You know, it seems in America today, and here quite a lot as one reads through the posts in the various threads of this section, that while as always, people have differing opinions on various issues, whether it be politics, religion, or just plain old philosophical principle, that in addition to those differences in opinion, now more than ever, people refuse to just let other people have their opinions without it blowing up into some big argument.
One of my core philosophies personally is that to solve any problem, you need to take the lesson of the story of Hercules fighting the Hydra in the 12 Labors. In the story, he tries to kill the hydra by cutting off its heads, which were right in front of him and easy to see and get to, but no matter how many times he did, his efforts only made the problem worse, causing two more heads to grow in the place of the one that was cut off. Finally he defeats the hydra by going for its body instead, stabbing it in the heart.
Like all of the 12 Labors in that myth, this story is a metaphor, one that teaches that you can't solve any truly complicated problem by just hacking at it from the surface. You have to find the root cause of the problem and "go right to the source" as they say.
There's so much division and hatred in our country today [speaking only for America of course, although from what I know, its similar in other places too] that people have stopped being willing to compromise and work together, despite their differences. Look, at the end of the day, people have a right to disagree with you, and you can't force them to change their minds. Instead of bickering over things that you're never going to resolve, perhaps it would be better if people try to get back to looking for common ground, and working for their common interests, regardless of any philosophical or even religious differences they might have with that person.
At the end of the day, Cooperation is what really makes the world go round, and the less people are willing to cooperate with each other, the more the machinery of society gets clogged and broken down with stupid pointless arguments that will never go anywhere. I am speaking of course primarily about the American political situation at the moment, our system having nearly completely broken down at this point due to both sides unwillingness to work together [although the same could be said for a great many issues in the world today].
Actually, whether or not you realize it, the Black and White Pokemon games have the philosophies of Conservatism AKA Ideals vs. Liberalism AKA Truth, as their primary theme anyway. One of the most prominent lessons those games was supposed to teach was the danger of thinking in black and white terms, that is, in absolutes. When you listen to the things Team Plasma, and especially N say, they're speaking in a very absolutionist manner, a sort of "I'm right, you're wrong, and there's no room at all for negotiation or differing opinions." kind of philosophy.
That kind of rhetoric is extremely damaging to a society, and really, both sides have their valid points, and both sides have their weaknesses. I'm personally more liberally minded, but I'm also pretty moderate, and have many issues I hold conservative views on [For example, I think people should be allowed to own whatever kind of guns or weapons they want, as I am a strong supporter of second amendment rights. Now still, I don't mean this in absolutes, and some gun control, especially on the number of weapons a single person can own, should still be instituted].
Anyway, my point is that I try as much as I can to see the validity in both sides of the argument, even if I do often fail at it. You see, the reason people often fall into Absolutionist ways of thinking is quite simply, because its easier to understand the world that way. Things are simple and clear when you define them in black and white terms, but in doing so, you completely distort the reality of the situation, and blind yourself to any part of it that doesn't support your position. Therefore, as much as we can, people should try to think of the world in the more complex, albeit also more mentally straining, viewpoint that actually reflects reality.
Now, while it is true that Conservatism, which is fueled primarily by emotions, religion, and all to often, selfishness [its basically for people who do only what is in their own best interest, caring about other people only so far as they can help them] has a tendency to promote and generate hatred, something which is a known fact, at the same time, Liberals often have a tendency to look at the "irrational" way in which Conservatives might behave and think, and end up meeting that hatred with hatred of their own, usually in a condescending, elitist manner because they think that their logically based positions and greater "intelligence" automatically make them superior to their conservative counterparts.
So really, although they might think otherwise, Liberals are usually no better than the hate-spewing Conservatives they like to point to [which I will note, does not represent the full spectrum of conservatism, simply being the most publicly visible one and the easiest to criticize], and they, just as much as their opponents, get into looping trains of thought that play back like a tape, simply because it is human nature to do so.
In the end, what a person should ideally strive for is a balance between the two of them. You have to look out for yourself and make sure that you'll be alright, or else you won't be prepared when things happen that you didn't plan for. Still, at the same time, without help from other people, and supporting everyone as a whole, society will very rapidly break down and stop working, because people won't be working together and will only be blindly concerned with holding onto their own possessions.
So, if there is any true path, I would argue that it is moderation between these two things. Still at the same time, people are fully allowed to disagree with me on this, and indeed, sometimes an absolutionist view is indeed called for, but all to often we leave ourselves on auto-pilot and forego thinking through our actions before we go through with them, saying and doing things out of habit rather than true thought, and this is where we tend to get ourselves into trouble.
So, thoughts, anyone?