So, what is it that often makes BTD come to the forefront? Typically, it’s the thought that everybody else is just like you, or at least that they should be. This sort of mentality causes BTD to come charging out, screaming that everybody else is stupid or evil, and needs to be taught the error of their ways.
It’s not always something like racism though. Consider, if you will, groceries. You go out, and pick up some peanut oil to use for making dinner. You go ahead and use it, whip up a stir fry, and serve it up. Your dinner partner, on tasting it, completely freaks out about you using peanut oil. They storm out, and you find yourself staring in shock, trying to figure out just where this psychotic episode came from.
Well, obviously, you don’t think that using peanut oil is a big deal. Freaking out like this is ridiculous. Unless you realize that you’re eating dinner with somebody who’s allergic to peanuts, and who is probably off trying to stave off anaphylactic shock right this moment.
Of course, to them, the idea of that they’d have to *say* they’re allergic is as ridiculous as you thought their reaction was. How could you not have ever noticed? Or, if you did know, how could you have forgotten?
A simple mistake can end up being a major fight, all because neither side recognizes that, from the other person’s point of view, they didn’t do anything wrong.
I’ve seen things like this – equally ridiculous things, often – break up several friendships during my life. I spend a lot of my time online, in festering pools of Internet Drama. Binary Thought Disorder is the leading cause of these sort of things – “I am right, how can you possibly not see it, go away and never come back.”
What people need to try and do is recognize that their perspective on reality isn’t the only accurate one. Just because you can’t possibly see any way that somebody would, say, be sexually attracted to their own sex, it doesn’t mean that people who *are* have to be wrong. And the fact that they do doesn’t mean you’re wrong, either. You’re both right, for your particular circumstances, and both wrong, for the other person’s.
We’ve all been taught, since we were kids, that we’re supposed to be different from other people. And that we’re supposed to respect those differences. But I don’t think it’s something that we lose as we get older – I think that we’re just piss-poor at teaching it to kids. The end results include things like the ‘debates’ between conservatives and liberals – a great sound and fury, signifying nothing, because neither side is willing to budge an inch to look at why the other side feels the way they do.
Why do liberals want universal, government-provided health care? Because they obviously want to undermine capitalism and reduce the people to slaves of a government they’re dependent on.
Why do conservatives not want it? Because they’re obviously psychotic racist hypocrites who can’t grasp how much better they’d be when the same guys who run the DMV are running the health system.
Obviously, neither side is 100% correct… but try saying that, and you’ll find the one thing they can agree on. That they don’t like being told the Emperor’s nekkid.