Everyone's got an arse hole..

Everyone's got an arse hole..

Every time there's an act of terrorism, be it religious or just some random nut case, I feel frustrated and angry. When it involves the country of my birth, even more so. I feel towards the perpetrators. But the importance of the political climate, that I feel inspires much of these actions, does not escape me either. While the problem is not solely theirs, the posturing and hubris of three of our last four Prime ministers has certainly aggravated the situation. Look at the fallout from the bungled anti-terror raids of September 2014 for example. A whole bunch of fear and hurt, but no solid terror related arrests.

Given all this, it's not surprising I commented on how pissed off I was with the (reported) group of gunmen that had taken over the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney. I also pointed out I held Australia's recent leadership partly responsible for this bloody sorry situation..

So then I get this message on facebook from someone I know. Made harsher by the fact that sender knows terrorism took away a bloke I know and respected this year.

"Your the one fucked in the head, damn shame it wasn't you or one of your family in that cafe. You deadshit."

Here's the thing, I know this elderly woman is capable of rational reasoning. I've actually witnessed it in relation to other things. We've discussed ethnic tensions in Australia before too. I put forward some of my ideas and am summarily told I'm a fuckwhit or something. I hold the values I have because other people have shared their ideas with me. Some of that reasoning made sense so I broadened my point of view. If you actually give me a new idea, I'll trundle off and think about it.

But I've no idea what to do about people who just sink to personal attacks when you don't agree with absolutely everything they say? When I sit down to discuss things I'm actually looking for some new, sound reasoning that had not occurred to me. Usually when people go ad hominem I'm happy to just shrug and walk away. But what if that persons view is potentially damaging to our community? Is every body really entitled to their own view?

A while back my Sister bullied me into a corner demanding a yes or no answer to a question that had all sorts of grey involved. "Do you think all people are entitled to their own opinion Andrew?" I tried to explain that if that opinion was likely to cause harm, I did not think they were. She kept saying "Just tell me yes or no. Yes or no.."

Eventually I gave up and just said "No, people are not entitled to their own opinion". The bastion of personal freedom that is me, said people are not entitled to their own opinion. Sigh...

So what do we do with this? Is it really ok for people to spread fear and hate saying the Muslim community is out to subjugate Australia? Is it really ok for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to call for a few random be-headings? That's freedom of opinion after all.

Is the saying "Everyone's entitled to their opinion" an actual thing or just a soft cop out?