I believe a well worded argument. As much as I would like to say that I research and study before developing an opinion, I must confess that I usually believe full on whatever a good argument states and then research it later.
I realized this about myself when I started to obsessively read the comments on news articles.
I read a news piece recently in which a mother talked about the difficulties she has raising a son with extreme mood disorders and violent tendencies. The woman and her child were both named, as was the town where they lived. I read this article and felt immediate sadness for this poor woman. And then, I read the comments. One such comment accused this mother of being narcissistic and bi-polar, because no sane parent would tell the world her kid’s name and details – thus, marking this kid at 12 as a psychopath on the internet. Suddenly I had a whole new opinion. Maybe this lady was crazy. Maybe the sadness of her story rested more with her behavior than her son’s. What if the kid gets help and recovers and then has to live with the brand given him by the www?
My opinion changed so quickly on the matter that I suffered whiplash. Recognizing this about myself has forced me to question a lot of strongly held views in my life and wonder if they are based on truth, or just reality as I discern it from well worded arguments?
With our 24/7 news cycle, one in which you can choose from a buffet of news organizations to find the one that best suits your views, I wonder how many votes are cast based on powerful speeches, well written editorials, and sound bytes – versus- the votes made based on actual study of the candidate’s policy. Heroes are made and broken in between commercial breaks and page views – how do we know who the real deal is?
Beyond politics, my crises of gullibility extended to arguments on parenting, vaccines, video games, books, skirt length, tube tops in church, and kids with cell phones. I am loaded with strong opinions, but feeling pretty sure that they could change at any time.
Am I alone here? Anyone else taking a step back?