I guess I never really thought about it much before but, yea, people who use the word “agenda” to describe those who’s opinions they disagree with are essentially just saying they don’t necessarily have a logical reason to disagree with these opposing views but, because of their unexamined, inherited ideologies, they are obligated to.
I’m not necessarily a huge Michael Crichton fan, but I do resonate with his sentiment above. Instead of pretending we don’t have these attitudes/ideologies/worldviews/metaphysics/philosophies/agendas etc. running in the background by which we live our lives, maybe we should just admit that we have them and don’t want to examine them, or perhaps admit that we honestly have never peeked under hood to begin with. Instead of “retreating into the hills of Thomism,” as John Caputo would say, attempting to (re)claim some kind of pre-existing objective, romantically imagined version of the past, I agree with Bo Sanders that we should confess that all things are contextual and “engage the living now and emerging near future.” For me, this means examining my inherited proclivities as much and as often as I can.
Additionally, this whole phenomenon of assuming some people have a subjective agenda while others are merely objective, unmediated and stoic observers, reminds me of how positions like this can actually be a way to defend oneself against the risky insight of fully absorbing another’s perspective and “opening ourselves to the various forms of life in which we might actively participate.”