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Neutral Mon, Jan 08, 2007
I personally don't think anyone can possibly be neutral about anything.  Everyone has an opinion.  Everyone has a perspective that's slanted one way or the other.  No one can ever be in the middle; it goes against who we are as human beings.  This is fairly obvious with things like religion, politics, sports, and other opinion-driven topics.  But I also think it's evident in more "neutral-sounding" topics. 

One example is the so-called "War on Drugs".  I'm not a drug user (except for crystal meth ... kidding) and I don't suggest anyone becomes one.  But a simple look at modern American history shows that most drugs were deemed illegal for political and/or racial reasons.  Opium was first outlawed because Chinese men were allegedly seducing white women.  Marijuana, because of the fear of Mexican immigrants.  By criminalizing these substances commonly found in medications and drinks, people were forced to obtain them through illegal means.  Begin downward spiral.  "Hey, I want some drugs."  Sure, but you have to launder this money first.  "I'll do that if you promise to kill my brother-in-law."  Every kid that went through public school was indoctrinated by D.A.R.E, which taught us that drugs are bad.  But are drugs bad?  Aren't they the same as caffeine and alcohol, which any person in their right mind will tell you are perfectly normal and safe in moderation?  Or were we cultured to associate drugs with "badness" by a carefully constructed educational program and nationwide crackdown policy?  This obviously borders on a conspiracy theory, but I'm at least halfway convinced. 

Another recent momentum-gainer is the diamond.  Thanks to movies like Blood Diamond, more and more people are learning the truth about the diamond trade.  The past 70 years of advertising have told us, "A Diamond is Forever," and the diamond ring is the de facto symbol of getting engaged.  But who's been telling us this?  The same people who enslave children in diamond mines in Africa and help boost corrupt governments in the process.  My point is not that diamonds are evil, but that the things we believe about them are so painfully ingrained in our minds that it's hard to discern between truth and propaganda. 

I don't really have a strong opinion about either of these two examples, but I think they help prove my point:  People can't be neutral because they're taught by non-neutral bodies.  It's extremely difficult to have any amount of neutrality with topics like this because so much of the information out there has some sort of slant to it. 

Update (2007-01-08 3:28pm):  Another point that was originally swirling around in my head is the idea of doctor-prescribed medication.  It's no secret that doctors receive some sort of compensation for recommending a particular pill or potion.  Just look around a doctor's office:  Pens, pads, clipboards, etc., all advertising the latest miracle cure for whatever you have.  I think it would be naive to believe doctors didn't give some sort of preference to one medication over another.  And based on my experience with my own doctors, all they want to do is fill me full of medication, without any regard for actual "health".  When money is involved, how can a doctor possibly be neutral? #psychology

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