Friday, August 14, 2015

The recent Fox debate exposed the flaws with our two party system and our approach to problem solving. Candidates from both parties, urged on by the Press in an attempt to improve ratings, spend the majority of their time either attacking the other party or attacking each other. These kind of debates only serve to paralyze and harden opinions. Opinions, once formed, are very difficult to change.

We've allowed politics to become a sporting contest, pitting two sides against each other with the goal of "winning" instead of the goal being to actually solve the problems. Some problems are real and others are  merely philosophical. When we try to solve a real problem with a philosophical solution it never ends well. The debate about Global warming is an excellent example of philosophy trying to solve a scientific problem. Deficits and income inequality are examples of philosophical attempts to solve the practicality of poverty while preserving a free enterprise economy. The clash between those who object to abortions and object to birth control at the same time is an example of common sense conflicting with philosophy and religion. Clearly one of the best ways to avoid abortions is to provide ways for women to avoid becoming pregnant. Arguing for abstinence is idealistic from a religious standpoint but unrealistic from a practical standpoint. Its a waste of breath. The high level of dissatisfaction with the performance of Congress, and the resulting low approval ratings, largely result from the fact that many of our problems and challenges can not be solved with these types of debates and arguments. We can take steps to change the approach we require our leaders to use when solving our  practical problems  if we stop requiring them to solve the problems within the narrow parameters of any particular religion or belief system. Religion, philosophy, money, laws and social contracts are extremely useful human inventions- as long as they don't stifle our incredible ability to find creative solutions to all of our challenges.

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