Sunday, October 3, 2010

Unchangeable Mindsets

As reasonable adults, we debate with each other on a daily basis, attempting to influence each other's opinions and view points. There are always some topics that are touchy and, in some situations, taboo - i.e., religion, sex, and, as it seems, politics.

However, as reasonable adults, why do we have such a difficult time with issues, being divided along political lines? It's not like the issues themselves are necessarily political but our beliefs are such that disagreement with our world view creates a cognitive dissonance, which can only be resolved by either changing or reinforcing our belief.

In politics, there are two major divides - right and left. The majority of Canadians are probably in the centre on most issues, with a few hot topics that get the pot to boiling. However, the extremes of the political spectrum seem to be the most vocal and they tend not to create an atmosphere of debate but to sensationalize the issues to the point of purposefully setting the burner on high.

We need to figure out a way of removing the influence of these "pot stirrers" and return to a more moderate system of rational debate. We can start by attempting to remove the emotionality of the issues from our mindsets, at least for the purposes of debate.

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