Causality...Does Anyone Give a ????

About five or so years ago, for various reasons, I decided to be my own Devils Advocate.  In other words: Whatever my established views were on a given subject, I would argue the reverse.  This is an exercise often foisted upon those who are on debate teams.  One must convincingly argue the point of view opposite of that personally held.

It has been an interesting experiment.  I was pretty bad at it to start.  My arguments consisting of only the standard cliches of those around me with whom I disagreed.  I just sort of parroted those folk, and watched for the reactions of those with whom I generally agreed.  But along the way I began to start listening to myself, and then listening to those I was parrotting.  And I began to understand.  I began to change.

These shrill sounding fools who questioned the very principles on which I had built and determined my values still sounded shrill for the most part.  But the shrillness increased in volume:  And it turned out that the added volume was my own shrill sounding arguments.  The same-old....same-old.  Politics, religion, socail issues.. it does not matter.  The sound is the same.  The arguments old. The logic lacking. The willingness to engage in real discourse, to ask questions, to consider the other point of view....these are all utterly lacking.

There are so many opportunities for engaging with each other, for learning from each other and from the world around us.  And yet we avoid doing more than bludeon each other from a distance.  A post on FaceBook slamming one party or the other.  A blog post denegrating this group of people or the other group of people.  A news article compelling us to look at some sub-division of society as the source of our woes.

You see, the source of all our woes can be eliminated if we just select the correct target group to blame those woes on.  Wall Street, the 'lazy welfare' bunch, the politicians, the liberals, the right-wingers, the immigrants, the Chineese.... .  Clearly one of these groups are to blame.

"But No!", shout those who wish it not to be.  It is not some target group they say.  It is that we no longer pray to the God of our fathers, we have lost our spiritual center, and God is punishing us.  Yet others determine that, God or no, we have dehumanized ourselves, killing wantonly, consuming without concern of what it is that we mitigate our glutony with.  And then others point to the divisions caused by inequality.

And they are all onto something.  Every one of those issues is real.  Cultural divisions that present themselves as clashes of religion.  Businesses pushing products that are clearly not well tested for safety.  The rich demanding special treatment.  The immigrants who show up demanding that society bend to their preferences.  The LGBT communnity splashing themselves in the face of a society, which has for far too long been intolertant for no other reason than self-righteos bigotry, exacerbating the hard feelings instead of calming them.  Muslims who will not take ownership of Jihad, when it is theirs to own up to.  All of these things are real.  But none of them are the cause of who and what we are becoming.  No, there is something else within each of us which has stretched and torn, becoming inflamated and infectious.  There is no pill for this.