11.23.2004

Religitics in Vegas

I just got back from Vegas, I was talking politics with the bachelor, drinking tequila and coffee, eating a waffle and watching the sun rise through the smokey haze of the casino lobby. The couple next to us was sitting there with their kid looking at us like we were complete savages. We were discussing the correlation between American conservatism and belief in god. I had the idea that because a lot of liberals don't believe in god (at least compared to conservatives) they turn to the govenment to regulate society instead. While I see a lot of liberal ideas as economically impractical it doesn't mean that I think the goals are bad. I need to look into the wealth divide some more.

Talking to the vegas locals, it seems that while they have almost unlimited freedom, the town wears on them. The bibles in the hotel dressers in Vegas are page turners. I'm never going to believe in an old bearded caucasian in the sky, watching as the world falls to pieces. Don't get me wrong, I'd give at least one big toe to be able to accept faith and believe that there is peace and justice and eternal bliss is some well catered afterlife but I just can't accept that notion, it seems like the ultimate injustice to everybody but myself.

So as a 26 year old I'm reaching the point where I have to make some serious decisions. I recognize that the world is injust and largely dysfunctional and so I'm breaking it down like this. Marriage can turn out to be a disaster, for a lot of reasons. So before I jump into it I need to figure out why I'd take the leap in the first place. My weekend in Vegas gave me some perspective. Is life too difficult to make it alone? Is the point to find someone and trade help? I mean that in the sense that nobody is perfect so if you find someone with an equal amount of dysfunction you can both work on the problems and offer support without judgement and maybe enjoy the journey, die happy?

I prefer company, maybe it's one of the few good things that have been drilled into humanity by millions of years of evolution. Hunger, lust, lonliness, thirst are all just different flavors of the same thing; amoral needs until fairly recently. I was thinking of behavior like this, some moral actions come from instinct but instinct usually leads to bad decisions in a society where ethics are based on rational thought. So most moral actions are based on rational thought. So isn't lifelong guilt inevitable given our place in evolution. We have a brain just big enough to realize that we're far from perfect but we still have a big enough part of our brain dedicated to impulse to make our lives a constant battle between rational thought and impulse. So I guess ignorance is bliss, especially when ignorant about our own behavior. I need to look at the relationship between ethics and morals.

On two completely unrelated notes. Here are my photos from Manhattan that I promised. Our driving simulator team released a video for the one year anniversary of the idea.

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