Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Of Facts and Opinions

Defensiveness and irrationality are highly charged parts of any contentious religious or political discourse.  The reason for this is that at the core of religion is faith, and at the core of politics is theory.  Neither religious faith nor political theory can be conclusively demonstrated by facts.  Since those with a strong often ingrained allegiance to a religion or political theory realize their own deep sense of commitment coincident with a dearth of simple facts to prove beyond question their position, they assume a defensive posture ready in a moment to discount and dismiss the opposition as merely assailants with malignant intent.  Thus, when politics and religion are mixed the result (as in 9 /11) can be explosive.

If two people are friends and one knows the other is defensive about their eyeglasses, the least desirable subject of conversation would be glasses.  Just so, friends particularly if they suspect some degree of disagreement typically do not broach subjects of politics or religion because neither wants to arouse or experience profound anxieties and feelings of vulnerability.  On the other hand, if they are enemies and want to inflict pain on each other, they will rant on the subjects until the wee hours of the morning.

Human beings in the nature of things are obliged to deal with both topics.  The challenge is to bring this about and yet maintain a steady and healthy level of goodwill. To accomplish this we spend a considerable portion of our time with those who agree with us and coincidentally affirm those in opposition by respecting their right to thoughts and opinions arising from their own experience and beliefs.  Whether we consider their politics or religion as legitimate may be open to question, but their role and responsibility to decide for themselves on these matters is not.  

Print Page