Every now and then I get a little obsessed with stuff. This will come as no great surprise to anyone who’s read my insane mutterings about zombie chickens ( see.. pretty much the rest of the blog ).
Currently I’m a bit gripped by the concept of Cartesian doubt ( I’ll probably come back to that at some point ), but previous to that I was getting all thoughtful about the concept of karma.
I think a part of me *needs* to have karma at play in my universe, everything seems so dreadfully unfair otherwise, and that ticks me off a bit.
Not the traditional concept of karma – the paying for your sins in the next incarnation – but the all-new modernised instant karma that smacks you upside the head right now if you screw up. If I fiddle my taxes ( And I don’t. Please don’t report me ) I don’t want to come back as a colon-slurping tapeworm next time round. I want shit to rain down on me ( not literally – we appear to be back at the tapeworm scenario again ), and I want it to rain down on me NOW. I want to pay for my sins, and being a member of the disposable generation I’m not prepared to wait. Hit me!
And I have screwed up in the past. Some stuff I think I’ve paid for, some stuff I’m not sure I ever can, and in that respect I think I’m not so different from anyone else on this dirtball. Being agnostic I don’t have a heaven or hell in my future, so I have to rely on my own code of ethics to stop karma biting me on the ass. Fear of what comes next doesn’t motivate me, for me death is just a flicking of a switch from one state of being to another of nothingness. One minute I’m alive, minding my own business, sneaking down to the mailbox to see if the crap I ordered from eBay has arrived, the next I’m slowly cooling fertiliser. Death is a non-issue to me, I’m not scared of it. What totally terrifies me is pain and fear itself. I’m absolutely OK with being decapitated in a freak cheese-slicing tragedy, but being slowly and agonizingly grated myself…well, I’m going to have to go change my underpants just thinking about that.
For a lot of folk fear is stronger than morality. Horrifically, fear is currently fuelling the US Presidential circus. In an ideal world people would vote for whoever gave them the greatest hope instead of whoever tapped into their deepest terrors. I like to think that people are basically good. I see no difference between the darker skinned Muslim lady who lives downstairs, and my entirely paler Christian Mother-In-Law. Both have a warmth that extends to random strangers. Both like to feed my children snacks. Sure, the Muslim lady *could* be building a bomb in her dining room, but in all fairness so could my Mother-In-Law. Comparing my Muslim neighbour to a suicide bomber is like comparing my Mother-In-Law to Vlad The Impaler. It could be the truth but I’m thinking probably..not.
There is a quote from Benjamin Franklin that goes, “Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.” If peace comes from eradicating everything that we fear – and we fear everything and everyone who does not reflect ourselves – it is an acceptable price for us as a species? Of course not. And as far as Master Races go the ants have beaten us hands down anyway, so lets hope we never really piss those guys off.
Chances are even genocide will not halt the fear spiral, there will always be something that keeps us awake at night. I speculate that in a generation or two it will probably be intestinal worms.