Saturday, October 15, 2016

Your Duty to Change Your Opinions

The set-up: A man shares a link (which I will not reproduce here) to an article by a woman voting for Trump. She executes the most impressive mental gymnastics in order to allow her support for Trump to coexist with her experiences as a sexually abused woman in America. The natural response to this was a combination of shock and pity by the sharer's female friends. One of his other friends came to his defense, and I couldn't help but respond.

I am so often amazed at how irrational and intolerant people can be when they don't agree with your personal opinion. Guess what? We ALL get a chance to vote, whether you agree, disagree or choose to mock and belittle others.
I'm amazed at how people can't seem to see the difference between people having divergent political views and people calling others out for deplorable, despicable behavior and attitudes, and an utter lack of human dignity.
It's your opinion that another's opinion is divergent, can't you see that? And whether we agree or not, we're entitled to our own.
If you're really arguing that all opinions are equally worthy of respect and that there isn't any way to objectively measure the outcome of those opinions then you've already lost the plot. Please expose yourself to some philosophy and critical thinking instead of echo chambers and kool-aid drinking

Some opinions are harmful in that simply believing them and sharing them with others, let alone acting on them, will cause suffering for you and those around you. If you find yourself in possession of such beliefs, then what you're experiencing right now is called cognitive dissonance. You think of yourself as a good person, you have these beliefs, therefore those beliefs can't be bad. I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but people are flawed. It's possible to believe something sincerely and without malice, but still have that belief cause harm.

It's our duty as members of civilized society to question ourselves and challenge our most cherished, deeply held beliefs with intense scrutiny. The greatest enemy of progress is certainty, and "all opinions are valid" is the most insidious justification of false certainty there is.

"Boys will be boys, if she didn't want to get raped she shouldn't have gone to the party drunk" --- perfectly valid opinion yeah?

"That black man should be hanged for hitting on my white daughter" -- perfectly valid opinion yeah?

"My baby is possessed and needs to be held under water for 10 minutes to exorcise the demon" -- just someone's opinion, right? Totally fine for them to feel that way?

Please wake up. Society needs you to take off your blinders. There are real issues and real problems in the world. you can't just stick your fingers in your ears and tell people to vote for whatever opinion makes them feel good at the moment.

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