1. Morality, in terms of psychology and the way our brains process it, has to do with a person’s emotions and what they feel is a good or bad thing. That’s why right and wrong has such an emotional component and causes people to get so adversarial. It’s a similar thing with Ethics, except that has to do more with other people’s feelings, what’s good for a group, and what other people/groups feel is a good or bad thing. (I do believe that there is an intrinsic right and wrong, but it’s more complicated than we think, and we can’t always know what it is. Our psychological sense of Morals and Ethics are often just our way of trying to figure out what the Intrinsic Right/Wrong actually is).

    Studying the particular strain of Jungian Depth Psychology and personality types I’ve been looking into lately, I’ve come to understand how truly important it is for there to be so many varying opinions and personality types. Yes, those differences can lead to conflict, but that conflict actually keeps society from stagnating inside harmful circumstances. We would have a much harder time surviving or progressing if we weren’t challenging each other regularly.

    I might get annoyed by personality types that have a ‘test the rules’ mentality, for example. I’m far from a ‘follow the rules at all costs’ person, but test the rules types tend to need to learn through experience, and are less likely to value a rule unless they break it and experience the consequences for themselves. That drives someone like me crazy, because instead of testing a rule by breaking it(and potentially messing something up) I instead ‘test’ the rule by evaluating it in my own head. Basically, running a mental simulation of what could happen if a rule is broken, and from my perspective everyone should learn how to do that. To an extent it’d be good if people did, but ‘test the rules’ personality types can still be beneficial for me and even society as a whole. Their behavior poses a challenge that needs to be addressed, and thus can force people to evaluate/fix errors in their beliefs, processes, or rule systems.

    The same thing goes with the constant conflict resulting from everyone’s differing beliefs. Let’s look at the topic of feminism. When I was a kid, a lot of people were fighting for feminism by writing ‘strong female characters’. A lot of those chars were warriors that just ‘weren’t like other girls’, and in many cases almost acted like anything traditionally feminine was immediately bad, and like women could only be worthy if they completely rejected feminine things and proved themselves through ‘mens’ work’.

    During the time when that was popular and considered right, a lot of people might have been called sexist for challenging that character type. But now, even liberals seem to be pointing out that the ‘strong female’ trope can actually be sexist too. Mainly, because it acts like being feminine is a bad thing, and like a woman has to prove herself to men to be worth anything.

    Imagine some committee taking a stance on a social issue like feminism, deciding that a certain brand of ‘warrior woman’ char was the only acceptable way to address this in literature, and then banned anyone that opposed their idea. What gives this committee all knowing authority on what’s right vs wrong, and what works/what doesn’t? If they aren’t willing to have their ideas challenged in the first place, how can anyone trust them to come to the right conclusions? We can’t, if they aren’t willing to realize that they could be wrong at any given time.

    In that instance, the committee would be right in that there’s lots of sexism and violence toward women that needs to be stopped. But just because a group feels that that issue has to be addressed with THEIR method doesn’t mean they’re correct. Generally, challenges to everyone’s beliefs need to be allowed, that way any holes in their beliefs/methods can be handled.

    It’s the same thing with any group or belief system. They might have a goal, complaint, etc. that’s valid, but that doesn’t mean they’re above reproach. But it is worth considering how the reproach happens. Internet pileons started by Twitter mobs are probably not the best in many cases, for example. Not trying to say they should be illegal, but people should probably think twice before jumping into one.

  2. Bleh. My last post was kind of a mess. Hopefully it did an ok job as far as explaining some of the reasons why we need diversity of thought and free speech.

    As far as being a light and all that, we certainly should be. But to increase effectiveness, we should constantly be reevaluating ourselves, and analyzing why people get mad and what we can do about it. Sometimes people hate Christianity, creationism, etc. simply because they don’t understand it. Like, some people are still under the impression that all Christians and creationists are completely anti science. Or they think only about Young Earth Creationsim without realizing that there’s other types of Creationism out there, too.

    When we write, we should actually understand the other side and know what we’re talking about, too. Otherwise, there’s no reason for anyone to pay attention to us, because if we don’t even understand the side we’re criticizing, why should they spare the time to listen?

    All that applies to everyone, not just Christians, though. If a liberal atheist is going based off stereotypes and clearly not understanding those he criticizes, why should anyone listen to him?

    That isn’t just about ‘being nice’. It’s about showing competence and proving that we have valid reasons for things that are worth adhering to.

    • I think you explained some of the reasons we need diversity of thought quite well, Autumn. I would disagree on one point: “I do believe that there is an intrinsic right and wrong, . . . and we can’t always know what it is.” I think God has made right and wrong quite clear in Scripture. For instance, Romans 1 gives a list of things: filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice . . . and the list goes on! So I’d say, we know those things are wrong. But what we need to understand is what those things mean.

      So, for example, a pro-life person might say, See, murder is wrong, so abortion is wrong. A socialist might say, See, capitalism is wrong because it lives on greed, and clearly greed is wrong.

      We could go through the list in that way, discussion what each means in the practical, living out of God’s word. But that doesn’t mean God hasn’t told us what’s right and wrong. In fact earlier in the passage it says God’s wrath is against those who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

      In that one statement, there’s lots more to discuss and there will be lots more opinions. So discussion of truth is important and actually helps us all understand truth and error.

      The fact is, our culture today thinks truth is this floating, elastic thing which allows people to arrive at opposite positions and still both have “truth.”

      The fascinating thing to me is, a lot of the same people who believe this about truth also believe that what offends them should not be allowed. In other words, the guiding principle is what I think is right, or more accurately, what I feel is right. Truth actually has become devalued and has little meaning in this culture.

      Thanks for adding your thoughts, Autumn.


      • Well, the list you brought up is very vague. Like you said, it’s hard to know what those things mean, and that’s specifically why I said we can’t know. God doesn’t babysit us, which is good in many ways, but that means that no, we don’t always know what to do, especially in very specific circumstances that could easily be argued either way.

        But it’s kind of also why I think diversity of thought is important, too. Now days, for instance, people want to jump into thinking that capitalism is always intrinsically founded on greed and that socialism is immediately free from greed and the way to utopia. Neither of those are true. Greed can easily occupy either system. I prefer capitalism because it allows for more freedom, personal boundaries and innovation. BUT, people need to make sure they are going about capitalism the right way, such as finding ways to benefit others while they build their companies. That is entirely possible, and we can only see that when we allow diversity of thought.

What do you think?