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No simple issues Wed, Dec 16, 2015
I find myself feeling decreasingly sure of my position on most issues.  Confidence and assuredness are generally seen as positive qualities, so in the past I've often established my personal stance about something, then derided the other side as ignorant blowhards.  I still do that now, but I sit the fence more often.  My history teacher in high school told me that fence-sitting is bad when you're writing a persuasive essay.  Well Mr. Garbarini, it turns out many things aren't that simple. 

There are refugees from the Middle East.  We should let them in because we're nice.  No, we should reject them because they might be bad people.  I was initially very far on the left side of this issue, but then some people killed some people, and that moved me a little farther right.  I still think we should value human life by helping people in need, but I also don't feel like dying because some asshole thinks the world should burn.  People who are firmly on one side of the issue or the other tend to not be looking at the whole situation.  And it gets messy because these are human beings we're talking about, not endangered toads or kale. 

Some people are too poor to pay their water bill.  We should cut off service because that's how things work.  No, we should still provide service because it's water.  This isn't simple.  The logical part of me says, "No pay, no service."  But again, these are human beings, and this is water, not cable TV or a cell phone.  I wish I had a more concise opinion about this. 

I just realized I'm dealing with cognitive dissonance here.  I'm holding two opposing views in my head at the same time, which is why I'm uncomfortable about it all.  It's much easier to simply choose a side and stick with it.  I envy that ability right now.  Instead I get to have a mixed opinion about something and feel bad about it, both because I have a mixed opinion, and because both sides of the issue are messy.  Argh. #psychology


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