One MAJOR Clarification

I would like to clarify one issue that kind of sneaks its way under many of the issues I have discussed and will discuss here. That is the “theory” that there IS some quantifiable difference between “intent” and “action.” I realize this is a tricky area to navigate – especially considering my ideas regarding action in and of itself. The definition of the former infers something of “inaction,” or, perhaps if you were to define it as I would, “intent” implies internal “action” only. I cannot help but to believe there must be some empirical difference between the two that allows us to distinguish between their meanings. That is to say, we KNOW there is a difference between “intent” and “action” because we have different words with different assigned meanings for each of the two – if they meant the same thing to us, we would have one word for them or perhaps different words with ONE assigned meaning (synonyms). At the same time, it is impossible to know the INTENT of another person – we can only know our own intentions definitively and necessarily; we CAN, however, know the actions of others because we can see them. Perhaps that is the quantifiable difference between the two, after all.

At any rate, so many of the issues I have dealt with so far on this “blog” deal with the differences between “intent” and “action” as well as the ways in which one’s “intent” can be unconsciously (or sometimes consciously) shown through one’s actions. The idea that “sexual preference” hinges on “intent” more than “action” is not speaking to any theology per se; it is actually tearing open the idea that religion has any involvement with the matter altogether by showing that one’s “intent” to procreate defines “sexual preference.” People can be heterosexual and never have the “intention” to procreate; one of the two in a “traditional” heterosexual relationship can have the hidden “intent” to procreate while the other does not and this distinguishes the two. Similarly, two homosexual individuals in a relationship can both have the intent to procreate and simply do not possess the biological / physiological means in which to do so. I am not assigning anything “negative” or “positive” to either end of the “spectrum” in those terms; rather, I am simply introducing the idea of shifting our definition altogether: I recognize religion has attempted to do this by insinuating that “non-procreating” sex is “sinful” and “wrong,” but even in the very simplified aforementioned examples one can see that many heterosexual couples can have no INTENT to procreate although one would never necessarily KNOW this information because the ACTION of sex could still bring about that very thing neither party wanted that defined their “sexual preference” in this regard. The ACTION in this case does NOT nullify the INTENT.

In the same way, the issues I “have” with “marriage” tend to do more with “intent” than the actual ACTION of getting married – as I mentioned here in a more recent post, I am by no means opposed to marriage. If I think about it, it is really the INTENT of the individuals involved – or what I can only assume their intent is since no one can know another person’s true intent, necessarily – that seems to “bother” me. I take no issue with people getting married for “stated” reasons; if one wants to get married because he wants kids and makes that “goal” known, okay. If one wants to grow old with another person because she is afraid of dying alone and makes that known, great! If two people want to get married because one or the other wants to be “naturalized” in another country, go for it! It is those “sneaky” unspoken “intentions” that seem to pick at me when I see most people get married or after they have been married. When someone is afraid of being alone but keeps that information to herself; when someone feels like he is just getting too old and all of his friends are getting married so he better hurry up and marry the girl he has been dating but he would NEVER SAY THAT TO HER FACE; when one half of a couple is explicitly looking for love and the other just a deeper pocketbook, &c. &c. &c. – basically fill in any of the “oppositional” arguments I have mentioned here and they tend to fall into the “intent” category. Here, I suppose, I am JUDGING intent – although MY JUDGMENT doesn’t really matter other than it affects ME and that is, in fact, an issue through which I personally need to work because it all does boil down to “comparison” and I genuinely believe that being someone who has faced severe chronic illness, I legitimately cannot compare myself with any “normal, healthy” person because we simply have very different lives and very different sets of life circumstances. Comparison, in this regard, accomplishes nothing but the experience of negative emotions – REACTIVE emotions, if you will. Writing about it here is more “responsive,” but the act of putting myself in a position of discomfort in COMPARISON WITH a person who is married or a couple is counterproductive, at best.

Back to the topic at hand – perhaps my “brief” discussion regarding getting the flu shot and other vaccines is one that does empirically exhibit the manifestation of “intent” in “action;” here, often in INACTION, as with people who are opposed to ALL vaccines based on “outlier” cases. As I have mentioned before, I have had a history of bad reactions with vaccines – some of which I have not yet discussed – but I am definitely PRO-VACCINATION (or however that is correctly phrased!)! Just because I had some very bad and life-threatening reactions to vaccines doesn’t mean Joe Jones down the street will. Just because my sister experienced a different set of reactions to certain vaccines doesn’t mean her friends did or her friends’ kids ever will. (*Note: I do believe the “surge” in autism we are seeing in recent years is due to a group of specific factors converging at the same time – namely, the underdiagnosis in previous years, the trend toward “inclusion” in schools (when I was in school, you either had to learn to fit in or you were put in with the “Special Ed” kids – most people adapted and learned how to fit in … of course some could not, but I do think that some of the less severe cases in my generation and generations before mine did just learn how to “get along” with social norms, even if it meant severe repercussions at home, which I have seen even among some of my friends; now, when all kids from all educational levels and backgrounds are put together in classes, there is not much room to just “adjust;” in fact, from quasi-personal experience I see that it tends to work the opposite way – the average kids tend to suffer more because they have to learn how NOT to react negatively to poor behavior that is now frequently ignored in our educational system – it is bad … but that is another topic again!), and simply the increase in population in general (even just in increases in class sizes due to having fewer teachers, &c.), along with other issues like the lack of physical activity and the consumption of terrible “foods” and “foods” riddled with … things I’d rather not mention here … and the lack of parental supervision and the lack of sense of reality with the technology that RULES OUR LIVES, &c. &c. &c.) At any rate, whether or not one receives his or her immunizations does demonstrate a quantifiable means of “measuring” “intent.” That’s an issue I’m going to have to think about because I have just realized it while writing this!

At any rate, I do hope that provided some clarification to some of my thoughts and “perspectives” on things. It even speaks to the “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” bit; although in this situation, action does not necessarily reflect intent – one can be the most angry and bitter person internally but outwardly engage in all kinds of compassionate actions and one would not know his “intent” in doing kind things for others was for self-gratification (or any number of “reasons” / “intentions”). It is an interesting distinction to think about – I will certainly be thinking about this subject more now that I have clearly identified it! I do hope you are all having a happy and healthy end of your weekend or beginning of your week and I will be back soon soon soon!

❤ Always, Beth

I do hope that clarifies matters at least a little bit for the time being!


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