I've heard it over and over. We are all where we are meant to be.
Everybody is where they are meant to be. Or it was not meant to be.
And of course, it's all happening for a reason.
The backing: there are usually not even bad arguments.
We are all where we are meant to be - statements like that have irritated me for years. Then one day, trapped on an airplane, watching in-flight "entertainment" - pop star Bon Jovi gyrating while belting out, over and over, "Wherever you are, is where you are
"I reached for pen and paper. Words - my weapons of choice.
Bad arguments and not thinking meet good thinking.
Bon Jovi gyrates and grimaces. I think.
I think of one slaughter after another. Hey, Bon Jovi should have been there to tell his good
news to the millions of Armenians slaughtered by Turks, the million
or so Ugandans murdered by Ugandans under Idi Amin.
Of course the same - wherever you are is where you
are meant to be - goes for the Nazi soldiers massing the Jews into gas
chambers, the Hutus butchering the Tutsis, the Turks slaughtering the
Armenians. Darfur, Biafra, Stalinist Russia. Hey, who can blame the killers?
They're just doing what they're meant to be doing.
More ammo against not thinking.
I expect the song to end. It doesn't. On and on and on - with close-ups of Bon
Jovi grinning like an imbecile.
Not even one bad argument.
I keep thinking. Hey, what about editing the video, fine-tuning it - throwing a few great shots of towns in Africa
with only children and old people. All those in the middle have died
of Aids. "Wherever you are, is exactly where you are meant to be."
And how about a bit of footage of women being raped, of kids being
run down by drunk drivers, children dying of cancer, a child abducted
from her bedroom, raped and murdered.
Those images would certainly have spiced up Bon Jovi's brainless video.
Was Jon Jovi meant to be not thinking, not even having bad arguments?.
A question remains. In Bon Jovi's universe, he was meant to be in that absolutely
mind-bogglingly inane video. He had no choice.
The question: Could it possibly be true that he was meant to
be making a fool of himself? Was it happening for a reason? - other than the reason that he doesn't seem to be able to think himself out of a paper bag with a clearly marked exit.
A simple logical answer: Why would anyone - divine or diabolical, human
or nonhuman - set up the universe
to trap Bon Jovi into being in that video? Wouldn't they have better things to do? Plus, why would anyone be mean enough to trap me into watching imbecilic Bon Jovi.
All the evidence points to the most likely conclusion: thhe only one who got Bon Jovi into that awful video was himself - not thinking, not thinking, not thinking at all. Not even giving any bad arguments - perhaps
because if he ever stopped to think, he would know what an idiot he was
Dangers of not thinking and bad arguments - you're an easy target.
It doesn't take much to figure out that I don't
agree with Bon Jovi - not just because I disagree, but on the basis of readily available evidence.
But that's not what's central.
Critical thinking, logical thinking, lateral thinking essential.
Point one. It seems that Bon Jovi is incapable of
even the most elementary thinking. If you open your mind - instead of
sealing it off - you would get images like mine, brewing up in response to a vision of reality that
makes no sense.
Point two. One can go on. If you are where you are meant to be,
it makes no sense to try to change anything. You are meant to have no
education, to die from a lack of adequate drinking water, to never get
a chance in life.
Point three. In his version of reality, you have a universe with no choice - you are meant
to be here or there, pushed or pulled around by cosmic forces. Why bother
trying to make choices? Everything is meant to be.
Point four. If things go wrong, don't try to figure out what happened.
Is there something you could have done? Is there some resource that,
had it been there, would have helped? Nope. It was all just meant to
Not thinking and bad arguments everywhere!.
Point five - and this is the big one. Bon Jovi is not
alone. His song did not introduce me to his way of thinking.
One might ask, what person in their right mind would
say anything like he did?
The answer: millions of people do not seem to be in
their right mind. Bon Jovi's un-thinking is widespread. Millions of people
of at least average intelligence utter the same thoughts - and hold onto
There are even New Age people who go further. They
hold that you choose your parents, so that if you are battered, raped,
starved, etc. in childhood, you chose that before birth (to learn some
lesson or other.
Bad bad thinking, bad bad arguments!.
That brings me to my central question: what makes
people so resistant to taking in reality. Many
of these are caring concerned people, educated people (but then high-ups
among the Nazis were also educated, some with Ph.D.'s). These people
don't think it's okay to go around massacring millions, don't think
suffering is unimportant.
But still they believe, ....
Wherever you are
is where you are meant to be.
And I gnash my teeth.
Tooth gnashing from bad arguments and not thinking: not helpful!.
I know I haven't been using a nice or
polite tone. I know that the way I've been writing is not the best
way to reach people.
But sometimes one gets fed up. I think
of all the people who've fought for equal rights - women, people from
different races and ethnic groups, gays and lesbians. At some point one
gets fed up being reasonable, using a nice and reasonable tone.
I don't want to resort to physical violence.
But I stop caring about being nicety-nice,
sugar and spice.
Actually, the spice word has jumped out
at me. I think that at some point the sugar burns away and the pepper
I've often made the points I've just
made in a more quiet, neutral tone. But this time, watching Bon Jovi
making a fool of himself, I rolled my eyes and (as has also happened
at other times) also let not nicety-nice words roll out. No swear words.
Just words that came from a bit of very elementary good thinking stated in a heated tone.
Time for more good thinking about not thinking and bad arguments.
That brings me to a fork in the road,
each leading to a different topic. The first fork leads to other inane
opinions - such as the inane opinion that all opinions are equal. The
other fork leads to quite a different question: are there effective ways
of breaking the hold of stupid opinions? And the third fork leads to an even bigger question: what is going on the the West - which prides itself in being "advanced" - that such irrational thinking, such crazy ideas, are rampant.
Take your pick:
The Mother of All Stupid Opinions:
The Opinion That All Opinions Are Equal
the Spell of Stupid Opinions
June 30, 2006/August
copyright © Elsa Schieder 2006, 2009 - all rights reserved
here for MORE bad arguments and not thinking -
The Opinion That All Opinions Are Equal.
WHY such bad thinking, such bad arguments? Click here.
here for The Rage of the Righteous,
another rigid stance not backed by evidence,
but ardently held as utter truth .
Stupid Opinion One:
Where you are is
exactly where you are meant to be.
Believed by many.
Not thinking. Bad Arguments.
The Idea Emporium - facts, logic, good thinking.
Emporium - why and what
One of my lifelong concerns has
been trying to make sense of reality. What is happening?
Why is this
happening? And with that I come to ideas - ideas about reality,
that need to be checked against reality, not just believed in like the
is accepted by a child.
But like children believe in the tooth fairy, so many people believe in things backed only by belief - not thinking is the only way to keep believing - bad arguments are all that can be found in favor of the beliefs.
The bad arguments can be excruciatingly bad. A student argued that she had proof things happen for a reason. The evidence: her brother had had cancer. Before having to deal with cancer, he had been a brat. Now he was nice. So some deity, or divine force, according to her, had given her brother cancer to teach him to be nice - a pretty harsh force to teach by such harsh methods. Bad bad arguments. Very weak.
Why, so often, is evidence
of no interest to people? We have masses of evidence of how good many
people are at denying evidence when it goes against what they believe.
It boggles the even slightly
rational mind - how can so many people be so utterly blind. Somehow they
had a wall against the evidence.
July 30, 2006
copyright © Elsa
Schieder 2006, 2009 - all rights reserved
publishing house - FlufferDuff Impressions 2009, 2011
Questions - on
rage, hatred, narcissism, empathy, caring, peace.
Good thinking and analysis. Logic plus emotion.
The Idea Emporium - facts, ideas, conclusions.
Plus stupid opinions exposed.
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