By: Brandy Harrison You only have to turn on the television or glance at the news headlines to encounter it:
For me, “people of colour” feels like a hiding place, as if I must hide an important part of me because it still isn’t deemed vital enough to define myself.
How do we talk about abortion? How do we make arguments about a topic that evokes such strong reactions? In opposing articles, Nathan Nobis and Kristina Grob and Hendrick van der Breggen, approach the issue dialectically. One approach is to think dialectically--to critically examine arguments pro or con, in order to uncover the assumptions and grounds they rest on, and develop new arguments that respond to the faults we find in our prior positions.
I favor the pro-life position on the abortion issue, all the while realizing that many good and decent people disagree with me. Why do they disagree? It seems they are influenced by popular claims and arguments favoring the pro-choice view. I intend no disrespect to anyone in saying this, but I think that many popular claims and arguments favoring the choice for abortion consist of knots of illogic that should be untangled.
Arguments for ethical and legal conclusions on the topic of abortion are often pursued dialectically, with positive arguments developed in response to contrary positions and objections. Many people say they just “feel” that abortion is wrong or their “opinion” is that it’s not wrong. But complex issues require informed, fair and honest critical thinking, not just mere “feelings” or “opinions.”
When you have a master or a leader, there’s always another master somewhere fighting them off or trying to contest them. The masters of other people can look pretty annoying to you, if not contemptible, irrelevant, reprehensible. I think about Beatlemania, where people were just horrified — What the hell is going on? These four guys with weird floppy haircuts. Or with Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, or any of the other rock stars. The disgust and terror that people have that others are caught up.
We recognize the Founders of our field because they coined the names for critical movements and gave the early shape and direction to critical ideas. But to be a founder, to parent a movement is all mythology.
America, like most of the rest of the world, and in many ways even more so, is a high-tech version of Plato’s cave. Self-harming citizens are perpetually fooled into voting against their own best interest.
From an Arendtian concept of power, we might argue that a more effective way to think about restoring the proper balance of power within the government is civil disobedience.
Knowing whether our beliefs are true or false is a question of the greatest difficulty—in democratic elections it can mean the difference between war and peace. Here is a theory of truth, along with eight concrete and practical ways to cut through the bullshit and understand political language better.