Denying Absolutes: How I Enjoy Pissing People Off.

Let’s start with a simple premise: Killing a child is wrong. 99% of the world would agree. Express that simple premise to an African warlord, and he would tell you that you are wrong if he didn’t kill you first. In his world, killing children is an indispensable part of ensuring survival.

It’s a radical analogy that borders on the simplistic, yet it expresses an uncomfortable – at least to most people – reality of the human existence. There are no absolutes that can confine, compel, or shape human behavior according to one set of universal norms. Someone will always be an exception to the norm.

Humans, however, endlessly seek absolutes – moral, ethical, financial, you name it. Humanity’s insatiable quest for absolutes really seeks certainty and legitimacy. Because the human species is social, the quest for certainty and legitimacy derives its motivation from associational acceptance for most people. Thus, cultural norms of morality, ethics, intelligence, and even norms of human interaction such as civility arise from collective agreement.

Take the game of golf. It’s a frustrating past-time. Few people achieve reasonable skill at the price of significant grief, yet it maintains a death grip on its role of “courtesy” in certain social interactions. Feminists rail against its chauvinistic male themes, but I have personally witnessed an old-school feminist try to conform while wearing dress flats.

Once a culture develops around norms, the natural human inclination is to then justify the norms instead of individual behavior. Nonconformity with norms is then met with social disapprobation – a shameless and sanctimonious show of force designed to discourage individualistic behavior. In other words, social disapprobation levied by the sanctimonious snob mafia seeks to establish an absolute on thin air.

Few can resist social disapprobation. Everyone wants to be liked – the popular and respected person in their own universe. After all, all humans have social needs, and some can’t live without the shameless fawning of a thousand sycophants. At the end of the day, however, social acceptance is a crutch replaced the limbs of individual certainty and the legitimacy born of individual conviction.

I take great pride in encouraging social disapprobation. Nothing deprives someone of a false sense of certainty and legitimacy than getting punched or kicked below the belt of social norms. Whether I pull the belt down to society’s ankles or openly commit a social foul by striking below the belt, I enjoy making people uncomfortable in false constructs of certainty and legitimacy. A squirming mob of sanctimonious grubs is a sight to behold.

Why? Many social norms are the mortal enemies of candor. They act as togas on mud-covered pigs. For example, many people wrap themselves in a cloak of social civility while secretly looking for the first opportunity to stab you in the back. Thus, I don’t trust excessively civil people. Human nature contains its fair share of raw, animalistic impulses. Few people can control those impulses to any degree of functional proficiency. Calling people on dishonest hypocrisy is a true joy.

I don’t like other people telling me with lines need to be drawn. I have a conscience and an individualized thought process. I don’t need you to legitimize it or provide me with a certainty roadmap that ultimately leads to an intellectual labyrinth. In other words, save your hellish roadmaps for civility and any other sanctimonious norm that you want me to adhere to. Your efforts to coerce me to conform are entirely self-serving attempts to legitimize your own behavior.

Find another sucker. I am going to keep enjoying pissing you off by making you feel uncomfortable.

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