The Bow Ramp

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I Am Amazed

at how easy it is for people to delude themselves. I know I am as guilty of that as anyone else. It seems (based on personal observation) that folks will tend to evaluate things as true or false based on subjective criteria, rather than objective data.

I recently caught myself doing it while commenting on another blog. No link to that blog, because what was actually said is irrelevant to this post. What I did was make an assertion about someone's behavior based on my concept of what does/does not constitute honorable behavior. Now, what I consider honorable is probably pretty much in line with what a majority of milbloggers would think as well. Unfortunately, that is not what many other people might think; so without citing specific examples of abuse, I left myself open to other people concluding that I am just a right-wing lunatic. The funny thing is that the person replying to my comment then proceeded to do the same sort of thing concerning some other assertion that she made. Is it no wonder that so many discussions these days amount to nothing more than talking past each other rather than talking to each other.

Much of what we believe is like a tier in a house of cards. Each layer is supported by another layer that came before and many of those layers are very shaky. What each of us believes is a compendium of all that we have passed judgment on in the past. When someone else comes by and try’s to pull one of those cards out we tend to defend it because losing that one card can bring the whole edifice down.

I'm guessing that only about a billion other people have addressed the same idea. No way is this original thinking, but I think it's something we should remind ourselves about on a regular basis. If nothing else, it will (hopefully) keep my comments a little more civil than might otherwise be the case.