Syria, blasphemy laws and talking to others

The situation in Syria is horribly complicated. This is an attempt at a summary:

Now the refugees that enter our country will have some adjusting to do. We have unusually strong “free speech” laws here; “blasphemy” is perfectly legal here:

And customs vary from place to place, which can lead to major misunderstandings.

Our politicians aren’t helping the matter; right now it is “pander season”.

And talking to those who are on the “opposite side” of the liberal/conservative divide can be difficult. What is hard: if a conservative asks me about something, I can explain WHY I think the way that I do. But my explanation will not be very convincing as I am putting these things into MY values, which my conservative friend does not share.

So, if my goal is to persuade (even if just a bit), I need to take into account what my friend values, and put my ideas in those terms.

Example: on the refugee stuff, I would acknowledge that the other Gulf States aren’t doing their part, but also acknowledge American tradition, and point out that the last thing in the world that ISIS wants is for others to find out how much better it is to live under freedom instead of under an oppressive theocracy. I’d play to “American exceptionalism”, “liberty”, “exporting American values” and “winning the war on terror”.

And yes, the refugees have to assimilate to the ideas of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, if they haven’t already done so (some probably have).


November 18, 2015 - Posted by | politics/social, republicans, social/political |

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