I said in the last post that there is often “no intersection point” between two people who hold to polar-opposite beliefs. Since agreement is often not possible, no wonder our backfire reaction to positions often hardens our hearts toward people.
In searching for a practical solution that can bridge this intersection point and lessen backfire, we many times find nothing but frustration. This world is rampant with corruption, greed, violence, immorality and bias. There is an ever-accelerating pace of “new and provable facts” emerging in a global, real-time, online world. The definition of “fact” is more flexible than ever. Old reliable truths – objective, built-in, God-given truths – are now called into question. Opinion, gossip and theory pose as truths accepted with little questioning, while ancient truths are analyzed and torn apart until they mean nothing.
In this kind of world where we are over-stimulated and everything is in question, it is no wonder we are less able to control our tendency toward backfire. Something inside us is exhausted, worn down and confused. In the words of one ancient king, we may be asking in frustration – “what is truth?” We do not know on what basis to measure or define truth anymore. In the absence of an objective measuring device, we believe what we believe. Sometimes in frustration, our backfire flares out of nothing more than the frustration that nothing seems reliable anymore. Something inside us is hungry for a secure or reliable truth – and it seems elusive.
Every effort to find intersection points (the place of mutual agreement) seems to only reveal more complexity and disagreement. In my next post, I will offer a one-entry summary of the impact of backfire.