Monday, April 23, 2007

Daily Meditations -- 4/23/2007

That's right, I'm going to try again.

Wise men don't judge: they seek to understand.

- Fingers Pointing Toward the Moon by Wei Wu Wei

I find that the hardest part of any argument is getting to the actual disagreement.

I find that rhetoric and persuasion, followed by anger and self-consciousness are barriers to that. I feel like I spend the entirety of every argument trying to break the sides down to the most basic elements. If I can do that, I'm satisfied and I end the argument, happy to understand the other person's perspective.

I'm not confrontational by any standards, despite the attempts of others to characterize me as the angry bald man. I do like vigorous conversation where points of view are debated but I've walked away from conversations where, rather than explain their part, the other people will resort to yelling and personal attacks. This doesn't happen very often, I'm glad to say. My last line in just about every disagreement I've had since I was twenty goes like this: "So what it boils down to is... ... and I can accept that we disagree on that."

As far as the judgment, I agree, it's the wise thing to try and understand, rather than pointing fingers or making snap judgments.

The Virginia Tech murders come to mind as a place where it would probably be wise to try and understand but in this instance, I chose to (and continue to choose to) judge by saying: "I'm glad he took his own life too because he doesn't deserve to live." I don't care about taxpayers money imprisoning him. I'm not American and I'm not paying to keep him alive but he just doesn't deserve to live.

Wise? No. But it's the way I feel. You may disagree, and I can accept that.

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El Cliff said...

You're hardly the only person to have that opinion, dude...of course, I'm sort of a vengeful prick, so I may not be the greatest gauge.

Anonymous said...

...on a lighter note, I will launch a pre-emptive strike on Liam!

Happy 31.


Liam J. said...

I have the good fortune not to really care what other people's stance is on this.

Liam J. said...

Thanks, J.R.

legion said...

So it's okay if I assert you're an angry bald man, as long as I don't resort to yelling and name calling, right? then we can agree to disagree... but what if you take my assertion of you as an angry bald man as an insult or name calling, instead of an intellectual assertion.

Hmm.. best to not do that, I shall describe you as a friendly haired person instead. (seeing as you do have hair) altough perhaps you'll take that as some kind of insult too... hmm.. there's really no way out of this.

Okay, I'll go with liam instead. I assert that you are liam, and will accept if you care to disagree with that.

Liam J. said...

Angry - not an insult.
Bald - also not an insult (unless it's coming from Tim Brown)

Friendly - F#CK YOU!
Haird - I'll show YOU, HAIRY!!!

Liam - me