a reply to: Metallicus
Yes, I agree, but the problem is the mindset of the party in question. How
people are is an important aspect of how we should think about the
matter. So I wonder why you so easily gloss over that?
Imagine someone you consider virtuous beyond any doubt - this person has demonstrated, again and again by how they act and how they relate with others
(and yourself) that they are sincere and honest in how they act. Now imagine this person is accused of raping and killing a little boy. Would you
believe it? Don't you think all you knew about the person - how you felt them to be
should take precedence? Or do you think the menace of
doubt - which can make you paranoid and cynical - deserves attention?
Its also funny that these generalized "orientations" to the world - a desire to emphasize the good and optimistic - or a desire to emphasize the
depressive or cynical position - have their origins in the first 2 years of life, where the brain grows 100% its volume (in the first year) and 15%
(in the second year), mostly in the right hemisphere - this being the hemisphere with the richer connections with the brainstem (metabolic areas) -
essentially defining your emotive and affective stance to the world. Development unfolds along attractor points, with the various motivational systems
dialectically constructing "who you are", how you experience yourself to be with others, what you fantasize about, what you dread. If you can take
anything away from this knowledge, its that without attending to this fact, you are liable to be - arbitrarily - relating with the world in a
needlessly negative way. But you have to first pay attention to the constructive nature of the self. It is not some "fixed" thing we inevitably are;
rather, unconsciously, we evolve to become as our relational environment induced; The habits of my countless ancestors - and their habits of activity
- induced in me the same behaviors. Emotions aren't merely emotions, but action tendencies. We are prone to act this way because we do not
deliberately attend to ourselves in our acting. It's funny, because the very 'witnessing' consciousness we so reflexively live within can be
developed so that you can act, over time, with more 'awareness'. Neuroplasticity.
Anyways, back to this thread: the leaders of the Islamic Republican of Iran - Khameini and the other ayatollahs - basically keep the republic on track
in its fundamental religious identity. It's disturbing to think about this, and to really imagine what these men think and feel about, more generally
in their day to day lives; the theology of Islam and its panoply of concepts and tools they evolve in constructing the outer and inner worlds along
some arbitrary metaphysical theme (such as the oneness of God, ergo, the finality of Islam and the ontological obliteration of 'others'). And the
politics of life, which they must learn about. In growing up, just like us, the meanings coalesce around Islam and Islamic ways of thinking. When they
think about us, just as when we think about them, they feel a desire to oppose. For us, we feel a sense of opposition (or you SHOULD feel a sense of
opposition) towards their autocratic fundamentalism, their abuse of gays and women, and other minorities. As well as their abuse of the political
system i.e. lack of openness, subordination of liberals and free thinkers, an intolerance towards secularism etc.
Libertarianism fails on this account alone: we do not live in a bubble. You are not actually, in any way, independent from what goes on around you.
Libertarianism is extreme in its obsessive insistence on one 'principle' of being. It is linear and therefore, doesn't reflect the way the human
society actually works.
So you cannot, on any ethical level, take an attitude of indifference (or approval) of what Iran represents. If you take any displeasure in seeing
innocent people, just trying to live and enjoy their one life, forced to suffer shame, indignity, abuse, incarceration and even death, than you will
reason about Iran along the lines that I have described in this thread.
1) they are emotionally unstable because their feeling aligns along religious ideational categories with extreme implications for others.
2) Nuclear bombs are bad; we shouldn't even trust ourselves with them. Ergo, it would insane to let Iran pursue nuclear capabilities.
Unless you think the feelings of Irans leaders don't revolve about religious feelings (and I think you would be stupid to think that) but rather are
exactly like yours (ignoring the projection that unconscious feelings create for us) I literally can't go any further. This isn't psychotherapy
(although I think many people could use help in becoming more aware of how they think and feel and how it relates to their past, to help grow