Made to Stick
What is the glue? Mortar? Bricks? How are you building your foundational beliefs and is the structure you are creating still an ecological fit with your values? When I began considering uncertainty, I discovered that I hadn’t wrestled with the big ideas that I held to be true but I also found that my smaller positions and connective tissue were clumsily conforming to presuppositions of completely disconnected from what I held in my heart, to be true.
The bricks were easy to identify and difficult to examine. My religious and political views were deeply entrenched and based on knowledge, experience, relationships and flawed understanding. The labels I used to self-identify wrapped tightly. But, if a fiscal conservative, recovering, post-modern fundamentalist with libertarian tendencies and sensibilities towards socially progressive intervention can reconcile the contradictions, the anyone can. I am now firmly and comfortably ensconced in agnosticism and not convinced that the institution and theories of the economy hold any validity.
The mortar between the big bricks was harder/ is harder to scrape away and humorous and scary to think about, than the bricks. If I were a craftsman; a mason, in particular, I would have spent time, energy and thought on how the pieces lined up and how/why they were held together. I would have considered whether the adhesive was too dry and needed some flexibility or too wet and needing some durability. Does the necessary illusion of ideology (to borrow from Habermas) make the necessity the cement? Are we believers because we are part of a tribe or did we seek out the tribe because we believe? Habermas would say, I think, that the echo chamber of the group creates the ideology but also validates it and enforces it. We think we see the world in the same way as the masses partly because of the weight that the group throws. Once we commit to the direction, pace, and intent of the herd, we need exceptional courage to reverse or alter the course in any way.
If a rule, commandment, tenet, or bylaw is abstract and faceless like a prohibition on same-sex marriage, the herd can hold sway and everyone can accept the pronouncement without examining it in light of other nearby interpretations and parables. When the relationship has a face (or two) and the couple demonstrates what you understand to be love, the unabashed acceptance becomes more difficult. If the person is someone you love and care about, their choices could weaken your unreasonable resolve. I am not trying to convince you to accept or deny same-sex marriage. My bias is that I am a supporter of healthy, loving relationships. I am once again trying to convince you to take a look at the belief and figure out if you believe it for your own reasons or just because that is the position of the group.