Debates and Drama

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

Boy, it’s been far too long. Over a month, in fact. And I can only point the blame toward my busy schedule and my way of occupying my free time with less productive methods (like computer games) instead of something which is at least somewhat more productive (blogging). But I figured enough is enough, and so I decided to overcome my inertia and post on this thing once again.

I’m not sure really what I want to talk about. There have been plenty of things going on, much too many things to talk about. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Facebook, the social networking tool that sucks the life straight out of you – it soon draws you in until addiction is inevitable. I thought I could conquer it, but alas, even I fell victim to it. But at least I’ve been spending my time there well. I started a group called “The Pursuit of Truth,” and basically it is devoted to discussion of any kind – whether it be philosophical, theological, political, or anything else. It hasn’t grown by leaps and bounds so far, but it has a respectable little group of people that now are discussing issues like the existence of a God and evolution vs. creation. My goal of creating the group is not to win over people to my side (although that might be nice), but rather to stimulate meaningful discussion and logical, rational thought. I’ve always been convinced that Christianity and its basic tenets can be followed by rational people, and is not limited to religious fanatics with their heads in the clouds. So, the group is a place to hopefully allow people to keep an open mind, hear the opinions of someone else, and hopefully consider what they believe to either firm it up or exchange it in favour of something stronger. I like to think that I have a coherent faith, but it can only be helped by hearing what others have to say about it. If I examine all the evidence and it turns out that I am wrong, I would hope that I would have the decency to admit that.

So anyways, this takes up much of my time. It seems a little elitist I suppose, but I spend plenty of time reading up on debatable issues. It’s this drive to pursue the truth that keeps me going. Today I was reading up on an evolutionist’s critique of several creationist arguments. I found some very good points, and some others that I saw merely as an attack of a “straw man” – in other words, misrepresenting the opposing side to easily shoot it down. Then I read a creationist critique of some evolutionist points. It’s at the very least an uphill battle when it comes to creationism, since the majority of scientists embrace the evolutionary model, and so I think that being informed and aware of the evidence is important. As time goes on, I hope to expand my knowledge of both sides, so that at the very least, when my life runs out, I can at least say that I haven’t just accepted the status quo and gone with what others told me to believe – whether they were Christians or atheists, creationists or evolutionists. Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power.

But despite the fact that I’m at university, intellectual pursuits are often the least of my worries. Recently we had a student residence council election for St. Jerome’s (the residence I live at), and one of my friends, Brittany, was running for president. There were two other candidates, but one dropped out, and so a couple of days ago there was a forum held with a question-and-answer period for both of the candidates. It was pretty interesting, really. During the “campaign week”, if you will, my friend had gone around to each of the rooms in rez and handed out candy to people, along with encouraging them to come out to the forum night. It was a good strategy, as she was campaigning for herself, but also was letting people know of the other candidate, which was pretty fair of her to do. Elections and politics aren’t generally known for fairness. And according to Brittany, the other candidate was not above playing dirty. She repeatedly heard about rumours going around that she had been disqualified, and she pointed the finger at the other candidate. She went to the council executives, but with no hard proof, they really couldn’t do much. She was pretty angry about it all, and I don’t blame her for it, but at the same time, I had to warn her that she didn’t know that it was this other person that had done it. Rumours often spread like wildfire in residence, especially a smaller one like St. Jerome’s.

At any rate, there was some other interesting politics that went on with the election. The other candidate had actually entered as a team with two other people, who were running for secretary and treasurer. As it turned out, they were the only candidates for those positions, so it ended up being more of a 3-on-1 for Brittany as she ran. And when it came to forum night, all three showed up with shirts stating to vote for the other candidate. And then Brittany sat there, the only one without the same shirt, and looking mighty lonely. Of course, one of the questions asked was directed to the two other team members, saying, “Don’t you think it’s rude to Brittany to be wearing those shirts when you know that you are running uncontested anyways?” They really didn’t give much of a good answer for it, in my opinion. In fact, I thought Brittany came off looking quite well at the end of it all. Unfortunately, today we found out that the other candidate won, and Brittany was royally ticked off. She stormed back to her room, and yelled at one of the executives on the phone because of it. But of course, his hands were tied, really. So, tonight was somewhat of a baby-sitting night for several of us. We had to give Brittany her space, but then be there when she wanted us. And that’s not a bad thing, since she is our friend, and we were glad to do it, but it’s still not always an enjoyable experience.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that emotional people have their advantages and disadvantages. Without emotion, life would be pretty boring. But if people are ruled by their emotions all the time, they are as fickle and unpredictable as a stormy sea. And I’m not saying that Brittany is like this, but she is on the whole one of the more emotional people that I know. I guess emotional people are sort of like helium balloons. If you try to restrict a balloon, it will pop. On the other hand, if you just let it do what it wants, it will float away. So it’s the job of the level-headed people to be like strings tied to the balloon – still allow them to experience their emotions, but don’t let them get so carried away that they lose complete control. It’s in that regard that us level-headed people show our friendship, and often it’s overlooked. But that’s okay. I’m willing to be overlooked if it helps someone else out. And I’m willing to endure some drama as long as in the end, the person involved knows that it’s not the end of the world. We humans are resilient, and as long as the drama goes on, we will continue to rise above it. At least that’s what I certainly hope. Otherwise, I guess I’m just that boring guy in the soap opera…

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