reply to post by Stormdancer777
I remember them. I've been here that long as well. Longer, if lurking is included. What I advocate is for ATS to be a place where any theory or topic
can be discussed free of insults and personal attacks. For instance, I do take strong issue with many of Bush's policies. But I have never called
someone stupid, evil, or pathetic for disagreeing with me or for supporting him or his policies. Moreover, I have many of the same concerns with
Obama. But that's beside my point. If someone is a birther, that's their prerogative. No amount of name calling or anger or ostensibly righteous
indignation will likely change that in my opinion. Both sides of that debate, in my opinion, have it within themselves to argue about it without
insulting one another. And without hating one another. If they choose to make a concerted, honest effort toward that end.
That does not mean laying down and not arguing forcefully for something you believe in. It does not mean not presenting proof you believe seals the
deal. It does not even mean not outright believing that you are right, and the other person is wrong. It just means not creating more obstacles to the
attempted exchange of knowledge or the communication of
those myriad positions, by letting it devolve into something that doesn't serve or
support them. Regardless of the sides we find ourselves on.
The problem in my opinion that can be addressed isn't the positions... the positions and the disagreements will always exist, and have always existed
since time immemorial, and no matter how right or wrong we think others are, there will always
be people who hold positions we powerfully take
issue with, or even fear The problem we can address, given that we can never get the whole world to agree, is how we go about
positions. And how we allow ourselves see one another out of anger and bitterness. I believe that no matter how negatively we view a position,
ideology, or belief, it is in our interests to stop short of dehumanizing and dismissing others.
Case in point. Earlier I was reading somewhere, and there were people who support both major political parties arguing. The Democrats were saying that
the Republicans were simply evil, and that evil cannot be compromised with. The Republicans were saying that the Democrats were socialist and
therefore evil, and that likewise, evil cannot be compromised with. Both sides stated that their goal, and the only thing they would settle for, was
to drive the other side out of the country - not just out of politics, but out of the country itself - so that their own could achieve preeminence.
They both absolutely believed that they were right, that their ideology and policies were what was best for every last man, woman, and child in this
country. And maybe one was, and one wasn't. That isn't for me to say. I have my own beliefs that I feel just as strongly about. But they were willing
to actively pursue the disenfranchising and if possible, exile, of the other side. A few people even advocated the deaths of the others.
Now, that is of course their prerogative. They have the right to those beliefs, and I am not trying to disabuse anyone of their beliefs. All I'm doing
is sharing my own that so long as there is no will toward even the smallest degree of coexistence, but more to the point, no ability to view those
holding an opposing viewpoint as even valid people, citizens, or even human, we cannot coexist, let alone move forward. Sharing that opinion I hold,
Can we not disagree, even passionately; can we not argue; can we not think one another are wrong; can we not struggle against ideologies we have
ethical opposition to and feel are even dangerous; can we not do all of these things without denying each others' validity as human beings
wage our "wars of words" with some modicum of good will?
If not... as I said, that is everyone's prerogative. But I will not deny that I find it very sad and disappointing.
edit on 11/9/2012 by
AceWombat04 because: Typo