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Strip clubs, heaven, and other boring fantasies. April 27, 2012

Posted by shaunphilly in Skepticism and atheism.
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I have been thinking about my up-coming bachelor party.  I’ve been to a few over the years and have had good times at each, but mine will be different.  At mine, there will be no strip clubs on the agenda. 

I know this will disappoint a few people who will be there, but they can go do such things on their own time.  Oh right…bachelor parties are excuses for momogamous married men to act like they are single for a while.  My not allowing them their vacation from reality is a bit selfish of me, or something.  See why I’m convinced that monogamy aligns with people’s true desires?

The reason that I have insisted that my best man not include strip clubs into the plans (he is not married, and is not interested in such things anyway) is that I don’t find them exciting.  Sure, I like seeing naked and often attractive women, but such clubs are all a farce.  It isn’t real.

And although it may sound contradictory at first, fantasies which are not realistic are not exciting to me.  I can appreciate the aesthetic beauty of human bodies in such clubs, but it rarely does anything for me sexually. 

Perhaps its because I actually get to see real live naked women (notice the plural) fairly often, also that I am not restricted from other women, that strip clubs don’t do much for me.  Perhaps, although even when I was unattached and monogamous I still didn’t get much out of the experience.

When I think about it more seriously, I realize that I simply cannot get caught up in the lie.  I realize that these women stripping for our money are not into me.  I know that this is not flirtation, pre-foreplay, or how real relationships develop.  And in the rare case where a stripper might be into me, I would still be unable to find it really arousing until she made that clear to me on her own (I don’t ever expect this to happen).  I’m certainly not going to ask them for their real name or contact info, knowing how often they receive such requests and how annoying it can be.

In contrast, I get quite excited when meeting fully clothed women with whom I share flirtatious bantor, playful affection, and maybe even phone numbers.  And in my fantasy life, my thoughts may occasionally start with outlandish possibilities, but ultimately I find myself attracted to more realistic possibilities as fodder for, well….

The point is, I am much more interested in fantasy tied to real people with whom I really have, continue to, and might again interact.  I have serious trouble suspending disbelief too much, especially when it comes to sex.

Also philosphy, theology, etc. 

See, I baited you with sex talk, and now I’m talking philosophy.  But now that I have you dug in this deep you might as well see it through, right?  Right.

So, I can’t get excited about stuff that isn’t real, or at least real-ish (this is why I prefer science fiction which at least tries to be scientifically plausible).  Belief in silly unskeptical things leaves me cold, and so my mind is more attracted to what can be demonstrated to be real.

I grant that I have cognitive biases.  I understand that my mind is more attracted to certain ideas than others and that this cognitive gravity does not necessarily align with reality in all cases.  I’m not some super rational skeptical guru who was born with some freakish reality detecting brain (but that would be awesome!).

Quite often I have to apply skeptical methodology to check my thoughts for such biases.  But I have a strong tendency to move towards what seems to be tied to reality.  And when something seems unfettered, my mind cannot any comfort from it, and what enjoyment it can get is short-lived and superficial.

So when I hear people talking about things such as faith, hope, and other synonyms for wanting to believe something which is clearly, demonstrably, untrue, I cannot sympathize.  I may be able to empathize, but it is not an experience I have which I can share, and so I see such faith as nothing more than a self-delusion.

I realize that many other people do get genuine pleasure out of fantasy detached from reality, and I can sometimes hold onto such pleasure briefly as well.  But this pleasure disintegrates quickly, much quicker than it seems to do for others, and I find myself mostly disappointed by the promise of fictions.  Sometimes I wish I could sustain such pleasure from facades, delusions, and lies.  But even that wish is effemeral.

Heaven does not appeal to me.  The fact that the idea seems so absurd and impossible to me, let alone unpleasant even if true, makes it unappealing to me.  I simply cannot get caught up in the lie.  I holestly do not understand how other people can find it so beautiful, inspiring, and worth wanting.  Perhaps the failing is mine.

A loving, merciful, nor even a self-sacrificial God is not appealing to me either, nor are angels or other such things.  I can’t see them as things which would be nice to want to believe in.  I can’t see them as positive symbols, helpful metaphors, or even happy thoughts.  They seem vacuous and undimensional to me.

I just see them as fictions, unhelpful and distracting from the real pleasures, beauty, and even the naked ugliness of reality.  There is more than enough in reality such that adding extra sparkly, null-colored fantasy on top of it does not help at all.

I do not like strip clubs, and I could not look forward to heaven.  My mind is not enticed by such fleeting and superficial distractions when there is real, gritty, dirty fun to be had.

“Oooh, Heaven is a place on Earth”?

Yeah, that works.  I will spare you my image of a heaven on Earth.  There are some things that nobody who reads this blog needs to have in their minds.

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