Friday, March 9, 2012

Tradition: The Stupidest Reason

As the title states, I believe tradition to be the stupidest reason to do anything ever. It can and does serve as mindless justification for just about anything.

I've pondered the matter, as I do, and the only argument I can think of in favor of using this "reason" is that somebody worked out that a certain way of doing things was best, and that must be why it's tradition, right? That's weak.
Fortunately, I have you guys! I'm really looking for some intellectual discussion from you all on this one. I'm stumped. Part of me is hoping there's a stronger argument in favor that I'm just not coming up with at the moment. On the other hand, I wouldn't be disappointed to learn that you find it as logically tenuous as I do when given proper scrutiny.

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I was reading an article on the debate to legalize marijuana and one of the No's had this as his 'reasoning':
"If marijuana was going to be legalized they'd already have done it by now."

Dafuq you say?
Well, shit, son, with that kind of logic I guess we can extrapolate your views on a couple of other things, too.

If gay marriage was going to be legalized they'd already have done it by now.
If women were going to be given suffrage they'd already have it by now.
If the Middle-East was going to have peace they would have it by now.
If black people were going to be given equal rights they'd already have it by now.
If we were going to abolish slavery we'd already have done it by now.

Change happens at a point.
Think about that.
There is always a day when the people go to sleep and awaken to a different world. Looking back on history, reading it like a contiguous series of events, it's easy to fall under the impression that events flowed visibly from one to the next with the 'conclusion' in sight like a movie or book. We forget that today will be in a history book someday.
"Slavery is an evil" becoming an accepted truth all across the civilized world? No one saw that coming sitting on their porches on their plantations.

"This is how things have always been" is quintessentially self-serving, isn't it?