I wrote this on another blog a few days after the Tuscon Tragedy..
From a philosophical point of view, I find that almost everyone will see and hear what they want to (see and hear). Many claim that they are being objective, but, from my unbiased observation (HA!). they are actually filtering everything through a pre-disposed reference point. In other words, if 100 people were to observe any event, each would come away with their own interpretation about what they experienced. In reading the highly passionate and often aggressive postings here and on other sites over the last few days, it has become crystal clear to me that my assertion has been repeatedly proven.
I’d like to think of myself as a slightly left-leaning centrist and, from that POV, I can usually be fairly objective and am able to empathize with both sides of any conversation. That being said, it is laughable to me how far some people are willing to go to rationalize their perspective. And, judging from their level of writing style and their mastery of the English language, I’d have to guess that they are pretty intelligent people (and, I imagined that that intelligence would translate to a higher level of tolerance and common sense) It never ceases to amaze me how someone can spend so much time and energy defending an obviously untenable position. Of course, this may be more a product of my own unconscious biases than any real illogical assertions by the “other” poster.
So, what does all this mean? To me, it just seems insanely counter-productive for us to keep hammering away at each other just to prove we are “right” over every little seeming infraction perpetrated by the “other side”. I haven’t seen anyone budge an iota from their position, no matter how much “proof” is endlessly spouted at them. Other than hearing (and seeing) their own self-righteous spewings on a thread, does this blattering serve any real, positive end? The “other side” is obviously not going to suddenly have an epiphany and wholeheartedly embrace their assertions.Can we, as a species, afford the luxury of pointless, unending, non-productive, self-promoting posturing?
Am I the only one who sees that Rome is burning while we are fiddling??
After re-reading this, I’d like to add this: It is perfectly OK (and unavoidable) that each of us have our own opinions and beliefs. What seems to be causing all the problems is that many of us have forgotten (or choose to overlook) the obviously debilitating and impossibly polarizing effect of confusing those opinions and beliefs with “facts” and “truth”. Can’t we just drop our overwhelming need to be “right” and just sit down as intelligent human beings and have a conversation that works toward finding some common ground? Our very existence may depend on it!!