05 February 2010

Point of View, and don't argue with a zealot

There's a good post up at Valley of the Shadow, obviously heartfelt and please forgive the typos which come from the heat of composition.

The post (RTWT) raises the question “Why is there no follow through from the dutiful J-School grads”, and “Why is the Right a target, and not the Left?”

I make a distinction when speaking (and writing) between being “on the Right” (or Left) and being “of the Left” (or Right, as the case may be).

Those who are on a side can be swayed by argument, by rational discourse. Those who are of a side are subject to no such suasion. I flatter myself that I am of the former category.

This is almost a correlary of C. S. Lewis's distinction between two types of athiests – those who don't believe in God, and those who dislike him personally.

It is not possible to argue (and I mean the word in the old fashioned sense of “to present a coherent case for consideration”) with an idealogue. The basic assumptions are not shared. One might as well discuss plane geometry with a non-Euclidian. The postulates are different.

But, back to the topic. Those who are “of” a side seek to prove (or at least demonstrate, a fine distinction) a conclusion that they consider foregone, intuitilvely obvious. That explains the almost Manichean partisanship of those who are “of” a side. One who is not willing to accept the postulates of one's own side it must be due to invinceable ignorance or blind stupidity.

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