Archaic Social Norms
Universal norms reinforced by archaic moral systems are believed to curb human nature. We don’t believe it’s society’s job to do that.
Some people call social norms “rules for good behavior.” But good behavior is something we teach our children. Social norms, for the most part, are untaught. They are often unspoken. They are things we are just expected to go along with.
Some examples of social norms:
Family structure – we are expected to accept marriage and monogamy as ideal, even though they are not ideal for many people.
Financial status – we are expected to want money and possessions. Therefore, we are expected to want a job or some method of obtaining income.
Healthcare – we are expected to trust doctors and to seek their advice on every aspect of our health. We are expected not to trust alternative care providers like chiropractors, naturopaths, midwives, acupuncturists, and others. We are expected to be willing take prescription drugs to solve our health problems. If we don’t accept these things, we are maligned and viewed suspiciously.
Faith – we are expected to believe in a god or profess a faith. People who eschew such beliefs are viewed with suspicion, even though they may be upstanding, patriotic, compassionate citizens of their community.
Discipline – we are expected to accept punishment and rewards as means of controlling behavior, both in our families and in society at large, even though punishment and rewards show a basic lack of respect for the one being punished or rewarded, whether a child or adult. Both are manipulation.
Tribalism – we are expected to choose a side in every situation.
Patriotism – saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag is considered an appropriate way to show loyalty to our country. In 1943, the courts ruled that children could not be forced to say the Pledge in schools. The pledge has a very sordid and racist history and should be denounced as unpatriotic.
Experts – we are expected to consult experts on every aspect of our lives rather than trust our own ability to learn to solve our own problems and make appropriate decisions about what’s best for our lives.
Sexuality – we are expected to accept that sexual impulses are not to be talked about openly. Individuals should not be encouraged to freely express their sexuality or engage in sexual activities unless married. Women especially are looked down upon for expressing their sexuality. Teens are discouraged from engaging in sexual expression.
Death – we are expected to be afraid of death. To view death as tragic, undesirable, and to be avoided at all costs. There is an unspoken feeling that open conversations about death are undesirable. We are encouraged to grieve and mourn when people die.
We reject the idea that society should be considered an authority on what’s best for us. That is for each individual to decide for themselves.
Living the life of your dreams means following your passion and joy, freely deciding how you will live without feeling you need to “conform” to society’s ideals.
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