**Edit: I spelled propaganda wrong. Again.
Wheeee I've been saving that one. So I spend the last 2 days, about 16 hours working on my sweet new shed with my father. I've gotten him into reading some blogs, and we discussed at length a few repeating patterns we've both noticed (and are by no means immune to):
1. There is a liberal dogma.
2. I agree with a lot of it.
3. We both have a hard time with any dogma.
1: We all know what the liberal dogmatic stances are on everything from global warming, to birth control, to affirmative action, to every other goddamn thing under the sun. While I find myself in agreement with most all of the dogmatic stances I, become thoroughly annoyed when someone chimes in with a completely rational argument against one of them, and the chimer-inner is dismissed as a troll of some sort, and the argument is not explored. I haven't yet found myself labeled a troll on a blog (I don't comment much anywhere), but I can positively conclude that I would be labelled a troll should I chime in.
Even when I am in complete agreement with a stance, political position/posture, or the like my brain immediately begins the devil's advocate program (v 30.3 It needs work, but it's done well for me). I don't do this to necessarily be argumentative, but to be exploratory. I believe this is a byproduct of the general troubleshooting skills I have honed over the whole of my life. I must consider as many alternatives as I possibly can, and should I find a logical conflict, I must do everything I possibly can to correct it. Logical inconsistencies infuriate me, although I have to live with a few (for example, the only logical conclusion I can draw from some of my new-found non-religious frameworks is that eating meat is unacceptable (pain/suffering/killing/etc of sentient beings), however, I continue to eat meat.. and probably will until I can no longer withstand the mental pressure to do otherwise).
2: Yup. Most.
3: Following dogma means acceptance without regard for the truth (should the actual truth be part of the dogma is beside the point). I have, since I can remember, absolutely refused to believe anything that I couldn't conclude with my own thought (when I eventually find the time to think about it. The queue is long). This is why I have no problem dismissing arbitrary authority -- which has caused me a lot of easily avoidable problems -- and making that dismissal quite outward.
I have concluded that the label of troll, in some circumstances (I can't give a %) is intellectual laziness. It's simply name calling with the end of dismissal of an uncomfortable question (in the cases where it's lazy).
While the comfort of dogma may have great appeal to some (and dogma is politically agnostic), I will not accept what I am told. Regardless of the authority of the preacher.
To be cliche:
8 months ago