Friday, October 9, 2009

There is no such thing as normal

That’s right. There is no such thing as normal in our world. That’s because the standards for normalcy shift or evolve as time passes. For example, not too long ago American society was a lot more conservative and moral than it is today. Immoral acts like premarital sex and adultery weren’t accepted by the mainstream society. This was normal in those days. But now the standard has changed and American society is much more liberal and accepting. As a result, average people are no longer shocked when they hear about other people cheating on their partners or having sex before marriage. In fact premarital sex is accepted so much right now that more than 90% of Americans engage or are going to engage in sexual relations before marriage. As you can see this is the new normal today unlike in the old days.

Another reason why there is no such thing as normal is because the standards for normalcy differ from one culture to the next. For example, most Americans frown upon an idea of eating insects and find it disgusting even though insects are an excellent source of protein and eating them has many advantages over eating other kinds of food. On the other hand this practice is widely accepted in other cultures and many people love eating insects outside America. Because of all this, eating insects is not normal in America but perfectly normal in many other cultures.

There are plenty of other reasons I can think of to prove that there is no such thing as normal. I think you probably can too if you think long enough. That’s why try not to judge other things or people that are different from you and seem “not normal”.


Steve Serin said...

Simple... Teach the kids Evolution... Tell them they are a bunch of animals.... and why act surprised when they ACT like a bunch of animals. Evolution teachers that you are your OWN god, small "g" Do whatever you want, you are in charge. This is a very dangerous teaching!

Agantx said...

I'm happy that you left a comment. I hope you liked this post and will return for more once in a while.

I agree that evolution can be dangerous. But there are other things that are dangerous as well. Because of them the western world is not perfect and has many faults. I hope things will get better with time even though deep down I'm afraid they will only continue to get worse.

WeWantTheFunk said...

What your examples show is that the societal definition of "normal" is different from culture to culture and changes over time. That isn't the same thing as proving there is no such thing as "normal"; there is certainly no absolute normal, but changing or differing standards doesn't mean they don't exist.

Being out of the norm isn't necessarily a bad thing. How about being smarter than normal, or faster, or better-looking? Nothing wrong with any of those. How about being blind or handicapped? All that says about the person is they have to try harder than most.

At one time in the not-too-distant past, it wasn't normal to bathe. Today, normality is quite the opposite, and it's not in error to say someone that goes for months without washing or changing clothes doesn't behave normally.

Given that the popular concept of what's "normal" is too often myopic and closed-minded, there are still behaviors that are deviant enough to unquestionably lie outside any reasonable definition of normality. You certainly have a valid point about not being judgemental about people that are different from your experience of "normality" (believe me, I'm far from what most people consider normal in many ways). However, I will happily say (for example) a serial rapist and murderer is abnormal, without worrying if it's normal for him or if society is in error for considering it unacceptable.

Zaphod2016 said...

I have to agree with "Funk". Normal exists, at least within some form of standard deviation, with outliers and a standard bell curve distribution.

But as far as the author's larger point: I agree 100%. So long as you aren't hurting anyone, to thine own self be true.

Zaphod2016 said...

I'd also like to say that I disagree with Steve who said "evolution is dangerous". That, to me, is as illogical as saying "the stars are dangerous".

Evolution has no agenda; no more than gravity, or electromagnetism, or the orbits of the electrons. Evolution simply is, and has always been.

And as far as "being a small god; do what you want", clearly Steve is unfamiliar with the writings of Darwin. We are merely semi-evolved chimps, banging on keyboards. I am no more a god than a pelican or a single-celled amoeba.

Anonymous said...

Interesting conversation hear. I agree with Steve. Evolution is a dangerous teaching if it is taught as truth. It is not the same as saying "stars are dangerous" because it is not a statement of obvious truth but a rather a doctrine of beliefs. It seeks to erase G-d. Why? Because truth must be tested and proven and since G-d cannot be tested nor proven by simple scientific means, then He must not exist. Stupid logic. If G-d is truly above humans than of course He is above our logic and therefore cannot be tested by our simple science. If that were possible, He would be no G-d at all.
Perhaps the danger is not explicitly clear but it is there. Teach children that they have no creator, and then try to teach them to live with purpose, to be human, to have morals to know right from wrong. On what ground? Who makes one thing right and another wrong? Why does that person have authority? And if we are mere monkeys, what then is the point of anything?
Ah.. this is a long discussion. I will end it here, but there is much more.