ARE YOU A DEVOUTLY RELIGIOUS PERSON?
If, yes--this is for you.
INTELLECTUAL HONESTY is a willingness to be wrong when facts and evidence clash with beliefs.
Lacking NEUTRAL OBJECTIVITY, people can’t really listen! They defensively filter anything which clashes with belief.
Some people don't listen because they are waiting for you to shut up SO THEY CAN SET YOU STRAIGHT.
True Believers refuse to read anything that disagrees with their worldview, to them, open-mindedness is weakness and disloyalty.
I'm talking to you if you're like that, because-- I was you.
Over the years, as a Jehovah's Witness I was impossible to reason with. Even after I left the Organization, I was obstinate, argumentative, and mean-spirited.
It takes years to mellow, to listen, to come to the jarring realization MY OPINIONS have zero value in making this world a better place.
Strong opinions separate people from each other. Knowing when to keep my opinion to myself is the hardest life lesson a person like me can learn.
What is required, is a CALL to ACTION at the end of an opinion, as you'll now see...
AND NOW, A TWIST ENDING!
You didn’t see this one coming...read on!
Political Beliefs are not substantively different from Religious orthodoxy.
Political Hardliners can be narrow-minded and defensive/offensive as religious ones.
Pointing your finger and telling others how wrong they are is not only rude, egotistical, obnoxious, but immoral too.
Emotional orthodoxy is poisonous oppression.
There is a reason why Religion and Politics are constantly mentioned in the same breath: mean-spiritedness soon appears.
Both are BELIEFS because you don't try to disconfirm them without outside evidence.
Your opinion is not TRUTH; truth corresponds to reality: the way things really are rather than how we desire them to be.
“True Believers” are often what is wrong with our world because they are absolutely impossible to reason or deal with--so eager are they to have their way become the ONLY way. Often this ends in violence.
Why am I telling you this? Is it to “wake you up?”
BELIEF is hard-wired and baked into certain people’s personality.
It is part of the variety of nature.
I just want you to reckon with self-awareness as to what you are doing to yourself and others.
You CAN moderate your behavior. You won't be able to change it.
Are you Politic-o-holic?
Can you just not shut up about the recent election, for instance?
Wake up! You aren't going to change anybody with your rants. What you are going to do is change public discourse into hatred and poison.
Why would you do that?
You are losing friends and loved ones---is it worth it just running off at the mouth with negative comments day and night week in and week out?
Remember: INTELLECTUAL HONESTY is a willingness to be wrong rather than an insistence on being right.
Lacking NEUTRAL OBJECTIVITY, political people can’t really listen at all--because they just know they are right.
BEWARE of ideology if it is making you obnoxious and irrepressible. Try to listen. Try to change your openness to the ideas and opinions of others.
We all live together. Why make each other uncomfortable, defensive, emotional and resentful?
You can make a difference in this world--sometimes--just by shutting the hell up:)
(If that is what it takes)