Almost none of the angry people shouting at each other online — about politics, social issues, religion, whatever — seem to have even the slightest interest in understanding the people they hate. They often even claim they don’t hate the others, but their actions say otherwise. Almost everything they say is for their allies, because what they’re saying is complete nonsense to their enemies. If you profoundly misunderstand your opponent — and if he profoundly misunderstands you — is it any wonder you each end up wanting to kill the other? If each group understood the other, things could be so different, because it’s hard to hate people you truly understand. We might even find solutions which allow people with radically different views of the world to live in peace, separate from one another but each with honest understanding of the other. But none of that is possible if you won’t even try to understand the people with whom you disagree.
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