Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This post was inspired by Material Maidel's and OTD's recent posts.

People that grew up in cults and escape tend to be angry at their former lifestyle, especially if they are still stuck in it or still have to have constant contact with it, because of family, friends etc. Those outside of that cult usually find such anger to be justified.

However, there comes a point where even many of the those outside the cult start to lose sympathy. The justification starts to get past it's expiration date and turns sour, making such anger, or other painful emotions, sound more and more childish, more and more like whining and immaturity. Your fellow escapees may put a longer expiration date on your feelings, but even some of them start to get frustrated, especially if they have found the courage and strength to move on, forget and/or make progress with their lives.

The expiration date on the justification of your feelings varies from person to person and from situation to situation.

Till now I've only written about justification for your feelings. There are other aspects, such as whether criticism is justified, what kinds of criticism are effective and for whom.

I'm for free speech, even if it isn't intelligent, even if it's coming from an angry guy in his early 20s, even if it's incessant and obnoxious. Like OTD says, "If you don't like it, don't read it."

Are criticisms effective? Effective on whom and what kind of effect? These are all very interesting questions that are worthwhile looking into. I don't think that my earlier militaristic style along the lines of "Fundies are ignorant fools that piss in their pants or stick their heads in the sand in the face of modern Science," is very effective in opening the minds of fundamentalists to criticisms of their faith. It may be effective as a sort of anger therapy for the author of the blog and fellow angry escapees but I feel that it's best to move on with life. The therapy starts to turn into bitch sessions and instead of venting your anger, it digs you deeper and deeper into an emotional ditch that gets harder and harder to escape from. Of course there are those that may be comfortable there. I don't think that's a healthy place to be, but maybe that's just me.

I think that a more conversational style of criticism is effective in getting people from other points of view to consider your own. Aggression tends to build stronger, more sound proof walls in communication. It tends to drain your arguments of positive effects and they tend to turn into self rationalizations and self justifications using the accuracy of your own imagination as the only axiom.