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10 June 2009 @ 09:27 pm
Leave each other alone.  
While I originally said this in a comment to a post of Tom Smith's in his LiveJournal, I want to record it here in my own journal for my own posterity's sake:

When it comes to religion, most of the moral thinkers have suggested treating each other as you (the reader and audience) would have others treat you. For the record, I am going to have to say that all of those moral thinkers were overly optimistic. People can justify anything to themselves; "if everyone treated me like I treated them, well, they'd all see I was right and we'd all get along better," is a fallacy of an ego incapable of empathizing with other minds, of seeing things from other perspectives. No, I'm afraid that Homo sapiens sapiens is incapable of abiding by the spirit of the so-called "Golden Rule." I suggest a more widely understandable and less easily-twisted rule of thumb: "Leave each other alone." If I want a person's input, I'll seek it out and ask for it. If I don't want a person's input, they'll know by my total and utter failure to ask their damned opinions.
 
 
Current Mood: satisfied
 
 
 
Tom Smithfilkertom on June 11th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC)
I'm still trying to figure out when the Golden Rule was edited down to just "Do Unto Others".
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 11th, 2009 12:17 pm (UTC)
All sorts of variations seem to have come into serious use.
"Do unto others before they can do unto you."
"Do unto others what you think I thy LORD GOD would have you do, whether you'd like it or not."
"Do unto others what you think they deserve."
"Do unto others so they can't do unto you."
and of course the perennial favorite:
"Do unto others whatever the hell you like; a deathbed confession clears you of a life of sin and gets you the same seat in Heaven as does a life of good works and clean thoughts."

Yeah, REAL fond of that last one. Let the eye rolling commence.
craigers01 on June 11th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
Hey bud,
In response to your line: "If I don't want a person's input, they'll know by my total and utter failure to ask their damned opinions."

I have to ask, what if you didn't know you wanted someone's input? There have been plenty of times where I was working on something and a co-worker came up with a completly unique solution to a problem that I didn't even realize I had yet, or that I was trying to overcome on my on.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 11th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)
(shrug) Work projects aren't the same as personal choices, though. You don't own the work you do for a company.
craigers01 on June 11th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
Ok then, say I'm painting my house and my neighbor points out that using the Mr. Myogi technique probably isn't the most efficient method to get the work done. Or I'm looking under the hood of my car for what's wrong and someone passing by points out a loose/missing/destroyed piece. I don't know crap about cars and would sure have appreciated their help, even though I wouldn't have asked for it.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 11th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
I think you're being deliberately obtuse, but in response, I'd give you the same hypotheticals back. What if you have a reason for painting the house the way you are? Mr. Miyagi had a reason for having Daniel-san paint the house the way he did, and it wasn't to get a fresh coat of paint on his house. What if you've answered five previous passers-by who all thought they knew better than you and are sick to death of hearing about it? In the case of the car, what if you follow that person's advice, thinking they know what they're talking about, and in doing so make the situation worse because they only thought they knew how to fix the problem? For that matter, what if you're walking past someone, offer them unsolicited advice, and they follow your advice only to find that it made things worse because you were mistaken? Innocent mistake, perhaps, but easily avoidable.
craigers01 on June 12th, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
Well, it's not the 5th person's fault that they are the 5th person. So, I would treat them how I would want to be treated. I might just say thanks and let them move along, or explain the reason I was painting the way I was painting. There is absolutley no benefit to my treating them badly for trying to help me. Same with the car. It's ultimatly my choice to take it to a mechanic or not. They thought that they were helping, and so did I. I can't fault them for being incorrect. Intentions do matter.


As for me being deliberately obtuse, It wasn't intentional. For some reason, my mind blocked out the very begining of your OP (which I just re-read) where you said "in regards to religion..." My bad. I went broad spectrum when you were really talking about a small point.
craigers01 on June 12th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
Well, it's not the 5th person's fault that they are the 5th person. So, I would treat them how I would want to be treated. I might just say thanks and let them move along, or explain the reason I was painting the way I was painting. There is absolutley no benefit to my treating them badly for trying to help me. Same with the car. It's ultimatly my choice to take it to a mechanic or not. They thought that they were helping, and so did I. I can't fault them for being incorrect. Intentions do matter.


As for me being deliberately obtuse, It wasn't intentional. For some reason, my mind blocked out the very begining of your OP (which I just re-read) where you said "when it come to religion..." My bad. I went broad spectrum when you were really talking about a small point.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 12th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Your response to the hypothetical situations described is a positive application of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If everyone were capable of applying as you describe, then it would work out as intended. That is, though, my point in the first place, that I don't find people in general (as opposed to individual cases) capable of actually living by that maxim, thus presenting a need for a less easily-bendable rule of thumb.

I think it is more broadly applicable, but I had mostly thought in terms of life choices like religion or personal politics.
craigers01 on June 17th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
Uh, buddy....

Are you winking in that picture or is it a seizure? ;)
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 17th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
It isn't supposed to be either and yet clearly appears to be both.

Eh. I'm too lazy to retake the stupid thing.
craigers01 on June 17th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
It kinda looks like the Lore twitch from DataLore in TNG. =)


BAD ROBOT! BAD!
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 17th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
I'm officially claiming that the picture is an homage to that moment, as of right now. Thanks for the inspiration reminder, since that's what I intended all along. ;)
craigers01 on June 17th, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
Always glad to help bud. I figured you had just forgotten. =)