Isolate me from a line-up, and call me an Atheist.

I recently commented on an entry titled “what is your purpose” at asl001’s Atheist blog. A Christian blogger named poppies–whom also responded to the entry in question–followed me to my blog propositioning me to continue/expound the discussion by creating an entry here for us to debate–long posts are the norm on my blog.

To address everything in this post alone, would make for a very long entry. For that reason, I will only tackle the issue of whether or not most Atheists are typically ‘powerful or aggressive’ in this segment, and if so, why. I will end with what will be the introduction of the next post–morality.

poppies wrote:
. . . an atheist worldview allows only for subjective morality typically dominated by powerful or aggressive individuals, but I’m open to the idea that I’m wrong.

First, I can guarantee that you would not be able to tell an Atheist from a believer if you saw them on the street and both were dressed in normal clothes. You certainly would not be able to tell that I am an Atheist if I sat next to you on a park bench.

If by ‘power’ you mean managerial positions, it depends on the type of degree a person has. If by ‘power’ you mean intellectual prestige such as undergraduate or graduate degrees . . . you may be partly correct in that regard, as the more advanced an individual’s education, the greater the likelihood of Atheist/Agnostic views.

On that note, if by ‘power’ you mean elected officials, or lawyers, judges, and so forth, it is important to note that due to the current political climate in North America for instance, you would not know they are Atheists. If you were to label these people aggressive, it would not be for their Atheism, as you would not know it exists in them. There is no evidence to suggest that Atheists are typically aggressive.

On the subject of aggression, I take it you are not suggesting violence, but rather a passion for making one’s views known. Christians make their views known to the world all the time. United States politicians speak of God at least once. You have numerous television channels dedicated to Religion where they speak passionately about God and spreading the message of Jesus. You have Churches with billboards advertising that Jesus is the way. If making one’s views known to anyone who will listen is synonymous with aggression, then there is a lot of Christian ‘aggression’ in the United States.

Now we have individuals like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Dan Dennett and Richard Dawkins promoting Atheism awareness and it becomes obvious that Atheists are perceived as aggressive only because our silence has been mainly the norm. Our collective voice right now does not in any way equal the viral nature of the Religious, who think their rights to be vocal outweigh our own, or who suggest we can only be truly tolerant through silence whilst they can bask in the luxuries of tolerance by doing the reverse.

Until recently, Atheists were the least trusted/liked minority in the United States–it now appears Scientologists have the honour of that title. Richard Dawkins’ OUT Campaign encourages Atheists/Agnostics to be open about their disbelief, to make our presence known, to remind others that we have equal rights and encourage awareness as a whole–hence the reason for the Scarlet A on my blog.

When minorities are silent because of fear of persecution for an extended amount of time, when they suddenly do begin to speak, they are seen as intolerant and aggressive. It is similar to the feminist movement. Several decades ago, most men believed women lacked the intellect to hold positions of power. This was strictly sexist and clearly not based on evidence but passed down through a patriarchal tradition.

Today, we still have Religious individuals claiming that we lack the morality necessary to hold positions of power. There is zero evidence to suggest this. We do hold positions of power, win humanitarian awards, and our morally is never doubted until we reveal ourselves as Atheists/Agnostics. It plainly illustrates the fact that because many religious individuals cannot fathom how we can be moral without a God(s), does not mean their lack of proper understanding/vision makes it correct.

There are no studies that prove when Atheists/Agnostics are rounded up, followed around for a week at least, and analyzed by their capacity to perform good acts on other humans or be moved by the suffering of others, that they perform worse than their Religious counterparts. You can bet if this is ever proven through multiple studies and the results were the same again and again, that the Religious would not hesitate to wave the studies in the air as ‘proof.’

We are considered morally bankrupt/inferior because of tradition passed down by individuals who would not have profited from saying Religion was not likely to make you any more moral than no Religion. If this were so, their converted-to-be would have asked, then why be Religious?! In the same fashion, those already Religious would have asked, why remain so?

I have been plagiarized.

A few days ago, I became aware of a particularly perverse development. The blogger Nessa, whose blog I have been a frequent commenter on since my wordpress beginnings, was plagiarized. The degenerate culprit, stole at least 20 of her entries and posted them verbatim on his MSN Spaces blog.

It gets worse.

The overall theme, About information, and comments made on those stolen entries were swiped as well. Another blog was created to feed the delusion so that he could ‘converse’ with himself. That additional blog had entries made by individuals from Nessa’s blogroll. He then used that account to ‘respond’ to the plagiarized entries. Some of my comments from Nessa’s blog were stolen and posted once again, verbatim. This demented person, then proceeded to ‘reply’ to my comments by copying Nessa’s responses to me–with the twist of pretending he had been the author, of course.

This is the cyberspace equivalent of what you would expect an offline stalker to do: taking intimate photographs of his subject, using an exacto knife to cut out his head from self-portraits so that he may duct tape it over the bodies of anyone near his object of affection, and in so, relish in the illusion of seeming as it he had been there all along, with the grand finale of adding all of this to his wall/devoted shrine at home.

After carefully examining which entries were chosen along with which comments, I told Nessa this abomination was most likely the invention of someone she knew.

As it turns out . . . I was correct.

Note: To read a copy of the response I made on her blog, see the comments section of this entry.

Agnosticism vs. Atheism Part 2

This discussion continues from my previous blog entry: “Agnosticism vs. Atheism Part 1.”

Children are not born believing in God.

As such, I did not believe in God in my early years. When I was eventually told of Jesus by my elders, I thought the claims fantastic. It is fair to say that at that point, I believed. However, that stage was short lived, for almost immediately after hearing the stories, my questions began.

As I have said before, religion cannot survive genuine scrutiny. To genuinely scrutinize religion is to make oneself open to the possibility of being convinced that God is not real. Yet, when many individuals are raised to fear eternal punishment, it follows that attempts at scrutiny be half-hearted at best.

Since Part 1, I have performed periodic tag searches on Atheism. Not all of those entries are made by Agnostics or Atheists. Some are clearly created by religious individuals.

I read a ridiculous claim not long ago, by a Christian attempting to justify the ‘validity’ and ‘truth’ of God through children. The argument was that children were more aware of the deeper truths in life than adults since the latter are more likely to allow the world, experience, and rationality to ‘blind’ them from the ‘truth.’

Tell any child why unbelievers deny God and ask them to tell you why they are being ‘silly’ and how it is impossible that God does not exist and they will tell you the simplest explanation, said the Christian blogger.

Their argument is that the simplest explanation the children provide is correct. This highlights the Christian penchant for valuing innocence–as seen in children–which is in most cases indistinguishable from ignorance. Ask a child to prove a fantastical claim such as that God exists and they will provide you with equally (if not more) fantastical explanations. The exercise illustrates precisely what happens when you approach the world based on the unrealistic and absurd–you must undeniably stretch your mind to its limits in order to justify your distortions.

Ignorance fuels Religion. Humans have active imaginations. Use fear to stimulate those imaginations, and the God Delusion survives. Obedience through fear. Imaginary rewards. An effective method it seems, at intellectual castration.

User Joadist from Richard Dawkins’ forum makes the following distinctions between Agnosticism and Atheism:

Weak agnosticism: I don’t have knowledge of Superman.
Strong agnosticism: It is not possible to have knowledge of Superman.
Weak (implicit) atheism: Absence of belief in Superman (no claims or denials made)
Strong (explicit) atheism: Denies the existence of Superman.

The change on my About blurb from Agnosticism to Atheism is recent, but the internal modifications go back years. Religion persists in many because of ignorance and not necessarily stupidity. This is very encouraging. One need only look at many of the Christian blogs on wordpress and take note of the reasons why they think Atheism/Agnosticism makes no sense, and a pattern emerges. The same fallacious arguments are recycled. Study their reasoning and you begin to see a fair amount of order–provided how little they know that is. If only they cared to research just a bit more, than they would inevitably discover that their arguments have been debunked for ages now.

It is precisely ignorance of these counter-arguments that kept me a Strong Agnostic. The belief in God does not have equal weight as lack of belief. In other words, it is not validity of Religion equals 50% and Atheism/Agnosticism equals 50%.

I knew this back then of course, but was unaware of the degree of absurdity in the God Delusion. What that delusion faces is the harshness of reality, and therefore, of extreme improbability. Given this, the label of Strong Agnosticism no longer describes my point of view as accurately as Strong Atheism.

Debate and Commentary, Perceptions and Misconceptions

I recently changed my About information by replacing the word ‘agnostic’ with ‘atheist’ and in the interest of Atheism awareness, included the scarlet A on the front page. I performed a tag search on Atheism and stumbled across a blog entry by a Christian. Of all the Christian entries that popped up, his appealed to me the most. His major claim was not only that an Atheist’s God was Science, but went as far as to say he believed Atheism to be a religion–which is plain ludicrous. I will not address the reasons here as I already stated many on his entry ‘Blinded me with science.’

I commented on Deacon Blue’s blog (is an actual Deacon by the way), because beneath the bad points, I perceived a genuine desire to understand Atheism and his logic skills were a bit better than the average person’s. I thought he was more misguided than anything else, and that had mostly been a byproduct of beginning with a faulty premise. Once you do that, your chances of arriving at truth are severely handicapped.

The debate began well. Yet, soon enough, it went to hell. Anyone who has read my previous posts here and/or comments on other blogs such as Nessa’s, quickly realizes I have a direct and unapologetic attitude. I detest hypocrisy. If I believe you to be deluded and/or misguided for example, I make no attempts to hide it. If I believe my arguments are superior to yours, I will not say, ‘your idea of truth is just as valid as my own.’

Logic has rules for a reason. Some arguments are better than others. I will not lie just to make you feel better about yourself. Conversely, I have no respect for someone who decides to lie to me to keep from offending my sensibilities. Growth comes from being challenged. How presumptuous to think they understand what truths I can or cannot handle. The choice is mine to make. How presumptuous to think I place my own emotional comfort above truth. To do so, is disgustingly weak.

I decided to stop posting on Deacon Blue’s blog. Below is a quote from his response to my final post.

The time I have spent responding to you is time I have NOT spent writing my next post. According to my own internal schedule, I am behind. In fact, I have now missed a day of posting. In that sense, Satan is using you quite nicely, because I have been moved, either through defensiveness or pride…or both…into engaging you even though it is clear that discussion with you has become a circular argument and a dance with no end in sight.

It was not a circular argument. I was pointing out contradictions in his claims, and when his counter arguments contained more contradictions, I pointed those out too. His logic was poor. He accused me of trying to poke holes and tear apart his arguments when that is precisely what the point of debate is. If you make a claim, it must survive rigorous testing or it is just a bad claim.

He then became defensive and emotional. He said that I was attacking him and trying to make him look like a fool. He mistook aggressive debate with aggression against him personally. I said I considered his view a delusion and proceeded to explain why. If my arguments are strong enough to mow down his, it does not necessarily make him a fool. If he felt like a fool, that is an entirely different matter.

He said one cannot help but feel wounded if one loses points. This is not true either. It sounds like low self-esteem. Perhaps he cannot help but feel wounded. But, even if he did, that does not excuse his emotional responses to me. Defensiveness has no place in a debate other than making you look bad. If you ‘lose points,’ then make better arguments to gain more. Do not turn around and say that I am out to get you, when in reality, I am far more interested in the debate itself than in you as a person.

That last claim of his is so baffling to me. I have no qualms about admitting I consider many people to be intellectually inferior. Even so, there is a difference between considering someone intellectually inferior to an extent that simply makes them average in regards to the general population, and then there is thinking someone a downright idiot. Really, if I think you an idiot, you are beneath me. It is not worthwhile for me to acknowledge your existence. I certainly would never post on your blog.

Furthermore, if my intent had been to offend, it would be reasonable to assume given my directness, that I would leave as little to interpretation as possible. I would use my eloquence to annihilate your character, your humanity, and all that you stand for. But, such an act would demand a great deal of emotional investment from me. For someone who is usually by considered by others logical to the point of robotic, such an investment seems . . . not worth the trouble and uncharacteristic at best.

If I may make an analogy, if this site is my dinner-table discussion with folks, you have started to veer into the realm of the guest who in an effort to show just how smart he or she is just forgets when to be quiet and let people talk about something different. That may not be your intention, but it sure seems like it at this point.

My dinner-table discussions must be very different from his. Heaven forbid I say enough to make me sound smart. If I see a multitude of holes in an argument, I must point out only one just to show that I am paying attention. I must not say any more or others will start to feel inferior and defensive. I must be quiet so that others get a chance to contribute and therefore feel we are all intellectual equals.

If they proceed to counter with an argument that has holes, I cannot say more because it its not my turn yet. When my turn comes again, I cannot propose a counter an argument against what anyone said whilst I sat quietly in waiting or it would be proclaimed a circular argument. Worse, if that counter argument is strong, I will unfortunately show just how smart I am. It may not be my intention, but I will make a nuisance of myself!

At any rate, Deacon Blue claims in his last response to me that I am welcome to post on his blog as along as I follow the rules from his particular version of dinner-table discussion–rules which by the way, he states only now and were supposed to be obvious before. I do not know what would possess him to say that. Political correctness? I stated several times that I enjoy debate and even went on to describe what type. It is entirely incompatible with his penchant for commentary only. My approach is disruptive to him. Satan is ‘using me quite nicely’ to prevent him from making new blog entries because he continues to respond to my comments ‘either through defensiveness or pride . . . or both.”

The above, are poor reasons to debate. Avoid ulcers by doing so because you like it. The main problems with Deacon Blue is that he is prone to overreacting, making arguments that contradict, and lacks specificity. At one point, he refers to our exchange as a never ending dance. If this were so, there would be no need for defensiveness and overreacting. Those responses make sense if you see yourself in a quarrel or at war, things which he keeps denying all the while acting in ways that undermine his objections.

He ends with the following:

*sigh* Now I probably look like someone who doesn’t want to hear any other opinions. And maybe I have overreacted. But I’m tired of hashing out a dead topic.

Actually, he does sound like he wants to hear other opinions–the latter being the operative word. Opinions do not have to be supported. Arguments on the other hand, demand it. It may not make you sound very open minded, but that is a price to pay for your desires. When you make any type of stand, you must be prepared to deal with the consequences. If you cannot handle people picking apart your statements, do not claim to be open minded to all types of discussions. He should make this clear, because evidently his blog is new and when more Atheists stumble upon it, what happened between us will occur once again.

To avoid it, he should make a note on his About Page that opinions are preferred over arguments. Of course, not only will he not be respected by most Atheists who read it, but also written off as another Christian that lives in a bubble. If he wants to appeal to Atheists, he will need to grow thicker skin and welcome rigorous arguments or else eliminate Atheists from his list of target audiences. This is no doubt a difficult decision to make for someone who sees himself as fighting a war against Satan.

As for my own blog, I will not say that I welcome all types of persons to comment. I definitely do not. I am not receptive to bullshit.

You need not be a genius. Your logic need not be equal or superior to mine. But, if you cling to bad arguments just because and fail to acknowledge a superior argument out of pride, this is not the place for you. If you are prone to overreacting and allow your responses to be influenced by that, this is not the place for you. If I attack your arguments aggressively, it does not mean I am attacking you as a person or that I am out to get you. If you have a genuine desire to learn and value self-improvement, I encourage you to post even if you do not consider yourself an accomplished debater.

I admire the desire to improve. Compared to what I am capable of, my skills are rusty. I have not had the opportunity to debate in a long while. In fact, the main purpose of this blog is to use it to improve. I have had the fortune of debating others in the past whose logic was equal or superior to my own, and those experiences were amongst the most rewarding I have had in my life.

Debate is a form of mental intimacy. My most intense friendships and romantic relationships were born through debate. Generally speaking, this is easy for INTPs, other Rationals, or Thinkers of other types to comprehend, and yet ever so bewildering for the rest. The human mind can be absolutely fascinating.

Agnosticism vs. Atheism Part 1

My About information in the column of this main page reads as follows:

Inquisitive, atheist, moral skeptic. Obsessive by nature and non-apologetic. Interested in science fiction with a particular appreciation for utopias, dystopias, dinosaurs, time travel, parallel universes, androgyny, and artificial intelligence.

The first sentence has been recently changed from ‘agnostic’ to ‘atheist.’ I will explain the reason for this change later and in the next post. But, first is a glimpse into my history.

As an INTP, I have always had very little in common with others. My thirst for knowledge and need to question everything I encounter, manifested very early in life. Until the age of 8, I lived in a community of what can only be described as fanatical Christians.

People in this community went to church several times a week. My grandmother could recite large parts of the Bible. The stories I heard of Jesus seemed incredible if true, but there were too many holes. The explanations of Sunday school teachers never satisfied. The less they satisfied, the more questions I asked.

I considered the possibility that it was just those particular Sunday school teachers that could not come up with a good way of explaining anything. They must be stupid, I thought. The plan was easy: I just needed to question people who would know more–such as the priest. The priest, however, did not satisfy my questions either. In fact, I was singled out, my parents were called in, and there was an exchange about how much shame I ought to feel for questioning God. By age 5, I had been ‘kicked out’ out of Sunday school several times for ‘disrupting the peace’ with my questions.

I was baffled that other children could sing Christian songs and talk about Jesus like they believed. Maybe it was all an elaborate joke and the priest followed by church goers would gather all of us kids one Sunday and say, “Aha! Got you!” We would all laugh and that would be the end of it. For several weeks, I looked at adults suspiciously and scrutinized their moves in attempts to predict the date of the Big Reveal. It was actually quite exciting–that is, until it became obvious there was not going to be a Big Reveal.

I wondered if there was some truth these children were being told that wonderfully and logically explained everything and I had somehow not been made privy to it. I eliminated that possibility soon enough. From my questions and my grandmother’s recitations, I knew far more about Christianity than they did.

I became convinced that there was something wrong with the Bible. Those who wrote it had supposedly been inspired by God. But, God could not possibly be that irrational! I thought, maybe they were not that ‘fine tuned’ to God and therefore misinterpreted the most important details! All those poor people I went to Church with were believing in lies. With so many believing these lies, the problem was out of control. Something had to be done right away. The situation was desperate!

I spoke to anyone who would listen and explained the ‘holes’ and how they were all believing lies. It did not go over well. At first, I thought the reason they did not believe me was because as a child I must not have been explaining it very well. I became obsessed with coming up with more detailed explanations to vanquish everyone’s delusions. None of them worked. It then occurred to me that if I could get the priest to see–someone whose word carried weight–then when he explained the truth, the delusion would automatically disappear.

This did not work either.

The priest would not be swayed. I was told I was embarrassing my family with my disbelief. How dare I a child think such things! I eventually concluded my explanations were not the problem. They just believed in the lies so thoroughly nothing anyone could say would change their minds. I resented being forced to attend Sunday school. I resented that everyone thought I needed to be made an example of.

I tried different ways to escape to no avail. Eventually, I realized since there was no way out and I did not want to be punished all the time, the only recourse was to say nothing. It worked. The elders because convinced that I was now convinced about God and the punishments did not come. In fact, they were extra nice, telling me that everyone loses their way at some point and what mattered was that I found my way back. That was when I became a different kind of example–an example of how God works on even the most deluded.

By the time I was 8, my family moved to a different country. The priest at this new Church was Anglican and they had women priests. Aha! I thought, these people are different. They must not be deluded. If I told them again what I had told everyone else in the last community . . .

This did not work either.

Worse, I had to study and go through the ritual of First Communion and pledge in front of everyone my allegiance to God. My parents were angry with me that day. They said I looked like I was going to my execution instead of to a wonderful ceremony. I told them they were executing my soul. They said I was being dramatic and disobedient. They warned that I better not embarrass them in front of everyone. I looked miserable but I went through with the ceremony. I decided in the end that pretense would avoid punishment.

I moved countries again a year and a half later. The new community was Anglican. My parents had decided that the Anglican denomination encouraged fairer treatment of women and was more open minded in general. However, there were no Anglican schools. I was sent to Catholic schools and remained there until graduating from High School.

Junior High was the worst. I stressed whenever the school had to walk to the church next door for mass. I thought this was another thing wrong with the Bible. Hell did not exist after death. Hell was right then and there, especially each time I set foot in that church. I bribed my friends into giving me their spot in line in order to be the the very last person to go to confession.

I refused to confess to anything.

The priest would sigh each time he saw me—‘saw’ being the operative word for in this Church one had to confess in a small room looking the priest directly in the eyes. I made a point of stating to the priest that this was not designed to benefit me but rather to humiliate. He learned to just give up and send me off with several dozen Hail Marys and Our Fathers. In my last year of Junior High, I was in and out of the confessional with such speed, it was like a confessional drive thru.

Unfortunately, that last year, I had no choice about getting Confirmed. I had put it off for so long, the people at Church were talking about an intervention. The last thing I wanted, was to sit through that and get preached upon even more.

Without Religion classes, one could not obtain a High School diploma. The High School courses purported to encourage debate unlike the no tolerance approach in Junior High. We were taught about world religions. I asked my religion teacher why we did not learn about Atheism considering we were learning to be ‘open minded’ by studying other religions. Evidently, Atheism was not part of the curriculum.

I have always had little tolerance for hypocrisy, but growing up with Religion, I now possess zero tolerance.

It was not surprising that Atheism was not part of the curriculum. I did not even know such a word existed because in order for that to happen, one has to be aware that there are others who do not believe in God. More importantly, that they actually have evidence to back up their disbelief instead of disbelieving because they are hateful, evil people. Therefore, not only were Atheists evil, misguided souls, but the mere word was to be fervently avoided. It was not until graduating from High School and purchasing a book on Atheism, that I learned the reasons. The arguments were so simple and the evidence so convincing that it was simply . . . beautiful.

The Internet is a wonderful invention. It is good to know there are others who think like me. That there are others who see religion as a delusion. I resent not being taught about Atheism as a child. Everyone acted like the existence of God was a given. All those years, I worked on ‘If God exists and God thinks this, then God must be angry with this or happy with that et cetera.’ It would have saved me a lot of frustration if I had known that the option of not believing in God existed. Moreover, that the option was supported by actual logical reasons and not a byproduct of a flawed character.

Instead, no one spoke of the reasons. Merely asking for them was thoroughly frowned upon. Instead of reasons, one was given ignorance. One’s character was abused, deemed weak for allowing Satan deep into one’s mind to question, reminded of Hell, and most of all, showered and drowned with Guilt.

I think of it as Intellectual Rape. It is abusive. Later on, I became interested in brainwashing practices and techniques. I superimposed them over Religion and with it came even greater clarity. I felt resentment and outrage over what was done to me. But worse than that, was that millions of people over the world looked on these practices and not only did nothing to stop the abuse, but encouraged it.

The reason I was not taught about Atheism is obvious. The God idea cannot survive scrutiny and any idea that cannot survive it is not worth believing, much less modeling one’s life after, or worse yet, dying for.

The God Delusion and its abusive implementation is actually quite beautiful in its perversion. As far as Christianity is concerned, you can look back 2,000 years and marvel at the level of bold, consistent, all encompassing manipulation required to convince so many people.

At its base, exists a relentless thirst for power. 2,000 years ago, humans were already mass brainwashing to such extremes that followers were absolutely convinced into giving up their lives as fuel to ensure and propagate a monstrous delusion! That it continues today is not a testament of its validity as believers would suggest, but rather a testament of a well designed brainwashing machine.

The techniques that machine uses are universal and still powerful and applicable today. This is a major problem. I questioned enough to seek information about Atheism to understand both sides well enough to make a conscious choice. Some people are simply less susceptible to brainwashing than others. These same people are more likely to jump the fence into Atheism or Agnosticism. Yet, even I, someone who considers themselves less susceptible to brainwashing than others, when I first opened the pages of that Atheism book years ago, whilst the arguments were convincing, emotionally I felt guilt for finding them so.

That guilt is now gone of course. However, it cannot be underestimated. For most, the brainwashing is so complete, that simply looking at a book with the word ‘Atheism’ somewhere in the title is enough to turn away in shame much less pick it up and read it. I do not believe most people have the willpower to keep that guilt in check long enough to read the arguments behind Atheism objectively. Looking at them objectively means you are inviting the possibility of being converted, which means you are being blasphemous, and most humans go out of their way to avoid discomfort.

This is why if you ask most Christians about Atheism and they are honest enough, and not ashamed of recognizing their limitations, will admit they do not really know the arguments behind Atheism. All they know is that Atheism is not for them. Having God in their lives enriches them, makes them feel good, gives them a reason to socialize with others, and anything that offers these things cannot be that bad. This just indicates that many care more about what feels good than what is true.

At any rate, most people are not that honest, and Christians being humans, will attack Atheism long before they admit to ignorance on the subject. Most religious leaders, of course, are ever so eager to support this ignorance and so the cycle continues. Whilst I believe a great deal of people are frustratingly dim regardless of religious orientation or lack of it, the major problem I see with believers is not stupidity. It is weakness–a susceptibility to brainwashing. It would be wonderful if advances in psychology, science, and technology could eventually lead to a cure for this.

Androgynous Attraction

Anja Rubik

People of ambiguous gender are attractive. If ambiguity persists after second, third, and more glances, the greater the attraction. If gender cannot be precisely determined at close range even after listening to the individual’s voice . . . there are no words to describe this level of appeal.

Outside the home, my only focus is in getting to my destination. I do not notice faces. People only grab my attention if they are about to crash into me. I use my quick reflexes to slide out of the way, only seeing them as objects to avoid.

I know my particular tastes and preferences very well. Rarely do they intersect with mainstream concepts of beauty and desire, leading to my ignoring most of the world and those who comprise it.

Yet yesterday, my subconscious compels me to stop mid stride.

GAP adSomething and/or someone behind me matches my criteria and with a great deal of accuracy or else my subconscious would see no reason to shake my conscious mind alert.

Moving targets disappear from line of vision faster. I turn around and perform a quick people scan.

Nothing.

I move on to objects beginning with the largest ones.

The inside of this particular mall is littered with enormous, generic, store displays. The one on the right and nearest me, is a clear example, and my eyes pass it almost instantly.

Further ahead is another photograph [directly above].

Now this, I think, must be the cause.

Question: Male or female?

Attitude Profile

I tend to stay away from personality/relationship tests because when loosely scrutinized, the holes are incredibly obvious. The only personality test that I have ever been impressed with is the Keirsey Temperament Sorter which I believe has a more objective approach than the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

There is plenty of talk about Valentine’s Day (February 14th) in the blogosphere. I am indifferent at best to the holiday, preferring instead Halloween–which as far as holidays are concerned epitomizes romance the most. Regardless, the blogger Nessa has an entry with her responses to this Valentine’s Day relationship survey.

Now, the link above takes you to a page that asks you for your Age, Sex, Relationship status, and Length of that relationship. I can see how age can play a factor in the responses from a teenager versus someone in their 20s or 50s. I took the test once as either gender and both the questions and my results were the same. The ‘sex’ drop down box is only relevant then for the purpose of determining which gender is taking the test the most. Unfortunately, I do not believe the average person is going to look at that sex option and view it that way.

The questions are generally gender neutral. The only two questions I had problems with were 7 and 14. Number 7 asks what you consider to be the perfect ‘date’ movie and number 14 asks you which of the available songs you would play in a ‘romantic situation.’ The choices are incredibly stereotypical.

They illustrate in their simplicity society’s penchant for dividing ‘normal’ time with ‘romantic’ time and one of the major reasons many relationships fail. With the exception of pornography, there is no valid reason for making a distinction between movies to see solely with friends and movies to see solely with significant others. It implies that your significant other is not someone you can be ‘buddies’ with.

There is also the fact that romance is seen as an ’emotion’ and not a state or awareness. Since emotions vary throughout the day then, if romance is an emotion, it must be generated anew by ‘setting the mood’ causing unnecessary work and stress on participants. This is a backward approach, with an extended emphasis on the effect instead of the cause. The most romantic experiences I have ever had were intellectually and creatively rich foremost. When the effects on the mind are so visceral, deep emotions are a natural progression.

At any rate, the purpose of the questions is to calibrate your ‘relationship style.’ I have bolded blue what does not apply to me. However, the results are for the most part quite accurate. Here they are:

Results of Relationship Style test.

You have a Consumate relationship style

You have a “total relationship” with your partner that comprises all aspects of love. Your relationship is very passionate and romantic, you have a great deal of intimacy and are able to share every feeling and idea with your partner, and, what’s more, you are genuinely committed to this relationship in the long run. This is the kind of relationship that most people would only dream of having. You must be very happy… Congratulations!

AND YOUR BIG 5 PERSONALITY TRAITS ARE

You are very calm, relaxed, and confident. It really takes a lot to stress you out and you rarely act on the basis of negative emotions (e.g. , hate, disgust, or anger). You enjoy working under pressure and find that, compared to you, most people worry about pointless things and are not capable of handling pressure that well. You are not very moody or easily upset.

You are introverted, quiet and reserved. You enjoy being on your own and prefer to avoid loud and crowded parties. You don’t really like meeting new people much and have few but good friends who you prefer seeing because you feel more comfortable. You are an evening rather morning type and are rarely bored and generally happy on your own. You are not necessarily shy though some think you are.

You are intellectual, curious, creative and cultured. You probably enjoy art in all its forms and have a preference for non-conventional things. You are open-minded and enjoy trying new things. You tend to be tolerant and to have liberal attitudes. You have a “hungry mind” and enjoy reading to find out about the world, which you see as a fascinating and complex place. You have a vivid imagination and day-dream easily. Sometimes you find it hard to keep your feet on the ground. You have a creative personality.

You are tough-minded, straight-talking, and can be somewhat unfriendly. You are certainly quite confrontational and have no trouble disagreeing with people. You enjoy discussion and like winning arguments. You tend to be competitive. You are also not easily moved by other’s problems unless they are very close to you. Diplomacy is not your thing: If you don’t like something or someone, it is hard for you to pretend otherwise. You believe in saying exactly how you see things.

You are proactive, responsible, and self-motivated. People know you are reliable and dependable. You strive for excellence and are driven by status, goals and target. You are generally focused on your goals and willing to work hard to attain them. You are well-organized and work efficiently. You are methodical and prefer to always plan ahead. You don’t like leaving things till the last minute and are self-critical if you do not achieve your goals. You prefer to avoid risks. You have a reputation both for your work ethic and for being conscientious.