Long live the contrarians

It's my proud boast that although I have deleted posts from this blog and my Facebook page which I thought were libellous, offensive or childish insults, I do not remove from debating spaces under my control the comments of those who are making a reasonably polite and constructive attempt to express views I merely happen to very strongly disagree with. Or even things I know to be wrong if, as is nearly always the case, a polite and constructive correction is far more appropriate than pretending that his or her views do not exist.

Someone who had made what I consider, and had written, were some completely wrong statements on Facebook asked this week why I didn't just unfriend and block her. The answer is that nobody has a monopoly of wisdom and I am determined to avoid the social media trap of constructing an artificial bubble around myself in which I engage only with people who completely agree with me or are at least in a comfort zone of carefully limited disagreement.

Sooner or later even the cleverest person who allows that to happen will find that they have insulated themselves from discovering an important but unwelcome truth that they needed to learn.   

I heartily recommend a piece by Ali Miraj on The Article called "Long live the contrarians" which makes the point very well that we all owe a debt to the people who are willing to stand up and express unpopular opinions.  

John Stuart Mill put it very well:


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