In general, I am suspicious when someone dismisses a view for being “radical” or “extreme.” There is usually sloppy thinking behind that designation. Why not just say what is wrong with the view? How for instance are we supposed to feel about “radical Christianity”? Good or bad? Does it mean Origen or Ted Cruz or something altogether different? Can’t we just debate the question itself?
The same is true in politics. Let’s say someone favors free trade and the First Amendment. Is that “radical”? Or is it mainstream and thus non-radical? Does labeling it radical further the debate on whether or not those are the correct positions?
Count higher than two. Of all the mental habits that encourage polarization, the most dangerous is probably binary thinking – the tendency to divide everything into two mutually antagonistic categories.
Part of maturing, I think, is realizing that charges of acting in bad faith are often themselves made in bad faith, an attempt to explain away gaps in understanding between two people rather than trying to bridge them, or even make peace with them.
We make ourselves lists in order to know if we think what we think.
There is no finality in a list, just a promise that we will argue about everything listed, adjust our thoughts, and watch our feelings change over time.
One of my general rules is, if you’re on the fence about a movie/TV show/etc and you mull it over for a week, you liked it.
In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
It seems to me that the ears that are listening make more difference than the way the music sounds.
Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Forms, styles, structures–whatever word you prefer–should change like skirt lengths. They have to; otherwise we make a rule, a religion of one form; we say, “This form here, this is what reality is like,” and it pleases us to say that (…) because it means we don’t have to read anymore, or think, or feel.