Sunday, 18 November 2012

My Christian Hypocrisy

This video:
is about looking at the Sabbath as a weekly Buy Nothing Day.  It was made and uploaded on a Saturday, which for me is not the Sabbath, but this entry is being written on a Sunday, so i'm breaking the Sabbath myself now by writing and posting this.  But then, Christian hypocrisy is nothing new and is in fact a continuation of the Pharisaic hypocrisy against which Jesus spoke (even if he was a fictional character, incidentally).  So, does this mean Christianity is a failure?

Due to the fact that like other human beings i suffer from confirmation bias, i'm gonna say no.  The fact that i am sinning right now by writing and posting this article is a negative reflection on me and not on  Christ or the Holy Ghost, or any of those guys/that guy in fact.  At the same time, it is cause for concern.  Any value Christianity might have is entirely dependent on the extent to which Christians behave better than they used to before conversion, or perhaps better than how they would be acting now were they not Christian.

This is where it gets complicated.  Firstly, how someone would have behaved if they weren't Christian is a counterfactual conditional, and it's possible to project all sort of negative stuff onto that hypothetical scenario just to support your belief in your own position.  Secondly, when people referred to as Christians behave badly, three issues arise:  maybe they're only Christian in name, maybe they would've been even worse otherwise and maybe they're resisting God's will to change them.  The central problem here, however, is that i'm trying to apply the principle to others when i should be applying it to myself.  I am, even more than usual, in no position to judge here because right now, i have a huge plank in my eye and it would be nice to be able to point the finger at others' behaviour.

As a result, what i have to do now is turn it round onto myself.  I know i'm Christian and of course don't know who else is, so i'm aware that i'm not just Christian in name, so that leaves how i would've behaved were i not Christian, something to which my conscious mind probably has no access because of cognitive bias, and one more issue:  resisting God's will to change me.  This may imply belief in the existence of free will, which is philosophically interesting.

A couple of other things:  i have run out of milk and won't be buying any until tomorrow because of my Sabbatarianism, but as a result i will be consuming Liz's milk supply instead.  Also, whereas i won't be buying milk, i fully intend to buy ingredients to feed my son this evening.  Clearly i am obliged to him in this way, but i still could've anticipated that that would become necessary before the Sabbath actually started.  Then again, that would involve increasing my consumption on another day of the week.  Hmm.

On a different note, here's an interesting pair of graphs:

Apparently, interesting and small, and unfortunately also a JPEG, rather than something more sensible.  Just to fill you in on the details, both cover about the same period of time on YouTube, the lower one is the channel i promote here, the upper one is the Other Channel and the upper one's Y-axis has values in the thousands and the lower one only in the hundreds.  The sudden drop in views which took place just over halfway through is the first anniversary of that channel, several months after i'd abandoned it.  My task is to make the bottom graph like the top, and i've decided that that task is similar to trying to get a girlfriend - you have to stop trying and just be yourself.  I don't think i've ever been more myself so publicly as i was on the top channel.  Having said that, i don't plan to be myself in the same way on the bottom channel as i have on the top because it would frighten the horses.