Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ill Equipped For Deep Conversation

Yesterday my father and brother-in-law, along with my mom, sister and my family celebrated a family birthday. It was fun- insane amounts of pizza at Mellow Mushroom, followed by a sugar rush at home with cake and ice cream. All was going well until the inevitable happened. My dad and B-I-L dove into a mind numbing conversation about the foundation of morals, how and why US law enforces morality, liberalism vs conservatism vs libertarians (when will they figure out that they are such a small political minority they might as well join forces with the Green Party and finally attain a level just under 1% of the population?) and the recent ballot measures in several states regarding gay marriage.

My usual plan is to sit quietly and observe those two go at it. Its great theatre. I try not to participate too much because its just too fun to watch unencumbered by having to think and jump into the melee.

I blew it yesterday. I got sucked right in. No need here to detail the points and counter-points- the important part was to realize, yet again, how I wish I had more time to read and form well-thought-out opinions and positions on important issues. I inevitably end up saying things that when challenged, make me realize how much of what I think is based on a lifetime of personal observations and judgment, not necessarily studying facts, figures, and history. I really need to make time to seek out more solid information for the fuzzy edges of how I see the world.

I have resolved to make time to do the following:

1. Learn more about the foundation of morals and Judeo-Christian laws and mores
2. Read up on the spiritual beliefs of our founding fathers
3. Be able to more clearly state the tenets of liberalism and conservatism
4. Find out if Thomas Jefferson was really that good of a president (like my B-I-L thinks)
5. Stick to my goal of just watching these arguments (conversations) in the future