Do you ever just get in a bad mood? I’m in the worst friggin’ mood ever. I feel like hating everyone and everything right now. I want to write up a big blog post about how stupid everyone is.
I’ll try to keep my hatred to a minimum.
So, here’s a list of the type of people who make me the angriest.
First, it is the ignorant people with know-it-all attitudes. You know who I’m talking about. I once wrote a scholarly book on a topic, so I sort of consider myself an expert on that topic, even though I recognize that there are respectable alternative positions to my own. But it’s not surprising to run into people whoever never read a single book or academic article on the topic, yet who have no difficulty dictating to me the facts of the matter as if they were experts. One of my undergraduate professors told me that he researched a passage in a Pauline letter for two or three years while he was working on his dissertation. Apparently he need not have bothered, since one night he went to dinner with a minister who proceeded to explain to him what it meant in 3 minutes.
Then there are the people who have high burdens of proof for everyone else but low burdens of proof for themselves. Almost anything will justify their own views for themselves—they’ll probably be incapable of seeing any weaknesses in their own position—and the burden of proof on all other positions will be insurmountable. These people tend to throw around double standards everywhere, almost as if they had a mental block. Along these lines, I saw a documentary a few years ago in which John Dominic Crossan notes that there were lots of stories in the ancient world about people with virgin births. He points out that we could be suspicious of all of them, or we could do what most people do: assume all of them are wrong except our own story. Of course, excepting one’s own view from criticism while turning a critical eye to everyone else seems reasonable as long as your group is the dominant group.
Next on the list are the people who don’t understand that an authority cannot authorize itself. For instance, there are some Christians who “get it” that it’s not sensible to cite the Bible in defense of the Bible’s authority. Then there are the ones who quote some passage in Timothy to me about how the scriptures are inspired, as if that would be persuasive to someone who didn’t already accept the Bible as authoritative.
Tonight, I hate you all.
Tomorrow I’ll be warm and fuzzy again.