Our Side

Filed under: — Bravus @ 2:11 pm

I’ve talked about it a bit here before, and some discussion has ensued, but I thought I’d come back to it.


It’s a bit of a trite cliche to say that ‘when you point the finger, three are pointing back at you’, but it actually seems to me to be about the right ratio: if I’m critical of myself three times as often as I’m critical of others, I’m much less likely to be a hypocrite. Looking for the log in my eye and taking care of that first, then perhaps being willing to help others with their dust specks, just makes sense.

I think the same applies for in-groups and out-groups: if we criticised the groups of which we’re members three times as often as we criticise ‘the opposition’, we’d be in better shape.

I think one of the terrible shames of the age is that the world is descending into armed camps, in which those inside can never do anything wrong – or if they do, we must never acknowledge it – and those outside can never do or say anything right (or ditto).

It’s just a way to foster division and damage and war, rather than mutual understanding.

And that, my dear friends, is why you’ll read a lot more criticisms of Christians and people of faith here on this blog than you will read criticisms of atheists1. Because I try hard to live by this principle, and criticise my in-group first, most and most rigorously, and myself even before and more rigorously than that.

  1. LOL – I’m still working on the whole ‘criticising left-wingers more than right-wingers’ thing: I find that tough!

2 responses to “Our Side”

  1. Mark says:

    I think that is a great principle to follow, but of course, as any 20 year old with a cause can tell you, I’m in this because I believe it’s right. Of course you are say a lefty because you agree with the left side broadly, and you see the others as wrong, so in need of correction.

    The thing is, being committed not to a social group but to the universal principles and recognize the difference. That can seem like being cold or disloyal to some people, but it’s much colder to the out-groups if the world is aligned into self-affirming in-groups. (One quick example: the Labour party may support the trade unions, but the trade unions aren’t automatically interesting in the unemployed).

    That commitment to the universal principles first is of course what the first great commandment is about. And as individuals and groups, we are continually diverting off from the universal principles of impartial justice, concern for everyone, humility before the truth, a correct respect for authority.

  2. Dini Bos says:

    Funny, I just read in another blog and mail you sent me that you do not consider yourself a christian, So when can we see some criticism of this new age religion you hold to now. Does it acknowledge and strive for a greater good or just accept that the good is intermingled with the bad of the cosmos and that somehow like the god that is or exceeds the cosmos does not interfere with it’s creations or expression, likewise then does the panentheist (have I got that right)decline the need to interfere (help out) the less fortunate? Did you switch to this new religion because it doesn’t require the same level of commitment as Christianity -I admit that the Judeo/Christian bar is set quite high (almost unattainable) And again, when what are the week links the pitfalls the errors in Panentheism and quantum theisim.

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