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How do you know you're right?


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Belief

Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword
Like punching underwater
You never can hit who you're trying for
Some need the exhibition
And some have to know they tried
It's the chemical weapon
For the war that's raging on inside
Oh, everyone believes
From emptiness to everything
Oh, everyone believes
And no one's going quietly

                          John Mayer

 

How many enter into conversation convinced that they are right?   I know of a personal acquaintance who colors most of his discourse with the certain phase,  "I think..."  which always leaves me feeling that there is no room for thoughts from other perspectives.

How much does belief and certainty matter if there is a possibility that you may be wrong?

...or do you approach your life and discourse with a scout mindset?

 

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I try to keep an open mind about things but it depends on what is being discussed since there is a difference between facts, theories and beliefs.  I also try to think logically about what is being said, to help me evaluate whether to accept it.

If the discussion is about a fact that I am certain about, I know I'm right.  If about a theory, I know I am probably right but I am open to good evidence that can prove the theory wrong.  If I have a belief, on the other hand, I am completely open about it and willing to change my mind if someone can convince me their thinking is more logical or can present facts to the contrary.

I don't mind people who say "I think ....." because to me they are predicating their thoughts as just what they think about something, leaving things open to what I think or what can be proven as fact or generally accepted theory.

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

I try to keep an open mind about things but it depends on what is being discussed since there is a difference between facts, theories and beliefs.  I also try to think logically about what is being said, to help me evaluate whether to accept it.

If the discussion is about a fact that I am certain about, I know I'm right.  If about a theory, I know I am
probably
right but I am open to good evidence that can prove the theory wrong.  If I have a belief, on the other hand, I am completely open about it and willing to change my mind if someone can convince me their thinking is more logical or can present facts to the contrary.

I don't mind people who say "I think ....." because to me they are predicating their thoughts as just what they think about something, leaving things open to what I think or what can be proven as fact or generally accepted theory.

To me it is less dogmatic to say "I think the sky is blue" than to say "The sky is blue".

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Pamela Galli wrote:


Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

I try to keep an open mind about things but it depends on what is being discussed since there is a difference between facts, theories and beliefs.  I also try to think logically about what is being said, to help me evaluate whether to accept it.

If the discussion is about a fact that I am certain about, I know I'm right.  If about a theory, I know I am
probably
right but I am open to good evidence that can prove the theory wrong.  If I have a belief, on the other hand, I am completely open about it and willing to change my mind if someone can convince me their thinking is more logical or can present facts to the contrary.

I don't mind people who say "I think ....." because to me they are predicating their thoughts as just what they think about something, leaving things open to what I think or what can be proven as fact or generally accepted theory.

To me it is less dogmatic to say "I think the sky is blue" than to say "The sky is blue".

Or....that you are entitled to your own beliefs, but not your own facts.....

...do we exclude the colorblind?

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Solaria Goldshark wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:


Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

I try to keep an open mind about things but it depends on what is being discussed since there is a difference between facts, theories and beliefs.  I also try to think logically about what is being said, to help me evaluate whether to accept it.

If the discussion is about a fact that I am certain about, I know I'm right.  If about a theory, I know I am
probably
right but I am open to good evidence that can prove the theory wrong.  If I have a belief, on the other hand, I am completely open about it and willing to change my mind if someone can convince me their thinking is more logical or can present facts to the contrary.

I don't mind people who say "I think ....." because to me they are predicating their thoughts as just what they think about something, leaving things open to what I think or what can be proven as fact or generally accepted theory.

To me it is less dogmatic to say "I think the sky is blue" than to say "The sky is blue".

Or....that you are entitled to your own beliefs, but not your own facts.....

...do we exclude the colorblind?

Speaking as someone who is red/green colorblind (I know, it explains some of my color choices for my merchandise, doesn't it?) Someone arguing with me over colors always makes me laugh.. Because to me, it ISN'T a green dress, or red boat. Unless it is a primary version of red or green, they kind of look the same to me.

Perception is a curious animal, no?

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

 


Speaking as someone who is red/green colorblind (I know, it explains some of my color choices for my merchandise, doesn't it?) Someone arguing with me over colors always makes me laugh.. Because to me, it ISN'T a green dress, or red boat. Unless it is a primary version of red or green, they kind of look the same to me.

Perception is a curious animal, no?


Yes it is.

As curious as the way one person loves lengua tacos and another will vomit at the thought of it......how do I defend my preferences?   Suggest more hot sauce?.....Offer more ice cold beer?

Often we want to try and convince other people to love and admire what we love and admire, often to the point of thinking the other 'just doesn't get it'   ...but the need still exists to show others how WE view the world, and the value of that viewpoint.

....or...that designer must be out of his mind!

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Solaria Goldshark wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

 

Speaking as someone who is red/green colorblind (I know, it explains some of my color choices for my merchandise, doesn't it?) Someone arguing with me over colors always makes me laugh.. Because to me, it ISN'T a green dress, or red boat. Unless it is a primary version of red or green, they kind of look the same to me.

Perception is a curious animal, no?

Yes it is.

As curious as the way one person loves lengua tacos and another will vomit at the thought of it......how do I defend my preferences?   Suggest more hot sauce?.....Offer more ice cold beer?

Often we want to try and convince other people to love and admire what we love and admire, often to the point of thinking the other 'just doesn't get it'   ...but the need still exists to show others how WE view the world, and the value of that viewpoint.

....or...that designer must be out of his mind!

Valuing another's viewpoint when it comes to preferences about what they love and admire boils down to the respect people have for each other.  

Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree.  As the saying goes there is no sense in arguing with idiots.  :smileywink:

 

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Solaria Goldshark wrote:

How many enter into conversation convinced that they are right?   I know of a personal acquaintance who colors most of his discourse with the certain phase,  "I think..."  which always leaves me feeling that there is no room for thoughts from other perspectives.

How much does belief and certainty matter if there is a possibility that you may be wrong?

...or do you approach your life and discourse with a scout mindset?

Sometimes, as Amethyst said, you just know that you are right - at least judging by the facts that you are aware of. For instance, I live in England and, no matter how much you argue that I don't live in England, and how ever many people you bring to back up your argument, I know that I am right, and that you (and they) are wrong.

But most arguments are not as clear cut as that and, we argue according to the conclusions we draw from what we know and the way we understand what we know. Sometimes, given the identical information, different people conclude different things, and so arguments/differences occur. So, in many things, we should always remember that the way we see things isn't necessarily the same way that others see them. Nevertheless, we can always argue that, as far as we know, we are absolutely right, but keeping in mind that it's just possible that we are wrong.

A common belief, when arguing, is that the other person 'always thinks they are right', or is 'thick as two short planks', etc., because they are unable to see what, to us, is obvious. Such things are stated at the person in a derogatory way. But that's just plain stupid. Whenever there's a difference, both parties can be accused of the same things.

I remember a thread from many years ago when virtually the whole of the forum tried to persuade me that the word 'many' means 'most'. It doesn't, it never did, and it never will. They used all manner of insults and such, but they couldn't change the meaning of that word and, despite their numbers, they lost the argument. It was a cse of mass stupidity, fueled by something else.

I fancied writing all that but it isn't an answer to your question, "How do you know you're right?". You don't. You can believe your are right, but that's as far as you can go. I can believe that I live in England, and vehemently argue the case but, who knows?, I may wake up and find that I've had an odd sort of dream, and I really live in Wales. Until that happens, though, I will argue till the cows come home that I live in England :)

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Solaria Goldshark wrote:

I know of a personal acquaintance who colors most of his discourse with the certain phase,  "I think..."  which always leaves me feeling that there is no room for thoughts from other perspectives.

Many linguists interpret "I think" in quite the opposite way, at least in written expression. In fact, it's a qualifier that's been part of a whole academic industry identifying supposed gender differences in English language usage, at least since a study by Robin Lakoff in the 1970's.  Here's a more recent article in the Guardian with a similar idea of "I think" being relatively overused by females.

(Also, the "I think" qualifier may discourage defamation lawsuits, but I am not a lawyer, your mileage may vary, except where prohibited.)

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Solaria Goldshark wrote:

 

 I know of a personal acquaintance who colors most of his discourse with the certain phase,  "I think..."  which always leaves me feeling that there is no room for thoughts from other perspectives.

 

 

To think, is the first step to wisdom ...

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Qie Niangao wrote:


Solaria Goldshark wrote:

I know of a personal acquaintance who colors most of his discourse with the certain phase,  "I think..."  which always leaves me feeling that there is no room for thoughts from other perspectives.

Many linguists interpret "I think" in quite the opposite way, at least in written expression. In fact, it's a qualifier that's been part of a whole academic industry identifying supposed gender differences in English language usage, at least since a study by Robin Lakoff in the 1970's.  
with a similar idea of "I think" being relatively overused by females.

(Also, the "I think" qualifier may discourage defamation lawsuits, but I am not a lawyer, your mileage may vary, except where prohibited.)

I always use "I think" to indicate that I'm not absolutely certain about something, which is quite opposite to the way the OP described it. E.g. I think that the ToS specifically states....

I don't understand why the OP described it that way. It doesn't make sense to me.

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I think I have a scout mindset, but others have disagreed. And my use of "I think" opposes your understanding. It's intended to telegraph my uncertainty. I may use it even when I am certain, as we nefarious do to lure others into deeper discourse. Ben Franklin learned this technique from Socrates. I think I learned it from being wrong a lot.

I recall getting a little heat in catechism class when young. After hearing "Our all knowing God created man in his image", I asked the priest if curiosity was one of those godlike things he blessed us with....

"Of course, Maddy."

"Free will, too?"

"Yes, that too".

"Really? That makes no sense to me. If God is all knowing, what is there for him to be curious about? And if knows everything, he knows what he's going to do next. If he changes his mind, he'll know that too, so he can't escape. Is that free will?"

"I"m afraid you don't understand, Maddy. In time I hope you will."

Time's running out. I'm getting no closer. I'm on a different path.

I blame my Father for that, but my slow, unsteady hike to DoubtVille has been wonderful...

... so far.

;-).

 

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

 

Time's running out. I'm getting no closer. I'm on a different path.

I blame my Father for that, but my slow, unsteady hike to DoubtVille has been wonderful...


My parents did everythng they could* to instill their beliefs in me.  However I think** Kevin Smith movies make more sense to me.

 

 

*This phrase is not used as a figure of speak here.

**Used to show an expression of opinion. Other opinins are also valid, they are just not mine.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

**Only uploaded images may be used in postings**s://i.ytimg.com/vi/DsrxbqFo41k/hqdefault.jpg','external':'url'}" />

I think I have a scout mindset, but others have disagreed. And my use of "I think" opposes your understanding. It's intended to telegraph my uncertainty. I may use it even when I am certain, as we nefarious do to lure others into deeper discourse. Ben Franklin learned this technique from Socrates. I think I learned it from being wrong a lot.

I recall getting a little heat in catechism class when young. After hearing "Our all knowing God created man in his image", I asked the priest if curiosity was one of those godlike things he blessed us with....

"Of course, Maddy."

"Free will, too?"

"Yes, that too".

"Really? That makes no sense to me. If God is all knowing, what is there for him to be curious about? And if knows everything, he knows what he's going to do next. If he changes his mind, he'll know that too, so he can't escape. Is that free will?"

"I"m afraid you don't understand, Maddy. In time I hope you will."

Time's running out. I'm getting no closer. I'm on a different path.

I blame my Father for that, but my slow, unsteady hike to DoubtVille has been wonderful...

... so far.

;-).

 

Kierkegaard says there is no faith without doubt.  Otherwise the choice to believe is no choice, and faith is a choice, one of the few truly free choices available to us.

A correction: According to a Franklin biography I recently read, he emulated Socrates by asking questions, which is of course what is meant by the Socratic Method, and which all good teachers use.

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Pamela Galli wrote:


Kierkegaard says there is no faith without doubt.  Otherwise the choice to believe is no choice, and faith is a choice, one of the few truly free choices available to us.

A correction: According to a Franklin biography I recently read, he emulated Socrates by asking questions, which is of course what is meant by the Socratic Method.

Kierkegaard certainly has a point. Even Jesus himself had a moment of doubt, when he hung on the cross.

I think... it is healthy to have doubts from time to time, on everything. It makes it more difficult for the rulers of the world, to control us like robots.

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Rhonda Huntress wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

I don't understand why the OP described it that way. It doesn't make sense to me.

 It depends on which word you emphasize.

"I
think
we should act now."

"
I
think we should act now."

Very true. I was only considering the written words - without any italics, bolding or underlining :)

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Rhonda Huntress wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

I don't understand why the OP described it that way. It doesn't make sense to me.

 It depends on which word you emphasize.

"I
think
we should act now."

"
I
think we should act now."

Very true. I was only considering the written words - without any italics, bolding or underlining
:)

I think I understand.

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Pamela Galli wrote:

A correction: According to a Franklin biography I recently read, he emulated Socrates by asking questions, which is of course what is meant by the Socratic Method.


In his early days, Franklin routinely expressed certainty in his political and philosophical positions. He was not satisfied with the level of discourse that resulted, nor with his limited progress in advancing his agenda. It was after reading Socrates that he realized that his certainty, even if justified, was turning people off or backing them into corners. By expressing uncertainty he didn't necessarily possess, often by asking questions to which he already had the answers, he found others willing and able to more deeply discuss things of importance to him.

And it was through those deeper discussions that he was able to move others in his direction. He also discovered that those discussions were changing his own direction, and that wasn't a bad thing. Although asking questions was, at first, a way of revealing potential uncertainty, he had an epiphany. Asking questions is also a wonderful way to... learn! Some of Franklin's realization was just plain ol' growin' up, but some of it was the hallmark of the "scout mindset".

In Franklin's autobiography, he also describes discovering that asking people for favors made them more likely to do him favors in the future. A political foe of his had an impressive personal library. Franklin asked to borrow a rare book from it and thanked the man earnestly upon returning it. The man's demeanor towards Franklin changed, and the two of them became friends. This is now called the "Ben Franklin Effect".

If I ever set down roots in SL again, I may ask to borrow furnishings or a house from your wonderful collection.

;-).

ETA:


Pamela Galli wrote:

Kierkegaard says there is no faith without doubt.  Otherwise the choice to believe is no choice, and faith is a choice, one of the few truly free choices available to us.


I've not read Kierkegaard since taking a college philosophy course, during which I developed a substantial antipathy towards philosophers. I (currently;-) think that free will/choice is probably an illusion, albiet an extremely comforting one. Thinking about thinking without thinking about neurochemistry and evolution is perilous.

 

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Rhonda Huntress wrote:

My parents did
everythng they could
* to instill their beliefs in me.  However
I think
** Kevin Smith movies make more sense to me.


I imagine we all try to instill our beliefs in others. It's a comfy thing, acceptance. But, Dad was extraordinary in his refusal to believe he really knew anything. I was home schooled, and so perhaps more a product of my parents than most. And if Dad didn't know anything, he reasoned that he'd have to teach me to learn. He might have succeeded, I don't know.

It is possible that my belief in doubt is just passed on from my parents, with no basis in fact. I give more credence to doubters than believers, but I still doubt the doubters. They don't seem to mind.

I'll have to watch a Kevin Smith movie. I'm nearly ready to debut my new outdoor theater.

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