Monday, February 13, 2012

Two Sides But The Same Coin

Every coin has two sides, Heads and tails (Obverse). But unless you are a numismatist no matter what side of the coin you are observing it has the same value. Heads or tails  a US Dime is worth only ten cents. Even though the sides look different they are actually the same in total value. I have come to notice that this is the same in observing sides of different issues which seem to take place in the public discourse. Only instead of calling it the Heads, and Obverse we call it Pro and Con. The people arguing the sides are seemingly different but they are very much of the same core.

The Bill Mahrs of this world confess a real dislike for organized religion. Much of what they say has validity but it is cloaked in what sounds like real hate which seems to be encouraging the listener to join them in their disregard for the very religion in which they were reared. They appeal to your intellect and do the utmost to take you along the road of hating because of what history tells us of the many injustices foisted upon humanity from organized religion. They never recognize the good contributed by these groups to the human race. They put forth the argument that the followers are being misled by corrupt leadership. Whoever disagrees are rejected as being duped or stupid.

The other side of this coin are those who are recent converts or returnees to the religion they rejected. They are suddenly "saved" and those who do not follow their precepts are not. Therefore, they set out to evangelize everyone and anyone who they can corner. Their references to written proof, the Bible, The Koran, what have you, is frequently quoted as though they understand that what they are quoting happens to be the result of many translations and handed down stories for hundreds of years before they were written. Thus it never occurs to them that perhaps word for word belief might very well not be the thing to hang one's hat on but rather the intent, the spirit of it all. Further they defer to leaders as though they are infallible even though history, past and present, shows they are far from infallible. The fact is the leaders are very human with human failings and knowledge. Yet the recent converts and returnees say the Lord speaks through them and the writings they quote and if you do not follow it you are being duped (by the devil?) or stupid. In other words follow them or die. Sound like the other side of this conversation? They are really more alike than they think.

Think about it. Every argument has two side but somehow in their differences they sound very much alike. There are blind sides to every argument, the good in the opponent's arguments that the other side refuses to see because if they acknowledged that there is good on the other side then they see it as making their argument less potent. The search for truth must examine all parts of the argument without biases in order to reach the goal but if one is already predisposed as to what answer they want this can never happen. Perhaps this is what is wrong with the American political system. Each side wants to prove their point but not because they are searching for a correct answer to the problem but to keep their position of power within the society. The Democrats and the Republicans are really interested in getting enough followers, voters, to keep them in the position of power and they do not really want to come to solutions which will benefit all, from the poorest to the richest, rather they are interested in only solidifying their power base.

I guess we should beware the ones who claim to be the true believers and search for what truth we can implement in our own lives.      

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