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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 168)...

    The topic is wanted to ask about is vices; the little "nasty" habits that people have that they usually spend a lot of time pursuing. For some people their vice is alcohol, for some drugs, others prefer sex, or maybe gambling. And there are similar "vices" which are not classically considered so, which might be more in the line of hobbies. Gaming for example: Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, etc. Do you see these as distraction, the same way programs distract from the real issue? I see them as a means of changing our focus as individuals from the effects our actions have on the world around us to our own experiences; a means of avoiding the guilt we would surely feel if we were to consider our behavior and its implications for the life around us. What's B's perspective?

    ...and the response:

    B's perspective is this: Within any group there is a tendency to come to this position: "OUR delusions and obsessions are okay, but THEIR delusions and obsessions are evil and should be destroyed." Thus, for example, the ATF and FBI came to see the Branch Davidians, convicted of no crime (and not even CHARGED with a crime) as a scourge that had to be removed from the face of the earth. In this case, the delusions and obsessions of these governmental agencies were okay and the delusions and obsessions of the Branch Davidians were evil and had to be destroyed. The "antidote" that B and Ishmael propose for this is NOT to rid the world of delusions and obsessions (that will never happen), but rather to establish this principle: THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY FOR PEOPLE TO LIVE. If the FBI and ATF had been operating on this principle, there would have been no massacre at Waco. There is no one right way to spend your leisure time, there is no one right way to have sex, there is no one right way to arrange your family life . . . and so on. This principle was well understood and accepted among Leaver peoples; it worked for humans for hundreds of thousands of years, and is still as valid as it ever was.


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