I responded to a question posed by bradhicks in this post: What Do You Think of Your Opponents. I wanted to also record my thoughts here. Some of my friends might be interested in this discussion also…
On the issue you feel most strongly about, think about those who actively/strongly disagree with your stance. Why do they disagree? Is it a matter of philosophy? Stupidity or non-logical thinking? Ignorance of some facts? Or selfishness/malevolence?
I have thought about this before, actually, and I have come to the conclusion that people don’t usually disagree about matters of fact, or logic. Sometimes they disagree about matters of belief that are pretty black-and-white, but this is not often.
I believe that most people disagree on matters of *degree* or *emphasis*. And, most of these are because of scarce resources that can be allocated to one need, or another, but not both.
For example, you’ll find general agreement about statements like “Hard-working poor people who can’t afford health insurance should get assistance for their health care and that of their children,” as well as “Building good schools and hiring good teachers is important.” But you will get deep disagreements when the needs come into conflict and only one can be served. I call that a disagreement over scarce resources, which is sort of a subset of disagreeing over degree or emphasis.
Thoughts? (If you’re interested in this topic, you probably would be interested in bradhicks’ journal too :)