I tend not to think in the world as black or white, where big issues are absolutely right or wrong, good or bad. Most people are trying to do the right thing, and selectively looking at evidence to support their view (with the best of intentions).
I do think there’s ethics and morals — so for example, rape. A woman has a right to her own body, and she shouldn’t have to compromise (and give a blowjob), just because someone thinks she’s hot (or female). So there can be black and white topics (her right to her body).
But in the bigger issue, there are grays and ambiguity. If a girl knowingly gets drunk, and willingly (and enthusiastically — though enthusiasm isn’t required), has sex with a guy that she later regrets, that’s not rape (even if she gave consent while in an altered state). I think personal responsibility applies to both sides of the equation: she made many choices, and guys shouldn’t have to get breathalyzers and signed agreements, and in fact, usually the guy is as drunk and thus she shouldn’t be sued/prosecuted for taking advantage of him, either. But I realize some people (wrong though they may be), might disagree with me. And I think people should have that room to disagree with each other, and cut each other some slack. We don’t agree, probably won’t, and are applying different life experiences. So they’re wrong, but I don’t need capitulation from them, I love them anyways, and it’s just a difference of opinion. Opinions aren’t absolutes.
- the world isn’t black/white on many issues (opinions)
- there should be room to breathe on most issues (far more than the media, and especially progressives, give society room for)
- and the bigger the issue (the more facts are involved in an opinion), the more room for diversity of thought (weighting those facts and experience/biases) there should be
Then you get down to narrower arguments and facts, or very minor sub-points in arguments, which can be proven. There, you can easily fall into what I call the "Fool or Fraud" spectrum.
- (a) we know that guns might be reliable way to commit suicide
- (b) we know that if someone wants to commit suicide and has access to guns, the person will often choose the gun
- (c) we have no evidence that guns cause suicide and increase the rate of attempts at all (and some to the contrary), and scant evidence that they increase them in any measurable way.
Denmark (the happiest place on earth), and Japan (the most gun restricted) both have higher suicide rates than gun-crazy U.S., as do at least 50 other countries (most with gun control). So despite dozens of studies on the topic (and liberals/progressives hunting for decades for an excuse to take people’s liberty away), there’s never been good/definitive evidence that guns increase suicide rates in any meaningful way, and quite a bit that implies it does not. Thus, those that present that as fact (or use it in an argument), become fools or frauds. Either: ignorant of the topic, or intentionally misleading others for political gains.
Thus anyone who has studied the topic, at all, would know adding in suicides to "gun violence" is committing a lie of omission (leaving out the counter-balance) and commission (there isn’t the evidence to support the supposition that guns increase suicide) — so they’re a fraud. And if they don’t know that, then they’re a fool — ignorant of the basics on the topic they’re discussing, or perhaps degrees of both.
Now, I’m not close-minded. If they can show me evidence that contradicts everything I’ve read on it, for 30+ years, and start showing significant correlations that hold up to scrutiny, then sure, I’ll give them some room and consider it. But it better be good evidence to make the claim, and so far, no one who has made that claim could back it up. So fool/fraud: bzzzt! Thanks for playing, come back when you’re ready to have a big-boy conversation, and back your shit up.
That doesn’t mean I think they’re a fool in other aspects of their life. They might be geniuses for all I know. What I know is that you can’t be informed and present that view at the same time. It’s a real dichotomy — not the far more popular false one. We should have tolerance for opinions, but not for lying liars, and the lies they tell. They deserve to be smacked down, slut shamed (they fucked the truth), and be taught to NOT do that again.
So people are free to disagree on the bigger issues. People can still have the opinion that guns might increase suicide effectiveness. They can believe in gun control, or the bigger positions. I don’t care. We can argue, but your opinion is your own, based on your own biases and experiences (or lack thereof), and I love you in spite of them. But you’re not entitled to imaginary facts. If you’re ignorant, that’s fine — here’s the real facts, live and learn. But if you refuse to learn, and continue to mislead others on the micro-topics (knowing better), just because they believe so strongly in the macro-topic — then you fall on this spectrum of bad person to me. At least on that topic — you could be mother Theresa in other aspect of your life, but on THAT topic: fool or fraud has been a self selected category for you. You can learn, or be exposed as the bully-of-the-truth that you’re trying to be. And I don’t like bullies.