I don’t have religious commitments. I believe in hierarchies of privilege, social places. I’m intrigued by circumstances, by people’s responses, what things they believe and need to believe and so on.
I think that people’s religious positions, or their admiration for nature or whatever else it might be, depends often on the ability they have to be in comparatively healthy, clean, privileged positions. I can admire the ocean right now, for example, but that’s a function of me being able to sit here and look at it, and not have an investment of whether I’ll get fish from it, those kinds of things. It’s a matter of privilege.
It’s a matter of observing different – through travel and so on – circumstances that people are in, and different situations in the world. Those are the kind of experiences I suppose that led me where I am.
The world can be a better place for some people under some circumstances. But often that can mean that it’s a worse situation for an awful lot of other people. We see the accumulation of wealth in fewer and fewer people, we see growth in poverty, depletion of the environment, and so on, which is partially at the cost of other people being more affluent. So the world could be a better place but it’s unlikely.
I guess it’s a contributing reason why I don’t identify with a particular religion. I think that for example, often Christian beliefs are bought at the price of non-Christians. One is a Christian or one isn’t and therefore you deserve to be treated specially because of that set of beliefs. There’s a politics around them.
A lifestyle choice is only partially choice. You’re in a certain situation, like you are, for example, where an education is a possibility. I suppose it’s a choice for you to go on and get a degree or not or whatever, but did it seem like a choice you’re making? Or did it seem like an inevitability in a way? ‘Oh okay, well I can do that.’ I guess that’s a choice but it’s a pretty easy one. You got parents, or expectations or friends who are doing that too. So I’m saying it’s not much of a choice. Because you’re already in a small select group of people. So I’d rather call it ‘lifestyle circumstances’ than ‘lifestyle choices’.
For sure it’s a pessimistic worldview. Pessimistic in the sense that I don’t seek out anything more than that people are responding as best they can to how, where, when they live. I don’t think that’s pessimistic per se.