Monday, March 22, 2010

My Brain Never Tires

There's this phrase that I don't like much. It goes: "You've got your head in the clouds." I think it means that I am a thinking person. Which is why the phrase strikes me as ridiculous. It would be more accurate to say that I have my head cerebrally located -- perhaps differing from the bodily locations where others sometimes keep their heads? Another meaning of the phrase "head in the clouds" is the notion that I'm not here on earth. I do not understand why it's not possible to be a thinker, a dreamer, and a realist at the same time. There are so many false dichotomies that seem to persist in day-to-day living.

I like to think about dichotomies sometimes -- true or false. I took a logic course a long time ago and I remember reading the tactics for challenging statements of this sort. A dichotomy sets up a sort of "if" . . . "then". . . scenario. For example, "If God created the world, then evolution is false." Or vice-versa. I know that's a big can of worms and I do not wish to get into a debate at the moment. But why is so little merit given to the notion that God creating the earth and evolution could co-exist? Why are so many things considered offhandedly wrong just because we want something else to be right? The best way to challenge the argument seems to mean that you must take one side or the other. I kind of like to consider the possibility that both might be true or both might be false.

There are so many things that exist in tandem. You might say the world is much more gray than it is black and white. But it is comforting to see the black and white more clearly than the gray. For example, villains should be like the ones in cartoons, or like Voldemort: all evil. But then you get heroes who are not completely good. Face it, none of them are. Peter Pan was kind of a self-righteous snot; Harry Potter rarely trusts his friends; Odysseus got all his friends killed and made up stories constantly. I could go on. If the heroes can have flaws, even traits we would consider "evil" then why can't the villains have some good in them?

Or is it that fear of the unknown that people wish to avoid. That fear that if you look into the eyes of the villain and see that he's only human then you won't want the hero to take him out anymore? And what does it mean for the rest of society? It appears to mean that bad can exist in the shape of good. Which means that it takes work to tell what is right and what is wrong. It's easier just to pretend that all things operate on extremes. Isn't it?


bel te shaz zar said...

agreed. seeing things in simple black/white terms is the easy way out, almost like an intellectual abdication of responsibility. it's a natural impulse, all of us do it in some form or another.

- dan said...
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Xana Ender said...

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who see things in terms of dichotomies and those that don't.

To be serious though, it seems possible that people disbelieve some strawman and so tear it down in their minds and believe the opposite, because they didn't know there's another choice.