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Standing up for what's right

Yesterday on Facebook, I shared an image which contained the words "Stand up for what's right. Even if it means standing alone."

A friend brought up the valid point that "often what is 'right' is subjective." He then expanded on the statement and provided examples, but the gist of what he wrote is contained in the original phrase.

I thought about it, and I replied thusly:

In my personal case, yes, I do have convictions that some of my friends *believe* are opposed to theirs, but really aren't if they'd think them through. For instance, people who believe in equality for all people regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, or sexual orientation can also be the same people who resist "equal pay" laws, advocate treating Muslims as second-class citizens, or casually use the word "wetback".

Of course, I also have convictions that actually *are* opposed to those of some of my friends, but in those cases I am usually more willing to entertain alternate viewpoints. For instance, if you (and I don't mean you, personally, just the generic "you") don't believe that there should be universal, government-funded health care, then what *other* plan or program would fulfill the need of all citizens to have access to medical care when needed without forcing them to choose between medicine and food? And if you do have a plan that you think would fill that need, what evidence do you have to support that belief? Unfortunately, most of the time, the people I'm talking do either don't have any evidence or don't have a plan in the first place, whereas the plan I believe in has what I feel to be overwhelming evidence in support of it.

I suppose the gist of all of this is: If someone is opposed to something that I consider to be a basic human right, I will fight them, whether friend or foe. If someone believes that all Muslims should be deported, that person is just plain wrong, no argument about it. If someone believes that poor people don't deserve medical care if they can't afford it, that person is just plain wrong, and I will fight them on it.

As I mentioned in past posts, this has estranged me from several former friends. But they were people who, when confronted with inconsistencies in their positions, instead of revising their thoughts to account for and correct the inconsistency, lashed out with invective and personal attack. Even when the point was brought up as a question ("Can you give me evidence to support your claim"), accompanied by contrary evidence ("Here are several reputable sources that disagree with your claim"), or simply argued against ("I don't agree with you, and here's why"). So I don't exactly miss them.

And I won't stop standing up for what's right.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 9th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
This. Well said.
Feb. 9th, 2012 02:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Feb. 9th, 2012 12:53 pm (UTC)
I think the statement is easily amended - "Stand up for what you believe is right, even if you stand alone." Even for people with whom I disagree I can say this is a good philosophy (although, like all philosophies, if you take it to the extreme - "and therefore everyone who doesn't stand with me is WRONG" - then you're out of bounds).
Feb. 9th, 2012 02:35 pm (UTC)
That does make sense. Thanks. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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