Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Internalised Judgement

(both personal and philosophical, this)

These are strange times in politics; while reproductive rights are being dragged back onto the political stage, so are gay rights and drug policy. While I know where I stand on these issues, I find the way I talk and think about these issues are showing fault lines between internalised judgements and my positions.

While I feel that marijuana should be legal, based on the reasoning that any recreational drug that can reasonably be used in moderation by most people as part of a reasonable lifestyle should be legal (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, etc all qualify), I find myself reluctant to post or repost too much on the topic. Despite once having tried marijuana in Amsterdam and having known many people (from responsible adults to irresponsible kids) who occasionally use it, and despite this position, I still seem uncomfortable with a full-throated stance on its legality; there are still shades of earlier selves that sit in me and frown on it, dismissing people who use it as druggies intent on blotting out their precious mind. These are not very loud voices, but they still seem to have some weight in the sub-position parts of my mind. This seems to be a gut judgement on marijuana; it doesn't survive in the positional parts of my mind, where it's easily argued away through analogy to how I judge alcohol (where the anti-faction is insignificant); I'm comfortable with my stance but I probably wouldn't be joining a pot-parade.

I do have some discomfort on abortion as a remnant of my explicit former position, but I've come to conclude that pushing past that discomfort is more important because marijuana is more of an indulgence and thus a much less important issue, while access to abortion prevents the continued development of an unwanted and heavy responsibility.

Generally, these internal factions are things that other people don't need to know about, and they come in various strengths; the discomfort over pot might lead to slight differences in my behaviour, while the bits of me that are hedging on the issue of gods are so small that they likely won't ever do more than feed me lines of argument that I can use to learn to argue more effectively with religious folk (and thus betraying their own cause, haha) or give me ideas for writing stories with religious characters that are not strawmen.

I don't really understand what makes some of these minor factions strong enough to induce discomfort or create gut judgements and others too weak to do anything but occasionally pose nagging questions. I also don't know how many other people have this kind of complicated inner life, or if their inner lives are complex in different ways.

I recall the tension of dealing with sexual identity when I was in college; in that case a radical defeat of a faction was needed for me to come to relative peace with myself. It seems to have been successful to the extent that I don't hear that voice at all anymore; I don't understand how I managed to do that so throughly, and why that specific case required a total defeat when there are some very minor factions of me that are drawn towards Islam or Judaism that are very unhappy with my atheist identity that don't seem to require the same treatment for me to be comfortable. Perhaps it's that those minor factions are either more artificial or were created much later in life and don't have equal access to gut feelings that the homophobia I once had used to be able to use against me.

Even still, how many times in life can we say we're at one mind about something and mean it in the most stringent sense? The way I use the term now, unless I'm talking philosophy, I'm just talking about solid conclusions on the positional level and not talking about major, minor, or fringe factions.

Reminded of a N quote from Also Sprach:「Man is a rope, tied between beast and his potential: a rope over an abyss. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a shore: what can be loved in man is that he is an overture and a going under.

I say to you: one must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star. I say to you: you still have chaos in yourselves」


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