Tuesday, October 24, 2006

If you don't agree with me, you must be stupid!

America these days is a country of strong opinions. Liberals versus conservatives, Democrats versus Republicans, religious versus non-religious. Everyone has their definite point of view and expresses and defends it ardently. It's a wonderful thing really that we live in a country that allows different perspectives and the right to express them. I personally enjoy nothing more than a good debate of the issues. What I don't enjoy however is all of the rancor, name calling and disrespectful behavior that goes along with it these days.

It's easy to understand where the anger and digust come from when someone disagrees with you, it's perfectly natural to think to yourself, "boy, this person doesn't have a clue!". After all if you didn't think you were right you probably wouldn't be saying, whatever. I'm as guilty of this type of reasoning as anyone. It's the, if you don't think like I think then you're stupid, mentality. The problem I believe with this way of thinking is it doesn't allow any of us to actually listen to one another. Let's face it, not everyone who's on the opposite side of any given position is a complete moron. There are intelligent people on both sides of the fence. When we refuse to even hear the other persons points we've made a conscious decision to stop thinking and growing. It's a lot easier to say to yourself, "they're a moron" and stop there, than it is to give any actual thought to their argument and/or investigate their evidence further to see if it has any merit. Granted some peoples arguments, on both sides, are simplistic or not well thought out, but their are those that make intelligent, well researched arguments that deserve to be heard and considered. You may not change your mind, in fact you probably won't, but you may discover information you didn't have or a way of thinking about something that you hadn't thought of, or at the very least a small modicum of respect for someone who just happens to have a different perspective than you. I personally don't think that it's so farfetched to believe that we all have something to offer to the debate and that we could all learn something from each other if we would just stop trying to beat the hell out of one another for a second and listen.


Anonymous Jenn said...

I agree.....most of the time, and while I usually enjoy a well thought out argument even if the other idea is the opposite of mine it doesn't make the person stupid....wrong definitely but not stupid...I digress, there are however things in this world that I hold morally near and dear and will fight to the death over. I truly believe that there is only one "right side" on those issues of morality such as issues surrounding social justice, equality, truth and honesty, ect. and in my oh so humble personal opinion you either agree with me or you are stupid and or morally corrupt. ;-)

10/24/2006 5:34 PM  
Blogger Leo said...

Lol--Good point. There are some issues that, for me also, aren't necessarily open for debate. Thanks for the comment.

10/24/2006 7:19 PM  
Blogger el said...

Yep, opening up to debate is why I became a conservative republican. I was extremely liberal before that, no joke.

10/25/2006 7:56 PM  
Blogger Leo said...

El-Interesting comment. I'm not sure I'm following you on this one..? Do you mean after debating things you became conservative? I did know you used to be liberal cause you've mentioned that before, though I think you transformed (transmuted--hee, just kidding) into a conservative before we met. Seriously though, it's always good to hear from you, I enjoy are lively and civilized debates. Take care.

10/25/2006 11:29 PM  

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