all alike



i daydream of planting people on an island with like-minded souls, it sounds odd but randomly enough i think about it a lot especially when i am watching the news. you know those people, their extremists in their belief to where whatever it is they are ‘standing up for’ has become more of a lifestyle for them rather than a simple opinion or a complex philosophy. and it is not one thing in particular, its republicans and democrats, its pro mother nature and anti establishment, it’s the super religious and the acute atheist’s. just out there. just so obsessed that no one else is allowed an opinion or another view opposing his or hers.
so my daydream consists of putting all people of one particular extremist view on an island together for just a year or so and let them see what happens. think about it, what if you put all the anarchists together, no social rules, no laws, no religion, and just let them live. they would instantaneously believe that they had found true freedom and liberation from whatever invisible hand was holding them down. pure anarchy. that’s actually what would happen, pure anarchy. i would be so curious as how many of them would be alive after a few years.
after those who survived came back to society i would like to see how their views had changed, would they still want to be on an island with essentially only their own opinion staring them in the face all day?
…which begs the question, what if i put you on an island by yourself. what would you be staring in the face? perhaps the first week the companionship with the other like-minded people would be harmonious, but what about a month, what about a few years? people have tried to force people into being like-minded, one such incident was called socialism, but it didn’t last because they forgot to factor in the simple fact that at the end of the day we are… human. at first the idea was that we were all going to be equal, a wonderful/blissful concept. then one people decided to elevate himself or herself above the rest, and suddenly it looked more like a dictatorship than equal reign. that was there island, which was the eventual end of the island as well.
so what is the eventual end of your island. what one concept that you are so firmly planted it could cause your eventual demise?
well here is honesty, a few years back i was a drink-the kool-aid republican. i listened to rush, read coulter, and subscribed to hannity. i was a sound bite poet quick on the draw with an antidote on how to save america from itself. i am not saying i have swung to the complete other side, nor have i stayed the same. i am learning how to see each and every argument and stance from a different angle. why do they want this particular program? why do they believe that this is how our country should be run? if i was placed on an island by myself then we would have one sided ourselves into a fearful oblivion.
no i am not perfect, nor do i think i could survive on an island with like-minded people today, i am still learning and growing. however, by looking at every possible scenario and outside perspectives for life’s most daunting questions might be the quickest way to finding internal resolution for all mankind.

Comments

Renny said…
I am currently registered as a republican but I'm not a fan of either major political party. I really like this post. Sometimes I feel like when people say "be more open minded" all they're really saying is, "think like me or else your wrong." That way of behaving makes me sad.

I think the island thing sounds like Lord of the Flies. Terrifying.
abbi said…
you might be interested in this - http://www.seasteading.org/
エミリー said…
So, I've been thinking something along these lines, though not so deeply, I guess. Everyday, I feel more and more like I'm simply just there because I don't want to say my view, partially because I don't know what my view is... I don't know if I believe the Republican or the Democrat side, I don't know if I'm more agnostic than Christian, I don't know. But I don't put my views out there, instead simply trying to keep the peace...

Anyway, back to the main point. thinking about like-minded people sounds just as problematic as polar opposites. Because even like-minded people with similar goals in mind will have different *executions* of those goals (past experiences, other connected beliefs and ideas and knowledge, etc. all affecting how they see themselves working). I think the anarchist example is the best. And I agree with Renny. Lord of the Flies would be a potential result...

Opposition develops strength and wisdom, I believe.
QUINTtastic said…
it can feel so strange sometimes when you think about how almost nothing in this world is for sure. opinions can change, people can change, you can work so hard at something down to the last detail and things can still change. even with disappointment i guess its good to keep on your toes and to do your best to always gain knowledge. its tough to find the strength to be okay sometimes when people dont think like you do. but like you said stephen, we are human. not robots. we arent always right, we arent always wrong, but theres a good feeling in striving to be the best that you can.
ibojoray said…
Indeed, one's greatest enemy is his/her self. It is essential that there be opposites for one to be able to stand for what he/she believes in. We won't know if something's sweet if there's no other taste to compare it with.

It is interesting the thing about change. And how looking into ourselves can provide us with it.
Brett said…
Very well said about beliefs becoming a lifestyle of sorts. I think about this every time I stumble across a nasty political argument playing out in, say, a movie or music blog. What compels people to join in? Do they honestly believe they're changing people's hearts and minds by repeating the talking points of the day? Or is it simply a means to go on record as being a card-carrying member of whichever ideological group? The reward is not edification but rather self-identification and a cheap scoring of points. Look world, I've settled on this team! Love me!

In my field I've sadly had to remain "closeted." It's sad because I've had many friends who hold opposite political views, but our base of friendship allows us to get past the name calling and really understand our differences. Unfortunately, too many people have chosen to tie their self-image into a label. I'm 44... I've lived my life, worked, raised my children, and changed my mind on a lot of things. But I've earned my beliefs. I didn't pick them off a shelf because they matched what my friends were wearing. So don't write me off because my label doesn't match yours.

I don't know if the island is a good plan; how about a Neutral Zone night at the coffee shop?
Elraen said…
Fascinating concept. I had never thought of it in that way before, but it's a pretty vivid illustration.

I have noticed that those who love others best are those who willingly interact with the widest range of ideas and views. There is a beautiful humility in not assuming that everyone has to be like us to be valuable.

I too was a drink-the-koolaid republican four years ago. It's strange how quickly we can change.
Brett said…
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of putting one representative of each "extreme" view on an island. The reason is that the situation would (eventually) preclude each person from acting on behalf of his or her group as well as reaping the approval of his or her "team." (That is, there'd no longer be any reward for speaking on behalf of those whom you think you're helping; e.g., "I represent the underrepresented.") Without the ego reinforcement, I imagine people would have to find more altruistic motives for their actions; that, or they might discover that acting in their own self-interest isn't necessarily done at a cost to others.
lightsofnero said…
Being right makes you oblivious to the truth. It's funny, I was talking about this today. Always excited when a new post is up.
Shanna said…
I think it is essential to personal growth, self-enrichment and is rendered necessary in order to evoke change that we be open to the opinions and views of others. How are we to grow, or to gain knowledge if not first vulnerable or open to the ideas expressed by others? I don’t know. I have my beliefs and I live out of them. I value these deeply. But I’m not going to try to change someone, his/her belief or lack thereof. I am open to the ideas of others, and I value these exceedingly. I don’t know everything- far from. I am still learning and growing. I look at my belief system as a trampoline rather than a brick wall (Rob Bell reference). Our values, beliefs, and knowledge are not static, these are ever-changing. So, It’s beyond me why people embrace the idea that there is only one frame of reference for life, and then actuate that into a single disposition. It’s like saying the only way to arrive at the number 10 is to add 8 and 2. When in all actuality there are infinitely a number of predicates that apply to this single number. I feel like life is like this. So how can we arrive at life, and all that it encompasses from one single mind, or point of view?
Logan said…
Politics....not a fun subject! It will be interesting to see how this year will turn out!

http://www.loganmakesamess.com/
James Ross said…
To think so objectively to find a solution for all mankind would just be another "daydream" of having a whole world of like-like minded people wouldn't it? Which in you opinion would always end in demise...?
So either your saying we are all supposed to be different always, or your saying there is a way to establish objective truth for mankind's well-being... you can't really say both unless your talking about those whose stubborn views are born of influence of some sort as apposed to those who come to their believes by thinking objectively to begin with (in which case you just classified everybody in the category of "those whose beliefs are born from some kind of influence)
Trevaughn said…
It's an Obamanation....worst president ever! And if YOU voted for the idiotic policies of this man and his administration than you are CLUELESS!
David Hornbeck said…
I can see where this post is coming from, and I do agree that we can't try and force people to believe what we believe because in the end it won't work anyway. However it seems to me that our society is increasingly taking a stance that says that if you believe something different then someone else, then under no circumstance should you try to convince that person to think otherwise or challenge their belief. I think this is counterproductive, and actually hurts humanity as a whole.

Let me illustrate a few examples. For instance say I am part of a group of people, and out of these people for some reason some of them believe that 2+2=5. Now I know 2+2=4, and I may try to convince them of that. Now calling them stupid while trying would be the wrong way to go about that. Yet we could debate, have friendly conversation and exchange ideas. I may not convince them, and really it's not a big deal, maybe it wasn't even worth trying to debate. Yet my point is that there can be objective constructive talk about difference in opinion, and it doesn't have to dwindle down to name calling or side picking.

Yet now say I am part of a group where again, for some strange reason, some of the group thinks that they can jump off a 50 story building with no gear and the will survive. Should my attitude be, "Oh well they believe something different, that's ok, nobody's ideas or beliefs should be challenged by anyone else"? Of course not, I'm going to do everything I can to convince those people that what they believe is not true. Yet again I'm not going to call those people names, I may be a little bit more adamant then I was with the with the people confused with addition, but still there is a right way to go about things.

Now my point is not that I think that there are lots of people out there who can't add, or that lots of them are going to try and jump off buildings, but I honestly believe there are things that are worth talking about and worth debating and honestly, have one right answer worth finding. Yet we have to go about it in the right way. I think it's important because at the end of the day I believe some questions only have one right answer, and if that is the case, wouldn't we want everyone on that same page? I see no value in ignorance for the sake of diversity.
The Seeker. said…
The simple, underlying truth is that people are never satisfied. This is why both religion and government exist and how they are able to become so entangled. Humanity as a whole is hungry for more: power, sex, money, peace, love, etc. The simple inability to be content is both our blessing and our curse. It is why we run the rat race with billions across the globe and go back to the same earth from whence we came in approximately 75 years. Dust to dust. This yearning for "more" is not innately bad. I think it's a testament to a "higher power" (which I believe is God) being present. One cannot hunger for that which does not exist. We feel hunger because food exists. We feel a need for "more" and a "better life" because we know deep within our beings it exists. I believe we're yearning for an eternal life...but these yearnings are tainted by our depraved surroundings and selves. But I digress... I do hope you followed my bunny trail. Have a wonderful evening, sir. -Christina.
The Seeker. said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Cook said…
Steven, what would you call your political stance now? Just generally speaking. I know you're a busy kind of guy, but without writing a whole other article. You seem to be the kind of person who is constantly "thinking", or evolving your ideals, but what would you say?
Amazing man. You have such a humble way of making me re-evaluate myself. A true example of bringing someone to the door, and I feel utterly compelled to walk through it.

I know this blog doesn't get as much attention as your other projects, but I'd love for you keep updating it.

Much love.
Amazing man. You have such a humble way of making me re-evaluate myself. A true example of bringing someone to the door, and I feel utterly compelled to walk through it.

I know this blog doesn't get as much attention as your other projects, but I'd love for you keep updating it.

Much love.
The Outlaw said…
Pride go before destruction!!!
Anonymous said…
trudgo
Daniel said…
I find it's interesting about the Republican thing. I too was like that and I've found that by letting it all go I'm much happier. It's only politics. It's just constant dead end arguments about trivial things that don't matter in the Kingdom of God.
Anonymous said…
{ I really like your idea about the island- I like to think that I'm original. Especially over the last few years I've found myself trying to be different from everyone around me (although I don't have to try hard, it's more about learning letting myself flow I think). But I've come to realize that my originality Doesnt originate from myself. It comes from everyone else. I see how other people express themselves through art or music or fashion or life and say "I would never do it that way" but then I find myself thinking that if they hadn't done it then I might do it, thinking that it was original. So I find myself mentally thanking people that I don't have to look like them or sound like them. It has actually made me love the incredible diversity of people.

So I thrive on being in an environment where people don't think like me. Being an Ailien. I love doing things that most people don't do....like dancing in a huge snow covered parking lot for hours...most people are like "who's that wierd guy?" but I'm enjoying myself. But If dancing in snow covered parking lots was a popular passtime...then I might not enjoy it so much...or maybe I would, it is quite enjoyable!

So if I were trapped on an Island with a hundred of myself I think that Each one would come out a different person from all the rest...and possibly who they had sworn that they would never be. Jjr}
Lucy said…
This makes me curious about putting different extremist together on an island. And just to make it more fun, force them into a situation where they need each other in order to survive. Would it be all out war, or would they accept that they are each equally human?
This may be an inaccurate judgment, but it seems to me like most extremist are already a bit isolated in the sense that they (like most of us I would dare say) already tend to surround themselves with somewhat like-minded people and by doing so seem to not necessarily have any personal connection to someone who is their extreme opposite. I would just be curious if extreme views would be seen as more important than being able to see your fellow humans as equals.
Anonymous said…
May be this is of some use to you people:
http://waterbubbleatsea.blogspot.in/

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