Part 1 of 2
No problem, I'm glad if none of that three-part post caused a problem.
I guess this is overkill, but there are things I should make sure I clear up. I guess if this was a Hoarders episode, my flat would be packed full of posts that were so long and numerous that they killed the threads they were posted in.
Right, so, having slept on it, it occurred to me that I still made quite light of a lot of things in that three-part post, things you probably feel I should have taken quite seriously. So let's start with that?
I probably take those things a fair sight more serious than my twisted communication conveyed. Uh, for example ...
- I don't *really* hate being told to "stop being Mr. Funny" when there's really nothing funny at all about my so-called funniness. Just entertaining myself. Not worth doing that at anyone else's expense.
- I get that physical filthiness is no laughing matter, considering it's known to spread disease in many cases. Look, let me try to state my case another way. Suppose you were asking me to take a jump with a bungee cord. Technically, I'd be in no danger if I did it (and theoretically I'd like it?). But psychologically, I don't think I could get myself to take that big of a dare even I was ordered to do so at gunpoint. Completely illogical on my part? Oh yes. But, the brain (whether this be a good or bad thing) isn't a completely logical instrument. Sometimes it's completely, irrationally emotional. And I guess I was raised to be so content with "the American way" of toileting that by now I just can't be talked into making a change for the better. "This dog is too old to learn that new trick." Regrettable, but earnestly true.
- I don't *really* think it's clever of me to argue about which country uses bidets the most frequently. Who cares if it's France or Italy or Timbuktu? The point is, whichever countries are using them are doing it right, and hopefully the practice will eventually spread all over the globe. In the meantime, there's no reason us citizens of "non-bidet countries" couldn't utilize some creativity and essentially accomplish the same results.
- I don't *know* that *any* country has (still has?) hole-in-the-ground toilets, and even if I did know, I'd still also know that it was a dumb thing to argue about. The only thing that really matters here is that we should all want better hygiene to become increasingly widespread, and however that improvement could be accomplished would be super. Right now, raising awareness is probably about the best anyone can do to work on the issue, so since you have helped awareness to be raised, I'm convinced that you've done a good thing.
- I'm actually quite serious when I say I'd gladly use a bidet with a "jet sprayer." Too bad that probably really is too expensive for my budget, and unfortunately I highly doubt any store in the United States carries such an item. Yes, I know there are "lid-style bidets" in America, even if I don't get how they work. It's just that if I can't have my coveted "jet-sprayer bidet," I'd prefer the "bathtub approach" to any other kind of bidet. And of course we already know I'm too chicken/conditioned/whatever it is to go that way: unfortunate but true.
- Re: any restroom that has neither tub nor bidet ... if forced to go #2 there, the "bidet substitute" I'd prefer would be the flushable wipes that I do know you can buy in the United States. But as already stated, I just don't find that I can talk myself out of the ritual I was trained/conditioned/programmed to follow. It's not even the expense involved that's stopping me. Hmmm, that's pretty sad, isn't it. I won't rule out "psychological miracles" in the future, but at this moment the prospect of that "jump with a bungee cord" has sucked my reserves of courage and sensibility clean dry.
Believe it or not I did try to tone down the humor on that three-part post. Hopefully the above list tones it down the rest of the way.
And some *non-joke*
material that could also use some clarifying/completion:
- Re: killing ... the "He would have killed me eventually" example was a weak example on multiple levels. Sooo, skip that example and just hear me when I say that I hold humans to a different standard because of humans' exceptional thinking capacities and generally large range of options. Now that's not to say there couldn't be any number of allowable reasons for a human to take a life. It's just to say that a human should carefully consider (as much as available time allows) the ethical ramifications of any killing he/she has any reason to do. That principle applies to just about any kind of decision (about any kind of action), but it especially applies to something as serious as killing. Killing is always a very big deal, especially for a human. But as long as all that is accounted for, then we can see why the Sling Blade example works (even for me).
- Re: harming to eat ... oops, I spaced on the scenario of say, one animal attacking another animal in order to get that other animal out of the way of the first animal's food. O-kay ... so, would any of the animals that come to my mind do such a thing? I'm not quite sure. But if they did, I wouldn't condemn/criticize it, *if* those animals are non-human. Humans, on the other hand, even if they're starving, are able to carefully negotiate concepts such as, "Which of us would be the more appropriate choice of who should survive in this situation?" Now that doesn't rule out cases where one human is acting completely unreasonable and hence the other human feels compelled to act defensively. Maybe both/all of the humans in the situation have gone stark raving mad, which would certainly excuse extreme behavior. But any human who *can* carefully consider his/her actions: should.
- Re: killing to eat ... guilty as charged, and I'm in the wrong as a result, just to be 100% clear. I'm a human. I should know better and I do know better. I admit that a big juicy steak can be reeeally tasty, but I'm still a human, with that level of thought capacity, and the ability to control myself at least enough to be a vegetarian. Now if I'm starving, and killing some animal is the only way I'll survive, then that's a complicated choice. Perhaps it depends on who's depending on *my* survival and what my death would cost them? and, if starvation has driven me quite out of mind, then I guess I could automatically excuse myself.
- Re: harming or killing to claim territory ... nuances aside, I can't picture this being an okay thing for humans to do. More than territory would have to be at stake, at the very least.
- Re: violent rape ... I'm not certain of how many animals (or species of animal) would do this. Some? Maybe. I just don't know. (If they did, I'm sure I'd excuse the behavior if the animal was non-human.)
- Re: stealing to survive ... I've already admitted I might *do* it under sufficient duress, but I'm less certain of whether I'd excuse that behavior in myself. If I was out of my right mind? Sure, then it'd be excusable. If someone else *needed* me to survive and depending on what my death would cost them? That would potentially excuse me -- perhaps even *obligate* me to do that stealing. Stealing to save someone else's life? That would probably be okay, more likely obligatory in fact. But if my personal survival were the only thing at stake, then I'm totally stumped about whether the stealing would be okay. Now I know that some animals do steal to survive, and I easily excuse that (if they're non-human animals).
- Incidentally, I'd excuse the same range of actions in a "sufficiently" retarded human that I'd excuse in a non-human animal. So, virtually anything would be excusable if I thought that the particular human's level of retardation exceeded the "obviousness of the crime."
- And here's something humans do that no other animal would do: deliberately torture each other. And, only a human would deliberately torture another animal. Now, a mouse being "played with" by a cat must be in a state of torment. But, the cat's *sole intention* is to practice its hunting skills. It doesn't even know that the mouse is suffering.
- Re: confession to psychopathy ... I skipped this item but not intentionally and I'd like to cover it. Simply put, if someone "admits they're a psychopath," that actually doesn't prove they're a psychopath, any more than it proves someone committed a murder if they confess to the crime. There has to be some kind of hard evidence to back up the confession, otherwise it's just a claim that might or might not be true. Now why would someone "admit to being a psychopath" if in reality they *weren't* a psychopath? Don't know how compelling of examples I could think of, but hey, if you consider Law & Order to be a credible TV show (fictional but I hear they get their ideas from real cases), how about those convincing scenes where someone confesses to a murder they didn't actually commit? typically to protect the real murderer. Point being, it's conceivable that someone might falsely (mistakenly?) confess to something *really* damning.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"