Go Ahead … Offend Me
3 Short Reasons to Stop Being PC
Why do people get upset over political correctness? Isn’t is good not to offend anyone?
Yes. And no.
Offending people just to offend them is rarely a good idea. But it’s a boundary people often cross, especially online. When we don’t have to look into the eyes of the people we’re hurting and keep interacting with them on a regular basis, it’s easy to lose a sense of ordinary courtesy.
But it doesn’t automatically follow that offending people is always bad or even avoidable in every instance. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons to risk it.
Reason #1: Political correctness presupposes a correct opinion and shuts down all discussion.
Some of those opinions may seem obvious or enlightened to many people. But the fact that they haven’t always seemed either obvious or enlightened should be a flag.
Are we assuming the knowledge and reasoning of our own time and place are the pinnacle of human enlightenment thus far? That’s a bold claim. Maybe arrogant.
Or do we recognize that, at least sometimes, what we’re looking at is little more than a moral fad … that a historical view of moral trends hints at least some of the “progression” is more of a cycle. Or that those values may be rife with ethnocentrism?
Humanists might believe in a steadily evolving human progression toward “better,” but the current state of the world and human conflict should at least cause us to pause in that assumption. (Sometimes it looks more like entropy than progress!)
Regardless, there’s a problem with having political opinions or stances predigested and fed to you without real thought on your part. Is it really any better than religion on autopilot without ever struggling with it enough to decide you have questions?
Said another way, is there really relationship without conversation? Ideas are like people. You have to spend time with them and get to know them in order to make them yours.
Sometimes you’ll end up not liking them. Others … you’ll love them so much you’re willing to risk yourself to make them come to pass. That only comes with conviction.
Reason #2: Ideas NEED to be questioned.
We understand and refine ideas by handling them … questioning them … finding their strengths and weaknesses. Taking them apart and putting them back together.
It’s how we learn how those parts fit in a bigger whole.
It’s how we begin to see aspects of a question we hadn’t considered before.
It’s how an idea grows flesh and begins to live and breathe.
It’s how we find flaws in accepted views and begin correcting them.
One of the biggest parts of learning involves finding good questions. And until someone begins to question, they’re not ready to receive information.
Reason #3: Debating ideas we dislike helps us find common ground.
Whether it’s wolf conservation vs. wolf trapping…
Pulling out of Afghanistan vs. finding an alternate solution…
Whether people old enough to die for their country should also be old enough to drink alcohol…
We better understand:
· The information we have
· What it means
· How we and others interpret the issue
· Consequences of choices
· What’s right/wrong with our stance
· Where interests align
· What solutions exist that we never considered…
…and how to move forward in partnership with people who may think differently. This is not only a skill we need to see in politics right now, but in life.
(Thank you for reading! Please 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 or Comment below to share your thoughts.)