My information processing? Is it disturbed?

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Joined: 30 Mar 2006
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03 Jun 2006, 1:13 am

I have thought about something a few times in the past, noticing some of the ways in which I think. I sometimes wonder if my information processing is disturbed. Here's why, using a recent example.

I read one of those Dear Aspie thingies on the home page of this website. I tend to believe what was said, since it was well-written, full of information and precise. Then, I read something on this website elsewhere that they don't always agree with the content of those Dear Aspie thingies, and I was sort of confused. So, it's like, what are we supposed to believe?

I find this a lot in analyzing many situations. I tend to have a stronghold on certain viewpoints, but what confuses me a lot is how both sides can accuse the other side of lying, as they do in politics all the time. I have read a lot of things about the issues from both sides, and a lot of facts are laid out, or so these people claim when writing the articles and all. I tend to understand the differences amongst perspectives, like one perspective may influence one part of people, and another perspective may influence another ... but, when they start accuse each other of lying, I am sort of confused.

Honestly, I think debates are meaningless. There are two sides to an issue, but these sides have to be influencing the people in different ways. When facts are laid out by reporters and so forth, how can all these people ever be accused of lying? Unless our society is really nothing but a class of scoundrels and hypocrites.

- Ray M -


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Joined: 18 Dec 2005
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Location: Cornwall, UK

03 Jun 2006, 7:50 am

Aeturnus wrote:
I sometimes wonder if my information processing is disturbed.

It may be, but you can't get ther from the example you give. That shows a degree of perception.

So, it's like, what are we supposed to believe?

Ah, one of the big questions.
It comes with the formal domain name of epistemology.
The core epistemological question might be "How do I know I know that?"

You are not alone in noting how it applies to debate on issues where knowledgeable people on each side appear to have irreconcilable diffrences, or even to be looking at different worlds.

Honestly, I think debates are meaningless.

I hope not, because if they are, what else have we got?
We're back to God being on the big battalions, or with the money.

It is understandable, (though wrong) for people with a sincere belief in one position to conclude that since their position is obviously right, that anyone not holding it must in some way be less than sincere.

There is a technique to get round this but it is lengthy and requires goodwill on both sides.

The *short* way is to find the common ground, and attempt to build from there. Where the positions begin to diverge from what is agreed, there the examination and discussion needs to start.

The technique that is often practiced, and horrifies me, is the "form of words" where an ill-defined formula is devised, so vaguely constructed that all parties can agree to it while mentally importing their own meaning. Agreement has not been achieved, only the appearance of it, for a while. This sometimes goes by the name of diplomacy.

The struggles of the Anglican communion NOT to say what various parties believe about gay Christians/clergy might be an example, or some of the European Union treaties carefully NOT clearly defining what the union involves.


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Joined: 9 May 2006
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Location: Victoria, BC

04 Jun 2006, 7:25 am

Emettman, I hold some similar views here :P

I for the most part think that most people believe what they are saying. I almost never imply that someone is lying. They might hold would I believe to be an innacurate view of things.

But there are situations that I can see that two people can have two different views on something, and at the same time both be right.

Many things are complex, and far from binary. I won't get into an argument just because some believes something different.