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Why Fox News Commenters are Idiots: Part 2

There is a certain kind of person who is impossible to talk to or reason with.  These people tend to be very religious, though the type of religion they can be an adherent to can be secular.  They see the world in utter black and white, and to them, there are no shades of grey whatsoever.

You can see these people on both sides of the abortion “debate”, for example.  On the one extreme, you have people who believe that fetuses are children who haven’t been born yet, and as such, should not be aborted under absolutely any circumstance.  The fact that the mother’s life needs to be taken into account under some circumstances either doesn’t matter to them, or doesn’t occur to them.  Either way, they are on an extreme, and there is no compromise in their eyes.

On the other hand, you have the woke idiots, who believe that children should be abortable at any point during gestation, and sometimes after.  They have absolutely the same problem, in reverse.  To them, the child’s life is not important at all, and whether or not the mother wants the baby is really the only thing they are concerned about.  To them, there are no shades of grey, everything is absolute.

This comes down to almost everything that is currently being battled over in the “culture wars”.  Rightists insist on purity.  Leftists insist on purity.  And the moderates, those like me who are trying to figure out how the stupid people got such an outsized voice, are left out in the cold.

This is one way in which Fox News commenters are idiots.

The truth is, absolutely everything has shades of grey, and while some things come a lot closer than others (everyone agrees that murder is wrong, though not everyone agrees on what constitutes murder), there are no absolutes.  You give me a crime that society things is particularly heinous, I could probably come up with a scenario that makes you rethink that.  And conversely, you give me something that society things is absolutely good, and I could come up with a scenario that makes you rethink that, too.  You can always tell one of these scenarios because the extremists militantly ignore them or dismiss them as unimportant.  They’re not.

(These scenarios, by the way, are sometimes very specific, contrived, or make up a situation that might be very difficult to find “in the wild”.  That doesn’t matter.  The fact that such a scenario can be conceived of, itself, is what makes the morality of any given situation somewhat grey.)

But Fox News commenters, and other extremists, can’t see this. At all.

And this is what makes them idiots.

There is one of these situations that is, well, kind of close to my heart, and this is the topic of homeschooling.  I was brought up in public school until seventh grade, and I was homeschooled past then, and I’ve seen the worst that both has to offer.  When I was in public school, I was bullied and abused, and the school administration not only did anything to prevent it, but blamed me.  (And they were about half right, if I’m being honest).  I remember in sixth grade a twelve year old girl came into the class as a transfer student, and very quickly she had the reputation of being, well, the town bicycle.  And you’d hate to even think it, but the reputation was deserved.  It was.  I got my ass grabbed at least once, and she would have done more if my parents hadn’t gotten in touch with hers.

I almost feel sorry for her.  Her home was broken.  That’s probably the only way she got male attention.

And in Junior High there was this boy (I’ll even name him, Chad McGeary), because he deserves it) who tried to beat me up outside my house one day.  He didn’t really succeed, because I fought back.  But the school didn’t really care.

So I was homeschooled.

That was a disaster in other ways.  My parents were stupid (sorry, but it’s true) and didn’t know how to teach me.  And they couldn’t find me resources to provide what they couldn’t.  So I was left to fend for myself, and all of the homeschooling resources at the time were oriented towards getting the government off your back.  Which is fine, but what if your parents are actively screwing you?

It’s all shades of grey, all the way down.  I can’t say that public school is the best choice for every child, nor can I say it’s the worst.  I also can’t say homeschooling is the best choice for every child, nor can I say it’s the worst.  About all I can say is, “it depends”.  It depends on the school, on the parents, on the other students, on the neighborhood, on the resources available, on the community… it depends on all these things, and there’s no right answer.  About all you can hope to do is put in place enough checks and balances that as few children as possible will fall through the cracks – even though it’s inevitable that a few will.

That’s the worst part about there being shades of grey.  Sometimes it’s the wrong shade, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Sometimes the wrong choice and the wrong decision will be made, and it’s unavoidable.  About the only thing you can do in those cases is pick up the pieces and try to improve the processes.  But not too much, because if you make it too rules based, you get administrations of the level of Fox News commenters.  Because, even that is shades of grey.

If you allow no abortions, women will die needlessly.  If you allow “free-for-all” abortions, children will die needlessly.  If you treat it as shades of grey, both will happen, but probably in lower numbers, because as long as you have actually smart people making the decisions, you have a much better chance of making the right ones.

(If you have Fox News Commenters making the decisions, however, you generally get worse outcomes, because they invariably make the wrong choices.)

And not understanding this is why Fox News commenters are idiots.

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