Why Some Simple Questions Are Hard Radical Bleeding Heart image

What Do We Really Believe?

It is also about asking questions of oneself. Questions about why we believe what we think we believe.

The first question that might occur to you is: Why should there be so much confusion about that? The short answer is that whenever the issue of what we believe is broached, scores of folks pounce on us shouting and stirring up our passions. And we do not think clearly when our passions are at the boiling point.

Now there are two reasons for this state of perpetual passionate lunacy. One is that we are human, and human beings find passionate lunacy more interesting than calm, reasoned discourse. The other is that there are people who find it in their interest to keep our emotions boiling. They use our passions to lead us astray. That is the explanation for the lunatic circus that passes these days for television news.

The Radical Bleeding Heart will try to provide reasoned discourse. If that is too boring for you, you must turn elsewhere. We do not deal in entertainment disguised as discussion.

What you learn here might well inspire passion, but that is exactly how it should work. You learn the truth through careful examination of the facts and calm, rational consideration of them. Then what you discover may indeed lead you to a fierce desire to change a wickedly unjust and immoral system. O yes, our beliefs may produce great passion, but they themselves should come out of reason and facts.

When our beliefs are the product of passion alone, we have probably been set on the road to perdition.

Rational Discussion of Politics? Where to start? Well, we might ask what a rational discussion of political values and programs would look like, beginning with the labels we use to define them.

Values, World-views, and Class. Or what is the real difference between liberals and conservatives? How different are we really? or are the differences exaggerated by those who have an interest in keeping us at each others throats? Is the divide between left and right one of values? Or is it world views? Or is it really about class differences? What is the real nature of our political divisions?

Fix Democracy First. Is the system hopelessly broken? Is our democracy dead, dying or moribund? Nearly everyone thinks that something is wrong with the way our government works (or fails to work), but what is really the problem? This is the most vital question, for without a true functioning democracy nothing else can be done.

Taking Action. [New!] And finally, what can we do about it? (We discuss this vital question here, but you really should study what is wrong before you try to change it).

Short Answers. [New!] These issues are all related. You should think about them all. If you are impatient, you can skip to the “Short Answers” section, but real understanding requires real work. That means reading not only what is here, but also the thoughtful analysis provided by many others. We will provide links to many of those sources of enlightenment.