I'm monolingual which is pretty embarrassing for me to admit. I wish the schools here had forced us to learn a secondary language like they do in many European countries. It makes sense that Europe would require english as it is the common language to communicate to one-another cross border. Though it's still no excuse as to why I haven't tried to learn something more. I'm striving to learn Russian later in life when things finally stabilize for me and can take more lessons aside from programs like Rosetta stone. Though I'm afraid classes will cost quite a 'bit.
Of course it's easy to say all this, but I still like to never lose an argument, that seems to be a base human desire that required Buddha-like discipline to conquer.
I think at some point we all thought we had mostly everything figured out. Definitely was radical in my own way.
Though I might be a little more assertive than you when it comes to beliefs, it's a great thing to be able to identify good points from an opposing side. I could start a whole discussion about Atheism, Agnosticism, and Religion - but that's just a can of worms I'd rather not open unless I knew all parties were to be civil and contributing. I have a secret passion for debating and watching debates because I feel like rattling what we think we know is good for us once in a while. So long as the rattling is actually productive and thought-provoking.
What you've summarized is what made a young, outspoken atheist become a more well-rounded (yet still insane) agnostic in her later years.
Good read and welcome to the forums! (Although, the "using 'I' makes me seem self-absorbed" critique was a bit ridiculous. It's a personal blog, not a report. Nothing wrong or self-absorbing about addressing yourself. Heaven forbid people write blogs voicing their personal opinions! How egotistical of them! :P)
Haha I suppose you are right about the 'I's'. I'll (dammit!) try to stop worrying about it so much.
I'm grateful that you enjoyed reading what my feeble little mind likes to think. This blog post I sort of half wrote for myself as I'm still falling victim to this countless-ly. What made you sort of 'turn around' in your later years?
I had a philosophy teacher who wanted to teach the basics of a discussion. He divided the class in two groups. Ben 10 and Naruto. And we needed to discuss which one was the best. He gave a week for us to research BOTH animations, saying: "Before EVERY debate, you need to know both sides of the coin. You may even switch sides. Of course, you don't know the next time you will be discussing something, so always study. Culture, Intelligence, and the way you use and express both are your weapons not only to debates and discussions, but to life as a whole." Sorry if my english is bad, i'm kinda falling asleep here...
I think critical thinking lessons need to be taught a lot more like this at a younger age. If a country did this I feel it would function a lot differently later in years than it would now.
Thank you so very much for your kind words and the follow! One of the worst things I find is when two sides are arguing for something they really don't understand themselves and especially don't understand what you believe. The fact of the matter, if this is the case, is both parties need to realize there is nothing productive to come of it until more effort is put on both sides to understand their own views as well as each other's.
If I may quote the venerable band Kansas here, "And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know."
Whether someone agrees with me or not, if they don't bother to respect me, and I them, then nothing will be gained and possibly everything lost.
A beautiful quote and a great point. There are people who are just not willing in any way to change what they believe (Though I'd really like to think it's still possible to reason to an extent with them). And I'll personally back off if it becomes hostile because you said it right. No one will gain anything other than maybe a headache.
And even so when someone is being an asshole you need to try to understand why they might feel so strongly the way they do. Maybe they resent something dearly because of an experience in the past? The trick when discussing with someone who has no manner or reason is to first try to make them understand that you understand.
As far as growing up with knowledge, well that's a good point @pixieface had brought up - being humble with what you think you know.
It's a very complicated mis-match and I really can't see it completely remedied for a while.
The thing is, I don't need realistic graphics or smooth animations for me to be immersed in the world. Of course they will always help. Though there needs to be more of a sense that things are 'alive'. Dwarf fortress was a pretty neat game I got into for a while that really helped with this feeling.
I've changed my opinions in the past after losing arguments. Weirdly, that makes me even more sure of my current beliefs (I'm a secular liberal with slight libertarian tendencies on certain issues).
I think even if it's something you practice, you need to keep reminding yourself. I still have to remind myself. If it is something you do though, your beliefs should start to have a solid structure and more substance to them.
Thanks for the follow! I'll be popular in no time!
And you raise a very good point. Empathy in trying to figure out how someone might feel or how they became the way they are is absolutely critical. Lack of empathy leads to a lot of the bigotry (racism/sexism etc) we see today. People can't grasp that if they grew up in a low-income neighborhood, where your schools set you up for failure, where you are surrounded by gangs, drugs, and all of the like, it is likely they would end up like that "Black man they can't understand." Where they gather these assumptions about an entire race, not trying to figure out why, but just assuming that's the way it is.
This actually might be my next topic for a blog as I think empathy is one trait most needed today.