<p>I made a mistake this weekend. I took the bait and fell into a trap.</p>
<p>I mistakenly got into one of those "discussions" about something I believe. The kind where I'm talking about something I believe so completely that there's no convincing me otherwise. The other person believes the opposite just as completely.</p>
<p>We dance around about high level stuff for awhile mincing words, throwing clever examples and anecdotal evidence back and forth. After sometime I realize the truth: <em>we disagree so fundamentally that there's no reconciling our differences about the superficial details.</em></p>
<p>I realized (or maybe re-realized for the umpteenth time) that we often or almost always have different base assumptions, different Truths™ that we base all our other ideas upon. I am going to try an experiment, when I can't not get sucked into these conversations that I should otherwise prefer to avoid, I'll start by stating my assumptions.</p>
<p>Let's start with the assumption that animals deserve liberty, too.</p>
<p>Let's start with the assumption that for the same reason you don't believe in all the gods of other religions, I don't believe in yours either.</p>
<p>Let's start with the assumption that the suffering of animals (both human and non-human) and the wholesale destruction of the planet are intrinsically linked.</p>
<p>Let's start with the assumption that we are running out of oil (of natural gas, coal, fresh water, arable land... of all life supporting systems) and that Our Way of Life™ cannot continute forever.</p>
<p>Let's start with the assumption that infinite growth in a finite system is not only not preferable, but simply not possible.</p>
<p>Let's start with the assumption that if something didn't work before (especially if it hasn't worked for years/decades/ever), doing more of it this year won't work either.</p>
<p>Let's start with the assumption that you and I might (or probably) won't agree about everything and that doesn't mean we can't be friends.</p>