A Necessary Conversation for the Times

This article written by Jonathon Haidt has really hit the mark for me. I’ve always hated the duality of our current political system, this red/blue divide which has done little to promote any sense of unity I might feel with my country and my community. And Haidt’s article has done a lot to clear up my confusion about the ideology of people who, I am told, are on the ‘other side.’

There is an undercurrent to this divide that threatens us. When it becomes more about an imagined evil represented by those who stand for something different than us instead of about the ideas and organization of principles the threat grows larger. To dispel this undercurrent I think we must see that our differences are of ideologies, of values, not a true difference of intention. We all seek to do what we think is right and we are blatantly erroneous when we think that we are better or somehow more just; the universe does not inherently define laws of value, we have decided to take that burden unto ourselves.

We must try to truly understand the values of those who differ ideologically from ourselves. We must seek to find the merit in their beliefs, and if we still feel we have just cause for keeping to our ideologies we must find the language to express that cause; why we feel following the organization of our principles will lead to a better world.

And we must listen goddammit. We must allow others to express fully their ‘just cause’ so that we may understand more deeply the ideologies apart from our own. So that we can discard our shallow understandings and grasp the knowledge of not just what principals they stand for, but why they are stood for.

More on this and similar topics later. Thanks for reading.

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One Response to “A Necessary Conversation for the Times”

  1. D Silberstein Says:

    Excellent article by Haidt, but it would have been stronger if he more directly addressed the use of power, or more accurately the mis-use of it. I realize it relates to the “fairness/reciprocity” and “authority/respect” issues, but liberals’ moral demand for greater transparency and less corruption seems to be at the heart of their outrage about conservative moral hypocrisy.

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