There are many things that I puzzle over on a regular basis. Over the next few days I’ll attempt lay out some of them—just put them out there—and see where (if anywhere) the conversation goes from there. We’ll call it the “Points to Ponder” series.
The first one is the difficulty that people have in reconciling differences, or the fact that sometimes it’s impossible to agree.
I would define this problem as follows: Two people have different views on a particular topic. The source material is gray, suspicious, or significantly complex to the point that there’s some doubt. At that point, it gets difficult to discuss said topic, and any attempts to discuss that topic only harden both parties to the point that the discussion can wander into the absurd.
Why This Happens
I believe that the main problem behind this is humanity’s desire to be right. Whether it’s the tendency of some people to vote only for the person that they believe will win, to those that are front runners for sports teams, there’s this thing in human nature that desires to be right—regardless of whether we’re proven wrong or shown to stand on weak footing.
This is the part that leads to the absurd. Whereas when we start out it’s an opinion, the more we research the more biased we can become, where even short-fallings in particular argument become strengths and it soon becomes impossible to become objective on the topic—and then the worst step, we’re not objective, but we think we are!
Why It’s Frustrating
Because it’s never just one party that’s dealing with this, but two or more parties, each of them believing their right, and then the stakes get raised such that divisions are made and friends part ways.
At many instances along the discussion, it’s possible for the parties to walk away, but the cost at each level gets higher, as walking away carries with it its own burdens.
Part of the solution is to back away from the argument early, realizing that it’s important to build each other up rather than foster division. Much evil has been done in the world over division and the build up of hostilities.
The earlier that a conflict is diagnosed, and outside help is procured, the best chance that a good resolution can be achieved.
That doesn’t mean that the two parties will come together, but it does mean that fellowship can be maintained.
Just The Beginning
So, now that I laid out the complexity of the nature of the overarching problem, let’s look at some divisive topics that have been wandering in my mind, and see where that gets us.