Conversation Is Not Preaching To The Choir

As a follow up to yesterday's post about Janine Turner's advice about how to convert liberals, I've decided to post a comment made to Janine's post.

I respond to that tactic with a statement to the effect that energetic conversation doesn’t have to imply conflict. Further, that an expresser of opinion has a moral obligation to gracefully receive a rebuttal or keep your opinions to yourself.

It never fails me and usually embarrasses the conversation squelcher.

It has always been my belief that conversation does not mean those conversing must agree with each other. On the contrary, some of the best conversations I've ever had have been with people with whom I disagree, whether on a subject trivial or profound. But it seems quite a few on the left believe the only worthwhile conversation is with those with whom they agree. Call it preaching to the choir or speaking in an echo gallery. But if they limit themselves to such conversations, then new and interesting ideas will never be broached and they might as well be talking to themselves.

And yet again I have to bring up that many 'conversations' I've had with true blue liberals follow the same pattern, with references to “everybody knows such-and-such” or “I feel that...”

As to the first, one of my favorite philosophers, Robert Heinlein, opined: “If 'everyone knows' such-and-such, then it ain't so by ten thousand to one.”

As to the second, I have always found those three words to be extremely annoying. I don't care what someone feels about a particular subject. I want to know what they think about it. I've found that opinions based upon feelings and not upon logic and facts are almost always wrong, sometimes disastrously so. The same is also true about decisions based upon feelings. It might make the person making the decision feel better about themselves, but it doesn't help those who will be affected by that decision. In many cases it makes things worse because the person who made the decision ignored the facts and the possible consequences of that decision. As long as they felt good about the decision it was the right one as far as they were concerned. Of course they're the ones who rarely have to suffer the consequences of their decision.