There are times when I think naiveté is very likely to be the death of me.
“Naiveté about what?” I hear you ask.
Naiveté about people, I reply.
“Surely not!” you protest, “if anyone has a grip on the human condition, it’s you, oh great and wise bearded one!”
*cough* Ok, perhaps I’m getting a little carried away here…
Anyway, the point is, I have this habit of assuming most people are basically kind and decent if given the chance, and will listen to, and be persuaded by, a thoughtful, well intentioned and properly constructed argument.
And yet, this flies in the face of blog posts, noticeboard threads, Facebook status updates and news items I witness on a daily basis.
I forget not everyone spent 4 years studying philosophy so can spot a badly constructed argument at a thousand paces.
I forget that there are people who will ignore all the evidence to the contrary because their mate down the pub/ some tabloid newspaper headline/ a dodgy book they once read/ Fox News told them differently.
I forget that there are many, many people who never question their lives or the lies they are sold on a daily basis.
I forget that some people can turn quite nasty if you question their unquestioned beliefs.
I forget that nearly everyone insists on having the last word in any argument.
So I keep this cartoon from the wonderful XKCD permanently to hand to stop me getting too sucked into these things.