Emphaticism

I came across this video on a Philosophically inclined friend’s facebook page, and was delighted at the challenge issued.

Would it be blase to exclaim “So True!” Yeah? Oh, okay then.

When was the last time I dared to speak firmly and with authority? Why do I feel the need to temper even my food orders at restaurants with an invisible question mark?

Frankly, I thoroughly enjoy abusing the invisible question mark; it takes the pressure of maybe accidentally judging someone off of my statements. Rather than hasty back-tracking when I discover the the other party is a member of that party/loves that author/disapproves of that musical movement I can couch my opinions as hypotheses. This allows for greater “tolerance” between discussers, and creates a comfortably unmoored ground for meeting. We can all get just along!

The problem mainly arises when I try to write essays in this ambiguous style. If I leave a statement open to interpretation, then the professor can read his preferences into it and give me better grade, right?

Nope. Life doesn’t work that way.

Kidding aside, (mostly,) why is the fear of being found wrong so crippling? Is having a definate view so terrifying? Or is it laziness, that we tend to avoid the work of finding the answers for ourselves?

Angst and existential questioning is all well and good, but even if we might not be able to find all the answers we shouldn’t stop aiming for the discovery or Truth. Open-ended questions are a means, not an end in of themselves.

As much as I have struggled with people who express their opinions with such force that disallows for any other point of view, I do appreciate their conviction. Living without a firm hold on some truth is terribly post-modern. But doesn’t post-modernism attempt to defy attempts at labeling? So shouldn’t good post-modernists resist this boxing in by defying the conventions of angst and speak with emphasis? Hmm?

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