I've been trying to look at life from a different perspective lately. For a while I felt sort of lost, or like I just couldn't see things clearly. I liken it to trying to navigate through a forrest. The destination is clear, meaning I can see where I'm supposed to end up, but the trees were thick and there was fog everywhere. So what do we do in a situation like that? We continue to go forward and stick to what we know will probably work.
Why veer off to the left or right when you know the destination is straight ahead? If I run into some sort of obstruction, just side-step it if it's small enough. If it's a big obstruction, like a mountain or something, then climb it. Perseverance is what counts, right?
That was a poor attempt at some imagery in order to convey the fact that I realize that I've been guilty of tunnel vision. I, like most people, refused to look at life in any other light than what I "knew" in my heart to be true. I was stuck in the prison of my own mind. So what I've been trying to do lately is observe humanity as though I were not human--alien, if you will. What would an alien from another planet think of humanity and the things we do?
That's an important question that everyone should ask themselves, because if you understand the implications of it then you'll likely be amazed at what you discover about humanity and yourself. It requires you to throw out all of your conceptions of what is acceptable and true. You have to pretend like you don't believe in whatever it is you believe in, and you have to look at the idea as though you've just heard it for the first time.
Since I've started to do this, my perspective on humanity has changed dramatically. There's so much bullshit out there that people buy into, and if they would just force themselves to look at it objectively then they'd see how ridiculous it all really is.
Take the various forms of killing, for example. There are people who get incredibly incensed over some killing, but they seem to be okay with, or apathetic to, other sorts of killing. It's wrong to kill an innocent person, and we feel like those responsible should be punished for it. So what do we do? We kill the people responsible for it (in some cases). Killing innocent people in war is a bad thing, but we don't really seem to care all that much, because it's war, right? Collateral damage. The only people that cry for justice for the innocent slaughtered in war are those who've been touched by said slaughter, or bleeding heart liberals.
Some people are trying to say that flushing out a zygote, a 2 celled organism with human DNA that has no sentience whatsoever nor the ability to survive on its own, is morally impermissible, but killing a cow--a sentient being that can feel pain, fear, can reproduce and be content chewing on grass and what not--is okay so long as you're doing it "humanely" and for the sake of consuming its flesh.
All life is sacred . . . except for the lives of animals, enemy combatants, "collateral damage," and of awful criminals. Those lives might still be sacred, but they're less sacred than the life of a baby, because the baby is innocent, defenseless. The baby will grow up to have aspirations and do great or terrible things in society, unlike all those innocent "collateral damage," people who were already grown up and had aspirations; unlike the death row inmate, who is incapable of defending himself; unlike the cow that is also innocent and incapable of defending itself.
Am I trying to defend abortion? Not at all. I think it's pretty barbaric. But am I going to sit here and kid myself about how silly it is that we humans try to rationalize the killing that we think is permissible? We do it all the time. We tell ourselves that capital punishment is okay because that criminal is a danger to society. We convince ourselves that collateral damage, although regrettable, is a an inevitability of war so we shouldn't feel too badly about it.
We've got to eat, right? So those cows giving their flesh for our consumption is totally okay.
Killing is never a good thing. Ever. It might benefit society in some way. It might further a goal. Hell, it might even free a people from a maniacal dictator so that the ones left alive can have a better chance at a free existence. Killing might spare a child the shame of being a rape baby. It might save a mother's life. Killing might stop a madman from taking over the world and annihilating the Jews.
But seriously, don't kid yourselves. Some killing might be more legitimate than others, and we might differentiate which killing is more permissable, but it's still killing.
For those of you who will inevitably argue against me and defend capital punishment, let me leave you with a little scenario. Let's say a psychopath brutally murders someone that's very close to you, and he isn't caught. You find him, plot his death, and kill him. Is that murder or not murder? Flip side, he is caught, prosecuted, handed the death sentence, and he's executed. Is that murder or not murder?
In one of those cases, the state would cosnider his death to be the administration of justice, and in the other scenario his death would be perceived as a murder. Free your mind for just a minute and truly think of that objectively.