Logical Gal and what’s so wrong with a polemic?

18 Feb

Have you noticed how one can hardly open one’s mouth before being accused of offering a ‘wrong’ opinion?

It’s like the public climate has grown so childishly sensitive as not to be able to be in the presence of a differing point of view.

Yet, why should we expect everyone to think like us?  Where did that pre-supposition come from?

When berated by someone who holds a counter view, I would appreciate the opportunity to explain why I hold my belief. A friendly exchange of ideas would benefit both of us.  But time doesn’t allow for it these days.  The tendency seems to be this:

  • I can’t be bothered to invest MY time and energy into paying attention and following your line of reasoning.  It’s easier to just dismiss you and your _____view, and hold fast to mine.  In other words, it’s easier NOT to think.   Thinking requires I say no to skimming what’s new and breaking and concentrate on what you’re saying. That takes effort. Can’t be bothered.  So long!

But that’s not all!  Not only are thinking people who advance a minority view not given the opportunity to supply evidence and reasons for their opinion, thus forming an argument, they are also met with incredulity that they even HOLD such a belief.

A while back my husband created an instructional video on how to use a decision-making model.  He chose global warming as a complex, contemporary issue.  A viewer took exception with some of the alternative pathways offered in the model.  This man left a dismissive comment to the effect, “This is pure polemic masquerading as instruction!”

A drive-by comment leaves no room for dialogue.  Had my husband been able to respond in person, I think an appropriate remark would have been a question-laden invitation such as, “So… your point is???”

But the viewer was off and running to the next opportunity to drop in and leave his calling card.

Makes me wonder about Americans who once stood for hours, even in the rain, to follow attentively the logical discourse of those Lincoln-Douglas Debates back in the late 1850s.

Lincoln Douglas




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