Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Phrases that bother me...

"There is a reason for everything"... usually said when bad stuff happens to someone else.

No -- there isn't a reason for everything. The universe is sometimes a randomly crappy place. Bad crap happens to good people and icky people don't get what they deserve. That is just a fact of life as a human being on this planet -- and if you haven't figured this out yet -- then keep thinking on it.

That isn't to say that a person can't learn from bad stuff -- or that they can't handle the bad stuff in an admirable way. I just think that there is not necessarily always a reason stuff happens.

"This is a free country" -- usually said by someone who didn't get their way. In this instance, by some chick who wanted to park her Mercedes in an illegal spot (on "Parking Wars" :) ).

Really, it isn't a 'free country'. This is a place where you have to live with other people -- and sometimes the rules/laws/norms that make it easier to live with others are inconvenient for you. Get over yourself -- because, what you really mean is that 'I want to do whatever the hell I want, and other people can go to hell'.

"It's just an opinion" -- usually said by a student who doesn't like what someone else has to say. In my case, that 'opinion' comes from a pretty darned smart philosopher.

No -- YOUR position is JUST an 'opinion' -- because you haven't put any thought into it. You haven't read what others have to say so you don't know the other side of the argument. You haven't bothered to look into the actual facts on the topic -- you just parrot what your friends/family/political hero/dotty next door neighbor have to say on the topic.

In reality, the people you are so quickly dismissing are significantly better educated than you are. They've thought about, argued about and pondered the topic while writing the article you so blithely dismiss. Their article is the result of many revisions and reviews by others who know about these things... it is NOT, at all, similar to your poorly-written and not even proof-read "paper" on the topic. In fact, it is so different that the only thing you have in common with the philosopher you are dismissing is that you are writing about the same general area.

Often, if I can untangle your twisted logic, it is the case that you actually agree with the philosopher you are dismissing. You don't even see it -- probably because you don't understand what you are reading and thus can't write about it.

and -- I haven't even started my time in grading jail for today... sigh.


Bardiac said...

Oh, yeah! I detest the "it's all for the best" attitude. Detest, detest, detest. And the whole "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" thing, while we're at it. It MAY make you stronger, or it may leave you disabled in some important way, or fearful, or in pain, or whatever.

I'm also very with you on the "just an opinion" thing. I hate that.

I have to go eat chocolate now.

Good Enough Woman said...

Oh, the subjective relativism just kills me, especially when it's attached to the notion that knowledge and reason are irrelevant to the pursuit of truth. But then again, who's to say? (to repeat one of my students' favorite shout outs to relativism . . . )