1. The world's best reading app

    Great articles, no ads. Get started for free.

    Science of UsAndrew Sullivan6/12/2015 min
    16 reads5 comments
    Science of Us
    16 reads
    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • jackdille1 year ago

      Freedom of thought and civil tolerance of contradictory ideas is paramount in determining the nuanced moralistic fiber of modern nations. I hope we see it sustained.

      • SEnkey
        1 year ago

        Agreed. What is hard about political moments like this is separating process from policy. I agree with the movement to reform the police, end racism, increase tolerance etc (policy); I do not support twitter mobbing individuals who disagree, publicly shaming, call out culture, or forcing quasi religious displays of obeisance (process).

        I'm a student of the cold war, things often got heated on the domestic front there as well. However, the more space you leave people to be wrong, the more likely, and the easier, it is for them to later change their minds and join your side. But get called out by the mob and your views may harden, and with your views those you influence as well. This democracy works by persuasion, by genuinely recognizing our common bonds of humanity, and by compromise.

        I fear compromise is becoming a dirty word. But I would trade not getting rid of a dollar of police budget if it meant they could only hire officers over 30, those officers had to have two years of training including deescalation and race/class awareness, and they had to leave all their weapons in the car unless authorized. At times we're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, and righteous justified anger replace reason. I'm more guilty of this than anyone!

        • je-clark1 year ago

          Your comment reminded me of a very eloquent quote. From the book Lead Yourself First, quoting a pastor named Chip Edens:

          A lack of silence and solitude leads to anxiety, which leads to demonization based on differences, which leads to conflict, which leads to violence. We need to reverse the flow. We need to invite people to think about their feelings, to address them, and then come up with a creative response that builds relationships and trust.

          I think many of us are on this site (speaking as a newcomer, myself) because it gives us space that Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, and other platforms don't promote anymore.

          A professor I had in college made a point offhand that always stuck with me. To paraphrase, it's not enough to point out the fact that something is wrong and say "Ha! I found it!" The real question is what to do about it? For me, the struggle is to ensure that I have the space to reflect so that the righteous justified anger, as you put it so well, is at least in balance with reason. How else can we find solutions?

          How can help people get the space to let their views evolve?

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScribe
      1 year ago

      We need to resist our cultural obsession with being PC. The cost of “politically correct” is “emotionally dishonest.” We pretend like it’s about keeping other people safe, but it’s actually just a convenient out for people who aren’t comfortable with depth and truth.

      Also, since the entire country is suffering with depression, anxiety, mental health breakdowns, etc, it seems a great time, finally, to say, “To hell with other people’s feelings!” Campuses are dead anyway, lol, so the sensitive boys and girls are home with their mommies and daddies.

      The first half of this article is excellent. Around the middle, things start to get opinion-y. By the end, we’re reading ‘My Personal Thoughts on the Upcoming Election,” by Andrew Sullivan. Still, it’s all really interesting.

      This comment makes me think that Sullivan spends a lot of time with the intelligentsia:

      If you argue that you believe that much of this ideology is postmodern gobbledygook, you are guilty of “white fragility.” If you say you are not fragile, and merely disagree, this is proof you are fragile.

      That misses the mark. The folks I know who suffer severe cases of white fragility are unable to discuss this topic altogether. You say “Black Lives Matter” to them and they fully freeze and shut down until the conversation changes to something they have the emotional capacity to handle. These people live in hiding of their privilege.

      1. Update (6/17/2020):

        24 hours later, I stand by this comment but I do regret this one sentence:

        Campuses are dead anyway, lol, so the sensitive boys and girls are home with their mommies and daddies.

      • jackdille1 year ago

        Great dissection of the White Fragility section, totally agree with your take.