1) One of my biggest (sharpest? most frequently used) axes? -- or should that be targets for axes? -- is people's extraordinary capacity to dispense kudos to themselves for having the opinions that they have as opposed to the ones that they attribute to others.
Explaining: going on personal experience, I have never met (nor do I expect to meet) anyone who has ever said anything like:
"You know what -- I'm gullible. I'm an easily deceived follower of trends. I've thought really deeply about something maybe ONCE in my life, after which I spent the rest of my life patting myself on my back for my opinions and telling myself that I was the ghost of Socrates crossed with the spectre of Orwell. I have a grossly inflated sense of how rigorously I've tested everything I believe, alongside a ridiculous underestimation of the thought's of my opponents -- which I do not understand because I've never sought them out. Why do I choose to spend my time setting fire to straw men? Well, philosophy -- doing the Socratic thing is HARD -- whereas continuously setting fire to caricatures of my opponents allows me to present myself as a lone free-spirit in a world of conformist cretins, an amazing free-thinking contrarian amongst bovine, brainwashed morons."
Nobody SAYS things like the above (well, I suppose I should say that no-one says the first part -- lots of people say the second), and yet is no one gullible -- is no-one deceived?
The problem I have here is that SO MANY people (in fact, everyone I've ever met) seems to think of themselves as someone who can't be taken in, whose too sharp-shooting, too incisive, too orignal, humane et cetera to ever be 'taken in', whereas everyone else is illusion-prone. But do we live in a world where everyone is Socrates. Mais, non.
But we DO live in a world where people will give them enormous kudos for setting fire to straw-men. The left do it to the right, the right do it to the left, the centre do it to left and right; the religious do it to atheists, the atheists do it to the religious and so on. But, on the rare occassions, when I meet someone who treats their own opinions the same way they treat the opinions of others -- (allowing for respectful thoughtful conversation) I know I'm in the presence of a philosophical mind. But I can think of maybe, three people I've met who fit the description.
But -I- like saying to people: how about you focus on the argument and not on what an amazing person you are for taking your side in the argument...
Bit ranty, I apologise, but the title of this thread does practically invite self-indulgence. Oh, and how much kudos do I deserve for my own opinions, oh ye hypocrisy-spotters? Enormous amounts. Obviously.