I do not subscribe to the Left or to the Right (politically speaking). I frankly don’t even know what these terms mean anymore. I say this not because I’m trying to be different or difficult, but because my opinions and positions derive strictly from my (sometimes failed) attempts at pursuing truth. I say truth, and not Truth, because I am agnostic about the possibility of apodictic certainty or of Absolute Truth, whether it be of the immanent divine sort or the Platonic secular sort (I am wary of making general statements of this type lest I get trapped in self-referential paradoxes; hopefully, I’ve avoided that with this particular statement).
My truth is conditional on the axioms/assumptions/premises that lay deep (sometimes hidden and therefore need to be revealed) within the crevices of my mind and that I take for granted, but that ultimately serve as the foundation of my thoughts and acts in the World. I frankly am unsure as to how or why I came to espouse certain axioms and not others, and the usual (perhaps incomplete) answer is some combination of nature and nurture. I cannot claim that these particular axioms are (part of) Truth, and therefore, I sometimes wonder whether I would espouse those same foundational beliefs had I been born at a different time and place. Regardless, I do know that others do not espouse these same foundations necessarily, and there is no reason for them to change their foundations given that they are not (necessarily part of) Truth, and no way for me to rationally convince them otherwise if I disagree with them. I say this because by definition, an axiom is that which requires no justification beyond itself (to me as a subject, since they are not necessarily part of Truth), but my axioms may perhaps require justification (to others). As such, how can I justify that which requires no justification to me but that does for someone else (and vice-versa for the person with different axioms than me)? I am at my logical end-rope, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Having said that, subject to the foundational axioms/premises chosen or discovered or agreed to, and within the context of a rational framework, I do believe that one can arrive at truth (in this conditional sense). I do believe that beliefs/positions/opinions can then be demonstrably shown to be true or false (with the exception of Godel sentences and the like). Once you’ve accepted specific axioms, the truths (for example) of 1+1=2 and that of A implying C because A implied B and B implied C become incontrovertible. Stating as much ceases to be an opinion, but becomes a logical fact that you must accept, lest you violate the agreed upon the context of a rational framework.
The result of all of this is that I have a lot of intellectual patience for opposing views grounded in different foundations, even of the grotesque variety (grotesque as defined by me). However, this patience may not necessarily translate into tolerance of all opposing views (especially of the grotesque variety) when construed from the perspective of acting in the World, which forces me to accept that this intolerance (towards some views, especially of the grotesque variety) and therefore resulting actions are grounded in something other than pure rational thought. This may be disturbing or liberating depending on your viewpoint (I’m not sure yet). On the flip side, I have very little patience for bullshit, defined here as “sloppy thinking”. Once your axioms are made explicitly clear, certain things are correct or incorrect: a truth value can therefore be assigned (Godel sentences and the likes excluded). Finally, this implies that my political positions on specific topics, subject to specific axioms, may fall on the Left or the Right (however these are defined) depending on said specific topic, and I refuse to accept any attempts of shaming into submission or other demagoguery that attempts to coerce into acquiescence. I abhor these types of tactics. I’ll leave it at that.