eabaker wrote:While I agree with much of what you say here, I would like to point out what reads to me as an element of unintended contradiction in your post. You write off a lot of contemporary perspectives as things that are only embraced by "a vocal half of the population," but then immediately refer to "things that everyone believed without controversy a mere decade ago;" but you're assuming that the vocal portion of the population a decade ago were representing universally held opinions then, rather that that a lot of people holding opposing perspectives did not feel free to speak out because of the cultural consequences that would befall them.
That is entirely possible; I can restate. In the former case, censure seems to come even if an issue is more-or-less evenly divided ('Half the people believe A, half the people believe B, but because of vocal/media support for A, B support will earn you censure despite the fact that there is nothing objective that makes B more valid than A in the ongoing debate.')
In the latter case, it might be more accurate to say that society has turned on previous social consensus to the degree that noncontroversial beliefs (particularly about human sexuality) of even a few years ago are now hate speech, or worthy of derision. In a way, it is the same phenomenon; an issue that is split with advocates on both sides, but one suddenly gains the power of social censure, bypassing debate and going straight to 'disagreement is grounds for condemnation with widespread ramifications for livliehood.'
Not only do we not discuss issues anymore, preferring to shut down or even threaten opposing viewpoints into silence, but in most issues, one side has just sort of claimed moral high ground status, and a frightening number of business-owners and public policies go along with enforcing it, choking off debate and making any discussion nigh0impossible for fear of the stick that the prevailing side wields to silence dissent.
eabaker wrote:"It feels unsafe to open your mouth at work" has been true for huge swathes of the population throughout the last century; it's just true for (some) different people now (while still also true for some of the same people it always was; working in sinful liberal [hahaha, as if] Hollywood, it's easy for me to forget that - just for example - in much of the country, my gay coworkers would put their jobs [and their safety] at risk by living out of the closet).
eabaker wrote:I think the most widespread problem these days is a lack of nuance in people's perspectives and in how they express those perspectives. For instance, this notion that disagreement = hate? Probably most of the time it's better understood as "support of unmistakably hateful people, even if rooted in god intentions, is in practice no different than hate." But some people don't have the patience to express it that way, and even what it is expressed that way, some others aren't interested in hearing all the words or asking for further elucidation.
I don't think that's entirely accurate, though; because 'hateful people' are defined, via circular logic, as those with differing opinions. 'You can't disagree about X without being hateful' is reframed as 'Supporting hateful people is functionally equivalent to being hateful,' but 'hateful people' are still 'those who disagree about X.' I think we're generally at a point where someone has decided 'There simply can't be any debate on this topic, dissent is hate' on a lot of different issues, and a frighteningly-large segment of the culture and populace simply go along with that. (And I don't want to sound like a classic conservative shill by naming that 'someone' as a biased news media, but... I do think news outlets on both sides are doing a little scarily too much to influence what the public 'should' think about an issue rather than just reporting the issue.) But I think that's a large part of the current political polarization; we've made it impossible to discuss any of the issues because our own position on the issue is so instrinsically-morally-right that disagreeing with it is automatically hate and bigotry and a desire to tear down all that is good.
eabaker wrote:I don't think people on any side of most issues spend enough time really investigating the perspectives of the other sides (there are never just two).
That is very, very true.
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Darth Kiryu wrote:And don't get me started on fact-checking. I've only recently started fact-checking myself in regards to stuff I agree with.
Yeah, i hear you. It can be surprisingly difficult to just... think of questioning the sources; to fall into the habit of just accepting claims as read. And it takes a force of effort to keep that mindset of 'check the facts before you let outrage carry you away on a tide of emotion.'