Saturday, December 1, 2007

JMO - Two Unproven Statements

I read a number of newspapers each week, usualy 3-5 papers 4-5 days a week. Ok, one of the niceties of retirement into a new self-defining career, simply time to enjoy life's overlooked pleasures. And while reading the debates on issues and all the arguments each sides spews forth into the public mainstream, I am struck by a thought. And while it's not original, it often seems to get lost in the debate and people arguing the content of their statement(s) without looking at the framework for the statement(s).

When a person on one side makes a statement, they obviouslly believe is true but can't be documented or proven and a person for the other side makes a conflict statement which also can't be documented or proven, it's often assumed by each side their statement(s) are true and the other side's false, when in fact both are false since neither is or can be documented or proven. So why do people keep insisting their statement(s) are the truth as fact?

It always baffles me how people will stand there and insist their statements are true when on the face of them they're at best debateable and at worst false or wrong. They'll use them over and over as fact without even entertaining questions about the legimacy of the statements or the logic or facts behind the statement. And then continue to insist since their statement is true, the opposite must be false.

No argument is so exclusionary as either side is wholly one or the other and the other the opposite. Every issue is complex, mutlti-faceted and overlapping to the opposing view, and it changes with time and place. So no issue is so absolute that anyone can stand there and swear their belief as fact and their opponents as not. The mere view of that is false even before they open their mouth or write the words.

It's the confusion of opinion as fact when belief is the book they use. It's also the nature of being human. We want our beliefs to be facts so we can go about our life knowing what we know is true and we can measure everything else by that in agreement or opposition to our beliefs. In reality, while it's normal, it's not reality, and why we decide to ignore reality on its face is what I don't understand.

We want to insist our beliefs are fact so we can express our opinions as truths. And we can evaluate and either accept or reject the expressions of others as real or not. It's so easy and so easy to get through the world. And we also find it hard to understand when reality shows us the obvious opposite in the events of the world. We find it easier to accept that it isn't what it seems or the events aren't real.

Denial is a wonderful mental medicine which keeps our world sane. The world we want to know and only want to see. Everything else then must be either false or not real. We can observe events in the world because it's there before your eyes, but it doesn't mean it's accepted as our world. We'll keep our world neat and tidy to know what we say is real and true, despite the opposite being equally real and true, or as others say, or in the face of reality.

Opinion is the easiest view to hold on to because it's ours, and we don't have to argue with ourselves if it's true or real. We know it to be because it's ours. The hardest thing is to simply have an objective opinion in that you want to listen and learn about the issue to form a more informed objective opinion.

Often people criticize this as not really having an opinion, but no one has yet to answer why you have to have an opinion. What's wrong with just being objective without judgement? An opinion expresses a bias, so why is an opinion a requirement when sometimes it's better not to have one to see all sides, and then maybe offer an opinion that is all-inclusive. The old argument a compromise is when everyone wins and loses something and everyone is angry about it.

But then, it's only my opinion, and as everyone else's opinion, is equally worth the two cents we all have in our mind's pocket.

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