Flies In Amber

By | Sunday, September 07, 2008 1 comment
Let's dump on the Amish today! (Stay with me; this does actually relate to comics.)

What is it with these folks? Oh, I've got no problem with the religion or anything, but I don't understand their resistance to technological progress. I can understand not wanting to be rushing around, caught up in the hustle and bustle of the 21st century so they can focus on their religion, but what was the thought behind limiting what technology they use only to a specific point? Why do they refuse to adopt any technology invented in the last 100 years? They don't have a problem with SOME technology -- hand water pumps are fine, they have an early form of shock absorbers on their carriages, somebody had to learn how to spin wool... Those are all functions of technology. Heck, even the wheel is a technological invention! And every one of those pieces of technology has been used to make life easier on mankind. The Amish don't have to carry buckets from the river for water, they don't have loads bouncing out of carriages all the time, and they wear clothing that's a darn bit more comfortable and efficient than a torn piece of animal flesh.

And what I also don't get is that the claim is that they want to focus on their religion and not the ostentatiousness of more contemporary trappings. But that means that they live their lives doing back-breaking labor all day. Farming ain't easy, and I'm by no means about to mock that profession! But if they had a generic office job, there's more than a fair chance that they'd actually have MORE free time to focus on religion. So why say, "Nope; we don't need any more advancements, thanks"?

The whole concept of trying to freeze one's society in a hermetically sealed bubble is, in the first place, impractical given the increasing encroachment of other groups. In the second place, it's insanely arrogant to make the claim -- even if it's not forced on outsiders -- that things have moved on enough, and there's absolutely no need to continue even trying to advance. They're saying, in effect, that they've considered every option of what is and what will ever be and decided that there's no need for it. There's nothing anyone will ever create or come up with that will help them or improve their lives or make it better/easier to act on their faith. Everything that is and will ever be worthwhile was in the past.

And while we're on the subject, Amazing Spider-Man was much better 25 years ago when I first started reading it.

DISCLAIMER: I know that I'm unfairly characterizing the Amish by using a broad, not-really-accurate stereotype like I just did, but I was trying to make a point.
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Anonymous said...

Yeah that was good, thanks for the laugh. :)