Dispute; Narratively Defensible
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I had an argument just like this yesterday over lunch. It's tough to have friends who ideologically disagree with you on what should be pretty base level stuff, not to mention the hotter issues. I mean, c'mon! I really didn't want to spend thirty minutes on the definition of 'justice'. I like arguing, I think it's incredibly important, and I'm lucky to have friends that disagree with me. It's not like they're angry or mean either, the constant debate just gets exhausting. Though, I'm glad they fight back: a lot of people get trapped in echo chambers. It's not really their fault, we all have content we don't want to listen too. No one is perfectly open-minded, but in my situation, I've been forced to be incredibly so. To be polite, of course.

It's like chaos some days. Poor Andy, he's a professional debater — you know, the ones who go to all those competitions? He didn't vibe well with the informality of our discussion. Always funny how different formal debate is from just arguing. And, don't get me wrong, everyone is polite. They're my friends. In their mind, it's their duty to get me to see the error of my ways. Everyone trying to get their say, this side of the table, and that side of the table. Some twelve persons, all against me. I don't like to brag, but to be able to hold my ground and remain calm in all that is pretty impressive. Maybe I'm just far too stubborn for my own good.

Sometimes it feels like this whole school is against me. This whole town is against me. This whole country is against me. Well, no, that's not accurate. I do have support: mainly my family. I have other communities to support me too, but… having ideas is dangerous these days. Everyone hates you for them, even those who would be considered "on your side". It makes you want to shrink. Makes you want to become anti-intellectual. Makes you want to become what everyone else is. If you can't beat 'em, right? No, no — obviously not. Truth is above all. You must fight for Truth.

Listen, I'll put it bluntly. Politics in the US is weird. Everyone screaming, everyone fighting, everyone hating everyone else. I lived in Europe for two years, travelled all around. It's nothing like it is here. It's peaceful. People disagree, but they don't go forming militias for their beliefs. There isn't an Antifa in Switzerland, and there aren't any Proud Boys in Norway! Everything is so extreme these days, and everyone is claiming that everyone else is the real extremist. I wish I was still there, sometimes. Living alone in the alps, or in a farmhouse in Scandinavia with that nice family, or in that Italian villa…

It's always an 'us-against-them' narrative. Everyone shouts words that don't mean anything anymore, "Socialist", "Fascist", "Commie", "Nazi", and those are the tame ones! While obnoxious, on a philosophical level, I cannot help but think the rise in political slurs to be fascinating. That kind of stuff disintegrates truth: define fascism for me right now, and I could find several experts who disagree. It's like pinning jello to a wall with a stapler. Same thing for socialism too nowadays. Nothing means anything anymore, those words have just become epitaphs, pejorative husks of meaning. The same thing has happened to their respective "ideologies" as well. Those have become anti-intellectual, both superimposing themselves everywhere, and thus nowhere. And if ideas lose their meaning, why use them? Why participate in those groups?

And the problem is, here, there's only two! Only two sides, not multiple like there is elsewhere. People aren't actually this or that. They're just people, with lots of different beliefs. So when you try to conglomerate opposing beliefs into just two parties, things get messy. Fast. Maybe it's because the rest of the world is more centrist, and thus less opposed to having disagreements. Maybe it's just the lens I use. Who knows! All I know, is it is tiresome to watch the news now. I used to enjoy listening to news outlets for objective reporting on things, not this! There shouldn't be two news stations who cover the story completely differently. What happened to objectivism? And don't tell me that your outlet is objective and the other isn't: we all know CNN is just as biased as FOX. Sometimes one side is right, sometimes the other is. Though, everyone has their side they believe is right more often. Maybe. Sometimes I think that some believe their side is "right" all the time, which is the real danger. Then again, everyone likes to pretend they can't hear outside their own heads.

I love my friends, I really do. Thing is, they're wrong. I want them to become correct: it is human nature to want homogeny. It is human nature to want to agree with your tribe, and you can't agree with something that isn't the Truth. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this whole damn country is wrong. Wrongs upon wrongs upon wrongs, and we all think that everyone who agrees with us is right. We still hate them though, because "no one is as right about things as I". That's not to say it isn't difficult when no one agrees with you. For me, that's what if feels like. I know people have different reasons for believing things, and that diversity of opinion is important. It's not that they should be silenced for differing with me: I'm glad they have ideas. They're not always good ones, though, and that's the problem.

Some people in my school literally hate me specifically, just because I disagree with them vocally. It's not just that they hate my ideas, they hate me for having them. I am, perhaps, far too stubborn. Of course, my friends still love me, though sometimes they do give me cross looks at some of my bolder statements. Its not like I don't know I'm swimming against the current here, I get it. I don't want to have popularity, I just want to have the Truth. But I don't want hatred.
I just want normality. For five seconds, then we can argue again, okay? Then we can squabble about things. Important things, yes, yes. I know, I understand it. I'm glad you think the way you do. It's important. Just, give me a minute to collect myself. A moment of respite.

Okay. Thanks.
Back to the dispute.

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