Independent Thought

Independent Thought

Jan 25

I just read a thread on facebook that started with a comment about a certain political figure not getting enough respect. The comments made about the people who disagreed with the original post included the words “asinine,” “idiot,” “hatred,” “moron,” and “clueless.”

Have we seriously gotten to the point where we cannot civilly disagree? Apparently if anyone disagrees with our viewpoint we are morally obligated to be incensed and outraged and to start hurling personal insults against them.

Let’s try a little experiment… think about where and how you get your “news.” Think about the political slant (and they ALL have them). Consider the verbiage used to make their point. Note how your own speech and commentary reflect the same words and concepts as where you obtain your “news.”

Now try and convince me that you are an “independent” thinker.


  1. believe our culture is becoming a “culture” and Facebook is the petri dish. It’s simply a breeding ground for ignorance. People share things without thinking about them, like things because of mob appeal (i.e. everyone else liked this) and make claims on all of the aforementioned like, “SO TRUE!” or “EXACTLY!” When, in fact they do not believe in Truth, but relativism and have not investigated what they report to believe more than sharing and liking.

    NOTE: I will not mentally lump you into that set if you “Like” this. :)

  2. Todd

    Yes, we have gotten to a point where we cannot civilly disagree, and I believe there is a structural reason for it.

    Americans believe that there is something magical about democracy. In truth, a democracy is as bad as any other sort of tyranny if the law does not prevent the mob from imposing their preferences on others (two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner, etc.)

    We find ourselves at a point in our history where our system of government has devolved into a competition between the political left and political right to impose their preferences on others unfettered by real limitations in the law. At the federal level this means “Congress shall make no law…” has transformed into “whatever the people and their corrupt politicians vote for.”

    That is all a long way to get to the point that when you are competing for turf in a lawless environment, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear plenty of playground language. Recognizing that the system is largely unjust, it’s also understandable that arguments are made with passion and anger.

    • Excellent comments, Todd! I especially love your analogy comparing democracy to two wolves and sheep deciding what’s for dinner.

      When everyone votes only their own interests (and I’m tired of hearing about “special” interests), it exemplifies “The Prisoner’s Dilemma”, where by doing what we think is best for ourselves we actually create the worst possible outcome for everyone.

      Somewhere along the way I think our political “ideals” have instead become “idols.”

      • Todd

        The Prisoner’s Dilemma applies perfectly as an explanation for why “lesser of evils” voting keeps both corrupt major political parties in power.

        What was ingenious about the original intent of a strictly limited government was that it essentially turned politics at the national level into a zero-sum game…of course, that original intention didn’t last long.

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