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The following is a bit of a tongue-in-check role reversal on phobias and tolerance…
You say that broccoli unhealthy: That it causes cancer, that it is addicting, that there should be warning labels telling of its risks, that advertising directed at kids should be stopped, that others shouldn't be subjected to the secondary effects of those who are foolish enough to use broccoli…
You say that the companies that produce broccoli products and promote their use are responsible for a pandemic of health concerns and should be held accountable for the medical costs and sued for billions.
You say that the evidence is irrefutable - smoking, dipping, chewing, i.e. doing anything related to broccoli use, while presumably enjoyable, is bad socially, physically and economically and, therefore, should be stopped. The office should be broccoli free. The boardroom should be broccoli free. Even bars and restaurants should be broccoli free.
You say that, addictions aside, you and I still have the freedom and responsibility to choose not to eat broccoli: That it is bad for me and bad for my neighbors and that I should consider stopping.
I say - But I am predisposed to eat broccoli, I like broccoli, I am born this way. It's not a choice. It is my identity. It's not simply a behavior. It's my being!
I say - You are a broccoli hater. You must be afraid of those who eat broccoli. You are intolerant. You are broccophobic.
You say - You are being ridiculous. Human beings are much more than the sum total of their behaviors and it is a non-sequitur to claim that those who disagree with you are afraid of you. Stop using ad hominem attacks. Be more thoughtful. Be more open-minded. Let's debate.
I say - But I might be found out. My logic might be found lacking. The facts might be against me and I can't tolerate that.
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