Abolutist Ideas? I Don’t Like Them

People have absolutist ideas about their everyday lives and the lives of people around them. They have predisposed prejudices that they’ve picked up about culture, sexuality, religion, and even geography. People will make up their minds from a news story or something they heard in church that will dictate how they judge an entire race, religion, or any thought different from their own. This doesn’t seem to be something that is sought after or intended to do harm, but it happens and it can do harm. People make a simple and easy mistake by forgetting or never learning that human behavior is a very diverse and complicated thing that is different in every single person. These differences can be anything from putting your left shoe on first instead of your right to believing in one god instead of believing in many gods. The person who puts on his left shoe may only smirk at the strange behavior of somebody doing differently, and the people who believe differently about how many gods there are may get into a millennium long struggle fueled by hatred. Both of their reactions however start from their absolutist idea that there’s only way people should act and that there’s only one way people can act. The world is getting smaller as people fill in the empty spaces on our diverse planet. As this happens people will come into contact with other people that have vastly different ideas about absolutely everything. Muslims will be judged by westerners for holding prayers and for radicals in their religion committing atrocities. Muslims will judge one another for how they interpret the Koran or whether they should adapt more western ways. Christians will judge each other over marriage rights, birth control, and religious ceremonies among so many other things. Those are the less complex differences between ruling majorities. The differences between local tribes in the worlds jungles and deserts that are being populated and removed for commerce are even more diverse and undiscovered. The main obstacle that I see for the mass migration of people who has been taking place to work peaceably is the inability to accept new people into an already established society due to absolute ideas that people have for one another. In this case absolutism breeds bigotry, fear, and hatred between groups of people. With the changes that are predicting to come with climate change, this is a recipe for disaster. People will have to learn to accept each others ways of life and may even have to adapt theirs in a more sustainable way. Once again you only have to look to history and the mass migration of people across Europe and the Asian steppe 1500 years ago to know this is true. What were those Roman soldiers thinking when a strange culture gathered on the River Po to invade Italy and shatter the absolute Roman way of life. The intolerance then resulted in horrific violence. If we don’t shed our absolute ideas that bind our way of treating people fairly we may share the same fate. Let the guy put his right shoe on first in peace.