Monday, June 28, 2021

Disagreement Doesn’t Necessarily Equal Stupidity


I seem to be writing about humanity's deficits of character lately.  While I don't claim to be a moral authority, in any way, I've noticed some trends, lately, which really bother me.  Over on my Liberal Christian blog I just wrote about our willingness to hate, and this piece feels like a companion to it.  We have a bad habit, me included, which leads to division within society.  When we take a position, we tend to write off people who take the opposing viewpoint as being "stupid."

Publicly traded MEME
Perhaps the most relevant expression of this judgmental phenomenon involves COVID-19 vaccinations.

To vax, or not to vax, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of COVID-19, 
Or to take arms against possible contraction 
And by vaxing remove my mask... 

Personally, I'm tired of wearing a mask and having things closed, so I was eager to get the shot.  Some believe I'm gullible and stupid for obeying the government and medical community. 

On the flip side, my best friend, of twelve years, WILL NOT be vaccinated.  She doesn’t want to put something into her body, which she's not sure of.  Some people think that makes her stupid. 

I don't think either of us stupid. 

When I have trouble with my computer, I consult the experts at Geek Squad.  When I have a question about a recipe, I consult a cookbook written by experts.  And, when I have a question about my health I listen to medical experts, aka doctors.  It's what experts are for.   Thus, I believe a 70% vaccination rate is our best and only road back to normality, because that's what the experts are telling me.

I don't agree with my friend, but she has a point.  For obvious reasons, these vaccines were rushed to the public.   We don't know what the long term effects of these shots are.  For all we know, the "anti-vaxxers" will be laughing, in five years, when those of us who took the shots start growing third eyes and craving salt.  I don't think it'll happen, but I can’t say people are stupid for being skittish.

Writing "the other side" off as stupid, and dismissing their point of view as being stupid, it makes it easy to devalue the people with that point of view.  It's much easier to hate a person once we've devalued them. 

Acknowledging the validity of another point of view isn't the same as agreeing with it.  A person can understand another point of view while holding onto their own.  

No comments:

Post a Comment