This I Believe

Far too often, the authoritarian left employs a disturbingly effective tactic: they convince others that their opponents have beliefs that are unsupported by the evidence of their rhetoric.  You raise doubt whether a specific encounter is motivated by race?  Well, you must have unpleasant ideas with regard to race!  (SJWs would call this “gaslighting” if the opposition engaged in the same activity.)

I thought it might be useful and fun to tell my wonderful readers about the beliefs that motivate me so you don’t have to hear it from someone else.

I believe that every human being deserves equal opportunity, regardless of race, gender or any similar trait.  Instead, we should be judged primarily on the basis of our hard work, our passion and the quality of what we produce.  All of humanity suffers a loss when one human tells another he or she can’t achieve a goal solely on the basis of race or gender.

I believe that life should primarily be lived on the basis of reality.  Vaccines do not cause autism.  Choosing to believe so in spite of all of the evidence pushes you further into a fantasy world.  We must keep the comforting delusions in our hearts to a minimum.

I believe that people are entitled to their beliefs, but they are not entitled to their own facts.  We must understand that laws and policies are not based upon our personal desires, no matter how strong they may be.  They are instead based (in the United States) on the Constitution, which is in turn based on Enlightenment values.

I believe that we have a responsibility to each other, no matter how we wish to deny it.  We will debate the specifics of that responsibility, but we need public roads, schools, parks, fire departments and more.

I believe that the Internet, a medium that offers us such grand possibility, is being used at times to suppress free expression.  We must look beyond the one-sided media we are often being spoon-fed on both sides of the ideological spectrum.

I believe that mercy should be a large part of our worldview.  We must argue with more light, less heat and the same amount of passion.  We may not have a legal obligation to come into contact with contradictory thoughts, but we have no right to add more consequences to free speech than are necessary.  The next time you’re offended, remind yourself of the last time you were having a horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad day.

I believe there are a few stories for which there aren’t two sides.  Same-sex marriage?  If the government is going to be in the marriage business in the first place, then consenting adults should be able to enter just about any contractual agreement they like.  Evolutionary biology?  Sorry.  The Earth is not 6,000 years old.  Just isn’t.

I believe that people are far more complicated than the small boxes into which we like to confine others.  We must try to find the humanity in our enemies and to relate to them as fellow human beings.  Think of Christopher Hitchens.  The man was always happy to engage in strident rhetorical combat, and always hoped that evening would end with he and his opponent in a bar, bending their elbows as their debate continued.

I believe that being offended entitles you only to earnest response, not to a pat on the head, a cookie and someone to tuck you in for a nap.

I believe that hypocrisy and disingenuous argument are far greater sins than “offending” others.  Policing language and, by extension, thought are unacceptable violations of the compact we have with each other in a free society.  Non-authoritarian government is inherently messy and far better than the alternative.

I believe that many of our problems will continue to fester until we take a stand against those who waste our time by complaining about obvious trivialities instead of confronting society’s flaws on a basis of rational argument.


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