Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fanaticism is hurting this country: An education problem

The first thing a lot of people think of when they hear the word fanatic is Islamic extremism. Well this article has nothing to do with that, and everything to do with the everyday issues that cause major breakdowns in how we communicate with each other daily.

It is a political year, so we see it in how we elect our leaders, how we conduct political debate (or what passes for it), how bills pass through congress loaded with pork and personal requests. We do have separation of church and state, and we have it for real historical reasons, so please do not try and impose your religious views on my life (it does not mean I am disrespecting your religion by the way). And we wonder why our youth are disgusted with politics?

Even more poignant, we have the rise of the “Google Experts”, the people who know everything because they read it on the internet and therefore it is true. The people who go to the doctor having done a self-diagnosis and then proceed to tell the doctor, who is the expert, what treatment they want them to perform. It is difficult to discuss any other point of view with these folks because they are fanatic about how right they are.

Social media has given rise to the keyboard warrior, the person who will argue with experts from a distance using all kinds of fallacies, refusing to hear or even acknowledge another point of view. They keyboard warriors are quick to insult when you prove them wrong you because they know they are safe at a distance. They are fanatics about this.

Case in point: I had an argument with a moron today, and yes I use the term quite clearly; he was a moron. There was a discussion about kids dying in Chicago, and how very quickly did Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson get brought into this, as well as the oh so well known “black on black crime” (I have actually done scholarly research on the subject of crime and the answer is extreme poverty). As man of color I get bothered when people tell me that because of my skin color I must believe in this, vote this way, I am responsible for all “black on black” crime, and that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are my leaders. He was a fanatic and absolutely knew he was right, and the insults soon flew. I know you should not argue with idiots, but I am not a turn the other cheek kind of man, especially in the face of illogic.

We have small issues being imagined into hypothetical nonsense. How do you compare a gay couple to beastiality? It does not make sense! We are actually having national debate on bathrooms, and people are talking about shooting people if they use this bathroom or that bathroom! Really?! News flash, most people think about the bathroom for one thing and it is biological in nature, and they are not interested in discussing it publically.

This is fanaticism; this is the kind of extreme behavior that is hurting our country. It starts off small, but they are numerous; and we all know small things become big things if they multiply enough.

It is ok to use logic, to use rational thought, to engage in constructive debate; it is ok to be wrong and acknowledge someone else might be right. We can do this, and we can do it without having to sacrifice pride. Ask yourself: what is the point I am trying to make? Is it helpful in anyway? What is the end result of me being right?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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