How to not be a Dumb-Ass
Differentiate Between Ideas
- Every issue you are faced with, nine times out of ten, will be somewhat different than every other issue you are faced with. Even if the ideas seem to be identical in context, there is no single remedy that solves even the most similar of occurrences. This is why things like abortion, the death penalty, and war are a big “no-no” for some, but if the reasoning behind each of those concepts are because it “involves killing” or because a “life is a life”, you might need to do some rethinking. A person can have a “No Violence” blanketed-mindset and link things like Abortion and the Death Penalty together, not realizing that both, although similar, differ in great ways. It’s good to be grounded with certain moralities, but it’s equally important to see each case as an individual/unique scenario.
Stop the “Listener’s Block”
- Ever been in a heated argument with someone and while they are trying to explain their point, you are instantly conjuring up ways to rebut them? Stop. Just… Stop. An opinion is technically never “right” per se, but when two people argue it’s not about being right, it’s about proving why the opposition is “less right”. By doing this all that happens is one side gets a diluted interpretation of the opposing argument rather than a clear understanding of complex ideologies. There are critical reasons to why two fighting people are so attached to their specific convictions. By turning off the voice in your head for a second, you just might begin to understand at least bits-and-pieces of the position you are at war with. If worse comes to worse, at least you are better equipped mentally for the next time you argue with the same opposing idea later in life. In the words of Zach DeLa Rocha, “Know your enemy”.
Eliminate Your “Secret” Double Standard(s)
- This is the hardest one of all. Although #1 deals greatly with a treacherous term coined “Cognitive Dissonance”, eliminating the double standard is by far the hardest to recognize, let alone battle. Not to corner a specific group (but that’s how it’ll come off anyway) but the title “Feminism” is not the right term for the actual motives. The “Civil Rights” movement didn’t make being black an advantageous trait. It called for EVERYONE to be equal no matter race or gender, and the title alone projects such truths. If I want Red and Blue to be equal, but call my movement “Redism”, what volume does that speak at? Off the bat the word “Feminism” draws in a crowd of strong-willed women (and some men), but doesn’t appease to a larger percentage of male counterparts that may be 100% supportive of the group’s goals. There is no secret that Fascism is at war with Equalitarianism; Idolism is at war with Individualism; Feminism is at war with… In other words, look out for the contradictions you find yourself between and approach them. Also try to minimize the times you play on both sides of the fence and define what it is you are truly trying to achieve.