Monday, December 28, 2009

Apathy

When I was young, one of my Sunday school teachers said the opposite of love isn't hate: It's apathy, the utter lack of concern or compassion. I doubt she realized where that sort of thought would take me. My last Sunday school session involved a different teacher who spoke of Hell with complete apathy for those allegedly burning in it.

Hatred, despite its dangers, is at least understandable. A normal person can understand why someone would hate threats to their or their loved ones' well being. A normal person can understand the desire to take vengeance on something that has already damaged those things. Rage is a natural followup to sorrow.

Apathy, however, often mystifies me. I can understand apathy when it concerns, say, the local sports team rivalries, but not when it concerns the suffering of other people. I've run into countless neocon trolls who don't care in the slightest about non-Americans and their rights. I've encountered countless fundies who advocate apathy as the proper response to injustice. I've encountered some woos who seem almost sub-human or sociopathic in their inability to understand why we want to protect strangers from psychic scams.

Apathy, for me, can be seen as the most subtle and insidious form of hatred. It can stand for extended periods because it only requires inaction in the face of injustice. That inaction also makes it much easier for some to indulge in it. Apathy is a cold emotion, which is probably why I react to it with impassioned flames. What got me to blogging about skepticism instead of just rolling my eyes was the passion of other skeptics. They blogged about how woo hurts people and corrupts our efforts to find the truth. After that, I couldn't bear being silent.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is interesting, you always called me a "woo" and i am rather new to this word and usage. Do you know what i remember? I remember You, Bronze Dog, thinking that a woman caring for her chldren and husband was her job and (clearly) wanted him or her to get paid for it.

This nagged me, can he truly be such a disgusting human being, i wondered. If you really believe this, which you claimed you do, That womam/men are Working when caring for their family rather then doing their duty as parents and partners, you are a horrible person indeed.. Apathic comes to mind.

For example, after I pointed out the lazy character of a large percentage of our female population who do not go to work after they got children and rely on their husband to pay everything (with great joy), you claimed, Over and Over, that it was WORK and the woman where not lazy or similar synonym, they where working when they cook food for their children and/or husband, This is rather sick view not to mention insulting to people.

Why? Well Mr Bronz Dog, because you do not know what Love is, and show Apathy and ignorance towards it.

I cooked alot for my family, i certainly do not think it was my Job to do so, nor should I get paid for it (as indicated what the "hard working woman" should), I cooked for my family because of LOVE Bronze Dog.

When I had sex with my Wife, she was not "doing her job" as you indicate that these woman do (you claimed they where working, Remember), My wife had sex with me because of mutual love and wanting to satisfy me, just as me wanting to satisfy her. I know this may be unknown to you, clearly an apathic individual only "working" and not understanding love, but that is how most people in the world do.

Maybe your mother have sex with your father because it is her "job" to do so, you said she was unemployed so your father stands for the bills, clearly she then needs to satisfy him as Payment, am i correct? This is normal in your family and world view, is it not?

Fortunately, the rest of the world does not agree Bronze Dog, I do not "work" when I care for my family, nor did my Wife "work" when she cared for me and our sons, it was mutual Love, Respect and responsibility. i am sorry to break your hopes there.

The final thing is of course the brutal insult towards ones Children. I know YOU Bronze Dog, when having children, you are WORKING when you care for them, feed them and help them out, but the rest of the world, most of us, Care for our children because of love and responsibility.

but living in your family, maybe you simple think that that is how the rest of the world works? Your mother cooks, clean and have sex with your father in payment for a house to live in and possible children. Truly a loving Family you got there Bronze Dog.

Apathy, yeah. You make me sick, but no doubt NOW you will deny the fact of what you previously Stated, that Now woman/men are Not working when caring for their family..... Because it just feels so akward after old Ga Briel pointed out the sick view you got?


*Note (I spoke about my wife in past tense as she passed away a couple of years ago).

djfav said...

Gabe, it really is this simple.

Love entails work. You don't just sit there and do nothing.

Suck it.

Bronze Dog said...

Gabe: I remember You, Bronze Dog, thinking that a woman caring for her chldren and husband was her job and (clearly) wanted him or her to get paid for it.

You really need to get off the hallucinogens. Payment wasn't part of the topic. I was arguing it was work in the sense that it took time and effort to do. The bizarreness that provoked our reaction was you calling the women who did all of that sort of thing "lazy".

This nagged me, can he truly be such a disgusting human being, i wondered. If you really believe this, which you claimed you do, That womam/men are Working when caring for their family rather then doing their duty as parents and partners, you are a horrible person indeed.. Apathic comes to mind.

What have you been smoking? That wasn't even remotely what I was arguing.


For example, after I pointed out the lazy character of a large percentage of our female population who do not go to work after they got children and rely on their husband to pay everything (with great joy), you claimed, Over and Over, that it was WORK and the woman where not lazy or similar synonym, they where working when they cook food for their children and/or husband, This is rather sick view not to mention insulting to people.


Let me get this straight: There women who work hard to perform household duties to make life that much better for their family.

I'm insulting because I DON'T call them lazy, but you're the paragon of respect for calling them lazy just because they don't earn a paycheck for all their time and effort?

Someone has got his worldview completely upside-down. You belittle stay-at-home women like my mother as "lazy" for not getting paid for their labor, but I'm the insulting one?

Hypocrisy must come as easily to you as breathing does to the rest of us.

For example, after I pointed out the lazy character of a large percentage of our female population who do not go to work after they got children and rely on their husband to pay everything

Riiiiight. Because how many dollars earned you report to the IRS is the measure of all character.

The POINT, Gabe, is that money doesn't matter in this equation. No amount of weaseling will get you away from being wrong about that. Time and effort are what really matters as to what's considered hard work.

Maybe your mother have sex with your father because it is her "job" to do so, you said she was unemployed so your father stands for the bills, clearly she then needs to satisfy him as Payment, am i correct? This is normal in your family and world view, is it not?

No, you are NOT correct. You are deliberately incorrect: You are lying. You are making up this whole bullshit to desperately try to cover up the absolute failure of your "money is everything" view of value.

Fortunately, the rest of the world does not agree [Straw] Dog, I do not "work" when I care for my family, nor did my Wife "work" when she cared for me and our sons, it was mutual Love, Respect and responsibility. i am sorry to break your hopes there.

[Edited for clarity]

NO ONE agrees with Straw Dog. I certainly don't, you liar. This is about you claiming that all the time and effort people put into household maintenance counts for zilch: They're "lazy" because they don't earn an explicit paycheck.

Just admit you've been caught red-handed at lying, Gabe. But you won't. You're apathetic about the truth, which is why you don't bother to learn what I really think. You just mindlessly accept whatever the hell your hippie postmodernist commune says about me.

djfav said...

Oh, and just because you're working, doesn't mean you're getting paid.

Does that help?

djfav said...

Damn, combo breaker.

Bronze Dog said...

To put it another way, here's the opinion Gabe implied that he's trying to weasel out of with all this rhetoric about Straw Dog:

Taking on more responsibilities equals laziness.

MWchase said...

Wow... this is, um... really far afield... I can think of two possibilities...

Gabe is trying to 'pick his battles' and doing an always-terrible job of it. (I almost suspect that he wants prolonged conflict. A few times, he's accepted our arguments, then tried to get us to defend his former position, since, you know, he obviously was always saying the same thing, and we were always disagreeing.)

The other possibility is, Gabe is a loose gestalt of trolls from one of the less mature corners of the net, tag-teaming us regularly with new positions. If so, they deserve some credit. Even if the details that we've heard about Gabe's life strain belief, they are not, strictly speaking, inconsistent. Alternatively, but in a similar vein, Gabe is one writer taking requests for subject changes in a subpar improv routine.

Either I'm right about that second one, and the gestalt just shat a brick, or the subject changes are down to senile dementia, and Gabe will forget all about this anyway.

djfav said...

I suppose it's just Gabe's latest trick: convincing you that you said your mother is a prostitute when you did not. He's not very good at it.

MWchase said...

"When did you stop saying your mother is a prostitute?"

Anonymous said...

I was arguing it was work in the sense that it took time and effort to do.

As your sheep will follow you blindly rather then reading what you said previously (Bronze), It is better to just ignore any comments they make as they wont check what you said and say "Erh.. Bronze, wow, you said thjat here. here and here, did you really mean that woman/men who cares for the family is "working" for them?)

Now then, According to Your definition of work, LIFE is work. Getting born and then yo uwork, breathing, walking etc, this is what you said in the above quote, to repeat "in the sense that it took time and effort to do". So everything.

So maybe we should use another word as the word "work" has NO MEANING anymore, living is work. Talk about loosing the battle Bronzie.

DwellerinDarkness said...

Yes, life is work. I don't think you'd find many reasonable people who disagree with that. If you only define "work" as "that which you are reimbursed for," then we've only been working for as long as we've had currency, and that's clearly not the case.

Work is, at its basis, energy expended towards an objective. Housewifery, even in its more modern and convenient manifestation, is most certainly energy expended towards an objective. Floors still don't self-wash, clothes don't fold themselves and most children can't drive themselves to school.

Anonymous said...

Of course, and when you have sex with your sex, she is doing her job just like any prostitute, correct?

I do not think I will jointhe "skeptic" worldview and view of morals and decency. I am certainly not "working" when caring for my family, I am doing what I consider my responsibility and of course, Love. You seem to redefine the word work as you starting to feel uncofmortable, fine, Let it Be as the great John once sang.

Anonymous said...

"sex with your"

is suppose to be->

"sex with your wife/girlfriend/partner"

MWchase said...

See, this is what I don't get... you're supposed to be a seventy-year-old conservative world traveler (IIRC, you grew up in the thirties), and your 'evidence of moral decline' at the moment is a perceived reversal in the trend of more working moms. How do you end up thinking that? I frankly do not understand.

I mean, a blend of religious conservatism, racism, and some stereotypical "feminazi" beliefs... Does anyone else agree that there can't be just one person behind this?

Dark Jaguar said...

No it's not meaningless, there's still a clear difference between work and play. There's also the physics definition of "work".

Apparently mowing the lawn isn't work because no one paid you. Apparently building houses for the poor isn't work because you aren't getting paid. What do you do again?

Can you honestly say that raising a kid is a "cop out"? What do you expect people to do? Let the TV raise their kid? Believe it or not, a kid can't raise themselves, and there's a significant relationship between kids abandoned to take care of themselves and them turning to crime. A person can't just "life themselves up" and BE a good person automatically. It takes education.

DwellerinDarkness said...

Of course, and when you have sex with your , she is doing her job just like any prostitute, correct?

No. I don't know if you're presuming my wife doesn't work or does work, but it's still "no" regardless. It is work in the sense that it's energy expended towards a goal, but "work" is not equal to "job."

Tom Foss said...

As your sheep will follow you blindly rather then reading what you said previously (Bronze), It is better to just ignore any comments they make as they wont check what you said and say

Don't kid yourself, Gabe, we know you don't read our comments anyway. Or Bronze Dog's for that matter. And what you do read, you don't understand. But calling your bluff, here's the relevant bit from BD's original post on the topic:

"Because cooking, cleaning, balancing the checkbook, paying the bills, home maintenance, and child care are so trivially easy, it must be because they're lazy."

And the next post:
"Someone here loves purposeless semantics games, as if defining a thing into a different category somehow magically makes it easier and less time consuming."

And the next post:

"Defining work broadly to mean something that takes significant time and effort."

So as usual, you're either an idiot, or lying (or both).

To Gabe, building houses is hard labor if you're a paid carpenter, but if you're a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, it's suddenly effortless.

Bronze Dog said...

Gabe, just admit you've been caught red-handed at lying.

Also, just admit that you think prostitutes who have sex for money are paragons of diligence and hard work and that people who have sex for the physical expression of love are lazy.

Just admit that you think someone who cooks, cleans, balances checkbooks, and raises children is a sofa-dwelling Oprah-watching parasite because they don't get paid, like you asserted earlier.

Conversely if someone sits on his ass at work contributing nothing to the company, but instead makes purposeless busywork for other employees, hassling them over trivialities like cover pages on TPS reports, and surfing the web, --- but he makes six figures for doing so --- is an upstanding, contributing member of society.

That's the twisted mentality of yours we're complaining about, Gabe. Tom's links prove it. Face it, you've been caught red-handed in your lies.

djfav said...

"You seem to redefine the word..."

Pot. Kettle. Introductions.

Bronze Dog said...

The bottom line: Gabe called my mother a prostitute because she DOESN'T get paid for sex. Or cleaning. Or the child care she gave me and my brother. Or for her accounting work. Or for cooking. Because we all know that prostitution is all about sex for the absence of money.

djfav said...

And for Gabe's next routine he will attempt to convince me that my cat is a slave. It's hard work being cute.

Bronze Dog said...

Given his postmodernist hippie drug culture sympathies, it will be no surprise if we find he's a member of PETA, too.

Chakat Firepaw said...

Given his comments, I think that I can narrow my earlier assessment of Gabe.

His comments are consistent with Neocalvinism, which would mean that he really does think that the six-figure busywork generator is a better person than those pulling down a survival wage while doing charity works.

This would not contradict being a missionary, as giving the poor heathens 'meaningful work' to 'assist' at the mission is just as good as having the cash back home to hire servants to do those tasks for you.


While we're at it: Gabe, just who do you mean when you say white?