Let me be clear, the failure to engage properly with someone of opposing beliefs begins with the assumption of moral superiority on both sides. As much as you might try to reach that person, they are going to sense that feeling of superiority. The more you try to shed that air of superiority, the more they see you as a Uriah Heep (even if they never heard of the character). They themselves also feel morally superior and justified in their attitudes.

The key to the understanding of ideological conflict -at all levels — is to understand that in any such conflicts, both sides are right, and both are wrong, until one side wins.

The most you are ever likely to achieve is mutual respect and understanding, and that is how conflict can be averted. But to do that you have to shed the assumption that your views are the ‘right’ ones.

A man abused by his mother and badly-treated by other women in his life, should not be blamed for his dislike and distrust of women, any more than a woman abused by the men in her life can be blamed for hatred of men. Some experiences cannot be shed, forgotten or overcome by argument. Offer sympathy, support and understanding, and you may be able to avert violence. If you can’t, then the law must take its course. The law itself should not be about ethics or morality, or even justice; it should be about the enforcement of practical rules designed to make individuals safe within communities and protect the community from the damaging, hostile or dangerous actions of individuals. The law should not concern itself with opinions.

Also, never forget that there are some people — the psychopaths, the sociopaths, the irretrievably damaged — who are beyond saving. No intervention will succeed-all that is left is to minimise the harm they do to others on their path to self-destruction.

Snapper-up of unconsidered trifles, walker of paths less travelled by. Advocate-in-Ordinary to His Satanic Majesty.

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