I think that there is a more destructive force to society’s well-being than the most wretched excesses of liberalism, than the most wretched detachment of conservatism. It is the habit now so deeply engrained in our culture to choose sides first and start the critical thought process second, if at all; it is the way we have to come to accept our personal paradigms as beyond critique, and to blithely judge others against those uncritiqued paradigms; it is that we come to view our assumptions and values and beliefs as objective, irrefutable fact.
Little moral courage or intellectual rigor is needed to demean others’ views for no reason than they do not conform to our own assumptions. It is child’s play to deride the mistakes and fumblings of those others, and to spin the trivial ones into monstrous errors. But should that become all we are capable of, then we have lost the capacity to perceive the larger scope of matters beyond us and our own narrow sphere. We become unable to grasp, much less appreciate, what we cannot fathom.
I want to go another way.