And away we go …
I respect people’s beliefs. Wait, that’s not entirely correct. I respect people having the right to believe, not necessarily what they believe. It’s important I am concise in this as I have a feeling this could turn into a volatile subject, as it has in the past. So, let me rephrase again. I respect people having the right to believe provided it does not impede on the rights of another. I’ll probably rephrase again by the time we’re doing discussing this.
Maybe an example will help illustrate what I’m having trouble with. Why sugar coat? Why not just be my usual blunt self?
I truly hate the Amarr. The Amarr enslaved my people all in the name of their religion. I can respect the beliefs of many Ammatar and Amarr, as they hold strong convictions in their belief of their God. While I do not agree with their views, as I have my own that I am very passionate about, I respect that they can choose to believe whatever the hell they want. It could be flying hippo chocolate turds for all I care.
Each individual’s belief in this universe are personal, and should be respected.
Yet I told you I hate the Amarr. I do. Many Amarr have gone beyond just having a belief. They’ve taken it upon themselves to enforce their belief system on others. Those who refuse to acknowledge their point of view as right are labelled as ignorant heathens and slated for destruction if they cannot be converted to righteousness.
Enforcing your views on someone else is abhorrent.
Don’t misunderstand. I’ve manipulated people in my day. Sometimes it easy. I actually have little to no respect for someone who states that they passionately and strongly believe what they believe only to have me twist their logic during a single conversation to the point where they now believe what I want them to believe. Why does that bother me? It bothers me because their conviction in their own belief system is weak, and was easily pliable. That means the next strong willed person to come along can sway their opinion again, probably as easily as I did.
People should know why they believe what they believe, not just blindly accept things. Be able to talk about it intelligently, defend your belief, take pride in your belief, stand up for your belief, be prepared to endure the consequences inflicted by those that disagree with your belief.
Again, my belief is to live and let live until someone interferes with the basic life rights of another being. Then I will come at you strong.
So back to the Amarr. The Caldari have allied with them, supporting the notion that the State and the Empire must purge the galaxy of lesser quality beings. While their beliefs are not identical, they can support each other to a common goal. Some call this a bandwagon.
Another example is actually Sansha’s Nation. Did you know that Sansha Kuvakei started out as a socialite with a techno-fetish? It was a personal choice that caught on with his peers. They were all constantly trying to one up each other with the latest tech implant, seeing who could graft humanity with technology the most artistically.
To me, as a capsuleer, I understand blending technology with biology. I have implants in my skull, and along my neck and upper spline. It is the foundation of the technology employed to allow me to command starships with my brain, as well as preserve that same brain across cloned bodies when I suffer death from poor decisions made. Of course, it was a painful experience to become a capsuleer, and every time I die I feel it the same as the first time I experienced it. It’s hard on the body, hard on the mind. It’s hard on the soul.
I don’t understand why Kuvakei and his ilk would willingly subject themselves to these types of experiments, all in the name of art. But I don’t have to understand. In the beginning, they weren’t hurting anyone. Their belief system was odd to others, but it was a voluntary belief system that did not encroach upon the rights of others.
That all changed when Kuvakei was exposed for conducting some of the grafting sessions on unwilling participants. He crossed a line and was banished. Nowadays, he’s so far gone that his vain, mad attempts to enslave and enlighten the galaxy through technology are a constant threat to all the Empires.
It’s another example of a group forcing their beliefs on others, and it’s morally wrong.
My hope is that so far you’re in agreement with me, as these have been very black and white examples. I live black and white. Things either are, or they aren’t. Most of us live in the grey. It’s just never been for me.
Let’s move to a less obvious example. This is where it potentially gets volatile.
The Gallente Federation is a very progressively minded society. They engage in all types of liberal sexual activities, recreational substance activities, and other things a traditional minded fella like me finds repulsive. Maybe repulsive is too strong a word. On second thought, it fits quite well. When I think about the lifestyle of the above average Gallentean (as with most New Eden societies, the average citizen clings to a meager existence), I think to myself “That lifestyle is definitely not for me.”
But know what? More power to them.
They have the right to believe whatever they want to believe, as do I, provided we’re not encroaching on the rights of another. If I was to be told that I am narrow-minded and bigoted because I refuse to embrace this Gallente way of life as acceptable and normal, well, you’d see a very irate Roc at that moment.
I don’t enforce my beliefs on you, so you better leave me the hell alone about yours.
Case in point, what this has all been building up to.
An Amarr entrepreneur has built up a very successful fast food chain across New Eden. His wares can be found in nearly any station across the galaxy. This is no small feat for a norm, and is a testament to his business acumen.
Over the last decade, there has been a vocal minority group within the Federation that has been crying out for equality. They believe they deserve the same rights that have been given to Gallente citizens for generations, and that the laws need to be updated accordingly. They have a point. Personally, I disagree with it, but who cares what I think? If they want to open dialogue, engage their government in a legal and peaceful manner to promote their agenda, who are any of us to try to stop them?
Well, ok, that’s not accurate. Any other Gallentean has the right to disagree with their position and again through peaceful and legal methods, oppose their agenda. This is the nature of politics really. Hell, I have every right as a Minmatar to disagree with their point of view simply as I exist as a living, breathing being within New Eden.
So far, everything’s fine and dandy, right? Right.
Then things started to change. This minority group, right or wrong, started to gain momentum. Their voices grew louder, they gained more mainstream support. Good for them. They were moving their agenda, as they have the right to.
There was a defining moment, in my opinion, and I wish I could pinpoint exactly where and when, but the balance shifted. It was no longer about equality even though that is the banner still waved to this day, but rather became about embracing their belief system. Suddenly, there were parades with such vulgar displays that were I to hold such an event, I would probably end up thrown in prison, but because it’s part of their “cause”, it has been embraced and accepted as ok. I think that was a mistake, and I’ll tell you why.
I love women. I love sex with women. I love knowing when a woman wants me more than she wants her next breath. I like to think I’m pretty good with women, especially in the bedroom. That’s the key word there. Bedroom. The privacy of my own bedroom. In there, I can do whatever the hell I want, and it’s nobody’s business. Where would I get off thinking it acceptable and normal to expose myself publicly with such exhibitions as I would normally contain to the privacy of my own bedroom? Where would I get the balls to think that was ok and that if others didn’t support my belief system, they were the ones that had problems?
It sounds more vain and egocentric than even I can muster.
Back to the Amarr entrepreneur.
He has decided to state his beliefs, as is his right. He has stated that his restaurants, and its policies, openly oppose this Gallentean group’s agenda. Good for him. It’s his business. It’s his decision.
The bandwagon can’t contain the amount of people that have jumped on it since then. The hate back and forth, the accusations of ignorance all around, the political agendas, backstabbings, media manipulations and more. It’s all appalling.
It’s his damn business. He has the right to run it how he sees fit provided he’s not violating the basic rights of another. How do any of us have the right to call him bigoted and erotophobic simply because his belief systems doesn’t line up with ours? Where do we get the right to try to sabotage his business, which employs hundreds of thousands, directly affecting millions of lives, simply because he stated his belief?
Wouldn’t the logical solution be to simply take our business elsewhere? Wouldn’t that be peaceful and legal? Why do so many feel compelled to convert this way of thinking to theirs? Why do governments, society and media encourage this?
Earlier on I stated that I thought it fantastic that this Gallentean movement has gained ground. I still believe that. I think it’s great they are pushing for equality even if I personally disagree with their lifestyle.
I don’t agree with their methods. I don’t agree with the mentality of “you’re either for us or against us”. This is how wars are started, and while some might compare this to a war, trust me when I tell you it isn’t. At least not yet.
Mostly, I’m confused. I’m perplexed by a group that states they want understanding and tolerance from others yet fails to demonstrate that attribute in any way towards those that simply say “No, I don’t agree with you.”
In all honesty, I’ve been having these debates/conversations with many friends and colleagues lately, and it affects each and every one of us differently. Everyone has an opinion and a belief formed solely on their own educations and experiences. I respect each of them. One of them is even a Gallente, and a very active member of this movement. While we don’t necessarily see eye to eye on this topic, we respect each other enough to continue the conversation.
Really I think that’s how this could be resolved. Respect and conversation.
Get back to the basics beyond forcing your beliefs upon others. I mean, how’s that working out for the Amarr or any other historical dictatorship?
Food for thought.