I consider myself unwavering in many of my convictions. Because of this, I avoid debating with my close friends.I am always thinking about the important issues. For example, while working at Lot 94 as a University parking attendant, I came across quite the moral conundrum.
According to the attendant manual, we are supposed to charge $2 to any driver who has at least one passenger in the car, regardless of the passenger’s age. I decided the pregnant woman should pay $3.25.
I can see anyone thinking I am crazy for reflecting upon the situation.So I set out to do some scholarly research. Of course, by scholarly research I mean I Googled the word “crazy.” I stumbled upon an interview with Charles K. Johnson, former president of the International Flat Earth Research Society.
Johnson thought the world was a flat plane, not a sphere as most scientists tell us. He does not have many convincing reasons, but he tries to redeem himself by arguing that “the whole point of the Copernican theory is to get rid of Jesus by saying there is no up and no down. The spinning ball thing just makes the whole Bible a big joke.”
Johnson is at the far end of a religious spectrum. I know plenty of people who have integrated their religious beliefs into a rational worldview. These people can accept religion and the abundant evidence that supports the spherical shape of our planet. I personally would like to think the second part of Johnson’s quote is true, but I cannot believe that any book is as funny as those who take it literally.
Extreme views based on unwavering convictions are barriers to social progress. We will never be able to completely rid ourselves of our opinions in the hope for a wholly objective debate. To address human rights violations, we must agree that human beings have certain basic rights; in order to talk about anything important to the people on this planet, we must agree that those people will not fall off it if they walk too far in any one direction.
Progress is possible only if we are willing to change. I, for one, may have to reconsider short-changing.
Lucas Lecheler is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]