top of page

Pretentiousness In Norms -- Norms As a Flawed Philosophy to Live By

Updated: May 21

(2023 Note: Now that I compared myself to other autists, I've realized I have Asperger's Syndrome, which can be considered part of ASD, or the Autism Spectrum Disorders. I, however, am no longer sure if I am indeed an autist, even though I was diagnosed. Please, take this article with a grain of salt, as I expect you to do, with any of my articles).

There is a very automatic assumption in the field of norms: that he who is "perfectly normal" is also "perfectly okay." However, this is a false assumption, as desired traits such as kindness, charm, and good manners can be used as a front to hide who you really are. Furthermore, some people may use their normal status in society as a front to be jerks towards those who are not normal.

Human beings are easily manipulated. By manipulation, I refer to the ways in which you can persuade others. If you appear charming to someone and are good at it, you may win their admiration, even if you are not the person you really are in their mind.

Concealing is important and is sometimes okay, such as when you deserve privacy. However, it is not okay to use normalcy as an excuse to be a jerk to the outsiders of society.

It is not true that everyone is capable of normalcy. Some people are just too eccentric for their own good. I may offend you, accidently, because I'm autistic, and autistic people can be insensitive to others. Intentionally or otherwise. I may come off as arrogant, even though I view myself as a means to an end, and not the end-all-be-all of my existence.

In other words, I see myself as a tool for my work, and little else. Feel free to think otherwise, but you cannot read my mind, can you? Rely on my honesty, or deceive yourself into thinking that I am being dishonest. The choice is yours to make.

I have already been treated poorly by others due to my eccentricity. This is all the more reason to not be a social being. Not all humans are social beings because not all humans enjoy socializing. Not all people like to hang out, and of course, not all interactions with others are social. It is nonsensical to deem every single interaction with others as social, because socializing is a recreational activity.

We don't have to socialize with the cashier to have food, correct? We can simply pay and be on our way. This cooperation does not require anything but a financial transaction.

I, on the other hand, never find much joy in socializing. When I communicate with someone, from a new visitor to my most loyal of readers, it is done for a reason that has nothing to do with recreation. For I have the mentality of either a businessman or a military officer. See me as proof to the incorrect assumption that all humans are social beings. If I wanted extensive solitude, I would be in it like I have been for much of my life.

There is a certain "curse" in being eccentric by default. However, it does not mean that there is something deeply flawed in you. Being weird, by itself, is not a flaw. If you have very esoteric interests, it does not mean it's not okay to have those, just because many people do not share your preferences.

An anonymous person online talked about their overwhelming experience in a big social event. Some autistic people may suffer from sensory problems, like I struggle very much with sound (misophonia). So, I offered my own insight on such matters:

"If I were you, I would handle the problem at its source and not attend at all. If people question or think negatively of me, that is their own prerogative. I do not care. They are also free to find another victim to listen to their sacred norm teachings."

I wrote this to show that it's false to think that norms know what's best for us. Why would someone with misophonia enjoy a noisy nightclub or a music concert, for instance? I attended one when I was a child, by a famous Israeli musician (Shalom Enoch, I believe). It was one of the most horrible nights in my life and I regret every second of it.

It is not to say that Shalom Enoch is a bad musician. It is not even to say that I have bad taste in music. It is simply not wise to expect everyone to do the same things, just because they are considered normal. It is also unrealistic to think that someone is flawed because they are unable or find it difficult to comply with norms.

Let me say this for now: It is pretentious to believe that norms are absolutely positive, because they clearly are not. We should not apply the teachings of norms to every single member of society. For example, if a young man or woman needs a cane, and it is considered abnormal for young adults to use them in public, would it be wise to take away their canes? Of course not, especially if they struggle walking extensively for whatever reason.

We should not be too anxious about what others will think of us. Why? Firstly, not everyone knows what is good for us, so seeing other people as figures of authority, just because they are not us, is a poor decision. Secondly, submitting to others' expectations of us can clearly limit our potential to be more successful and to actualize our ambitions.

I guess women in some cultures may know this better than me? Being limited from doing things because you are a woman is discrimination and a collective limitation of a society's overall potential. Should women just stay in the kitchen? "Well done" for limiting a whole demographic from contributing greatly to society.

Less workers, less businesses, and less leaders. Be reasonable.

So when I might be criticized for not being reliable when it comes to society, because I am an autist, I am not upset. After all, people are free to believe their own delusions and regard them as fact.

I will still resume writing about society, just like I did when I devised Political Rubinshteinism. Or when I created a guide for a post apocalyptic society. Why should I be triggered by nonsense, made by people who might not be aware that people with autism can still learn about social matters and improve?

Just so you know, I have a list of social guidelines to avoid making foolish mistakes. Do you think that people with autism cannot learn from their mistakes when interacting with others? Of course, people with autism can learn from lists that they themselves create. I have said enough, but I came up with the idea of having a list in the first place.

To conclude, I believe it is safe to argue that norms have the potential to be flawed and even illogical. It is unwise to rely on a set of codes that are flawed, especially if done religiously.

Remember, norms can be considered a term in ethics, which is a branch of philosophy. The purpose of norms is to teach us how to behave best in society.

They are not objective facts, but . If the wisdom they provide is flawed and can be improved upon, why follow them so closely? Why take them so seriously when a better philosophy can be created or discovered instead?

To reduce bias, I will state that I am aware of the importance of not going outside without clothes. I also know that it is important not to salute like a Nazi when in Israel. Do you think I am a complete anarchist? Finally, I am aware that it is important not to do both at the same time while in Israel.

By not complying with norms, I am not saying that you should go to Israel and salute like a Nazi while nude. No, of course not. I am saying that you should not obey norms when it is unwise to do so, not when it is wise. It is wise to dress sharply when going to an interview. It is wise to be polite to those who deserve it. It is not wise to take off your clothes, and you already know the end of that sentence.

I am successful in what I do because I minimize the importance of norms. Would you say it is normal for a man with no degrees to run a philosophy blog at his 20's?

Of course not, and that is why eccentricity is not necessarily flawed. Sometimes, it is extraordinary. And we should not fear it, be jealous of it, or even feel threatened by it. I am a philosopher, not a serial killer. The only thing I murder is microwave food, and it's not even meat. It's soy!

And why should I fear norms as if they deserve the same treatment as an official law, when I can build an empire instead?

104 views0 comments


Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

צילום מסך 2023-11-02 202752.png
bottom of page