Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A rude question I ask myself

Any time I see an activity or group that, to put it the way an existentialist might express it, proposes itself to me I ask myself, “Do the people engaged in this activity look like life’s winners?” Is that shallow of me? Perhaps. Jesus said he came for sinners—tax collectors and prostitutes.

On the other hand, there is a difference between choosing your religion and choosing your pastimes.

For example, marijuana use has been made legal in Canada. Dispensaries where people can acquire dope had sprung up in town even before it was officially legal. When I walk by those dispensaries I cannot help but notice that they are packed with losers. Losers whom Jesus tells us we should love. But I don’t think love implies being like them or acting in the way they do.

Another example, someone I know takes part on rather elite trivia events, gatherings of people who take this stuff very seriously. As typically happens, people tend to get good at what they take very seriously; these people can answer trivia questions correctly much more often than the rest of us. They are, in a sense, winners. But just to look at their group picture is to see people who are marginal. Deserving love but not emulation. (I know some people would insist that is impossible but I think it is possible.)

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