posted on Mar, 16 2010 @ 06:08 PM
I think it's the result of a variety of factors and variables that are probably at least a little bit different from one person to the next. I also
think what we question, and what we believe in differs based on those differing variables. For instance, I'm on ATS because I'm a
pacifist, spiritual, agnostic skeptic who values empathy over almost anything, on the extreme fringes of the political spectrum i.e. I have political
opinions but don't vote because I don't even feel comfortable taking part in the existing system or choosing the "lesser of evils," and I don't
even think currency or economic value as a concept should exist. That's a very, very particular breed of ATSer. We're all here for very, very
different reasons, so I doubt we can come up with a formula for why we are the way we are.
That said, in my case, it's because of my upbringing and a few specific moments in my life, at least in my assesment.
I was raised on the one hand by an ex-green beret who never missed a chance to question the establishment and who at one point had even tried going to
college to become a parapsychologist (he ended up getting his master's in psychology instead.)
On the other, I was raised by a woman who was a true flower child of the 60s, so she was almost automatically anti-establishment. To add to that, she
was deeply spiritual (not religious per se) and spoke frequently about sensing the "life force" in all things.
I grew up in a very poor neighborhood in the inner city which was extremely multicultural to say the least. I was engendered from a very, very early
age with a sort of "fight the power" mentality.
This may sound silly, but I think I owe a lot of my beliefs to Star Trek lol. I dream of a day when we enter into a post-scarcity society with a high
social minimum for all humans who live here. I doubt I'll live to see it, but I can dream.
I can pick out three specific events in my life apart from those preconditions and circumstances.
1) During the Rodney King riots, I found my teacher (who was black) one day sitting alone in her office after class when I was about nine years old,
crying. I asked what was wrong, and she looked at me and said, "I don't want to die, and I don't want any of you to die, just because of the color
of our skin." That affected me deeply and resonates within me to this day. It's why I have never seen people as races or ethnicities but merely as
people. I respect people's individual heritages, but strongly hope for a time when our shared human heritage will take true precedence over them.
From that seed grew my opposition to wars and nationalism as well, I imagine.
2) I had a friend during adolescence who to this day is still the closest friend I've ever had (I'm 28 now.) From the moment we met, I felt as
though I already knew him. It was very strange. He was across the school yard, and the moment I saw him, I just somehow KNEW I knew this person. There
was not a single doubt in my mind. He was staring at me, too. It was the strangest experience I've ever had. We became extremely close friends, and
shared a powerful, intuitive bond. He was killed when I was 15, and I chose not to dishonor his memory by hating or holding anger or a desire for
vengence toward his killer. I realized after that that there was no way I could, or reason that I should, think of anyone else any differently; that
if I could forgive him, I could forgive anyone.
3) I read the diary of Anne Frank when I was about 17. Whether you believe it to be authentic or not (I personally believe it to be authentic based on
the evidence I've researched as a lay person but always remain open minded to the possibility that I am incorrect,) the idea of someone who could be
confronted with so much death, destruction, bigotry, and hatred, yet still hold the belief that people are ultimately "good at heart" really moved
and inspired me.
I strongly believe that these were the primary formative experiences of my life, and why I'm the sort of person today that would visit a site like