Many of today’s bitter arguments, nee discussions, are on issues that allow — no, demand — only binary answers: Yes, No, Right, Wrong, True, False.
“Isn’t it true that surgeons cut patients and sometimes cause patients to die?”
“NO BUTS! Surgeons are awful people!”
Everyone recognizes the weakness of the argument. It may well be surgeons are awful people, but for reasons completely independent from them cutting into and mucking about in people’s insides.
That extreme example exemplifies the level of debate for many contentious issues.
Abortion and guns are two issues that come to mind; issues framed as being binary but aren’t.
Abortion is the end result of an unwanted pregnancy. Yet, for political reasons, the debate is being framed by religious conservatives as the murder of a human being. I mean, who could deny that left to develop, that tiny zygote will eventually develop into a human being?
They’re jumping a step. The problem is unwanted pregnancies. If you want to “stop murders”, why not get behind programs to reduce or even stop unwanted pregnancies? Contraceptives and sex education are two approaches proven to reduce unwanted pregnancies, and hence, abortions.
Religious Conservatives will tell you those are offensive to their religion — except they can’t point to implicit or explicit teaching regarding contraception in their scriptures; it’s something that’s “made up” like pretty much everything about religion (any religion).
Even if scriptures had something to say about contraception, surely one cannot compare the ‘sin’ of contraception to out-and-out murder!
But that’s what’s being done, for political leverage, by callous and hypocritical people.
The matter of guns is the same argument from the other side. The US has the Second Amendment, and the likelihood of it being repealed or changed is practically zero.
That doesn’t stop liberals from calling for the confiscation and abolishment of guns and blaming all gun owners for gun murders.
Guns indeed kill people. I mean, who would deny that a gun is a most efficient tool for killing? I think that’s why most armies issue guns. But for civilians, it’s not the killing; it’s self-defense (why I own guns).
If the availability of guns was to blame, we’d surely have many more murders by guns. There were 5M new gun owners in 2020, 300M total gun owners, 21,570 murders; even conservatively assuming one owner per murder, only 0.00719% of gun owners commit murder. Why, then, paint 99.99281% of gun owners as murderers?
Why not, instead, push for things favored by many gun owners? For example, more education, licensing and training (not restrictions), and mandatory sentencing (no parole) for crimes committed with a weapon, to name a few?
Because, just like conservatives, liberals also need a white whale for inciting the base.
Binary arguments are great for keeping feeble-minded partisan voters occupied so they overlook the many other ways they’re being screwed.
Avoiding nuances suits the needs of our crappy two major parties. What we need is either better parties or other major parties.
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