Sunday, January 02, 2005

New Year’s Resolutions from VOR

Depending on your political persuasion, 2004 will go down as a year of bitter defeat or sweet triumph. Regardless of which side of the ledger you’re on, America remains a deeply divided nation in which there seems to be increasingly less of the open dialogue that is so desperately needed. VOR has tried to fill that gap (for almost a year) by addressing the most pressing and contentious issues of the day from a perspective of reason, not ideology.

Using reason we have presented arguments in favor of full equality for gays and gay couples, as well as abortion rights (with some restrictions), while at the same time we have backed school vouchers and free trade. Our arguments also support strong environmental policy, an end to corporate welfare, the abolishing of most anti-drug laws, and a reassessment of current affirmative action policies. Although R.C. and J.S. had differing views on whether the Iraq War was just and good policy, we both believe that a reasoned analysis of the current situation can only lead to the conclusion that establishing stability and some sort of civil society in Iraq is America’s utmost responsibility and the morally right thing to do.

In short, reasoned arguments can lead to policies championed and reviled by both Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, the religious and the secular. No one party or ideology has a monopoly on reason, and reason doesn’t discriminate when it comes to exposing fallacious arguments, dogma, and superstition.

As we celebrate our first New Year’s Day in the blogger universe, we’d like to present some resolutions we think will make 2005 an even better year.

1. Befriend someone from an opposing political perspective, listen to them, and engage them in the issues that matter most to you both. Whether it be a friend, family member, or coworker, treat him or her as an equal and try to understand their point of view.

2. If you were a Kerry (or non-Bush) supporter find one element of Bush’s policies that you agree with. If you are a Bush supporter identify one of the critiques of Bush that you agree with or one of Kerry’s policy prescriptions that you think is sensible.

3. If you are religious try to understand why the non-religious feel threatened by religious intrusion in civil life. If you are non-religious try to understand the religious impulse and try to find common ground regarding morals and principles.

4. Try to uncover elements of your beliefs that remain largely unquestioned and are perhaps based more on emotion or habit than reason. Take a step back and carefully examine them; see how they fare once they are exposed to rational analysis.

5. Finally, remember, moral evolution is a process that should never stop. If it does then we are in big trouble.

If you have any resolutions you would like to share please post them. Thanks a lot.

Happy New Years Everyone!

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