I tweeted something of a stream of consciousness the other day, about the recent vote on same-sex marriage in Ireland, and in particular against the response to those who vainly railed against it.
I managed to Storify it over here, and I’m re-creating it below as well, because apparently I’m some sort of multi-platform SEO-conscious content-guru now. Ha. Oh god I hope I’m joking.
Finally watched the video the #VoteNo campaign seemed to think was their trump card, and I’m glad I did.
It’s still quite wrong, and #VoteYes was undoubtedly a triumph for compassion and equality and basic good sense.
But there’s more of a case to argue against than blunt, nuanceless, medieval homophobia fuelled by nothing but hateful bigotry.
Anything that reminds me that my ideological opponents didn’t all just wake up and decide to be evil anti-humanists is worth looking at.
It’s a much more feeble victory to be right about #VoteYes if we can’t sincerely and compassionately consider the arguments against.
Which doesn’t mean agreeing with anything they say or accepting that they have a point. They don’t! They’re still wrong!
But I spent too long doing that instinctive flinch thing against the whole #VoteNo tribe and made their wrongness their defining trait.
You do your own philosophy a disservice if you only let it be challenged by the weakest caricatures of the other side.
There can be nuance and intelligence to what your enemy is saying – and maybe even truth, if you try hard enough to understand them.
It’s a rare but vital skill to be able to do that, without flinching defensively against the feeling that your world(view) is under assault.
I still kinda suck at it. As ever, this is a note to self more than a lecture to others.
This has been “I should figure out how Storify works for this kind of thing. And hey, didn’t I used to have a blog?” with me, @writerJames.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled radio silence while I read Neal Stephenson books on my kindle in the bath.