Jan 292018

Religion is evil. Yes, there are many good things provided by religious institutions (community, social trust, support for the local poor, shock cushions, counselling) which are valuable, and which partially offset religion’s evils. But the foundation of all religion is vile, and we would be far better off if we were to remove the good things these institutions provide from the root of religion, so we can offer them without that moral millstone around our necks.

So when someone asks me to respect something because it’s from a person’s or group’s religion, they’re already starting off on the worst possible footing.

And when Kids On The Internet proclaim something as their Spirit Animal, they are rescuing one of the good things from the slathering maws of religion. They now have a quick term that intuitively encapsulates “The thing I adore, an aspect of the person I wish to be – that which represents a part of my soul if it was refined to its highest level and I was the best, purest person I could be.” This is a good thing.

Likewise, anyone who gets a quest from their Spirit Animal should be honored and overjoyed for such a thing. I get the feeling that the above meme was supposed to be some sort of threat? But someone truly dedicated to an aspect of themselves would embrace such a thing. A chance to stand against adversity, to test your values, to be judged and prove yourself worthy. This is what character is made of. I would be honored (if perhaps terrified) to receive a quest from Face.

  6 Responses to “On Spirit Animals”

  1. I feel ignorant – but who is Face?

    (I would google but I don’t imagine it would be useful!)

  2. The series of tweets doesn’t really seem like a threat, unless there’s some additional context? Just a funny mental image, contrasting the scary, inhuman aspects of what older stories about religious experience are like with the neutered modern adoption of some of the lingo and ideas.

    +1 for loving the new use of the phrase.

  3. I don’t think I have a spirit animal, I’m probably too lazy for that. I have people I look up to, like Carl Sagan or Elon Musk or HJPEV and would like to be like. But I suspect that when given a quest that seems troublesome or difficult and I don’t see the benefits outweighing all that I’d be too lazy to do that.
    Unless I can find a clever, easy solution. I’m a big fan of finding clever easy solutions. Or of restructuring a problem so I can get a computer to solve it for me.

  4. I feel you there. I will suffer the wrath of the spirits for my pizza is my spirit animal phone case. And learn dark pizza magic.

    Yeah though it is real weird trying to respect people when it is required you respect their incorrect and probably harmful beliefs

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