. I’m what the LGBTQIA community would call “privileged”, too. There’s some truth to that I suppose. No one in my family was ever a slave in this country, I don’t have to know what it’s like to be catcalled by construction workers or men on the street, society’s standards of beauty don’t dictate my behavior (at least not as much as they do others), my gender matches my biological sex, and my sexual preference is heterosexual. If you were measuring my “oppressability”, I suppose I am fortunate to have been born white, cis-gendered, heterosexual, and male. Life could have been much different for me had I been born a black transgendered woman, for example. I recognize that.
Tonight someone in my life asked me a question that I was altogether unprepared to be asked, mostly because the assumption made in the question was both incredibly flattering and – to me – extremely far from reality. What follows won’t be a treatise on happiness, I’m in no position at this point in my development to write such a thing, but instead it will be an explanation of how I find happiness… and how I don’t.
The word “moral” was never given a secular definition. I think we may have to admit
that religion conceived of the word “moral” since the first time we see it is in translating St.
Gregory the Great’s (that’s Pope Gregory I.) Moralia, sive Expositio in Job. While this may be the
case, religion didn’t invent the phenomenon that this word was created to discuss. Namely:
when human beings interact with one another they can affect one another physically,
emotionally, and mentally. Words like “moral” and “morality”, and terms like “moral behavior”,
are tools with which we are able to discuss this phenomenon in the hopes of discovering the
most “good” form of human behavior.
I’m often asked why I identify as an atheist. I’ve been avoiding writing an explanation because
I don’t identify as an atheist. I am an atheist (an agnostic atheist specifically) but when people
ask me to describe who I am, atheist doesn’t come any closer to making the list than “not a Big
Foot believer” does. Atheism has seen an incredible rise in “membership” since 9/11, and it’s
easy to see why: since 9/11 faith has become extremely polarized and its inconsistencies and
hateful (yes hateful, and no, I’m not being hyperbolic) doctrines are really starting to shine
through via social and traditional media.