Thursday, September 27, 2012

Winners And Losers

This has got to stop.    I'm not sure if this is a growing trend, or a trend that is just now coming to light because of the internet, but either way, it has to end.

It seems that debates, regarding just about every subject, are pared down quickly into abstract, unreal, and exaggerated points of view.

The competition to "win" the debate, I think is to blame.    Instead of admitting weaknesses in one's own argument, people will insist that there is absolutely no weakness in their argument.   Instead of allowing that their opponent in the debate has some valid points, people will deny that their opponent knows anything about the subject.  Not only are such debates futile, they prevent any real truth from being discovered.  Instead of stating facts, people's arguments devolve into meaningless talking points and propaganda.

No one owns all the facts.  No one is completely right or completely wrong.

In debatable matters, No one is completely correct or completely incorrect.   No one is completely innocent or completely guilty.   No one is a total victim while the other is a total criminal.    No one is 100% good or 100% bad.   No one knows everything and no one is completely ignorant.

In the same vein, you cannot judge and label any person to be completely one thing or another.  Even Hitler, perhaps the most sinister person to have ever lived, was not 100 percent evil.  His paintings show that he had an artistic talent and sensitivity, he loved dogs, and he truly cared for Eva Braun.   I don't say this in defense of the man, but only to prove that no label of a person is completely correct.   On the flip side, whoever may be your hero, and in whom is see absolutely no wrong, trust me, he's not perfect (or her, depending on whom you idolize).

This applies not only to people but to everything - both intellectual and material.  Regardless of the issue being debated, there are no absolutes.  If we could just keep this in mind when we discuss things, we would be much better off.   We would be more open minded, willing to admit our mistakes, and from that we would grow, both intellectually, and in character.