The most vicious argument I have ever had revolved around one simple thing I said.

I was very young too, probably about 14.

I didn’t think what I was saying was controversial at all. Not at all.


The person I was arguing with really believed it was the worst thing he had ever heard said.

All I said was that I hope that my generation is better than the one before and that the one after me was better than mine and outstripped me in every way. I also said that if that is not the case then there really isn’t any point.

The person I argued with was a priest.


  1. Generally speaking there are 2 ways of looking at the world and humanity (well 3 if you count Taoists, but they’re hard to find in our society)

    In one, the past was bad and the future will be better. Think evolution, think Star Trek, think any kind of utopian vision. We are growing, changing, technology is improving our lives, we are better off than our ancestors etc

    In the other, the past was good and the future is getting worse. Think Nostalgia, think Eden and the fall of humanity, think “it wasn’t like this in my day, when kids respected their elders, songs had a tune you could hum, and Facebook had everything on one page”

    Nearly everyone (except Taoists) tends to live either in nostalgia or hope.

    Christian priests tend to naturally fall into the past-was-better category. Originally there was Perfection in the Garden of Eden, and in the future there will be the Apocalypse and the final judgement.

    Of course when you’re 14 years old most adult arguments come down to “I’m bigger, older, wiser and have more control over your life than you do and I’m about to prove it…”

  2. There’s also the cynical view (things started off bad, are still bad and will remain bad), the V-graph view (things started off good, are bad now but will get better in the future), the rollercoaster view (things just keep going up and down), the relativist view (things are, have been and will be good, bad or indifferent depending on your point or otherwise of view) and the mellow view (fuck all this for a lark, I’m off to the pub).

  3. Just as Amish elders will argue that the world is flat, Christians cling on to biblical truth despite scientific disproof of most of it and logical disproof of almost all of it.

    I get really pissed off with my kids getting ‘religious education’ at school. ‘I mean dad its like adults believing in Santa Claus’ said my ten year old daughter recently. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

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