September 14, 2003

Cynicism is Back!

It's funny... I don't post anything all week and then it all comes to a head as I sit in the lab and attempt to convince myself that I really ought to be doing something productive. Well, I have an ethical objection to homework, so I guess that leaves blogging. Not that that's really productive per se, but at least it leaves a mark somewhere that at some time on Sunday afternoon, the Cynic might have been thinking (or at the very least, his fingers jumped to productivity without the leave of his brain and this is what we have to show for it.)

I really miss cynicism on one hand and on the other hand I really don't. The rest of you don't even know what it means whether you like it or hate it, and that mildly annoys me and makes me really wish I could whole-heartedly advocate it like I should.

"So what is cynicism then?" the ingrates intone, as they attempt to salvage some dignity in the futile hopes that I really can't substanciate my assertions of being mentally superior inasmuch as I at least understand my terms. Sadly, Webster hops in a circle on this, but if you spend the necessary effort you can piece together a workable definition.

cynic (n) : 2 : a faultfinding captious critic; especially : one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest
cynical (adj) : 2 : having or showing the attitude or temper of a cynic; especially : contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives
cynicism (n) : 2 : cynical character, attitude, or quality; also : an expression of such quality

You'll note that each is the secondary definition, due to the fact that cynicism derives from a philosophy of the same name started by the Greek philosopher Diogenes. The general gist of this being the primary tenet of cynicism is the contemptuous distrust of human nature and motives inasmuch suspecting that that all of these are tied up entirely in self-interest. I fully believe all of this... the problem is the contemptuous part and the attempts of some to extend this cynicism to God and a failure to account for the changing power of God in the lives of Christians. That isn't to say that Christians are above base motives, but neither does it excuse one from expecting Godly motives from one's Christian brothers rather than lording their former sinful nature and base motives over their heads. And of course, it's very difficult to be generally contemptuous when one is happily involved in a relationship, but that's neither here nor there. The long and short is that while some will accuse me of abandoning my philosophical basis, I will just say that mine is still cynicism, just slightly modified to include a Biblical worldview. The wide-ranging distrust of human motives, especially among non-Christians, is as strong as ever. Oh, and those who decry cynicism are back on the food chain.

Oh yeah... and welcome to my world

note: I'm sorry I killed your comment Morgan

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at September 14, 2003 05:19 AM