The Emperor Has No Clothes

I found this post on The Houston Aspie Blogging Collective, & the one comment on it, provocative. It’s been a lifetime pattern for me to get people off-side by calling bullshit when I see it (& when I’m not feeling inhibited by social anxieties).

I have a highly rationalist inclination, even though it’s an effort because humans aren’t naturally entirely rational, & sometimes it feels like chasing an illusion. I persist with the rationalist approach because I see that as the only way to quality understanding of anything.

In spirituality I used to be a fundamentalist evengalical Christian, a path I rejected 25+ years ago. I couldn’t have articulated it at the time but it’s now clear to me that this inclination towards rationalism was a major factor in my rejection of my Christian past. Fundie Christians are profoundly resistant to rationality. More recently I have developed an interest in Judaism, not that I ever expect to convert, & a big part of the appeal is that, in a general sense, Judaism takes a highly rational approach. Of course there are exceptions.

In recent times I’ve had a lot of clashes with a few on facebook over immunisation. As a rationalist I am persuaded by the evidence of sound science & I see immunisation as well supported by the evidence. Perhaps I’m on contentious ground here because of those who believe immunisation is a cause of ASD however I’m yet to see an Autistic or Aspie say immunisation is what caused them to be as they are. What I do see is parents (mostly Mothers) of ASD children looking for somewhere to put blame for their not having a child as ‘perfect’ as they’d hoped for. The other thing I see is pseudo-science & fraudulent false science trying to build arguments against something that has saved countless lives & resorting to every logical fallacy in the book to press the point. I see a desperate clutching for anything that reinforces what they want to believe with complete disregard for evidence & reason. Some may buy it but I call bullshit.

Some call me a hippie but underneath outward things like a hippie-ish dress style & maintining a somewhat ‘feral’ appearance I’m no true hippie. All the crystals & chakras & cosmic concoctions taken as celestial gifts because the charlatan dispensing them wears tie-dye & packages them in brown paper scented with incense… so much of it, while warm & fuzzy & pretty, flies in the face of reason. And while the hippies would deny it because they have no temples or vestments, much that is hippie is a religion of it’s own form, & certainly has a priesthood no matter how informal.

I do hold values & politics in common with hippies but rather than basing them in beliefs & ideology & [strive to] base them in rationality & reason. When evidence dictates it I want to be of open enough mind to change position rather than cling to an ill founded ideology.

This post has perhaps turned into something of a rant but at the back of it lies the question of whether this rationalist inclination is that of an Aspie.

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About Pedro fp

A photographer; a cyclist; a lover of life, the earth, bicycles, people, cycle–sport, music, food gardening & beauty.
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4 Responses to The Emperor Has No Clothes

  1. I spent years obsessed with religion, and in that time I read and learned a lot about it. I’ve calmed down about that since then, but I’ve taken an anarchist position, which puts me much more at odds with people than simply being against religion. Our ability to see past BS can feel like a curse sometimes.

  2. redjohn1971 says:

    I certainly support humanistic “Hippie” ideals (emphasis on the humanism part), but I draw the line at unscientific woo-woo. That helps no one. The anti-vaxx (blame autism on vaccines crowd) movement angers me greatly and I always point them to Steve Novella of the SGU and the Science-Based Medicine blogs. I’m a Lefty-Dem (Europe-style Social Democrat/Green, actually) and tend to vote for the US Democratic Party, though once in my naive past I was a moderate Republican. I too was once interested in Judaism and did give some serious thought to conversion…I still respect humanistic/secular Judaism, would not be averse to marrying a secular Jewish woman in the least. I very much enjoyed an audiobook series hosted by Leonard Nemoy on Eastern European Jewish Short Stories that I avidly listened to in my car via cassette tape in the late 1990s. In grad school, Postmodernism kinda f*cked with my head and I became kind of new-agey religious for a time, but rejected it, sank into a dark nihilism for a time before doing a mental “reboot” (reading a lot of “Intro to Western Philosophy” books, mainly) and climbing my way out of profound depression and back onto a rational, humanistic footing. I very much credit Stephen Eric Bronner’s _Reclaiming the Enlightenment_ as one of my recovery vehicles. While I am a self-described Lefty-Dem, I do shy away from trendier, emotion-based left-dem causes like gun control because I don’t think they’re rationally supported by the evidence. I know that makes me an oddball and anomaly but I stick to what I believe is right based on evidence over emotion. Very Aspie I know. So it goes.

  3. Pingback: Scientific Literacy | Being Asperger's

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