- Religion and Philosophy
The 'J' Word
The ‘J’ Word
(written in 1993)
After 42 years of discussing every point of view, of being the ‘devils advocate’ in all situations, I have finally found a subject that is taboo to mention in polite society, or what amounts to my circle of ‘friends’ at least.
I call it the ‘J’ word, because it seems to specifically be this word which offends people, which starts them saying ‘look everyone’s entitled to their own views, I just don’t want to discuss this’.
Why is this?
Well I asked some people I recently met, who don’t suffer from an aversion to the ‘J’ word, and they said it was something to do with collective guilt, so I tried asking some anti ‘J’ worders if this was so. Bad choice, they generally turn tail and find something else to do urgently, muttering ‘I can’t take this ****’.
It all seems rather odd to me, a child of the sixties who grew up believing that everyone was entitled to believe whatever they wished, that debated his way through all the cults, political systems and major religions of the world and who came to the conclusion that everyone was right, that whatever you believed was cool, that we were all entitled to ‘do our own thing’ provided we would allow everyone else to do the same, I passed through anarchy, knowing that if people would only try to understand it, they would realize that if everyone was truly anarchic, truly selfish, they would be truly self controlled, because anarchy (i.e. No Rules Whatsoever) can only function in a totally individually controlled environment.
Not many takers for that one either, although at least nobody refused to discuss it!
I reached a point where I totally worshipped the individual, placed their rights above all other considerations, stated that serial killers were also entitled to their life-style, that life was a sequence of random chance situations, with only the start and finishing points predetermined, but I believed that these points, of birth and death, were not preordained, just happened or were chosen by an individual.
Maybe I was right.
Maybe the resistance to the ‘J’ word is the right course of action for all these random life forms that seem to coexist with me.
Nobody ever accused me of being intolerant. (before )
I think the point when I began to question my own, and everyone else’s ‘free thinking’ was when I realized that the ’J’ word was taboo, when my friends started to say, ‘hey, look l think you may be getting into trouble believing this ‘J’ word ****’ or ‘don’t you think your being a little intolerant wanting to talk the ‘J’ word with me, when I don’t want to’ or even…‘I hope you won’t involve our child in the ‘J’ word stuff’
What was different except that now I believed what the ‘J’ worders believed?
I still accepted everyone’s right to ‘do their own thing’, only now I was saying to them, “sure do whatever you want, but I believe only this ‘J’ word thing is right, and I want to tell you that you are in eternal danger when you refuse to even speak about the ‘J’ word”
Suddenly, once I started agreeing with the ‘J’ word stuff, I become taboo also; my sanity is called into question, I an accused of being narrow minded, bigoted, and in one memorable case blamed for the death of 6,000,000 Jews in the Second World War, and the ‘ethnic cleansing’ happening in Yugoslavia right now.
Friends of five years standing state that even though they have ‘defended’ my reputation in the past, they will feel that I am letting them down if I persist in pushing the ‘J’ word. I have had ‘friends’ tell me that they will have to terminate our ‘friendships’, if I carry on with this ‘J’ word stuff
I’m sorry but this all seems to be getting out of control, and for each incident of rejection or resistance to the ‘J’ word I get, I begin to believe in it more, I begin to believe that they, my friends of old, are blinkered like l used to be, that they should examine, like the free thinkers they think they are, why they cannot even say the ‘J’ word, except in scorn or profanity.
I hope I haven’t offended you by writing about the ‘J’ word, if I have…
May God bless you.