Silencing the Voice of Reason (Part 2): Values, Principles, and Lack Thereof

Saturday, February 13, 2016

In the first part, I talked about many people’s tendency to silence the voice of reason—in themselves and in others—and the psychological mechanisms behind it. Here, I will talk about principled versus unprincipled thinking and its consequences.

To be able to conceptualize reality accurately, a person has to have rational, clear, sound, and consistent principles and values. Failure to do so leads to, among other things, confusion and delusion. One would think that a human being would want to aim to be as principled and virtuous as possible. Ideally, yes. However, if a person’s true feelings, thoughts, and experiences are silenced from childhood, they don’t learn to have rational principles (as talked about in part one), because it’s actually dangerous to have principles and integrity when you are small and dependent. This deep fear usually carries out into one’s adulthood, so a person, who is now an adult, is trained not to have principles and to have a strong reaction to a voice of reason.

Now, usually it is not black and white. It’s not that a person is totally reasonable or completely delusional all the time. Most people can be highly reasonable in some areas but very irrational and disconnected from other aspects of reality. For the most part, a person is irrational when they feel emotionally threatened: either in the moment, or in a general regard to a certain idea or theme.

Having principles carries a lot of weight. Your thoughts and emotions dictate your behavior. So if you have a certain mindset, you will act in a certain way. When you live in a highly delusional and unprincipled society as ours, having principles and applying them consistently requires enormous inner strength and courage. Your life is different than that of most people; your priorities are different than most people’s; your relationships are different; you see things that other people don’t see. And when you describe those things, people who are highly invested in staying unprincipled and irrational—that is the majority of our population—get upset and unruly.

For instance, I talk a lot about child abuse and healing from it. Most people don’t even know what it is, even though many can successfully identify some more evident forms of abuse. Therefore, they don’t see how wounded the world is and why. I also talk about principles. If you look into my works more closely, you will see that I often describe the theory and principles, or explicitly refer to it. It’s all interconnected, and I try to show people those connections. In my experience and observation, most people—even the brightest—don’t have clear principles, or they think they do, or they have them only in theory, or they are hypocritical in very important areas. Although a lot of people have thanked me for my help, clarity, consistency, and integrity.

However, when talking about certain principles and applying them consistently to specific instances, some people get very upset. For example, when I describe child abuse in the context of a TV show, or an interview, or point to somebody’s behavior, I receive angry and unprincipled responses. Part of it is because of their upbringing, part of it is because they are emotionally invested in the person that I use as an example for my analysis.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article called “How NOT to Raise a Boy to Respect Women, Himself, or Anybody,” that stemmed from Nikkole Paulun’s Facebook status where she was proud of her poor parenting. Some people became outraged, not because of her abusive behavior, but because I pointed it out. That’s a behavior of an unprincipled and confused human being. I even wrote a follow-up article to it explaining people’s common errors in thinking and judgement.

Another example is my video that is a conversation between Howard Stern and Metallica’s leader James Hetfield where I comment on James’s childhood experiences and how it influenced his own parenting. If you look at the comment section, there are only a few positive comments floating in a sea of projections, hypocricy, and ad hominems. I deleted a couple of them, but I kept most of it as a reflection and a source for a future reference for articles like this.

People don’t understand that those who I use as examples in my videos and articles fundamentally don’t matter. Their behavior is a common symptom of our culture and child-rearing—and that is what I concentrate on. Again, I talk about principles and show people how they are—or aren’t—applied, what are the consequences, and what are the alternatives. It’s not about Nikkole Paulun, or James Hetfield, or Denise Richards, or Howard Stern, or Sarah Silverman, or any other person that’s featured in my examples. The fact that a person is famous or popular doesn’t change the value or results of their actions. People idealize those celebrities, therefore, by definition, don’t see them as they actually are, or know them at all—or they simply lack self-knowledge to be able to estimate the person accurately. They also justify their own poor behavior and bad priorities. Hence, they feel defensive when I or somebody else talk about actual reality regarding other people’s behavior and its consequences.

On a more “real” level (as opposed to comments from “internet people”), I have intervened in child abuse and talked about child-rearing with people on multiple occasions, and although people don’t explicitly say, “Go fuck yourself,” or, “You’re a bad person,” a lot of people don’t like to talk or think about it (as explored in part 1). They definitely don’t like being challenged on their abusive behavior. The bystander effect doesn’t help either (more on that in part 3).

So when you describe reality accurately and remain consistent with your values and principles (i.e., have integrity), people will try to silence you. They also try to keep their belief system intact by inventing numerous justifications for staying unprincipled and inconsistent with their principles (i.e., being hypocritical).

Hypothetical example #1:
A: There’s never an excuse to hit... a woman.
B: Wait, the principle is “hitting is morally wrong.” “Hitting a woman is morally wrong” is only a subset of that principle. Therefore, there’s never an excuse to hit. Period. Or if you want to be even more accurate, “the initiation of force is wrong.” Do you think that it’s okay to hit men? How about children, who are the weakest and least protected segment of society? (By the way, statistically, more women abuse children than men abuse women. And that’s based on official statistics, as many cases of child abuse are unreported, or underreported. Also, it includes only widely recognized forms of abuse, as more subtle forms of child abuse remain unidentified. Nonetheless, 71% of Children Killed by One Parent are Killed by Their Mothers; 60% of Victims are Boys).
A: Well, you know... men are strong, and their feelings don’t matter, while women are, and always were, weak and oppressed. And children are not even human beings yet, so they don’t even matter very much. Some studies suggest that they don’t feel or remember their early years. Most children turn out just fine anyway.
B: You may want to check your theories and observations as they don’t make sense....
A: You’re a misogynist / racist / sexist / [insert a misunderstood and misused term here] and you don’t have children, so what do you know!?
B: Oh, okay. Stay the course then; you are obviously doing great, and you are totally not a part of a rotten, unprincipled culture with shit priorities.

Hypothetical example #2:
B: This person’s behavior is abusive to their child, because of this, this, and this.
A: You’re rude / bad / abusive for pointing it out!
B: Really? I am rude / bad / abusive for pointing out child abuse? Could it also be that you are an unprincipled person with bad priorities who considers “hurt feelings” of an ACTUAL abuser over those of a child they are abusing? I’m glad we value the non-aggression principle and incorrectly apply it to advocates against child abuse, while completely ignoring the fact that the person in question is actually violating said principle by abusing their child who, by natures design, is totally dependent on, extremely influenced by, and completely trusting of, them. 
A: Don’t judge! 
B: Well, apparently you have no problem with judging me, and even holding me to a higher standard than the person in question, or yourself for that matter. We have a word for that: hypocricy.
A: You are mean! And hateful! And stupid!
B: ....

Lost, confused, unprincipled, hypocritical, emotion-driven people, who are unwilling or unable to change their mindset to match reality. Again, it is not about feelings, it is not about me or you—it’s simply an inaccurate and an ineffective way for navigating reality. It complicates life and makes it more miserable. Although it’s understandable because the pain, fear, and dissociation behind it is huge. However, being more truthful, more aware, more real, more courageous a person can be authentically happier, even if on an emotional level it sometimes feels counter-intuitive.

In part three, I will talk about the positive and negative aspects of being a voice of reason.
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If you found this or other articles valuable, please share it with others who may find it valuable. Also, consider supporting my work by donating. Any and all support is highly valued! 
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Related articles: 
Why People Deny Childhood Trauma and Its Results
Common Reactions to The Topic of Childhood Trauma
The Cycle of Child Abuse and How to End It
The Difficulties of Recognizing and Reducing Child Abuse
Child Abuse and Its Results in Today's Society
Personal Core Virtues/Values

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1 comments

  1. That is so great. I love to read how you stand up while they project their own shit. That is empowering!

    And propably not so great to experience.

    I watched your analysis of James Hatfield and it was good, Altho I am confused about talking to the child about you not knowing what you are doing.
    I read in some Alice Miller book that it is actually healthy, becouse you can start honest relationship afterward.
    I guess after you dont prepare to your parenting it can be better, but that does not excuse you not being prepared in the first place. Or not? I dont know really what to think about that aspect. She was parent herself, so maybe she was trying to excuse herself?

    But hateful comments are telling. Oh boy.

    ReplyDelete