There are some debates where reasonable people can appreciate both sides of the argument
I have respect for partisans on both sides of the following debates. I’m distressed to see how they sometimes demonize “the other side” . . .
* Is socialism viable? superior to capitalism?
* Is nuclear energy viable? superior to fossil fuels?
* The “realo” perspective vs. the “fundi” perspective within Green and leftist politics
* As per defenders of the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights, are there significant problems with fully accepting transgender women as women in all respects, or are the issues (like, for example, participation in women’s sports) really not all so significant?
* Re: the general urbanization trend of modernity, is the quality of life in cities better or worse? are megalopolis centers ecologically sustainable or not?
* Are we essentially making progress (improving our lot) or essentially heading for disaster? (it really can’t be both)
* * * *
Re: the latter, I think we’re generally heading in a very problematic direction, to say the least, yet a lot of the current statistics seem to indicate otherwise:
“If we strip back the fear porn, the mass media matrix, the politics, and the social injustices for one moment, though it’s hard to believe, we have made decent progress as a species over recent history.”
The naysayers say that’s a function of the fact that we’re in the throes of Peak Everything re: wealth production, pollution amelioration, manageable technological complexity, antibiotic-dependent wellness, institutional efficacy (having honed the corporate and governmental forms).
What “shifts the paradigm” about the whole discussion is a consideration such as this: The “progressing” people would say we’re a zillion times wealthier than were the Native Americans circa 1491. What if, in their chthonic and communitarian simplicity, their quality of life was just as good as ours? They’d be called “poor,” but you can’t quantify our own spiritual impoverishment. It’s not that depression has been increasing; it’s that what we’ve traded for doesn’t alleviate it. So: what if we’re no happier than they were, but along with our human “betterment” statistics we’re significantly harming the web of life?