People think it’s clever to point out how competing groups resemble each other. It’s a mode of observation that I find increasingly dull, superficial and impractical. And I’ve done my fair share of it. When you obsess over surface similarities between opposing groups, you throw a cloud of obscurity over deeper differences.
Here’s an example: those radical atheists are just like the christians they rail against. Intolerant and self righteous. Or leftists are acting like the nazis they hate. They are the real bigots and racists. You can do this with anything, it works the same way every time.
It’s cataract critique for the numbnut analyst. Perfect for instant dismissal and feeling superior without engaging the topic. Again, I know this tendency well. I can remember the days when I felt satisfied by merely noticing that two people disagreeing with each other also resembled each other. Case closed, nothing more to see here.
Let’s look at our example again. In the case of atheism, sure, on the most superficial level of behavior they do act like what they’re opposing. But where do we go from there? Can we do anything with that observation or even develop it in an interesting way? Oh well, I guess religious and non religious people are really the same. Back to my dick blistering beat off session.
Sometimes cynicism is justified and sometimes it’s brainless and craven. How could you look at a disagreement over the existence or nature of god and merely think woah these people are the same, both intolerant and close minded. Atheism is a religion now. No, no it isn’t. Atheism rests on an entirely different and clashing set of assumptions from those of religion, and it entails wildly different practical consequences as well.
While it may be true that atheists adopt a tone or manner that resembles the religious, the content of what they believe is radically opposed to religion. Passing over this fundamental fact in favor of glib comparisons is juvenile. It reinforces a cretinous habit of seeing equivalence rather than discerning the deeper nature of differences.
When you think that people are fundamentally the same, you’ll never bother to understand why some people are incompatible and better off separate from each other. You’ll have to resort to mystifying abstractions like hatred, bigotry, and stupidity to explain conflict.
I heard Joe Rogan strain over the toilet and squeeze out the same shit during a podcast talk on leftist rioters. He said that the leftists were just like the people on the right. Just like the nazis. Really Joe? Who on the right is running around pepper spraying women and sucker punching people giving interviews?
Where are the nazis that the left is apparently aping? Isn’t there a more significant divergence here? Wouldn’t it be more fruitful to slow and down and think a little more deeply about what’s new and different here rather than twitch and bitch about hur de hur they’re just like the other side now?
Political and religious differences have deep genetic, cultural, historical, and geographical underpinnings and you aren’t compelled to learn more? These are subjects worthy of a lifetime of study and research; why bother when you have microwave ready equivalences to dish out at a moment’s notice?
I don’t expect people in general to think deeply or carefully about anything. That’s why we have tradition. And I don’t think people are worthless just because they don’t have dazzling thoughts about the latest controversy or pet progressive issue.
No one should feel inadequate for not being a wag. You can broaden the franchise but you can’t democratize wit. But if you consider yourself a thinker, I’d encourage you to take a closer look at what makes us different.