Everything intrigues me. From the method of molecules to combine, to the vastest expanses of space; I am interested. Biology, chemistry, geology, genetics, water tables, the aborigines of Australia, the composition of asteroids, tidal flows, diamond distribution, human rights, Shakespearean tragedies, the breeding habits of piranha; all of this I will study and learn.
My wife asked me why I need so many textbooks. "You aren't even taking these courses!" She says.
"But there is so damn much I don't know yet!" This is the only reply that I can give.
I wish I could share this enthusiasm with everyone, and I will indeed try, even if only with one person at a time. The other night I was talking with my wife about a scientist with a theory regarding black holes and the possibility of them jump-starting new universes with the singularities that form inside of them. As I explained some of the prevailing theories and the physics behind them, I felt myself becoming flushed with excitement. This is life! Discussion, learning, theory, application of intellect; these concepts are the best of human capability and what every human should be pursuing. There are people that refuse to allow you the option to learn and grow, however.
Whenever I see a perfectly good mind wasted on religion, I feel a deep and abiding sadness. These people voluntarily surrender their intellectual capacity; nothing is more anathema to investigation and learning than the idea "I already know what I'm supposed to know." The established religions know this and have throughout recorded history insured an ignorant and enslaved membership primarily through demonising knowledge and those that pursue it, while simultaneously creating all sorts of "hells" and "eternal punishments" that a person will enter if they violate dogma. The whole of the dark ages was held forcefully back from innovation in medicine, culture, mechanics, science, etc., the most common method of enforcement being the murder of the intelligent or those who associated with them. Sadly, there is a rise in these ignorant and disgusting theists that seek to keep others in the dark. Many point to Islam as the example when I say this, and yet American fundamentalist Christians are equally bad. There is a group -not exactly a group as each faction has them, but yet similar in stupidity- that is referred to as creationists. the most despicable of these being the "young earth" variety. I despair my children ever knowing scientific curiosity outside the home if these people get their wish to replace science textbooks with the superstitions of bronze age goat herders.
Almost as bad, are the segments of society that treat intelligence as weak or unwanted in their members. The current wannabe "thugs" and gang member cultures are a prime example. Constantly they decry racism, sexism, social status, income limits, etc. as things unfairly imposed upon them. And yet, whenever a member of their group shows intelligence or a leaning toward a higher education, they are verbally and physically abused and punished for daring to make the others in the group appear stupid. This creates a situation in which the oppressed oppress themselves; where it is indeed a slavery, but a slavery of the mind and a self imposed one at that.
Both of these groups have the same root cause: a powerful few knowing full well that an educated group of people will not remain subservient to the corrupt leadership that those in power wish to maintain. The social and racial component are being oppressed in reality, just not in the manner they believe. Politicians of both sides in the political divide here in America profit from the "lower classes" remaining flat stupid; the democrats most of all. This last year, the Obama administration used tax money to make sure that television converter boxes are available to people in the middle and lower classes. Not only is this an absolute waste of money by the federal government (especially considering how cheap the boxes were to begin with and how expensive after counting the "administrators" of the program), it actively insures an ignorant populace. Nothing is more stunting to the intellect than sitting for hours each day staring at a box that provides the least information possible packed into 2.5 minute segments... when the people even bother to watch an informative program which is rare in these days of "Bachelors", "Survivors", "Simpsons", and Oprah.
There is little hope that people will throw off their shackles, as the "need" for these shackles is pounded into us from infancy. There are only two important actions that I see being successful, even showing immediate results. The first is to turn off your televisions and get moving, into anything. discover interests by actually doing and you have the ability to mentor and spark a child's interest by doing. Activity is an extremely important factor in education and gaining knowledge, a factor that all too many people never learn about growing up with a television as a baby sitter.
The second is also easy and is an equally crucial step that every thinking non-zombieist (and even most zombieists) needs to undertake immediately: vote against superstition being taught anywhere but a mythology/theology course! It doesn't even matter if you happen to be a theist, you MUST oppose the attempts to add any religion to any class in school other than those specifically designed for teaching/comparing mythology and religion. If you are shortsighted enough to want your own religion taught in school, please realise that it won't be the only creation myth taught and that eventually your children will lose any hope of learning the basic mechanics of maintaining our society. They will be far too busy learning about how wrong every other group is to understand even basic mathematical and scientific concepts, which by the way is close to the current state of America.
Hopefully more people will take both actions and this country and world will move forward, out of the new dark ages that so many politicians and creationists hope to force upon us. Even the simplest and most devout followers of either group can make a difference, just ask "how" once in a while.