Thursday, October 9, 2014

Everybody Rants, Nobody Listens

This is offered as an observation and hopefully it doesn't come across as a rant. Lord knows there is a plethora of ranting available on the 'Net. But I have been thinking this topic for some time now. We have digressed to the point where discussion is all but non-existent. True arguments have become a thing of the past. People cheer on their side of the culture war and denigrate any opposing views. The attached article eloquently points out the challenges we're having lately. And it definitely feels, perhaps because of my perspective, that any attempt at meaningful discussion is shouted down.

I find that idea that we cannot openly discuss our differences a failure of modern society. As quoted in this article, "Barbarism is not...the forest primeval with all its relatively simple savageries. the lack of reasonable conversation according to reasonable laws." That quote comes from John Courtney Murray. It is scary true.

My dear departed mother was very good at arguing. We enjoyed parrying discussions about pretty much anything under the sun. Sometimes, she would offer to switch sides so we could each argue the other's point. That's an experience. There are only a few people left in the world I can have those kinds of discussions with, my son being one of them. I cherish those discussions. I believe they are one of the joys of life and important to truly discovering what life is all about.

When the norm is to agressively belittle opposing views, everyone loses. Everyone loses culturally. Everyone loses intellectually.

I hope that our society gets back to the point where we can, in good faith, openly discuss our differences.

Read: Ben Affleck and the End of Argument

Photo by Jan Tik

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