Friday, March 27, 2009

Opinions, Impartiality and Respect

Religion and politics.  You know, all those things that you're supposed to avoid in conversations to keep it civil.  Doesn't matter.  It's my blog and I'll write what I want to.

Here's the thing about me and politics.  I have more opinions than I do facts.  In this, I join roughly 93.5% of the population of the world.  My ambition at this moment is to try to do at least a little research as I write about some of the political issues that concern me.  I don't know exactly what form this would take, but I think I would like to write a post about an issue that concerns me and then do a follow up to find 3 reputable sources that confirm and 3 that deny my opinion.  Of course, reputable is a relative term, and I do not intend to go farther than I what I can find on the internet.  Still, there are sites on the internet that are more reputable than others.

I want to try to find some degree of impartiality, but in this world I don't exactly know what that means.  There are so many different issues: pro-life and pro-choice, liberalism and conservatism, opinions about the economy and healthcare.  These are all so divided and so important to each of us.  Take for example the pro-life/pro-choice issue.  By mentioning the simply the words, people are typically violently for one and violently opposed to the other.  To be impartial would mean to judge the issue on the terms of objective means.  Yet, I can think of little that both sides would agree is objective.  I will talk more about truth and being open minded in the next post, but I will say that even though I don't think I can meet everyone's terms for impartiality, I can try to be respectful of everyone whether they agree with me or not. That would involve listening to what they are trying to say rather than listening for words that I can use to turn against them to tear them apart.  It would mean avoiding name calling.  It would also mean avoiding slapping labels and sweeping generalizations on others.

Respecting others does not mean that I can't disagree with them.  I respect a lot of people that I disagree with.  It doesn't mean that I can't give my counterpoint to a point that they are making.  It means that I am respectful in doing so rather than tearing them down.

I know myself well enough to know that I can't always live up to my ideal.  But it's worth striving for.  

1 comment:

  1. For the record, I think you're really good at respectfully disagreeing. (how do you spell that??)

    Anyway, you should teach me your ways. I need more respect in my life, I think. :)