I have serious philosophical and ethical disagreements with pretty much everyone who isn't my sister, mother or uncle. I certainly have no political, religious, or ideological affiliations. My good friend and tutor at university used to say, with a laugh, that she had never known someone whose perspective was like mine. That's never stopped me befriending other people, appreciating them, liking them and 19 times out of 20 keeping my mouth closed when I find their ideas foolish or even offensive, out of respect for them. I prefer to see the admirable qualities, to cultivate friendship, to share a good laugh, and on those rare occasions where hostility does arise, not to let that ever sever me from people. Plus their perspective always carries wisdom, even if I think, in my personal biased view, that it's a twisted sort. A little humility, if I may be so bold, goes a long way. Other people aren't going to agree with you, or think that your particular viewpoint and perspective is, by their own standards, entirely reasonable, ethical or sensible. It might even anger you. But in my worldview, the ideology, the belief, the politics, the religion, is entirely separate from the individual. Now, I know that's not how the majority see it; to the majority, a person is
, to all intents and purposes, their beliefs and affiliations. You can be the enemy of So-and-so the *insert thing you don't like here*, but that's not the same as so-and-so the person. If you lived hundreds of years ago in any culture, you'd probably be perfectly happy with the idea of slavery in some form, and view it as a normal part of life. Would that make you a "bad person?"
You know what my favourite TV show as a child was? The animated Animals of Farthing Wood
. In retrospect, I can think of no greater message for children that the one it offers:
"You are on a long and often difficult journey with a bunch of people you aren't even sure you like
half the time, trying to take care of one another even when you rather wouldn't, and sticking in there together despite bickering two thirds of the time. Because you are all worthy individuals who are part of a community, and that is what matters most".
In fact, I think of my favourite fiction: Babylon 5, Farscape
, etc. It's rather the way my mind works. Things like opinions and beliefs and distaste or anger for one another should never stand in the way of the truth that you are a community, a family, a band of brothers and sisters.
So, yes, I find cbspock's
opinion there a poor one. I echo the condemnation of it. What of that? He's no more or less "wrong", "unethical", "dangerously ill-informed" than any of you, just in different ways. As, of course, am I.
And with that, I think I'll retire for the night.