Here are some comments following today's post by Gagdad Bob over at One Cosmos:
Grant: Bob, give yourself permission to love people with different beliefs, such as Nagarjuna. Love Nag; Nag has no problem loving you. I love you, no matter what you do or say. You don't need to agree with someone to love them. You can love people because they exist, because they are children crying out in the dark, just like you.
Beliefs? Sure, they matter, but beliefs are mental phenomenon that belong to the material world. Love, on the other hand, is very vertical. Get back into the love, and still fight the liberals, Bob. The two are not incompatible; think Arjuna and Krishna at Kurushetra. Duty and belief do not preclude a universal love.Take care of business while you exist on the earth, Bob, but don't forget where you come from.
Gagdad Bob: I used to delete the moonbats, but this generally just encourges them. Some will keep posting again and again, no matter how many times I delete them, so it's best to just ignore them. And if you do respond--as I shouldn't have done with Nagarjuna--they are not here to learn but to disseminate their own confusion, so that is pointless as well.
Me: Grant, you make excellent points, especially about Arjuna. Bob has cited the conflict in the Gita in defense of waging war against evil. That is well and fine, even if many scholars and sages have explained that we should see this "war" more as symbolic of the war we need to wage against the ignorance and resulting evil in ourselves than as a literal exhortation to make war against external enemies. But, however one interprets the climactic battle at Kurukeshtra, Arjuna literally respects and even loves his enemies and fights them only out of duty to uphold goodness and justice (and, I might add, fear of the shame that would attach to not upholding this duty) rather than out of hatred for his foes.
Bob keeps saying, in one way or another, that people like you and me are here not to learn but only to trollishly "disseminate confusion." I don't know about you, although I have the impression that your motives are similar to mine, but I'm here to understand how other bright and articulate people see the world in ways that are very different than the way I see it, to uncover the truth that resides in their vision, and to integrate that perspective and truth with my own. I have learned SO much that is valuable and good from reading the posts and comments here, and I've tended to learn the most when I've been able to participate in the discussion. My perspective on conservatives and conservatism has taken a profound turn since I began visiting this blog a few months ago. I hold far greater respect for both than I did originally. But that doesn't mean that I accept everything Gagdad says as gospel truth, and if I have questions or misgivings about what he says, I express them as clearly as I can and consider every response with as much thoroughness and open-mindedness and open-heartedness as I can.
It strikes me as profoundly unfortunate that Bob and so many of his faithful readers, who I believe are sincere in wanting to know truth and do good and are so gifted with the potential to do both, seem to be looking for every reason they can find to champion and spread hatred in place of the love that IS, despite what they would have us believe, paramount.
To be honest, I do have a problem loving Bob the way I'd like. But I believe that I'm making progress. I'm sure it would warm the proverbial cockles of his heart to know it. :-)
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