The politico-metaphysical asymmetry

I identify, as do many people. That there is an asymmetry about how we treat people’s political (or moral) views compared to their metaphysical ones. Now, I divide metaphysical views between ‘innocuous’ and ‘offensive’. This is a distinction based upon the social reception of these said views. The distinction is illustrated thus:

INNOCUOUS: does not offend or affect a social interaction (such as believing in true love, or being cynical about ‘the one’)

OFFENSIVE: such as the belief in divinity, or exclusive claims to metaphysical truth, those which divide people, alienate or seemingly elevate others.

We have little qualms in most situations to the starry eyed youth or hopeless middle-ager who believes that there is a beautiful princess or shining knight who is waiting for them to live a happily-ever-after life, or, if they believe in ghosts, or some form of unverifiable scientific claim. This is perhaps, eccentric, and just to get by the normal day we let people live within such a narrative.

Regarding offensive metamake them physical views, some people make claims which priviledged over others, such as being the blessed or most loved people of their deity. People don’t regard it as eccentric often, but a deeply held belief that is immune to criticism, something to tolerate, something to respect. But something that cannot be touched or talked about critically in ANY way.

Let us now think about political and moral opinion. Let’s consider the worst kind; patriarchy, sexual abusers, zealots… If a man or woman comes up to you one day and talks about how hating black people has become an important and constructive influence in his life, or how rape has improved his life. We’d not want to think they are immune to criticism and they can live out their views and believing in them without being touched.

So, it seems this.

Moral/political views – Subject to public scrutiny

Metaphysical views -Not subject to serious public scrutiny, if at all.

Perhaps this is not as absurd as it seems. To some extent, people principally are not immune, but practically or out of kindness, left alone with their views; perhaps meaning they are not rigorously challenged or pushed to think more about it with new propositions or with another line of thought entertained very seriously.

Let’s add in another example to the mix. Stigmatising propositions. These include features of a person that entails shame or humiliation, isolation or denigration. This could be:

i. Physical appearance

ii. Disability

iii. Some pain-inducing fact about the person’s biography; say, abuse, or bereavement.

Things like this, we don’t think appropriate to bring up. Although, a certain friend of mine enjoys a sense of humour which brings up the foibles of others to malicious end (the extreme offence and inappropriateness is the source of the joke – not one many would want to appreciate). Things like this include reminding or making aware to a person these stigmatising propositions.


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