Well, it’s the last day of 2022 and I’m ashamed to have made so few posts this year. I’m posting now for two reasons. First, to remind everyone that they should get their nominations in for the Stroppy Git Award for Meaningless Drivel (aka The Strppy) 2023. Deadline: 2359 GMT on Sunday 15 January.
My second reason is to muse on a question that’s bothering me. How can people of similar intelligence and more-or-less equal access to information come to such wildly different conclusions about things? Top of mind in this regard is Russia’s war on Ukraine. I have been astounded at the views expressed to me by some friends who were born during the Soviet era in countries under Soviet (and therefore Russian) domination. They buy into Putin’s propaganda about the reasons for his “special military operation” and his claim that Ukraine’s claims to nationhood and sovereignty are invalid.
From everything I know it is so obviously a case of right vs wrong, good vs evil, rule of law vs law of the jungle, civilisation vs barbarism. But these friends appear to want an opposite outcome to the one I earnestly hope for. I would like to find some common ground on which we could start to work out why our views on this important matter are diametrically opposed.
There are many other examples of course, ranging from the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex relationships to the reasons for global warming and the granting to indigenous Australians of privileged access to the democratic process through a Voice to Parliament.
The biggest disagreement is, I suppose, over the existence or non-existence of God. I’m currently reading Richard Dawkins’ book ‘The God Delusion’, which I recommend for its clarity and scholarship. I’m 40% of the way through and have come across no meaningless drivel yet.
Nor am I likely to hear it from the lady who is depicted here on the side of my latest acquisition – a Christmas present from my younger son.