Stop being so scared of being wrong

August 3, 2011 · Posted in Activism, Arguments About Arguments · 5 Comments 

There are several things in the world I feel quite strongly about, and consequently can’t keep my mouth shut when I think someone is very wrong about them. In that regard the last few weeks have been pretty intense online. There has been a lot of talk in Finnish internet circles about gay marriages (thanks to our new minister of interior being a fundamentalist Christian), gun laws and gun control (thanks to the atrocity in Norway), gender and sexual politics (thanks to a journalist saying school shootings and the Norway incident happened because young guys can’t get enough sex) and I even got one totally random anti-vaccination nut thrown in.

Although I feel strongly about these subjects, I’m usually not on the extreme ends of the opinions. I’m not interested in being right, I strive for rational discussions aimed for a functional solution. This is often a very thankless point of view: usually you find yourself slogging through the gray area, doing dull stuff like researching the issue, and being shouted at by the pundits of both extremes who can’t be arsed to even check their sources. Usually these people operate under the mistake that their personal matters of taste, personal beliefs and philosophies, or other unexamined opinions should be on equal level with researched arguments. “I think gays are disgusting, they should stay in the closet.” “Well I certainly don’t see the appeal or sense in shooting sports, so they are of no value.” etc.

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