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RE:think

Argue

by Luke Leslie August 20th 2008

 

I find myself shying away from discussing Political matters in writing, mostly due to my tendency to constantly re asses and rethink my position, my attitude and enviably my politics.

I'd make a shoddy US Democrat Presidential candidate. On the campaign trail we call that 'Flip Flopping' and US Republicans enjoy the term refusely.

The site has become a hive of words on the subjects of technology, film and rantitude and as a result I feel guilty, restless and unsatisfied as I thumb through my worded baskets of think. I get bored with 'niche interest' websites, I find them repetitive, alas I know that as long as I shy away from expressing all of what I think - my writing will mostly cluster around 'safe subjects' AKA boring ones. I want that to change.

It bothers me when I re-read something I wrote that I now no longer agree with - but I also take pause and think. I wonder does my tendency to re-think or change my mind make me weak, a flip flopper, or at worst a leaf fluttering on the buzz winds of opinion.

chart

I'm of the thought that by in large* people are scared to admit when they are wrong.

 

*Eoghan Harris my screenwriting lecturer introduced me to that particular phrase, it exists and is by and large used despite the lack of statistical data on the given subject of debate. However by and large people don't mind - and the phrase lives on.

In general (by and large) People believe sticking to their guns allows them to save face. They stand tall in the shadow of mountainous fact, data or tight argument to the contrary. I as you have no doubt surmised I disagree, I've always thought less of someone who isn't '(wo)/man' enough to apologize or at-least concede to being wrong in past argument. I don't say this begrudgingly It just weakens your character, and by extension your position.

 

yoda

Live humbly - you never stop learning

 

That - in a nutshell is the lesson gun-stickers never seem to acknowledge.

For example - person A sets out their position on a given subject. Person B sets out theirs - there is a discussion, blood pressures rise, if you are middleclass much wine is drank, if you are middle class and over 25 arguement is undoubtably over dinner, becoming louder then a mangled cat. At this point it becomes apparent neither party is making headway.

Now person B goes home does some reading, some thinking, some 'learning' and re-asses their position, changing their mind. This person can of course choose to not acknowledge certain realities, choosing to cling to their belief blindly in the face of potential avoidable horrid embarrassment, I say that man is a fool.

The problem is human of course, people don't like loosing face. Now you know I believe, the right thing to do is to admit when you are wrong. Easier said then done of course, but when someone doesn't - and both parties know, face my friend is not saved, you are not weak for conceding, you are weak in this case for not.

This isn't like sport. When data is black and white. The ball is either in or out. World Politics make up the pesky shades of grey that people don't like acknowledging, so reality becomes simplified. When you loose in sport, its simple and unarguable. In Politics its complex, the term 'loser' really doesn't mean anything. If your a loser for learning and rethinking, then you are equating being rational with being stupid. The supposed 'loser' is simply aware of more information and has re-assed their position.

People are terrified of loosing face, coupled with everyones mutual enjoyment of being able to say 'I told you so' with that we find ourselves in a unbreakable pattern.

phone

Changing your mind isn't a bad thing

 

I don't like to classify myself with a word like liberal. I am liberal in many respects politically and socially but declarations of stance like that lock you in. I like to think my position can and should be able to change without feeling like I am compromising my values. My values are relative to my understanding of the world around me - as I learn more, my values shift, and I believe yours should too.

It's people in positions of power who blindly and boldly stick to their guns that get us into trouble. I could throw around names of obvious examples like Hitler or Bush but in a broader sense every politician who ever stuck to their guns to the point of harming other people proves my point.

It's the kind of narrow, small picture, if it ain't broke don't fix it vibe that when I was younger I always associated with conservative or slightly right wing values. I now look at the term conservative with a wider understanding, that for many it simply means looking before one leaps, and I like to think I do that too.

Now I'm not saying people shouldn't be proud of what they believe, nor should they become passive. I revere tenacity and determination. I'm just saying people need to approach life with a certain degree of rigorous critique, reflection and reassessment. Of their own positions as much as others. Don't be so fast to proclaim, recite and judge.

cat

If we did this perhaps we could forget about loosing face more often and move on to agreement and progressive motion toward action.

Luke

 

 

 

 

 

 

online since Jan 06

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