On ridicule

“Your position is so ridiculous it doesn’t deserve to be addressed fairly, it only deserves ridicule”

I want to see this idea changed.

I see this all the time: in person and on the internet, from those I agree with and those I don’t, about politics, religion, even whether or not to use semicolons in your javascript.

Most people believe themselves reasonable, and don’t believe ridiculous things for no reason - even if their reason is flawed.

Most people will be more willing to accept that those who disagree with them are unreasonable than accept that their own beliefs are unreasonable.

These two facts mean that if we approach all differences as antagonistic no-one will learn anything, everyone will be more sure each other is wrong, and become even more extreme in their views.

All people deserve respect. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. It doesn’t even mean you have to pretend to agree with them. At least try to understand why they believe what they believe.

This is a utopian ideal of course, it takes too long to try and understand people, especially when we mostly don’t know why we ourselves believe what we do, it’s easier to just call people names and think that everyone but you is an idiot who just doesn’t get it.

Ugh - look at that previous sentence. I do it to.