Monday, March 14, 2011

Convictions are Infectious

There are always people telling us what we want, how they will provide it, and what we should believe. Convictions are infectious, and people can make others convinced of almost anything. We are typically ready to believe that our ways, our beliefs, our religion, our politics are better than theirs, or that our God-given rights trump theirs or that our interests require defensive or pre-empitive strikes against them. In the end, it is ideas for which people kill each other. It is because of ideas about what the others are like, or who we are, or what our intersts require, that we go to war, or oppress others with a good conscience, or even sometimes acquiesce in our oppression by others. When these beliefs involve the sleep of reason, critical awakening is the antidote. Reflection enables us to step back, to see our perspective on a situation as perhaps distorted or blind, at the very least to see if there is argument for preferring our ways, or whether it is just subjective.

from the book Think * Simon Blackburn


  1. How true. Self-righteousness and the inability to see other people's point of view is what's leading to our downfall as a nation. At very least our lawmakers who are elected to represent all the peoples of their state and country should be listening and compromising on behalf of their constituency to the betterment of ALL people. Not just to the appeasement of their lobbyists.

  2. Thank you for the feedback. I agree with you 100%.