Monday, December 12, 2005

Closed Doors

A conversation about evil with my husband and a friend of his has left me feeling unsettled. More than unsettled. Disturbed is a better word. Such conversations often have this effect on me.

Was going to post the conversation itself but decided not to. It's not really what was said that I need to deal with. It's my own response to this type of discussion that I find unsatisfactory. People often accuse me of arguing for the sake of argument. The two of them certainly did today. Whose side are you on, they kept asking.

The thing is I can see everyone's point. I can sympathize to some degree with any coherent argument. When someone else attacks your argument in a manner I think is unfair I can't help defending your position. I don't like unfairness. But defending both positions doesn't mean I accept either of them. That's the problem. What do I accept?Whose side am I on?What are my own convictions?I don't know. That's what am left with in the aftermath of such conversations. Am a lost soul.

Am I irrational?Sometimes I feel I lack intellect. When I reach a point in thinking that I believe will lead me to see something I don't want to see I just close the door. But the question remains in the back of my mind. And am always aware of all the closed doors. So whatever I believe in I never believe fully or passionately because I know it hasn't passed all the tests. And not being too attached to a personal point of view makes you open to all points of view. Open enough to appreciate the merits of their argument but not enough to accept it because I can also see the merits of too many counter-arguments. I can critique other people's thinking just as easily as I can defend it because I really do see both sides. There are too many good theories out there. There really are. Am so overdosed on theories.

Am not a complete ostrich though. When an unpleasant truth makes itself undeniable & doesn't go away I accept it but not without bitterness. I never seem to get past how horrible it is and how much I don't want it to be true to think about solutions. So people who accept it as a fait accompli & adopt a practical attitude to it kind of irritate me. Pragmatists irritate me. I respect them but they irritate me - even though I married one.

Don't know where all this is going to lead me. What I do know is that when I sit with people who have convictions that they're willing to defend passionately I feel left out.

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13 Comments:

Blogger Wonderer said...

Loulou,

Don't feel so bitter. It is a virtue to be able to accept the two sides of an argument.

Jane was posting something about people who have a "Do Not Disturb" sign on their heads. You have to be proud of what you are. It is a bless ...

12/12/2005 03:24:00 AM  
Blogger Rain said...

Well Loulou , that makes a 2 of us.
I'm not the kind of persons who likes to fight in an argument to win it ..instead I stick to my opinion without exerting much effort :D

I have my beliefs , and don't bother myself to prove them to others , I state them and don't care whether they like it or not ..I do that cause I don't like others to force their opinion on me so I don't do it to others.

Another thing , I don't like useless conversations , sometimes I don't participate in one cause i feel it's just a waste of time and not worth the effort as the truth is crystal clear.

12/12/2005 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger doshar said...

every story or issue in the world has more than one way to see it.

i am sure the tyrants in this world think they are doing nothing wrong.

it is normal , it also fair, to see all sides of any situation, but one is more true, fair and adherant to basic rights and wrongs inherent in us by fitra and by religion.

it is ok to see the other side's point of view, it is important though, to see if it is valid enough to be taken or dismissed.

in quran God tells us again and again, that on judgement day, alot of non believers will come with excuses (thus their side of the story), and in alot of cases, these sides are just a fake facade for something that is not right, and thus would not be accepted. God in all His wisdom and Knowledge can judge which sides are really true.

i am reminded of a few verses in quran, talking about something close:

إن الذين توفاهم الملائكة ظالمي أنفسهم قالوا فيم كنتم قالوا كنا مستضعفين في الأرض قالوا ألم تكن أرض الله واسعة فتهاجروا فيها فأولئك مأواهم جهنم و ساءت مصيرا. إلا المستضعفين من الرجال و النساء و الولدان لا يستطيعون حيلة و لا يهتدون سبيلا. فأولئك عسى ألله أن يعفو عنهم و كان الله عفوا غفورا

nisaa.. verse 97-99.

my point is yes every story has two sides or more, and yes it is fair to consider and hear each, but not validate all. one is true, the other is usually bogus and false, and should be disregarded.

sorry for the long commnet. :)

12/12/2005 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

Hi Doshar,

"God in all His wisdom and Knowledge can judge which sides are really true."

I don't think (at least in Christian belief) that "truth" is reall what God will be judging on Judgement day.

Jesus said this about Judegemnt day( Saint Mathew):

"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand (my comment - these are the damned), Depart from me, Ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"

"For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:"

"I was a stanger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not."

It goes on with the excuses the damned gave when they were told these things, and the response they were given... I'm not really trying to express Christian beliefs, but what is being weighed and measured on Judegement Day is "goodness" - not truth, and not righteousness (being right).

At least, that's our belief.

Sorry about that old english, btw. I don't have a modern english Bible. I'm kind of used to the 17th century syntax but I think it must be hard to understand for people who aren't :)

12/13/2005 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Wonderer,

"You have to be proud of what you are. It is a bless ..."

Well thank you. Wasn't expecting to hear that from anyone!

Rain,

"I have my beliefs , and don't bother myself to prove them to others , I state them and don't care whether they like it or not ..I do that cause I don't like others to force their opinion on me so I don't do it to others."

But don't you sometimes hear or read some new information that feels right & makes you want to revise something you believe in?What do you do then?

Doshar,

" one is true, the other is usually bogus and false, and should be disregarded."

Do you really think that every situation in life can be seen in moralistic, black or white terms where one side has all the truth & the other side has no truth?Isn't it possible that each one of them may have only part of the truth?

If that is true then why would religious scholars disagree so much with each other?Why is it that in Sunni Islam alone we have at least 4 established subsects(madahib) and we are told that they are equally valid interpretations & the one you choose is a matter of qalb elmou2min daleelu("the believer's heart is his guide?")?

If this is the case in religious matters then surely in worldly matters it would be even more complex & confusing.

12/13/2005 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Rain said...

Loulou,
That's a different story..
My point was not trying to get into hot discussions ...well of course I do sometimes but only when I feel secure about the atmposphere :).

And don't get me wrong , I'm flexible and open minded but to an extent..some issues are very clear not to be doubted.

12/14/2005 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger Wonderer said...

hi Loulou,
Where are you? You haven't posted anything for the past couple of days. That is not you at all!!
I hope everything is ok.

12/14/2005 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Rain said...

Hey Wonderer , u r right..but I think she's busy with the wedding stuff..it's getting close.

I'll try not to worry... wish u best of luck Loulou :)

12/14/2005 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger None said...

When you see both sides of the story you admit that there is more than one truth and that they can co-exist in your mind without conflict.

A pragmatist can only accept one truth, one ideal, one dogma. I had that same problem with ex-fiance. He was Saudi and pragmatism is in their genes.

I stumbled on your blog by sheer accident and decided to leave a comment rather than lurk around :).

congratulations on your wedding. may you have a long happy life together.

Roo

12/15/2005 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger MoonLightShadow said...

Been into the same dilemma.. or you could say I’m still in it. Sometimes I feel it’s good to accept all points of views, and see all sides. Other times, it’s such a tiring thing to my mind.

It leads to endless loops of thinking and rethinking of every single idea I believe in, for, I always assume that I’m wrong till I’m proved right. And that is not easy, and I mean here that not sticking to one and only one opinion makes you sometimes accused of arguing for the sake of arguing, like what happened with you Loulou.

I don’t know which is better, to stick to one opinion just defend it without listening to what others have to say.. or to listen.. ask and argue.. till you manage of figuring our which side you are on.. if ever you can make up ur mind for only one side!

Umm.. don’t know

12/16/2005 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger Me said...

It's been quite a while since you wrote anything Loul... hope you're fine ya gameela...

12/16/2005 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Wonderer/Rain/Meme,

Am fine thank you all for asking. Rain was right. Have just been really busy.

Rehaam,

Very nice to meet you. Am glad you decided to comment.

"When you see both sides of the story you admit that there is more than one truth and that they can co-exist in your mind without conflict."

Thanks for putting it so well. You & Wonderer have me convinced it might be a good thing after all.:)

Moon,

" Other times, it’s such a tiring thing to my mind."

Yes it's both confusing & exhausting.

"if ever you can make up ur mind for only one side!"

The reason I can't be on one side is that am with person A on some points & with person B on some other points. Am not completely for or completely against either of them.

It's part of my nature to try to mediate, find middle ground, compromises. I don't like it when people disagree & become polarized. Maybe because I hate having to take sides so I do my best to keep everyone on the same side.

12/16/2005 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger None said...

You must be a libra :)

12/18/2005 12:56:00 AM  

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