There are many over-the-top beliefs being taken as the Gospel right now. Here are some of the common beliefs and the refuting arguments.
1. TWAC. All Conservatives are extremists, and all extremists are Conservative.
TWAR. It is absurd to assume that extremists are always “far right conservatives”, when history shows that the left can be just as evil (two examples: Communism and the National Socialist German Workers Party – led by Hitler and nicknamed NAZI by Goebbels).
2. TWAC. Canadians paying a few cents more per gallon of gas and for their heating bills will save the world from climate destruction. Canadians should immediately stop using fossil fuels.
TWAR. There is nothing Canada could do alone that would save the planet. Even though we are an industrialized country, we have only .49 per cent of the world’s population and are responsible for just 1.6 per cent of global GHG, so even cutting our emissions completely would have very little net effect on climate change.
3. TWAC. It is evil to be white or Caucasian or to be proud of that heritage. It is even worse to be a white male.
TWAR. People are people. No group is entirely evil or good. We can all take pride in the best things about ourselves and our heritage and deplore the bad things. To attribute evil to any single group – white, pink, yellow, red, brown, black or purple with green polka dots (in case there are any space aliens reading this) is racism and bigotry.
4. TWAC. It is okay to mutilate your body because you don’t like the sex or gender you were born with – and the community should pay for the operation.
TWAR. People can do what they want to themselves and their bodies, but this activity should not be a matter that involves the state. Sadly, ten years on, the incidence of suicide among those who have had a sex change is 20 times higher than among their comparable peers. Based on this evidence, the Obama administration refused to cover gender reassignment under their Medicare program.
5. TWAC. Any development of Canada’s resources should cease if one small group objects, even though that development would benefit the vast majority of the community.
TWAR. Balancing majority rule with minority rights is the single most difficult task in a democracy. While minorities must be protected, this must be balanced against the will of the majority – otherwise, you have the antithesis of democracy. The balance is often achieved through compromise on both sides.
6. TWAC. It is better to let thieves walk out of a store with armloads of liquor than to have the “security” staff interfere for fear of themselves being harmed. It was better to let a man bleed out in a train wreck than to let first responders rescue him because of a small diesel spill.
TWAR. The act of providing security is synonymous with putting self at risk, otherwise “security” is not an occupation. You sign on to the risk when you take the job
7. TWAC. Any oil spill will destroy the entire B.C. coast – although, the same is not true for the Atlantic coast where they also have offshore drilling.
TWAR. Oil spills are local, so the idea that a spill would ruin the entire coastline is inaccurate. It could however do great damage on a localized basis that can last for years, depending on the location and the species affected. However, these same variables exist on either coast, so there is a dichotomy between the fact that no one protests the shipping of foreign oil not only to the East coast, but all the way down the St. Lawrence to inland Canada. Pipelines are the safest way to transport crude oil overland. Boats are the safest mode, but tanker spills are harder to contain and mitigate than land spills.
8. TWAC. Nobody with an unpopular opinion should be allowed to speak and that person should not be able to stand for office.
TWAR. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms clearly outlines our freedom of expression in Section 2.
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (d) freedom of association.
Limitations: “…. subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”
9. TWAC. Only Conservatives were responsible for the residential school system.
TWAR. The parties all agreed to residential schools. Liberals did not object when the system was created, and they were in power for most of the time the residential school system was in place. Indeed, they were in power when the system was being most heavily expanded. It was ended by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
10. TWAC. A woman should be automatically believed when she accuses a man of sexually assaulting or even offending her.
TWAR. There are always two sides to a story. When a woman accuses a man of sexual assault and makes that accusation public, the man is automatically judged by public opinion and his life seriously wounded whether the accusation is true or not. Due process needs to be followed regardless of the situation. Women are not above revenge or cruelty.
11. TWAC. People need to watch what they say in case another finds his speech offensive.
TWAR. While there are common rules of etiquette to guide what one says, it is not up to the individual to determine how someone else will react to a casual comment. Indeed, if the speech is respectful and not abusive, then there is no reason to assume another may be offended. Only the other party can determine what is offensive to themselves and they have a right to announce that they take offense, but that should end the matter.
12. TWAC. Putting things in the recycle bin will save the planet.
TWAR. Recycling, if it were all it pretends to be, would be a nice thing to keep our environment clean and to reduce the cost of replenishing things. Sadly, little of what goes into a recycling bin is recycled, especially here in Winnipeg. It would be far better to produce goods that can be easily reused and repaired.
13. TWAC. All politicians are corrupt and only in it for themselves. Senators are a waste of time and money. They are all dozy and useless.
TWAR. Most politicians run for office because they have a burning desire to make something good happen. The odd one might do something corrupt and when that happens it becomes a great event as it should. The fall out however is that everyone is then painted with the same brush. Senators do some very good work in vetting and correcting carelessly present bills. They also have tine to study issues in depth and truly do add sober second thought. Senators are a critical part of our democratic system. They also bring regional representation to the table.
14. TWAC. First-past-the-post elections systems are the worst of all democratic systems and changing to proportional representation or preferential ballot would allow the majority voices to rule.
TWAR. First past the post election systems are messy and full of problems, but the system, as Winston Churchill put it, is better than all the rest. Preferential ballots tend to elect mediocrity. It is very hard to win on a first ballot with multiple individuals or parties running so the vote then goes to second or third persons on the ballot, and that second or third choice is second or third for a reason.
15. TWAC. If you disagree with the majority, you are at the very least stupid, but probably racist and bigoted, with serious Nazi challenges, too.
TWAR. Disagreeing with the majority adds a healthy balance to any popular tenet, even scientific ones. If we were to listen with our ears wide open, we might detect a flaw in the common logic that could lead to positive changes in a policy. Disagreeing and asking questions is a healthy symptom of democracy.
16. TWAC. All slaves were black people, and all slave owners were white.
TWAR. Both Black freed men and Indigenous people owned slaves in America. “ . . . some free black people in this country bought and sold other black people, and did so at least since 1654, continuing to do so right through the Civil War. Free black people could even “own” the services of white indentured servants in Virginia as well. Free Blacks owned slaves in Boston by 1724 and in Connecticut by 1783; by 1790, 48 Black people in Maryland owned 143 slaves. One particularly notorious Black Maryland farmer named Nat Butler “regularly purchased and sold Negroes for the Southern trade,” Halliburton wrote. – theroot.com, a Black website.
As well, Wikipedia states: “Ownership of enslaved Africans and Native Americans by Native Americans (existed) from the pre-colonial period to the U.S. Civil War. Waves of European colonization (and the concurrent Atlantic slave trade) brought enslaved Africans to North America. Following this development many indigenous tribes began to acquire Africans as slaves. Many prominent people from the “Five Civilized Tribes” purchased slaves from their white neighbors and became members of the planter class.”
Indigenous ownership of slaves predates colonialism. The spoils of local wars often resulted in the enslavement of the conquered.
17. TWAC. There are not enough family doctors in Canada. We should pay them more to solve the problem.
TWAR. There are literally thousands of doctors who qualify to practice in Canada but they are unable to receive registration which is granted by provincial colleges of physician and surgeons. Canada ranks 26th in the patient to doctor ratio worldwide with only 2.4 doctors per 1,000 people. Meanwhile, these doctors are driving taxis or cleaning houses to survive.