The internet is filled with disagreeable people. People whose opinions I have difficulty respecting, because those opinions are so offensive to reason.
However, I’ve always tried to engage sensibly with those views I disagree with. I have always believed that changing minds through intelligent discourse is more productive than shouting at people.
And yet the internet continues to be swamped with people who just don’t get it. My calm and reasonable approach to resolving disagreements doesn’t seem to be making a dent in the number of people who are misguided and deluded.
We all have our particular prejudices, biases and aversions, many of which are irrational, not to mention damaging. But they are what make us who we are. I have lived with my particular bundle of prejudices for many years, and the task of analysing and questioning this collection of feelings and inclinations has left me feeling confused and uncertain. Being cognisant of one’s irrational likes and dislikes has not made me a millionaire or a TV star, so I can only conclude that all this education has been so much humbug.
Maybe if we all just shouted a bit more, and reasoned a bit less, we’d drown out the noise of people attempting to make sound evidence-based arguments, and life would go back to being much simpler. It has to be worth a go.
So from now on I’m going to compare everyone I disagree with to Hitler.
It’s a small step, but my hope is that others will follow my example. I know there is already a brave but small group out there on the internet dedicated to finding analogies to Hitler in everything their enemies do or say, but these brave people need more recognition if their good work is not to go to waste. That’s why I propose we dedicate a special day in our calendar to mark their efforts.