Consider slapmyfaceism, the belief that a good hard (or soft) slap on your face is a good thing. So, are you a slapmyfaceist? Would you like one right now?
I am an aslapmyfaceist. You could also say I'm a non-slapmyfaceist, but I prefer to say aslapmyfaceist.
Some people who are slapmyfaceist don't like it much when I criticize their slapmyfaceism. What's wrong with a solid smack on the cheek once in while? Perhaps one before dinner, or at least one at bedtime, eh? No thanks, I just don't want one. Why not? It hurts! So what? I don't like hurting. Et cetera, et cetera.
Often the slapmyfaceist will then proceed to ask what I am if not a slapmyfaceist. Well, I say, I just an aslapmyfaceist. But, that's just a negative. You gotta believe in something!? In terms of slaps on the face, I don't believe in it, I say. But then what? Then nothing. But a belief must be for something, rather than just against, they tend to say. Or shout.
Look, I believe in all sorts of things. For example, I'm a drinkabeerist, and an havealaughist, to mention a few cherished beliefs. But so am I! the slapmyfaceist will say. Those are all together different (and not mutually exclusive) categories Are you a pokeintheeyeist, or a punchinthestomachist (all varities of slapmyfaceism), then? No, I say, none of those. I'm just aslapmyfaceist. I simply think your belief in slapmyfaceism is nonsense. The point in being an aslapmyfaceist is only that. I argue against slapmyfaceism, and that is worthwhile in itself.
Then there are the accommodationists who think that slapmyfaceists and aslapmyfaceists can get along fine, as long as they don't talk negatively about each other. Focus on the things you have in common, like havealaughism. These new aslapmyfaceists just needs to be respectful of the slapmyfaceists and their (otherwise misguided) belief that inflicting some sort of bodily pain is a good thing, for consenting adults as well as little children.
In my opinion the slapmyfaceists are more than welcome to go around slapping themselves and each other on their faces at home, but not in public. Why not in public? Because I believe it is a bad thing, especially when they hit really hard, like the fundamentalists, who believe everyone should get a heavy whack on the mouth whenever they talk to someone - the moderates who just think a weak slap on the cheek once in a while will suffice are more benign, but I still don't see the point (or any evidence that doing so is a good thing). Crucially, keeping this practice out of official institutions, like the government, is important, and the fact that it is unthinkable to be elected president of the US without be some kind of slapmyfaceist is unacceptable. Other nations laugh America in the face because of this ridiculous belief.
And as for children, please keep your slapmyfaceism away from them until they are old enough to decide for themselves. Teach them that there are many different beliefs, such as kickinthebuttism, wedgieism, and pullmyfingerism. That way they will perhaps come to question these beliefs as a whole, and that whether you are a slapmyfaceist or not is mostly dependent on where you were born and the belief of you parents and peers, rather than some spiritual insight that being slapped on the face is better than getting kicked in the butt.
In the matter of Walter Lewin, MIT goes medieval
3 hours ago in The Curious Wavefunction