Bubble wrapped ideologies
One of the worst documentary series I ever watched was called ‘Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution’. It’s a pro-creationism series that uses the existence of various bugs/animals and their traits to argue why evolution isn’t possible. Netflix had multiple volumes available for streaming and so I binge watched all three. As a supporter of the theory of evolution I knew going in that I would have strong feelings of opposition directed at it, which leads to the question, why did I watch it?
I watched it because it’s important to take in opposing ideas.
By consuming media that supports views that are opposite of my own, I either reinforce my personal values, or discover flaws within my own logic. If I walk away from such sources shaking my head in disagreement there is still merit to be found because by understanding opposing arguments I become better at arguing for my own beliefs. And when a person understands what it is that they stand against, they become better at debating with those they disagree with.
Yet sadly, we now live in a world where exploring ideas is punishable and shunned by the masses. Get caught watching a video presented by someone of the opposing political line and you’re accused of supporting a [insert slanderous phrase here].
Curiosity is met by contempt and conformity is met with applause.
Don’t know who Jordan Peterson is or what his views entail, well you better Google him in private lest his opponents mobilize their defenses and shoot you down, even if you’re one of their own.
In 2017 a man was photographed and his face shared on social media after he was seen on public transportation reading a book by Milo Yiannopoulos. Without any context he was attacked and berated online. No one knew the guy’s name, let alone his political party and views, but that didn’t stop people from accusing him of such defaming things as beating his wife.
At the time, for all they knew, he was reading it to form arguments against the controversial author. Yet in that moment facts didn’t matter. Milo is an enemy of the Left and so anyone with so much as an image of him was to be metaphorically nuked. Now, it turns out that the guy was a fan, but the point still stands, we’ve criminalized the exploration of ideas.
In today’s world if I was on a subway train watching the abysmal ‘Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution’ I could be photographed and my face shared online with the caption “Look at this idiot, they’re a creationist”. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but facts and context got off the train a few stations back.
There’s a reason I follow many right and left personalities on Twitter. Seeing their views and opinions not only strengthens my own arguments but it prevents me from staying in a bubble. A bubble all sides are too willing to remain in.
More individuals need to go outside of their echo chambers. Pull out a needle and leave the safety of your bubble-wrapped ideologies, and truly explore differing opinions.
Read content, watch films, and binge watch lectures that stray from your own views. This isn’t an appeal to change your ideologies or closely held beliefs, I’m in no position to tell you what is right or wrong, I merely want a world in which civility crosses streams and curiosity knows no bounds because no one should ever be punished for exploring ideas.