Sunday, April 24, 2005

an unlikely coincidence of uncommon sense

Being a junkie isn’t always a negative personal quality. That is…information junkie. After reading only a couple of my posts, one realizes that my thoughts and opinions don’t fit squarely into any of the tidy subsets along the political spectrum. Am I trying to buck the system for the sake of “individuality”…not hardly. The truth is that I really do my level best to weigh any and every issue, hopefully coming away with a reasoned position. This, of necessity, means that I entertain a wide range of ideas, including those that I perceive to be the antithesis of my own. Not being perfect, this intellectual sifting will be the work of a lifetime. As it happens, I’m not alone in this, which is heartening; I have two recent examples of this from my blogroll.

First, there’s dadahead, a self-described socialist. Whatever one thinks of his philosophy, he is to be commended for passionately (and often satirically) defending his point of view. In a post railing against prejudice reinforcement, dadahead wrote:
Many of the people who read this blog are to my right politically, and disagree with me often, and sometimes tell me so. What's wrong with that? Why do so many conservatives go out of their way to avoid hearing any dissenting opinions?
I’ll echo this sentiment…what’s wrong with subjecting your precious world view to scrutiny? Another great example of this comes from Stephen Littau of Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds. In a post entitled What I Have Learned From Air America: Part 1, he writes:
I am a very curious person that is not afraid to be challenged by views different from my own (I am increasingly noticing that many of the views of conservative radio are different from mine as it is so this is not really all that different). I am very comfortable with my political philosophy and my philosophy in general – perhaps too comfortable. Challenging one’s views is the best way to make one’s arguments stronger. By forcing oneself to consider new arguments and overcoming these arguments through reason, if one’s arguments are sound, he or she should not be afraid to be challenged by contrary opinions.
Rigorous debate is the cure for a myopic political philosophy…provided that the participants are willing to bring open minds to the fight. An obvious counter example is the cable news “debates”, in which two heads scream talking points at one another in rapid fire succession. Can such do anything other than cement the color-coded dogma that is American politics?