Voice in my head #1: I really hate it when people respond to posts by saying, “Are you stupid? Of course that’s wrong!” They just shut down a conversation right off the bat by doing so. Crazy fundies.
Voice #2: What about you? Didn’t you just hear yourself? You’re no better than they are!
Voice #1: Well, I’m just being honest.
Voice #2: And they aren’t? I mean, you do a lot of talking about honesty; can you really fault someone for simply sharing their opinion?
Voice #1: It’s their opinion that they subject onto other people that’s the problem. But I guess you’re right in the sense that I’m no better. I just want sincere dialogue to happen.
Voice #2: And how, exactly, is sincere dialogue supposed to happen, if people are afraid of sharing how they truly feel about something? If someone thinks they’re right and everyone else is wrong, why shouldn’t they be allowed to say so?
Voice #1: I guess I feel like it can’t be sincere honesty unless is willing to contend with another position. I don’t mind that someone disagrees with me, but if they make a qualitative distinction of who I am based solely on an opinion I have, then they have shut the door to a space where real, honest dialogue can occur.
Voice #2: And you don’t make qualitative distinctions of others as a result of their opinions?
Voice #1: I try not to. Sometimes I do, and I often do so as a defense mechanism in the face of a slammed door to conversation, as my first comment illustrated. That’s not a good thing, but I suppose it helps me understand those who have such venemous opinions…they are probably reacting against some kind of exclusionary act which they have faced in the past, or still face. So I guess what I want is for the cycle to be broken, so that we can really learn from each other. And that will take a heaping of humility to go with our honesty.
Voice #2: You’re such an idiot.