Tuesday, May 20, 2003

More Things in Heaven and Earth

Newly discovered (by me, at least) blogger Michael Totten has a great discussion on the true "idiotarians" - they're on either side, and they're each more idiotic than the other. Here's a sample:

"There has been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about idiotarians. They are people motivated primarily by conspiracy theories and hate. They are the jerks with a pathological hatred of George Bush; the hilarious and self-mocking Bush=Hitler crowd. They are also the creeps who have such a vein-popping hatred of liberalism they think God ordered the September 11 attacks to punish us for gay sex and feminism. They blame all the world’s woes on Americans and Jews. Just get rid of Jews, Americans, Republicans, liberals, gays, whatever, and everything will be instantly perfect."
You see, that's all I'm sayin'.

You don't have to be Democrat or Republican (or Libertarian or Green or...) to get sucked into political dogma. It can happen to anyone. But it seems to me that the more absolutely certain you are of the validity and veractiy of your own argument, the better chance that you may actually be wrong.

Far Righters and Far Lefters are convinced their philosophies are absolutely correct, and there is no margin for error. One obvious place this manifests itself is in Conservative Christians, of which we've seen many examples.Now, I'm a Christian but I'm not hardly conservative - I read the Bible, and I believe God's Word but I decide for myself based on the teachings of people I respect. I'm not spoon-fed ideas that would cause me to bash young Pagan girl's into school lockers because they're not Christian. I don't berate them for not believing the same thing I do. I think everyone's free to believe what they want, as long as they let me believe what I want.

It's the same on the Left, as well. You don't hear it much anymore, but how many environmentalists have chained themselves to trees to protest logging, or driven metal spikes into the trees to destroy cutting equipment (and injure and kill workers)? How many threw themselves in front of advancing US forces in Iraq, to protect a devilish regime - simply because to them violence was not an option?

Michael also says:

"Unlike Democrats and Republicans, anti-idiotarians have no party line. Rather, anti-idiotarianism is a disposition, a state of mind. Anti-idiotarians reject conspiracy theories, hatred, bigotry, and stupidity. They reject dogma, including that of the people they vote for. They reject the cult of terror-apologism, anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and general illiberalism. They span the political aisle and dismiss the political margins. They are comfortable with disagreement and have no time for partisan ferrets."
I think the only hope we really have is if more people break free of the hold that the extremes have on them. Life is not black and white, it's many colors and shades - only by recognizing and accepting the possibilities that you might not be exactly correct can we ever learn anything and move forward.

""There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

--From Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - 1601 - Act I. - Scene 5.

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