Absolute truth tends to discourage debate. Once you conclude that the ideas you have inside your head are from God or Nature or Pure Reason, once you think you are hard wired to Absolute Truth so that your views do not simply represent your perspective, then the rest of us are in trouble.John D. Caputo
The Power of Rebel Ideas
The traditional method of debate and communication of battering other minds into submission with language tricks and bullying. Never works! Never. It is quite simply the number one reason we can’t all get along in the world today. It necessitates that all points of view enter with closed minds and the determined will to exert one’s opinion on the other party. It requires a winner and loser mentality when in reality there are rarely winners and losers in any communication. Nothing in life is black and white but we communicate like there is absolute truth and that we have the privilege of being on the side of that truth. The rest are just ignorant, misinformed or just plain evil for not agreeing with our world view. We spend too much time arguing for what we are against, getting aggressively personal and questioning others motives rather than stating what we are for and listening to others equally valid points of view. The truth is we are all very similar and often our ideas are a result of our cultural backgrounds and lack of exposure to other possibilities.
Insight more often comes after being exposed to all of the possibilities and then allowing the ideas to percolate and arriving at new thinking. That is the way it works best. There is nothing to be gained by arguing against others opinions but much to be gained by stating what we are for. Rather than hold opinions that become mine and yours and part of our identities I find it better to have ideas I like right now and ideas that I do not favor so much. By not attaching ideas to my personality I can remain more open-minded to other ideas. I wouldn’t mind guessing that if asked people regardless of beliefs what they would like the planet and their lives to look like most would be attempting to reach the same utopia – at the heart we are more the same than different. We just have different ideas on how to get there.
It has been shown that the more diverse a group of thinkers is the more successful the outcome of the group becomes – if the group are all similar in beliefs and there is a hierarchy in play the result is that everyone agrees and pats each other on the back for achieving sweet bugger all. If the group contains equality, open-mindedness, innovative minds with maverick minds the process is much more effective. Eureka moments are more frequent under these circumstances. A think tank is worthless if everyone holds the same set of absolute ideas and a fear of being ostracized for not holding the same ideas as others. Mind variety is crucial. As is equality, everyone should feel comfortable to state their opinion or the ideas that they like currently with no fear. New thinking can only be born under these circumstances. How often do we see these circumstances in our day to day lives? Never! We are more likely to see people with absolute beliefs taking no prisoners and turning a communication opportunity into a personal assault on one another. Think politics! What a waste of time and great minds. The system is flawed. the same goes for the science/religion debate and any other topic that has two extremes failing to grasp the importance of the other side and all of the grey area somewhere in between. There are signs of sanity appearing but it is a slow process. Worryingly, the signs in the political arena are that it is getting worse and personal attacks on opposing ideas are the norm. There is a chasm opening between our rulers and normal people and maybe it is time to distance ourselves from the gossipy nature of politics and vote for those that are sincere and discuss ideas rather than gossip about others or highlight others shortcoming rather than their own strengths.
- Small people gossip
- Medium people talk about stuff
- Big people discuss ideas they like while remaining open to new ideas (Flexarian)
We should all attempt to spend our time with 2 & mostly 3 and avoid 1 like the plague. There is nothing to be achieved by gossip. It hurts people, it is rarely true, it is negative and creates nothing for the future or for transformation. Gossips lie to make themselves appear more interesting and add there own interpretation to what they hear. It is a damaging habit and one that we have to leave behind for the future evolution of humanity. Moreover gossip grabs anyone close to it and drags them into its cave. We all know how it is when we hear gossip and how addictive it can be to join in railing against some poor soul that we know nothing about and if we did we might find them totally agreeable. There is a beast inside of us all that we can tame gradually but completely.
I tend to slowly edge away when I am close to damaging hearsay before the gossiper gets on a roll and there is no escape without offending them. Because offending them means that I would be added to their library of gossip subjects. I have heard gossip about myself that is laughable if it were not so damaging. Sadly, people who like to believe tall tales and gossip often have many friends although their lives are often full of drama and shifting social networks due to their inability to shut their mouths.
What are your thoughts about this?
Have you ever met the victim of gossip and been surprised they are not at all as you expected?
Do we need to learn how to properly communicate?
Do you have a story to tell?