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  1. Depends on whether she thinks it is more or less intelligent to hold conflicting viewpoints. It seems to me, for example, that people who simultaneously believe that SARS CoV-2 is a weapon from the Deep State created to destroy us and at the same time believe that the virus is nothing to worry about are the opposite of intelligent, i.e., stupid.

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    • I had hoped this quote might get some commentary. I think it’s an interesting viewpoint. Adams doesn’t say “believe” or “hold” though. She says “entertain.” If I “entertain” the idea that SARS CoV-2 is a weapon from the Deep State and no big deal, that doesn’t mean I hold the viewpoints or believe them. It means I think about them. And if I think about those viewpoints, and decide not to hold or believe them, I’m not just dismissing them out of hand as stupid. I don’t think it’s helpful to dismiss viewpoints without at least trying to consider why people might hold them. For instance, I’ve been reading that people turn to conspiracy theories in times of uncertainty as a way to get a grasp on their life as it spirals out of control. I think if we entertain these theories and hold them in our minds a moment before dismissing them, we can at least come to understand those who do believe them and, instead of just dismissing them as stupid, develop some understanding of why they believe what they believe, even if we think it’s crazy. I use it as a tool for developing compassion. Not everyone will agree. I can see the argument that people who espouse dangerous philosophies that put the lives of others in danger don’t deserve compassion. But I firmly believe that everyone deserves compassion. And listening to people, trying to figure out why they believe what they believe, is an essential tool for me in that practice. Thank you for commenting! It’s so important to have discussions! –Diane Masiello

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      • What a totally wonderful thoughtful (rare today) response! Thank you so much. I really like your distinction between “hold” and “entertain.” But I also think, unfortunately, that such a distinction often becomes merely semantic as people wade deeper into discussion. Because I think we are now in a world divided by two approaches to living: individualism and community. In the populist (aka “me first”) US, Russia and Brazil (and poor unfortunate Mexico) it is no coincidence that there are the highest rates of infection and death. And sadly I also suspect that there is a genetic component to this idea of “Me first, or others before self.” As an “others before self” person, I totally agree about the necessity for compassion. But it has to be a “wise compassion”, a compassion resting on “First do no harm.” Lately I have been pondering the lack of wisdom in the phrase “Give me liberty or give me death.” How can there possibly be liberty if there is no life? I am so grateful to have heard from a fellow ponderer, and I thank you. I would like to know more about your thoughts.

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