By Robert A. Vella
For all its many virtues, social media can be perplexing at times. Words and images posted on blogs – which we all participate in – can communicate a great deal of information and convey profound meaning. What it generally cannot do is provide a venue for more intuitive forms of interpersonal communication which are only possible with face-to-face exchanges. Two-way video conferencing and intercoms can help bridge this gap, but it still isn’t the same. Furthermore, people use social media for a variety of purposes and not always to project the real person that they are. Facebook is a site more tailored to personality.
WordPress, on the other hand, is geared more towards communal concerns. Substance is typically prioritized over style. Bloggers select a theme and focus their posts to those topics. A good example is The Arm Chair Pontificator, a very amusing blog of political and cultural satire. While humor is the focus in that example, other blogs are more solemn. Such is case with this blog:
The Secular Jurist is a news and opinion blog addressing current and historical events from a nonreligious moral perspective. Our goal is to educate the public by casting a light on unethical institutional behavior, speaking truth to power, and questioning those traditional cultural mores that lead to social injustice. We assert that ideologies and theologies built upon putative and non-empirical foundations are often improper vehicles to convey the concept of right and wrong. Our point of view is quintessentially agnostic. We neither support, nor do we fundamentally oppose, any spiritual belief system including atheism. However, we will stand against destructive and extreme sectarianism whenever their actions warrant attention.
Focusing on social injustice in an era of worsening injustices is an emotionally disturbing daily grind. One must detach themselves as much as possible when reporting or commenting on such negative stories. Objectivity and independence are key to the credibility of this kind of journalism even though it risks alienating both sides of the debate. In solitude, there can be no ally. In duty, there can be no other loyalty.
But, the internalization costs can be high especially when there is turmoil in one’s personal life. The constant reporting of bad news thickens the air of pessimism even for those known by family and friends to be happy, affable, and secure. Still, if one believes in what they are doing, they must soldier on.
So, I hope this explanation helps you understand the purpose of my blog as well as my own personal perspective. Intellect and emotion make an unpleasant marriage while each are vitally important in their own right. I know this attitude has offended some who do not see the difference; and, for that, I am regretful. It is never my intent to be offensive except in the rarest of circumstances.
Peace to all. ☮