It is important that the doubt involved includes sound reasoning.
Look at Climate Change, for example. Many will argue that the one or two studies that debunk Climate Change, versus the uncountable others on the topic, are the right ones. They will argue it’s a conspiracy. Because it was called Global Warming rather than Climate Change, and winters are still bitterly cold, they say it’s just a liberal/progressive lie.
Let me ask you this — so what if it were? Does that lessen the importance of treating our one-and-only planet with love and respect? Does that mean we should just pollute our air and water until we all have to carry around portable tanks and filters? Or should we maybe consider that protections to keep our planet healthy also keep US healthy, and are therefore good practices?
Doubt is fine, but is it reasonable? That’s the issue I think a lot of people neglect in any given debate.
Reasonable Doubt Should be Reasonable
Don Miguel and Don Jose Ruiz’s Fifth Agreement is “Be Skeptical, But Learn to Listen.” Unfortunately, since a great many arguments are now made online, people tend more and more to not apply this. Maybe for the internet and social media this should be, “Be Skeptical, But Learn to Read.” People toss out opinions about this, that and the other thing, and refuse to even entertain alternative viewpoints.
Even at the top, they lack reason. If the United States government was reasonable, we’d have Universal Healthcare, a living minimum wage, and fair taxation, rather than wealthy insurance companies running and limiting healthcare access, a minimum wage that is too low to live on anywhere in the country, and tax cuts for the extremely wealthy and credits for corporations that make obscene profits.
Doubt my claims? Then by all means, please present to me your REASONS for that doubt. That means no name calling, insults, trite slogans, or statements lacking factual backing. Give me reasonable doubt, and I will certainly entertain the idea of altering my opinion.
All too often, reason goes out the window. Or, in modern parlance, reason never reaches the screen.
Reasonable Doubt Should Lead to Reasonable Debate
No matter what the topic is, discussions, debates, even arguments should be reasonable. There is absolutely no reason to be demeaning, disenfranchising, insulting, or otherwise crude.
Our society has shown an unfortunate and increasing lack of empathy and kindness. In order to reverse this, it is up to each and every one of US to be more kind and empathetic. When you and I practice kindness and empathy, we are working to combat the lack of it in our world today.
You and I can change the world. Any change begins small, and begins with individuals. Want more reasonable doubt rather than the unreasonable doubt? Practice it yourself. To generate more kindness and empathy in the world, you and I need to practice more kindness and empathy.
Finally, please note — this is not a quick fix. It takes time, practice, patience. But when we apply ourselves to this, we gain control over the only thing we can, in fact, control: Our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Do you practice reasonable doubt?