You are on page 1of 6

Conversational intolerance: The Invisible Pink Unicorn

This unicorn is both pink, and invisible. It exists. It is not subject to any law, of any kind. It just is. It created the universe, but is not subject to the same laws as human beings are. And, just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You can however; see through it. The IPU is satire, and is no different than most of the conversational intolerance that occurs in social strata; whether on Internet forums, social networking platforms, or meet-ups in person but especially in venues with a strong focus on personal beliefs. The IPU is often used as a symbol for Atheism or in use by Atheists; the IPU itself is not Atheism. The IPU is considered to be the goddess of parody and paradox. It is used to levy arguments with Theists that hold beliefs in the supernatural, venerate a deity, and adhere to a theologicallybased faith system. The IPU serves as an allegory to demonstrate the paradoxical nature of deity. If the IPU were to replace [fill in the blank] deity, it would have no literal difference in interpretation (to a non-believer). The IPU does not follow the laws that apply to man, as thus it can be both invisible and pink. It is considered to have great magical powers, because it can be both invisible and pink. The reasoning here is juxtaposed with faith-based logic found in many religions. Just because you cannot see her, doesnt mean she is not pink, or does not exist. This concept is used to point out to Theists the absurdity of their defense of such a belief. The contradiction of terms, that a deity can be both invisible and pink defeats itself within the satire. The satire has already stated that the Invisible Pink Unicorn does not adhere to the laws of man. Thus, it cannot be a contradiction of terms that it can be both invisible and pink. The IPU becomes a circular argument levied against Theism. In fact, it can run around in circles all day and achieve nothing but the discourse it desires. The debate presented is merely to mock the beliefs of a Theist. This can only incite the Theist to point out the intentionality of the mockery. It may also be used to point to Theists (Group A) and label them as [fill in the blank] insult by Non-Believers (Group B), to position arguments in socio-political arenas. The IPUs defining aspect is that it satirically ridicules those that hold beliefs considered by the self-identified rational, to be irrational. The irrational would then also be considered incapable of having the proper logic needed to make political decisions and/or deal with social issues. It does not however resolve conflict between believers and non-believers. The IPU presents its own argument against non-believers; thus spinning the paradoxical wheel of fortune. If the IPU represents the irrationality of believing in something that cannot be proven to exist (thus not true), this opens the issue of belief wide-open. There are many beliefs held that have not been scientifically proven; in fact many may be based solely on theory in the absence of evidence to support it. It would then be considered invisible by evidence, but pink by faith. When considering the laws conceived by man, there are many things we consider law, simply because we have stated it is law. Take for instance mathematics as the universal language of the known universe. There are volumes of writing which associates math with complex notions, simply because we have applied it. Newtonian mechanics1 would disagree with this notion, but to levy the proof required to support a truth,

Newtonian Mechanics: Causal relationship in the natural world between force, mass and motion.

Newton then would have to be invalidated. If you are well-read in the area of physics, Im sure that statement made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. If face to face, I would be prepared for your intolerance of my ideas, and your disputes with how I use facts, to provide the wedge needed to demonstrate the absence of Absolute Truth2. And so the wheel spins round and round. It is one thing to bring these ideas into our own minds, its quite another to have conversations about them. I dont agree with you. I think youve misunderstood. I believe you are misinformed. Your demonstrable lack of comprehension tells me much about you. I will not accept your ideas as my own. I cannot relate to your position. This is polite, in real world situations people tend to speak more frankly and direct. What are you fuckin stupid or something? Are you insane? LMAO you believe what? Why dont you go back into your cave and worship your imaginary friends! Thank spaghetti you are not in politics!

What is Conversational Tolerance?

Conversational tolerance implies that all conversation will be tolerated. When a social group enforces such a policy it tends to segregates the group: Group A - Tolerant Group B - Intolerant Thus, any person within the social group that falls into Group B would be treated accordingly. A group may choose to also enforce a Code of Conduct3. Any person joining the group would then agree to the Terms and Conditions4 of the group. This sounds all very cut and dry, but I assure you that it is not. Policies are often ignored, even if a person has agreed to the terms in a verbal or written contract.

Newtonian Mechanics (M.I.T. Introduction text), W.W. Norton & Co, 1971, ISBN# 0393099709 2 Absolute Truth: Absolute truth" is defined as inflexible reality: fixed, invariable, unalterable facts. Philosophy, Stanford University. 3 Code of Conduct: Responsibilities used to manage behavior, group ethics, and honor. 4 Terms and Conditions: Terms outlined by the groups administrators. Conditions for continued participation in the group.

What is Conversational Intolerance?

Conversational Intolerance may be (but not limited to) a blatant disregard of policy. This is often due to personal experience, and emotionality. Sometimes extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. When dealing with the religious, that evidence may not be available to everyone. It would be considered UPG (Unverifiable Personal Gnosis), and in some cases UGG (Unverifiable Group Gnosis).

Conversational Intolerance implies that some conversation will not be tolerated. When a social group enforces a Conversational Tolerance Policy (CTP), it invites discourse. A CTP should be all encompassing and not exclusionary of any topic; even if those topics are uncomfortable, taboo, or challenging. Many social groups will exclude touchy subjects from a CTP to maintain harmony in a group and avoid discourse. Topics such as Cannibalism, Incest, Nazism, Genocide, Sexuality, Rape, Murder, Abuse, Discrimination, Bigotry, Racism, just to name a few are often avoided. If a social group has a CT policy, but exceptions to the rule, the groups focus has now shifted to a paradox and parody of its original purpose; much like the IPU.

The brain as an organ is highly complex. We learn more about it all the time, and its truth is not absolute. In existential ontological arguments, the organ is often divided between brain and mind. The brain being the biological organ, the mind what the organ produces in human experience. Take for example the idea of witnessing in religious faith. This concept is to allow the adherent the validity needed to testify to the extraordinary claims made by the religious group he belongs to. This deals directly with UPG as well as UGG presented as evidence to support. Comparably, it can be levied against a non-believer of deity that holds beliefs in the supernatural or para-normal. If say you dont believe in gods but believe in displaced spirits; how different a belief is this really? Many non-religious believers of the supernatural provide just as much (if not more) UPG evidence, to support their extraordinary claims. So, this is not limited to dealing with the religious exclusively, even if the religious is its primary focus.

So, where does this leave us in social strata?

Conflict: Group B does not agree with the policy in place of Group A. A disagreement will challenge the policy in place. If the policy is challenged, those enforcing it are faced with conflicted participants. How then is this conflict resolved?

There are a number of choices one could make, from the choices available: 1. Enforce the policy; remove those that fall in Group B from the social group. 2. Discuss the policy: Administrators could open the floor for discussion to foster an understanding as to why the policy is important to the group. 3. Take a poll: Administrators may opt for an opinion poll from the participants. If the majority does not agree with the policy, it may be the catalyst for the administrators to change policy. Say for instance your social group is faith-based, and non-believers want to participate. Would they be tolerated? Would their conversations be tolerated?

Why are people so afraid of being intolerant?

In the last few decades a strong focus on being politically and socially correct has been forced upon us by influencing agents. Being intolerant has become a dirty word in the U.S. and even more so in other nations as it becomes a personal danger to discuss taboo topics, or use what is considered archaic language. In some instances, depending on the culture, there are beliefs that will not be tolerated, and are punishable by imprisonment or death. Fear is a survival mechanism, but it can also be an avoidance shield. When people feel powerless, they avoid any opportunity that may arise to enact their personal power. Fear is often used to avoid important sociological issues. Many of those issues affect not just the individual, but entire populations of people. People have become so bankrupt of any real sense of self, that they dont even know how to recognize power in their very being.

What does it mean to be tolerant in a forum?

When people assemble to discuss a specific focus topic, movement, or body of ideas, it becomes a forum. Social Networking on various websites is interchangeable with forum, when focus groups form. When a group has a strict CTP, it may be implied that all conversations should be tolerated to participate. If you decide to be intolerant, and the administrators have made both the policy and code of behavior clear; you should be willing to be held accountable for your behavior and words; but especially when it regards your own principles and key aim5. A forum is often a platform that can be used to assert discourse with an individual or group objective. Self-management allows you to hit your target with a more sinister approach. This is particularly important when addressing cyber-bullying. If youve been issued the Scarlet Letter B, you can either wear it proudly or refuse to be identified as this modus operand (MO). This label is often applied when no bullying has occurred. Its a pretty common ad hominem debate tactic. Your key aim may be to cause discourse. Discourse is friction and is often the catalyst for growth, and action; it is not bullying unto itself. Harmony could be considered stagnation and inaction. Especially when your key aim is to accomplish goals through group efforts.

Target and/or goal.

How do I regard Conversational Intolerance?

While I will guard a person's right to believe in the most whacked-out ideas, it doesn't mean I have to tolerate them. There is much I do not tolerate. Conversational intolerance is policed by imposing morality6, e.g. That's Intolerant! You should Respect another person's beliefs! Says who? By what authority? Yours? A person, as well as their beliefs, have to earn my respect. In earning my respect there must be some demonstrable deed backed by those beliefs. If those beliefs cause a person to take an action that is not beneficial to me in any way, my natural course is to oppose it. Why then should I tolerate their views? Beliefs? Actions? I will not. I will not tolerate beliefs or actions that oppose me. This does not mean that I dont explore dissenting views and opinions. I explore them as a matter of habit for contrasting and comparing to my world view (introspect). It is often in that way that I am able to make my own thoughts and ideas distinctly mine.

What actions do I take when being intolerant?

Each person and situation is unique, but there are often times when groups of people are intolerable. Just because I am intolerant, does not mean that intolerance and hatred are synonymous. I can be intolerant to child abuse, for example. It does not mean I hate the child abuser. There are often extenuating circumstances in each case, and I dont believe in profiling or pigeon-holing individuals. I hold humanistic values, in that I recognize the trials and tribulations of the human condition, and I work actively to exceed my own humanity. In my personal axioms, I believe all men can be redeemed by their actions; words are words. Just because the words have been spoken, does not mean they symbolize an action worthy of redemption. While I have a minor concern with what people believe, my major concern is what people do. What people do may require both my intolerance and action to neutralize a current on the move. In neutralizing it, I am directly blocking its path to allow it momentum. Even if I am only a minor obstacle, the movement will have to find a way around me, over me, or through me thus creating the potential to become a major block in its path. With enough focus, and selfmanagement I can become a formidable force in the face of the mass. Lest we forget that movements begin with an idea, followed through with an action, and gaining momentum as it gains density. I will go directly to the source of that fuel, and stomp it out with my boot.

In a world of such diverse people and on-going social conflict, each person will have their own internal morality; which may or may not have been fostered by social ethics7. They may even be considered immoral or amoral depending. If your moral principles dictate that you be intolerant, then follow through with an action; and learn your target. I dont believe in people that talk a lot of shit, and follow through with zero action. Have the back-bone to stand by your convictions; or

Imposing Morality: Social Morality imposed upon individuals, to directly affect their personal ethics and internal morality. 7 Social code of ethics, societal standards for living and behaving.

else find yourself the serpent under foot8, never realizing your power, and destined to become nothing more than parody and paradox. The age of the Politically Correct, is coming to an end. What will this new age bring us? Behold! I present to you the INVISIBLE PINK UNICORN!

SIN JONES The Poison Apple

March 2011 [Updated March 2012]

Madonna and the Serpent, SIN JONES, April 2010