When I was young I asked myself the question, ‘why do people think differently?’ I realise this is not a question of great moment but it fascinated me because I saw people discuss passionately different sides of the same problems and I wondered how people drew different conclusions when faced with the same facts. Later on as I learned about thinking I understood the different assumptions people make when coming to terms with how to survive in this life, assumptions drawn from different experiences, different childhoods and different aspirations.
But the place where the greatest dissension may be found, putting aside any and every community on earth, is in politics and there, apparently, the art is ‘compromise’ where the parties find a median position they can both live with. It strikes me that this itself is a betrayal not of convictions but of the possibility that our assumptions are not as advanced or as certain and we believe them to be.
In fact the only reason we have political parties is because people are able to draw conclusions about how society works based on their knowledge of how humans work, and no one knows everything about either one or both. So how can anyone be right? How can any of us assume our assumptions, which define who we are and what we do, are accurate?
We can’t, of course, but that won’t stop us killing for them if we have to; that’s just one of those things you have to understand about human beings.