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Thread: Perception and Point of View

  1. #1

    Perception and Point of View

    Everyone comes by their point of view honestly, and your point of view can drastically alter how you perceive reality. Example... when I showed my parents the "not about the nail" video, my mom thought the woman in the video was the protagonist and my dad thought the guy in the video was the protagonist. Dad thought it was making fun of the woman with the nail in her head, and mom thought the moral of the video was that you shouldn't be a jerk and try to fix stuff when people come to you with their problems. Since I share my dad's pov on the subject I was kind of amazed that my mom saw it that way.

    When you argue with someone, you aren't just trying to inform them of an alternate way of thinking that they weren't aware of, you are trying to get them to understand your point of view. This article puts it well...

    when you debate someone, particularly on topics of a political or religious nature you are not simply arguing with “one” person about “one” issue? Rather, you are arguing with an individual’s entire life history and all the people that have influenced that person along the way. Specifically, the way they were raised, their life experiences, their families of origin, and even their mentors. How can you possibly have much of an impact?
    So is arguing pointless? I don't think so. I think there is value in getting someone else to understand why you think the way you do, even if it doesn't make them change their mind. When writing fiction it becomes important to understand multiple points of view so that you can write from the point of view of characters that don't believe the same things that you do. If every character in a book has the same beliefs, the book is boring. In fact one of my goals as a writer is to be able to create antagonistic points of view that are so well done that not everyone will agree about who is wrong.

    On the subject of the forum, I think we are better if we don't all believe the same things. It's boring if we are all on the same page. So I hope some of you disagree with what I have written here and will tell me all about it.


    Sidenote: I saw this and it reminded me of some of my interactions here.
    Spoiler: misunderstanding


    Spoiler: it's not about the nail
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -- Aristotle

  2. #2
    your cheapest wine Johnny's Avatar
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    From the practical side, the only solution I've ever seen to handle the diversity is to simply avoid censoring any thread or post contributed here.

    But then, why call it an INTP forum? So I think I can see that such a rule might not be considered practical by everyone...but that's my layman definition of "practical" (i.e., easy).
    What's the difference? It's just soda, bro.

  3. #3
    No Thank You Blorg's Avatar
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    I'd be surprised if anyone disagreed with your statement in its broadest sense. But I think there are so many exceptions and nuances that it doesn't make sense to me to speak in such broad terms, except as a starting point. I mean, just the other day, you stopped two people here from arguing (closed the thread). And in that case, I don't think either person would have felt better, or more enlightened, or more dynamic by continuing their argument.

    As for the statement "I think we are better if we don't all believe the same things," to say otherwise would make one sound like an Orwellian villain, and I've never actually encountered someone in real life who is an Orwellian villain.

    I do believe that respect is useful in communication, and something to aspire to. And it's possible to be angry and passionate while also being respectful. (I'm saying this because you use the word argue rather than debate.) I know it's cliche but it's true - arguing with "I" statements rather than "you" statements is better (unless you're honestly checking your interpretation of their viewpoint). Then you're communicating your own viewpoint rather than trying to demonize the person you're arguing with, and therefore they'll be more likely to listen and respond in a thought-provoking way.

  4. #4
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    when you debate someone, particularly on topics of a political or religious nature you are not simply arguing with “one” person about “one” issue? Rather, you are arguing with an individual’s entire life history and all the people that have influenced that person along the way. Specifically, the way they were raised, their life experiences, their families of origin, and even their mentors. How can you possibly have much of an impact?
    The onus is not simply on the one advancing an argument. The onus is equally on the one listening/replying to the argument, if you ask me.

    Regardless of all the people who have influenced an individual, that individual is still an individual, as in: in possession of an individual consciousness, thereby capable of making individual assessments, decisions and taking individual actions. Not simply as a capacity, but by necessity -- exclusive necessity. Nobody can think or act for you; you think and act by and of yourself, perforce your nature as an individual human being.

    Hence, it is in the listener's capacity (and if you ask me, in the context of a debate it is their responsibility) to listen, comprehend, and respond from a place of individual reasoning qua rationality. Here we have a capacity and not a necessity because it is a conscious choice to summon one's individuality, and therefrom, summon one's rationality against easier, lesser alternatives in behavior ... such as, falling back on the received and parroting your peers, for instance.

    To accept an argument rationally is (in part) to be open to receiving its import for consideration, which includes allowing it to possibly challenge if not revise your currently held beliefs. Hence, the possibility for "impact" of an argument is not squarely on the one offering the argument. Ie, the listener can choose to be rationally open-minded, or merely the sum of their existing thoughts (as received or otherwise).

    From here, we get into all sorts of disconnects that can happen. For instance, differing philosophical axioms (as explicit and acknowledged or otherwise, usually otherwise), the likes of which can cause "talking past each other" despite the best of intentions otherwise. These are not insurmountable, but require the debate to first address a very base sort of common ground before anything in particular can be discussed, in my experience. Problem there is, few have patience or interest for such meta. What's worse, if there is a substantial disconnect in axioms, as such... there may be no point in continuing the discussion.

    Then we get to ... what each side is actually seeking to accomplish. For instance, is there a genuine attempt to explore the merits of each side, to achieve a new or common ground? Is one side or another more interested in the rhetorical? And so on. If all the parties aren't playing the same game, as such, nothing's going to happen other than accidental comedy/tragedy.

    This as I see it, anyhow.
    Last edited by Ptah; 01-07-2019 at 06:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Thoth's Avatar
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    I will quibble with one statement:

    when you debate someone, particularly on topics of a political or religious nature you are not simply arguing with “one” person about “one” issue? Rather, you are arguing with an individual’s entire life history and all the people that have influenced that person along the way. Specifically, the way they were raised, their life experiences, their families of origin, and even their mentors. How can you possibly have much of an impact?
    IMO, this statement is inherently flawed when speaking of modern thought, especially among younger generations who have grown up post internet.

    You're not debating the sum of life experiences that formed their perception more than battling the internet (and likely social media) that has informed their perception.

    Modern pop psychology likes to promote terms like "fluid" and "constructs" that remove reference, everything perceptible is inherently flawed; your family, friends, mentors... All can have flaws. The internet however, is imperceptible and thus flawless, so long as it jibes with the person's individual perceptions (opinions), and it's easy to excise those that don't because they are faceless and irrelevant unlike real life connections.

    You can argue a person's real life experiences and what they derived from them, but you can't the ghost that is the internet. The individual has to accept that not every stranger that agrees with them on twitter is actually relevant much less correct.

  6. #6
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoth View Post
    You can argue a person's real life experiences and what they derived from them, but you can't the ghost that is the internet. The individual has to accept that not every stranger that agrees with them on twitter is actually relevant much less correct.
    Or as I'd put it, you can't productively argue with someone who is intellectually lazy (with respect to what they allow themselves to be informed by, whether or not and to what extent they question it, etc).

  7. #7
    New Member
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    I swear, you are an FJ not a TP. You need to retest.

    Good post.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sistamatic View Post
    when you debate someone, particularly on topics of a political or religious nature you are not simply arguing with “one” person about “one” issue? Rather, you are arguing with an individual’s entire life history and all the people that have influenced that person along the way. Specifically, the way they were raised, their life experiences, their families of origin, and even their mentors. How can you possibly have much of an impact?
    I agree. A lot of debate is or at least should be clarification to remove misconceptions. Misconceptions arise due to a person's experiences and upbringing. However, there is another factor - ideological polarisation. People these days tend to react with very strong negative emotions to opposing views, which prevents them from listening to and learning from others. For example, hearing the worlds "universal healthcare" would cause some people to think of communism and gulags. Similarly, hearing the words "new world order" would cause some people to think of tinfoil hats. In all such cases, listening and critical thought shut down. I believe that this ideological polarisation is a deliberate attempt to control the population.
    Last edited by Guess Who; 01-08-2019 at 03:49 AM.
    Love displaces fear

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Thoth View Post
    ...not every stranger that agrees with them on twitter is actually relevant much less correct.
    Or even necessarily on their side or in actual agreement with them.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -- Aristotle

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