Friday, February 24, 2017

Giving Wisdom

Reading McKay Coppins' piece on Tucker Carlson in the Atlantic, two things stood out for me. One was what made him angry:

“It was the unreasonableness … It’s this assumption—and it’s held by a lot of people I live around—that you’re on God’s side, everyone else is an infidel, and by calling them names you’re doing the Lord’s work. I just don’t think that’s admirable, and I’m not impressed by that.”
The second thing was something he said he'd learned from his father:
“The beginning of wisdom is to know what an asshole you are.”
I wonder if he realizes how the two go hand in hand. I've met a lot of people who stand by the practice of calling other people names. And generally speaking, they don't see that activity as “doing the Lord’s work.” Instead, they see it as imparting wisdom to someone who may not realize that they're being an asshole.

There appear to be a lot of philosophies that work on the idea that to make someone a better person, the first thing that you have to do is tear them down, or otherwise have them hit bottom. And I think that speaks to a lot of people because it allows them to go around telling people what assholes they are - but shields them from the understanding that they, too, might be assholes who just happen to have found a justification for behavior that they find unimpressive in others.

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