To All Trump Supporters

From a philosophical perspective, the conclusion one can draw from the Milgram experiment is that obedience and evil are linked. In where there is an authority, especially an absolute authority, obedience results in people harming others. Anyone who is a sheep is potentially evil. All that’s required is an authority to get them to cause harm. This readily explains Christians throughout history who have had two authorities (usually absolute) demanding their obedience: god and kings, emperors, despots, and now presidents. Most Christians in this country are obedient sheep; that readily explains their evil. They imagine, for example, that opposing Trump and/or the Republican Party is akin to opposing god’s will. This is why they just do not see how they weaponize their votes against minorities, non-Christians, and women especially.

On a separate note, hopefully they see now that weaponizing their votes in this manner backfires and harms them as well: “In 2016 36.2 percent of SNAP program beneficiaries were White, 25.6 percent were African American, 17.2 percent were Hispanic, 3.3 percent were Asian. [Source: USDA]” Most of the 36 percent of Whites that receive SNAP benefits live in poor, rural areas; these are the same people that were promised jobs and opportunities, and now here they are losing what serves as a lifeline for their families. This is why (as a strict determinist) I value people who expose themselves to an array of positions.

This is why I oppose dogmatic thinking entirely, be it Christian, Muslim, or what have you. You simply cannot acquire truth by way of predilection. Truth does not conform to your beliefs; beliefs must conform to truth. These people that read and follow one book or, in a futile attempt to intellectualize and rationalize their false beliefs, read books that are mostly related to those beliefs cannot acquire the truth and more importantly, cannot empathize with people who don’t share those beliefs. In other words, I am an atheist now because when I was still a Christian, I exchanged my pond of very limited determinants for a vast ocean of determinants, which is to say that I expanded my knowledge with the unwavering belief that if Christianity is true, nothing I expose myself to will disprove that. Today, I am not a Christian and even though I identify as an atheist, I do not read one religious text or books that confirm or are related to atheism.

In the end, despite my violent and sometimes justified anger, I return to empathy. Trump supporters are entranced sheep who believe they have a lot to lose if they separate from their herd. To their minds, Trump is god’s appointed servant. The Republican Party has fooled them into thinking that they are the party of family values and moral exemplification. Their families and friends share these beliefs and I strongly believe that there are Republicans out there who have second thoughts, but the fear of being alienated or even disowned by the people close to them keeps them in line. To you, I say the following.

Stop pressing the button! I won’t lie to you. You will lose some friends and people in your own family might turn their backs on you. However, you will gain something as well. You will learn who is there for you in a more unconditional manner. Eventually you will make new friends. Should your fear be that you are in disobedience to god, consider your own beliefs again.

Do you not believe in a loving, merciful god? Did he not forgive others for disobedience? Did Jesus not die for the forgiveness of all sins? So what sin can you possibly commit that cannot be forgiven and moreover, that god did not already know about? Is he not omniscient and sovereign? It then follows that he orders all of your steps. Once you revisit your own beliefs, ask yourself: Would god truly appoint someone who commits adultery and fornication? Would he appoint someone who is on record saying that he sexually assaults women? Would he appoint someone who forcibly separates children from their parents and puts other human beings in cages? Then remind yourself that immigrants, illegal or otherwise, are people and that a lot of them share your beliefs. So why would god appoint someone who is harming people who believe in and pray to him?

Stop pressing the button!

5 comments

  1. flawedman

    If you give reasons for behaviour there is always a danger that those engaged in that behaviour lose personal responsibility for what they do.
    Perhaps the classic case is that of the well known atheist Sam Harris who claims ,along with others , that the self is an illusion because there is no such thing as a free will or choice.I
    In our modern democracies allowance is made by the law for the background of those who break the law. They may not be responsible , or only partly so , because of their background.

    Liked by 1 person

    • R.N. Carmona

      Your comment deserves a much longer reply, but determinists (people who don’t believe in free will) simply trade personal responsibility for collective responsibility. People who believe in free will, on the other hand, put way too much stock in nature and virtually none in nurture. It’s fine to say that genetic predispositions have some say with regards to your health, personality, and so on. But to say that while ignoring epigenetic factors is to be inconsistent. Murderers, for instance, are not simply born; they are also made. So what if a guy has a small amygdala and reduced activity in his frontal lobe; that’s not enough to guarantee him becoming a murderer. He could have all of the neurophysiological hallmarks of a murderer, but if he’s raised in a loving home, receives a good education, sees a child therapist, attends anger management, and so on, it is significantly less likely that he will end someone’s life. Now, take that same guy and put him in an impoverished neighborhood; allow him to be bullied in grade school; allow him to be raised by an abusive father; and give him no way of accessing help for his psychological shortcomings. Now it’s more probable that he will murder someone.

      Determinists are not saying that you are not responsible at all. What we are saying is that others are responsible as well and that the greater responsibility is collective rather than personal. Faculty members in schools should curb any and all instances of bullying; students should have counselors; people, especially at a young age, should have access to psychologists and therapists; teachers, local representatives, and law enforcement officials should absolutely be concerned about the neighborhoods and homes children are being raised in. We all have a responsibility to one another. It doesn’t matter if I didn’t know that John Smith had the neurophysiology of a psychopath; I should not have mercilessly bullied him in grade school. I, of course, am not solely responsible for his actions, but I am no doubt partially responsible; in most cases, parents of bullies are themselves bullies or are, at the very least, aware of how their child treats other kids and do nothing.

      Ultimately, if the law was based on collective rather than personal responsibility, it would serve rehabilitative purposes more so than retributive purposes. Western law prioritizes retribution over rehabilitation; it’s no wonder most offenders come out and reoffend. You don’t solve crime by holding one person accountable. It’s much more difficult to hold more than one person accountable. That’s why I think Libertarian ideas of free will permeate so much of our thinking: because we like things easy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. flawedman

    Thank you for an interesting and detailed reply , it was certainly long enough for me. Rehabilitation is probably less used because of the expense , but I find it difficult to believe it would be totally effective , so it boils down to how much we are prepared to pay for reforming those who go astray .
    Some no doubt would argue that proper upbringing would result in far less offenders , but Steven Pinker points out in The Blank Slate we carry a huge evolutionary baggage.
    I think most religious groups believe in free will ( except Calvinists) it certainly makes sense as to how we feel about ourselves. Some have the theory that the self was evolved in the process of evolution an is what enabled humans to rapidly advance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • R.N. Carmona

      Not a problem. Rehabilitation may have a higher cost up front, but likely costs less on the back end. If an offender goes on to reoffend, taxpayers are now paying double to jail the same individual. And some offenders reoffend more than once. If we rehabilitate a criminal, on the other hand, when he completes his sentence, he will very likely not reoffend and so, no further cost is incurred for that individual.

      As for the evolutionary blank slate, Pinker is a man thinking like a man. Aggression, for instance, is not hardwired into women as it is hardwired into most men. Men have a reduced amygdala size as it is and that may be because of our history in the wild as hunter gatherers. I do not think that such a blank slate is enough on its own. The brains of violent criminals have other abnormalities

      Like

  3. flawedman

    Robert Hare appears to be an expert who has worked for many years among imprisoned psychopaths and suggests there are about 1% among the general population which is a huge number . He believes there are more in the business community than the general population , the sad point is they cannot be changed , hard-wired is the term he uses.

    Like

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