Wednesday, January 21, 2009

About beliefs and loyalties

This blog will talk a lot about politics and opinions and you may find that my opinions are the same as your own sometimes, but don't expect to find a mirror of your own beliefs here. I notice that many people, when they read political blogs, usually look for ones that simply repeat their own opinions back to them. I probably wont be doing that. I might, but it's unlikely. My own views don't mesh exactly with the platform of either major party in America. If I were a self-aggrandizing pundit, I would probably describe myself as a Rebel, a Maverick, or some kind of bastion of independent thought. I'm not, though, so I'm just going to say that I'm a moderate, albeit a left-leaning one.

Things I say that don't coincide with your own views; I hope that, while you question them, they cause you to think about things in a different angle than they have previously. And things that I say that you do agree with; well, I hope that you question those as well. People really do have a nasty habit of letting ideas and supposed facts that support their beliefs into their head unchecked and unquestioned, while putting up a nearly impenetrable barrier for any idea that might disprove one of their core beliefs. The same is true for people's political affiliations, and saying anything wrong about those.

Don't believe me? Try this: go up to someone you know is a republican, and start talking to them about a made-up probe being conducted on a Republican representative about something illegal but not indicative of corruption (like illegal gambling, or possession if marijuana). Chances are, they'll defend this representative to you, perhaps saying that the probe is unjustified and an invasion of privacy. If you try the same thing with a democrat about a democratic representative, they will do the same thing. If you try talking to someone about a probe against a member of the party they don't affiliate with, they will have the opposite response, admonishing the representative and probably saying the probe is necessary, etc., etc.

The thing is, people have this mental filter. If they hear something that doesn't correspond with their own beliefs or loyalties, they will mentally meet everything they hear with an argument against it. If they hear something that supports their own platform of beliefs, though, they will accept it almost unquestioningly.

There-in lies the problem. You should never let any idea into your head unquestioningly; you should always critically examine what you are told. Even if it supports what you already believe, don't just accept it as face value. Look that gift-horse in the mouth.

It is with this in mind that I ask you to ready my blog. If I say something that makes you nod and say "that's right" to yourself, then stop. Go back, and read it again, asking yourself how my biases (and yours) may be tainting our view of things, and pushing us away from reality. Ask how what I'm trying to prove to you and how I'm trying to prove it, and ask whether my proof really supports my conclusion and whether my conclusion is really true. Don't let your filter down for me (or anyone), even if I'm echoing your own opinions.
On the other hand, if you find me writing something you completely disagree with, I hope you'll consider it and evaluate it fairly.

1 comment:

  1. Might want to choose a different and more exotic format. This looks like the same format as your old one. Otherwise, it looks interesting.