Bored with controversy. No, not with honest debates about unsettled matters or a genuine exchange of ideas through considerate listening and weighing the validity of someone else’s thoughts. No, what I’m bored with is bipolar, uncompromising, argumentative, contrarian grandstanding for the sake of controversy. I’m bored with inane, pointless, stubborn, inflexible attitudes, with the refusal to admit wrong or examine the value of the other’s opinion. And most of all, I’m bored with intractable opinions. All opinions are wrong; they are short on facts, they miss the target. Despite this, opinions usually do contain some truth. They are never completely wrong, never completely correct. That’s what makes them opinions and what makes them dangerously slippery. A good opinion is malleable and open to adjustment as new facts and alternate views come to light.
Facts, on the other hand, are the same for everyone, everywhere. They do not change. Difficulties emerge when facts and opinions get blurred, when established facts are denied or when people refuse to revise their opinions as new evidence presents itself. Arguing facts is boring. There’s nothing to debate.
I love an argument when it involves an openminded dialog, a free-trade of opinions and facts not limited to simply two polarized extremes. A dialog where concession and exception are recognized, relished and relinquished. Controversy is productive only when antithetical opposites are surrendered, a middle ground is admitted, and the possibility of consensus is conceded.