instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Here's to you and me

Ever notice how smart you are?

You choose a side in a debate, maybe by logic, maybe by gut feeling, maybe by dartboard.

Once you've chosen your side, you begin to notice something. All the reasons your side is best turn out to be even stronger than you thought before. All the arguments against your side turn out to be trivial or irrelevant, maybe even impious. Factors you hadn't even considered before, factors that maybe seal the deal for all but lunatics and feeblewits, make themselves known to you as you review the state of the debate.

It's almost like, when you chose your side, you had a supra-rational insight into just how right your side is, which only later you were able to unpack discursively and fully appreciate.

And the other side? Feh. All their fancy talk is, in the end, built on a foundation of soap bubbles held in place by sheer contrariness. The amazing thing, the stunning thing, is that they are simply unable to see how they're fooling themselves. Things they used to think mattered, they suddenly say don't matter. They try to pawn off trivialities and irrelevancies, maybe even impieties, as crucial matters of deep import. It's like, once they've chosen a side, they're using every trick in the book to justify their choice to themselves.