I'm venting. Straight up. But I need somewhere to share my anger and ... disappointment. You see, my dad is a pretty smart guy. He's an electrical engineer. He likes to think things through and is fairly methodical, except when it comes to bullshit like religion, or the climate "debate" or his ultra-conservative political leanings, or thinking that some crazy conspiracy theories are actually true (The President is a MUSLIM COMMUNIST BORN IN KENYA AND COME TO DESTROY AMERICA)!
It's all connected. I realize that. The same processes that allows you to suspend your view of reality and believe in a loving god that answers prayers and yet allows your only daughter to be killed (my sister) is the same process that allows you to believe anything. When you take one thing on faith, where does that end. You start taking on all things by faith and ignoring facts, or outright dismissing them as purposefully harmful, that are contrary to your faith-held, non-factual beliefs. Seriously, I posted something on face book about climate change, and he puts up this, "Any 'science' post that says humans cause 'climate change' is bogus. It's been proven that most real scientist agree that the science of the climate change has been manipulated to work for socialist agendas and the humans have little affect over what the SUN does to this Earth." That's the kind of willful blindness I have to deal with. I just put up a handful of links and information saying how wrong he is, but he'll probably just say that I've been snookered by the Establishment, whatever that's supposed to refer to, and express incredulity at how his intelligent son could be so unaware of how he has been deceived. How do I combat that type of thinking? How can I help pop that bubble?
I suppose if he wasn't so stubborn or convicted in his ideas, he could probably work his way out of it. He won't though. Because that's the way he is. I hate it that I can't do anything about it, and I'm disappointed that the reality is that he will never change. It's just the way his brain works. I understand this, but it still sucks. Ultimately, he's got to be the one to overcome himself. I'll keep trying to show him the evidence and attempting to help him glance reality through the haze with which faith has clouded his mind.
I'm disappointed for many reasons. First of which being that I wish he could see life as the incredible and wonderful experience for what it is. I'd like him to be able to marvel at the complexities of life and intelligence and the circumstances that allowed everything to turn out this way, because I know he has the faculty to appreciate it. I want him to have this insatiable optimism about life that I've found instead of this focus on the afterlife and illusions of paradise. I want him to be able to see himself as a master of his life rather than a servant of it. The disappointment sets in when I realize he may never see things in this way.
Secondly and also important in its own way, my father is the kind of person that stands in the way of having a more rational, fact-based society. He is exactly the kind of person who has become an obstacle in American society towards our progress as a better country, a better civilization for that matter. There is so much we could accomplish if people like my father could just get out of the way. I'd say join us, but he'd have to change a lot first on a personal level as I suspect anyone of similar views would need to before I'd want them to join. The fact that my father is an obstacle to what I want to see most for my community, my country, and civilization as a whole is also incredibly disappointing to me.
I'll keep trying, though. I'll keep trying.