The story goes that a student of philosophy was asked in an exam to prove a chair which had been placed where everyone could see it at the front of the exam hall did not exist. Students were expected to discuss the 20th century philosophers who posited ideas about subjective human existence and questioned our relationship with reality. But this two word complete response, if the urban legend is to be believed, received top marks for its reflection of the possibility the chair was an illusion of the examiner’s mind.
If you’re a person who tends to vote right of centre you’re probably no stranger to feelings of bemusement which sometimes approach sheer bewilderment at the way your counterparts left of centre label themselves and perceive the world around us. It’s fair to predict the feeling may be mutual.
People who believe marriage should be undefined, gender deconstructed, masculinity softened, freedom regulated and debate censored have the temerity to call themselves “progressive”.
Other examples of bizarre flights of fantasy include Doula UK, a service supporting women through labour and birth, who forced their spokeswoman to step down because she said only women can have babies. Surely this is like saying two plus two equals four; but some people see the world differently.
People who call themselves “pro-choice” believe there should be no protections for women seeking an abortion requiring professional counselling with no conflict of interest to ensure informed consent and adequate screening for family or intimate partner coercion, sex trafficking & child sexual assault. They’re especially indignant if independent counselling includes exploring other choices like adoption or available support if raising the child themselves.
For right-thinking people it is incredibly difficult to credit with sincerity those others who call deliberately killing an innocent living human “healthcare” because the human is temporarily located in her mother’s womb. Surely they can’t be serious.
A reasonable person might assume that defence of “reproductive rights” meant advocating for freedom from governments denying married couples the opportunity of having as many children as they want. But there are actually many people who employ that phrase to mean instead that governments have no right to interfere when a mother wants to kill as many conceived babies as she wants.
Some people see the world very differently.
What about Extinction Rebellion, those willfully uncivilised people who repeatedly propagandise the physical imposition of their outrage on law-abiding citizens as “peaceful protests”? They refuse to cooperate with police, trespass private property, deny people’s right to free movement, obstruct public roads for thousands of commuters and financially injure any small businesses in their proximity. “Peaceful”?
Many of the people attending those protests and employing reality-denying euphemisms are simply ignorant, albeit with varying levels of education. They may really think they’re actually supporting the environment or justice for oppressed minorities and not a socialist agenda to redistribute wealth and power, but that’s why Lenin described such lemmings as useful idiots.
Likewise “antifa” are impossible to take seriously. They claim to be “anti fascist” by opposing small government, big freedom, low regulation, free enterprise, private property & social liberty – conservatism. Their objectives and methods are frighteningly similar to the uniformed heavies which violently assaulted organised political opposition to the authoritarian regimes of the 1930s and 40s. Far from a liberal, pluralistic democracy, they dream of a society where unapproved opinions are punished ruthlessly and criticism of the totalitarian politics they promote is altogether illegal.
A now infamous Q&A episode featured a panel of radical feminists who unblinkingly advocated violence when experiencing political frustration. One rhetorically asked, “How many men do we have to kill before they stop raping us?” Not one person there thought that was an objectionable view of the world.
Animal rights activists are increasingly attacking blind people for the grave moral transgression – in their different view of the world – of having a guide dog.
One writer for the UK’s so-called Independent published an article titled, “The Prophet Mohammed had British values – so the only way to combat extremism is to teach more Islam in schools.” I kid you not.
A high-profile abortionist recently claimed the fight over abortion is “really” the fight to grant pregnant people personhood, to acknowledge them as deserving basic human rights and to respect their autonomy. Really. Such a mind-boggling display of inverted reality perception must be recognised as a serious handicap to productive dialogue and debate about an important issue.
Western law clearly acknowledges women as people deserving basic human rights with autonomy (once they’re born). The fight over abortion is in fact the fight to limit autonomy at homicide and to acknowledge every member of the human family as equally deserving of the fundamental, human right to life.
After every abortion only one person is left crushed and dismembered, retrieved piece by piece or a bloody pulp to be violently vacummed from the “safety” of the womb, and disposed of as biological waste. Only one person has been lethally denied personhood and regarded by perverted laws as another person’s disposable private property. Only one person has been denied basic human rights.
There are many, many more examples of utter absurdity presented as indisputable fact I’m sure you can think of, but this article will be unbearably long if we continue listing them. How have they talked themselves into actually believing the lies they’re repeating and blinding each other to reality? The point is, these folks are serious. They seem to really believe what they’re saying.
Understanding your couterpart’s arguments better than they do is key to not only understanding your own, but to sharing it effectively. Recognising that you may sometimes converse or debate with someone who truly thinks black is white and wrong is right is the first step in that journey.
Continue reading in part two, “How to engage with people who see the world completely differently“.
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