Some people ask why I am so hard on certain unnamed bloggers, and that is why: because they assault the very foundation of conservatism, even if their intentions are good.
I don't know if I'm one of the "unnamed bloggers" to whom Bob was referring, but I do know that my conscious "intentions are good" when I criticize some aspects of political conservatism, just as I believe, or would like to believe, that Gagdad's conscious intentions are good when he criticizes those he perceives as "assaulting the very foundation of conservatism."
Yet, Bob and I differ on how we think people with good intentions that we perceive as wrong or misguided should be treated. Bob seems to think that he knows the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth and that it's perfectly okay to "be hard on"--i.e., mock and disparage-- those who see things differently from how he does. On the other hand, I believe that we should not only strive to regard and treat everyone with respect as a fellow human being and as an instantiation of the divine, no matter how much we may disagree with his opinions and actions, but also that our best chance of helping everyone to find the whole and full truth is to treat everyone respectfully, no matter how much we disagree with him. This may help to open his heart and ours to dialog rather than keep us ensnared in oneupmanship put-downs and debate, and dialog is a pathway to the whole and complete truth.
I believe that there is truth in political conservatism, an example of which is that values are more important than liberals acknowledge in determining people's behaviors and economic, emotional, and spiritual "prosperity." But I also believe that there is truth in political liberalism, an example of which is that government can and should play a larger role than conservatives acknowledge in creating optimal conditions for the broadest spectrum and greatest number of people to develop values and find the other means necessary to achieve the aforementioned prosperity.
But if conservatives keep being "hard on"--i.e., keep insulting and vilifying--liberals or "leftists," and liberals keep being hard on conservatives instead of each affording the other enough kindness and respect to open-mindedly and open-heartedly communicate with each other, then each side is going to miss out on important truth and to needlessly ensure that rancorous if not destructive disagreement and conflict never ceases.
I believe that if someone has bad intentions, we can criticize or oppose his beliefs or actions without vilifying him as a person, even if it would be pointless to try to dialog with him. But if someone has good intentions but believes or does things we regard as wrong, not only should we treat him respectfully and kindly as a person even if we oppose what he says and does, but it may also be constructive to engage him in dialog.
Yet, how can we do this if we're caught up in "being hard" on him?
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