Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"I'm offended" and other feelings

I find it rather very depressing when, after going through a long and painstaking post about very fine points of philosophy and theology, the response to the challenge is "I'm offended."  That's it.  No rebuttal.  No reason why I'm wrong.  Just a blurb of emotion, usually followed by an insult.

This to the other side seems to be a proper counter and the feeling of offense provides justification for disregarding another's opinion.  This projection occurs way too often in our society.  The rush of emotion that validates a person's view that the other is wrong, simply by being offended.

Another is the dubious evidence claim.  Claims that because homosexuals pair up and pretend to be wed somehow validates the notion of same-sex "marriage".  When pointed out that this "evidence" is nothing of the kind, the "I'm offended" non-argument followed by an insult is usually trotted out, with the same effect as before.

Then there is the "That person wrestled with it for a long time".  "It" being some horrible crime such as abortion.  Apparently torturing oneself before performing some heinous act turns the act from evil to good.  It doesn't seem to occur to people that the opposite is in fact true.

Feelings are important, but they are not an argument.  Emotions help to drive our ability to live our life according to reason.  But they are not a substitute for reason.  The inability of most it seems to realize that "I'm offended" does not mean that offense is valid is suffocating our ability to exchange ideas.  Just because one feels offended does not mean you have a right to be offended.

We live in a strange time where reason is confused for emotion and we are proclaimed to be the "Age of Reason."  From what I can tell we excel in being offended and angry.  We excel in feeling that our ideas are worthwhile simply because we feel like they are worthwhile.

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