The world is a very complicated place. Well, let me qualify that – the world I live in is a very complicated place.

I’m not sure about the world where some of my neighbors apparently reside.

A lot of people do seem to be living in a pretty simple world. It isn’t a very realistic or even practical world, but it’s one they seem fairly comfortable occupying.

After reflecting somewhat intently on recent events – and the various interpretations of those events – I believe I have identified the primary source of our current dilemma.

The biggest challenge we face as a society involves our irrational fixation on “either/or” thinking.

Let me explain:

Stupid people tend to see everything – and everybody – through a lens that has only two options: Good or bad. Right or wrong. Regular or decaf. You are either one of “them” (the enemy) or you are one of “us” (the self-righteous).

You either support the president unconditionally or you hate him unequivocally.

You either support social distancing or you are planning to storm the Bastille.

You either support the unqualified right to bear arms, or you are a left-wing, fascist sympathizer.

You either support universal health care or you’re an insensitive, hard-hearted moral criminal.

You either support fiscal responsibility or you believe we should just fire up the printing presses anytime we need to pay for something.

With respect to the current pandemic, you either support saving lives, or you support saving the economy. Obviously, we can’t do both.

Intelligent people have always understood that nothing is ever as it initially appears, and a superficial grasp of the relevant issues is usually a recipe for disaster.

“Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell belongs there,” Julian Baggini once noted.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly where some people seem most at home.

Aaron W. Hughey

Bowling Green

(5) comments


Yeah ... I'm not from Kentucky. I've lived in many different states, and the "bible belt" or "the south" is filled with this either/or mentality. Most places outside this range of states is not like this. I don't know how I ended up back here, but I'm sure ready to get back out. Maybe the west states where people are less narrow minded.

Enough Already

I too have lived all over the US including the west. It seems you are confusing 'narrow minded' with people who disagree with you. If you mean by 'either/or mentality' the rest of the country is detached from right and wrong, moral from immoral, honest from dishonest, I disagree. I see nothing wrong with having firm convictions. You just happen to live in an area that is more outspoken. It is part of living in a free country, the ability to disagree, hopefully without being disagreeable.


mmhhmm ... and your word is "gold" I suppose. I do not speak of those who disagree with me or me with them. I'm talking emotionally volatile people who can't keep their shit together over simple things, or let other people live their life in peace, or idiots who think bullying others is the "right thing to do". Piss off ...

Enough Already

So it's okay for you to malign an entire geographical area because in your your opinion, "it is narrow minded"? How noble of you to let us know that. I wish you well as you go west to spread your simplistic answers to complex questions. I wouldn't stop in Texas with your ideas but I'm sure Los Angeles would welcome your views. They will likely agree with most everything that dribbles out of your mouth and I'm quite sure that is the less narrow minded view you have in mind. Don't forget to zip up before you venture out. You don't want to be exposed for what you really are...


Enough Already ... yup snore ... don't bother replying. G'bye-bye

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