Respect for Alternative Worldviews

I left this comment on one of the threads but it’s important, which is why I want to amplify it and put it into a separate post.

If you have an “everybody for himself” worldview and you maintain it consistently in every aspect of life, then I respect that. I don’t share it but I recognize that it’s your right to have that worldview. It’s the lack of logic and consistency that angers me, but alternative worldviews definitely do not. For example, a transphobic pro-choicer makes me livid because that position is not logical. But a straight-out dog-eat-dog Libertarian does not anger me at all because s/he is logical and consistent.

Of course, when I see a self-proclaimed Libertarian who believes that the government should decide what women do with their bodies, then that’s not a Libertarian. S/he is either a huge hypocrite or a simple idiot. That I do not respect and will ridicule viciously. Or, say, a Marxist who waves around his copy of Das Kapital but lives off of the proceeds from his factory.

I respect people’s right to have alternative worldviews. A worldview, however, is not a bunch of unconnected opinions that you gathered from a variety of TV shows and articles because they somehow felt right for some unspecified reason. I believe that it is a duty of every rational human being to work on elaborating her or his worldview. Such a way of being in the world will have organizing principles, will be consistent and coherent. This is a life-long project we embark on and it is one of the greatest joys of being human to be capable of doing that.

A great variety of worldviews makes our shared human reality fascinating. As much as I dig my own worldview, I recognize that this planet would be a very boring, miserable place if we had seven billion Clarissas walking around, all thinking exactly like me. So if you have a worldview that is very different from mine, then I’m very interested in hearing about it. This is why I read and promote on my blog articles by people like Dan Miller and Charles Rowley. They obviously vote Republican but they are thinkers, intellectuals who have worked a lot on elaborating their vision, and I’m very curious about what they have to say on a variety of issues.

If, however, you are too lazy to elaborate a worldview and want to bore me with some unconnected, illogical, incoherent opinions, then do not expect any respect from me for those opinions.

P.S. My thanks go to reader and fellow Canadian Titfortat who inspired this post.

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24 thoughts on “Respect for Alternative Worldviews”

  1. But Clariiiiiiisa, that takes SELF AWARENESS! And, like, THINKING and stuff! And that’s HARD. It’s so much easier to just let Beck/Olberman/Stewart do my thinking FOR me.

    /whining
    /sarcasm

    In all seriousness, I think people tend to rely too much on “feelings” and not enough on logic, and when it leads to cognitive dissonance, they just scream louder to drown it out. I’m more than willing to admit when I find cracks in my worldview’s consistency, and I’ll wrestle with them (sometimes for years) to try to make things fit.

    Good post!

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    1. “But Clariiiiiiisa, that takes SELF AWARENESS! And, like, THINKING and stuff! And that’s HARD. It’s so much easier to just let Beck/Olberman/Stewart do my thinking FOR me.”

      – Yes, I know. Thinking is such a drag. Like totally overrated. 🙂 🙂

      “In all seriousness, I think people tend to rely too much on “feelings” and not enough on logic, and when it leads to cognitive dissonance, they just scream louder to drown it out.”

      – Exactly.

      “I’m more than willing to admit when I find cracks in my worldview’s consistency, and I’ll wrestle with them (sometimes for years) to try to make things fit.”

      – I feel exactly the same. This is a life-long project and it’s the most fun pursuit ever.

      Like

  2. Yeah, I’m fully okay with libertarians who are consistent in their logic. The ones I’ve met are not that way, by any means. I’ve met a few right wing ones. One of them in particular — everything negative that happened to me was deemed to be due to my own inherent essence, but what happened to him was due to other people treating him unjustly.

    It’s the same issue as that I have detailed here earlier today regarding how “emotion” is used politically to attack blame to someone and to make others (who are often responsible for significant problems) appear to be blame free. Only, in this case, the right wingers act like, “I have a right to express my righteous indignation but you don’t.”

    They are really genuinely surprised when their hardships are not taken seriously by me. After all, over many years they never took mine seriously.

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  3. At some point, (assuming you are comfortable) I would like to hear more about you reconcile your religious and your feminist world views. (Not that I think that a religious and feminist worldview can’t be reconciled: it’s just that they so frequnelty exist at odds with one another.) From what you have written, I am assuming you don’t follow any specific church or religious sect but I am curious how you see these two facets of your life working together. Anyway, that’s just something I have always been curious about. 🙂

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  4. I thank you for all you output in your blogs. It inspires me to learn more. If I could speak to you I would say something in russian. An old Ukranian girlfriend taught it to me. 🙂
    In french its J’taime. Obviously meant in a friendly kind of way. 🙂

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  5. The paradox, or perhaps just irony, is that the world is probably too complicated for there to ever be a truly consistent worldview that really meets your needs. There will probably always be conundra which do not fit in. I am reminded of Goedel’s theorem (I have not figured out how to insert an umlaut on my daughter’s computer.) In essence, this says that any sufficiently complicated mathematical system either is inconsistent or else has unanswerable questions in it. Not just questions that you do not yet know the answer to, but questions to which no correct answer can ever be found.

    I strongly suspect that real life imitates math here, which means that finding a philosophical worldview with no contradictory conclusions in it is likely to be a never-ending game. People with different worldviews are in essence using different axiom systems. Unless these systems are so simplistic as to cause serious people not to take them seriously, they will be flawed. And as far as I am concerned the simplistic ones [like fundamentalist religions of any flavor] are not rich enough to apply except in narrow circumstances.

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    1. I’m not sure I understand without specific examples. A worldview is not a sentence or a paragraph that explains everything. It is a complex system of views that can have a number of underlying principles. Of course, it is a life-long project and I reserve my respect for people who decide to embark on it.

      Like

    2. If your daughter’s computer runs Windows, it’d be Alt-2-4-6. In a WordPress blog comment such as this, Gödel can be entered as Gödel (which in turn I got to render that way by typing G&ould;del, etc.) But the previous sentence may not display the way I imagine to be the case, as there is no “preview.” 🙂

      Gödel’s incompleteness theorem definitely applies to worldviews. That’s why it’s said that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

      I’m a student of worldviews, and a collector. My name above should be a link to my opinion survey website. I’d be delighted to add yours to my collection. Ya know, I reckon it’s about time I do another open call for survey questions.

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    1. This is horrible but what does this have to do with a worldview?? Do you think that the members of this Senate consistently support the governmental intrusion into their own bodies?

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  6. Do you think you (and others) ever run into problems with this as a result of the medium here? Without writing dense paragraphs in your comments, it might be easy for a person to present herself as inconsistent simply because she hasn’t got the space/time to reconcile each thing she says with every other one.

    I’m sure that’s not the circumstance you’re speaking of here, but it does concern me sometimes as a commenter (not just here).

    Like

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