Here’s your internet quiz for the day.
Are you guilty of having “too” strong of an opinion?
___ Well . . . I think it depends on the subject.
___ Not really. If someone says, “Let’s eat at Chili’s twice today,” I don’t even complain.
___ No, but yes. I don’t say much out loud, but my mind is a crazy judgmental place.
___ Oh yeah, I can start an argument in an empty room.
Which of these areas fires you up the most?
___ Movies, TV, Music, and the World of Celebrity
___ World Politics, Humanities, Philosophy/Religion
___ Environment, Poverty, Conservation
___ All the above and too many more to calculate
Can you talk for more than five minutes with people holding views diametrically opposed to your own?
___ Yes, even if it frustrates me!
___ Yes, but only if I feel I can win them over!
___ Hmm! I’d rather listen to fingernails on a chalkboard.
“Dogmatism” is a rarely used word for an extremely common occurrence. Dogmatism is treating opinions as facts. So if someone says, “Lake Michigan is the largest lake entirely within the United States of America,” that is a fact. If someone says, “Lake Michigan is by far the best lake in the world, and anyone who disagrees is a communist-loving cat-hater,” that would be dogmatism (pun intended).
Here’s the problem. When we converse as if everything we feel or believe is a fact, communication breaks down. Two people are talking, and no one is listening. Remember what the writer of Hebrews said? “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” So for those who believe in heaven, is that fact or is that faith?
Don’t get me wrong. Speak passionately about your beliefs, but guard your commentary from the brute force of arrogance. And the next time you’re tempted to compare anything or anyone to a certain mustache wearing communist, maybe take a break, and eat a few meals at Chili’s. That’ll slow you down.