Saturday, January 2, 2010

Certainty

I've long been impassioned about politics, law, and belief. It's normal, I suppose. I have read countless blogs and seen countless videos from people talking about what they believe is right, just, correct, virtuous, and of course, what is wrong with the world. Some people are confident enough to offer up their versions of solutions. Most of these people speak or write with certainty--a notion I have always found somewhat disconcerting. I believe people model themselves after leaders, and leaders can't let their subordinates see uncertainty. Leaders, and bloggers, and "news commentators" such as Bill O'Reilly must speak with such force to allay any doubt that what they are saying isn't pure, incorruptible righteous truth, even though their ideas could be untried and counter-intuitive. Most of the time, political ideas are based on logic and idealism, neither of which infallibly produce solutions to problems.

One of my favorite issues being tugged about by multi-sided logical arguments is gun control. Proponents of gun control state with all certainty that less guns means less shootings. It is a logical argument, but one with no evidence to support the claim. Opponents of gun control say that taking away guns will make it so that law abiding citizens can no longer defend themselves against the criminals who will still acquire guns. In reality, no one knows what would happen if the government took away the right to own weaponry. I suspect it would result in vast American terrorism against the government, but I don't say that with any certainty.

I prefer suggestions and ideas over certainty and ideals. I have an ideal world in my mind, as I'm sure many others do, but I will never live in it because my ideal world differs from everyone else's, just as everyone else's differs from one another. People should probably not demand their version of justice, because it may not work or it may disagree with everyone else's version.

I suggest that everyone question their certainty a bit and be tolerant and patient with others' ideas. If they have no supporting evidence, we don't have to accept them.

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