It may be a Local Politician, Co-Worker, Friend, or even a Family Member. Yet, it is Inevitable that occasionally someone you know will Voice an Opinion about an Issue that will be in Direct Conflict with your own. What should you do? What is at Stake if you Decide to Open up and be Honest? Before you Decide, try to go through the Following Process, and see what Answer it leads you to.
1. Is the Subject Matter of Such Importance that it must be Addressed Immediately?- What is Important to You, Friends and Family, may not really matter to others. Pick your Battles. If You have an Opinion on a Subject, but it lies in conflict with Others, is the Disagreement so Vast that you are willing to make a Stand Then and There? Can it wait for a Different Time and Place? What Do You Gain, or Lose, by Postponing such a Discussion?
2. Many Times it is Better to say NOTHING AT ALL, LET THE SPEAKER MAKE THE CASE FOR YOUR SIDE OF AN ISSUE.- Are you Familiar with the Saying:
"BETTER TO BE THOUGHT A FOOL, THAN TO OPEN YOUR
MOUTH AND REMOVE ALL DOUBT."
How Many Times have you been present at a Gathering or Event, where Someone Attending is making a Fool of Themselves, Blurting out Meaningless Drivel that has everyone Rolling Their Eyes and Walking Away. If it is within a group of Fairly Well- Informed People, They will see the Individual for what He Is; Ill-Informed, Ignorant, and Lacking the Basic Skills for Intellectual Discourse. No Opinion They Offer will be Taken Seriously, and Hopefully it is on the Opposite Side of an Issue that you land on.
3. The Most Important Disagreements to Confront Immediately are Deliberate Falsehoods and Bad Information- Before you can point out an IRRATIONAL AND INVALID ARGUMENT, MAKE SURE THE SPEAKER CAN BACK UP ANY FACTS AND FIGURES THEY ARE STATING AS FACT. Don't point out the Flaws in the REASONING AND STRUCTURE OF THEIR ARGUMENT, AND IGNORE ANY MISINFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE PREMISES. THEY CAN JUST REFORMULATE THE ARGUMENT TO MAKE IT VALID, BUT IT MAY STILL CONTAIN THE SAME FACTUAL FLAWS.
HERE IS A BASIC EXAMPLE;
ALL ROTTWEILERS ARE VICIOUS DOGS.
SPOT IS A VICIOUS DOG.
THEREFORE, SPOT IS A ROTTWEILER.
This is an INVALID ARGUMENT. SPOT MAY
BE A VICIOUS DOG, BUT ANY BREED OF DOG
CAN BECOME VICIOUS, IT IS NOT A BEHAVIOR
EXCLUSIVE TO THE ROTTWEILER.
TO MAKE IT A VALID ARGUMENT, IT IS CHANGED
ALL ROTTWEILERS ARE VICIOUS DOGS.
SPOT IS A ROTTWEILER.
THEREFORE, SPOT IS A VICIOUS DOG.
NOW THE ARGUMENT IS LOGICALLY VALID.
HOWEVER, THE BASIS OF TRUTH FOR THE CONCLUSION
THAT SPOT IS VICIOUS, LIES IN THE PREMISE THAT
ALL ROTTWEILERS ARE VICIOUS. THAT IS A FACTUAL
CLAIM THAT MUST BE BACKED UP WITH PROPER
LOGIC. HOW CAN YOU SPOT A WELL REASONED ARGUMENT, OR AN IRRATIONAL ONE? PT 2.
Another way to spot a Bad or Irrational Argument, is when
Someone Attempts to Use an Untrue or Unverified Assertion or Assumption,
to Support a Preconceived Conclusion.
This is Favorite Tactic of Two Groups of People you wouldn't normally Associate with
each other: THE POLITICIAN AND THE PARANORMALIST.
WHY? Because Both often Have Preconceived Conclusions on Certain Subjects, and the Evidence Supporting such Conclusions is Usually Poor, or even Non- Existent. So To Distract the Reader or Viewer from the Fact that They Cannot Prove that These Assertions and Assumptions have any Basis in Reality, They Don't Even Try. The Truth of such Statements are Accepted without Cause, and are Then used to Argue for a Point of View or Opinion that has Little, if any, Credibility when the Rules of Logic and Critical Thinking are Applied.
Here in an Example Involving the POLITICIAN:
- The Politician who Attacks Social Programs as Being a Crutch for the Lazy and Unmotivated, who make up the Majority of the Recipients. This ASSERTION IS THEN USED TO MAKE THE ARGUMENT THAT THESE PROGRAMS MUST BE ELIMINATED, FOR THEY ENCOURAGE FAMILIES TO PASS THIS WAY OF LIFE ONTO THE NEXT GENERATION.
Yet, when asked to Provide the Data that Supports the ASSERTION that the MAJORITY OF RECIPIENTS ARE LAZY AND UNMOTIVATED, WHICH INDICATES A DESIRE NOT TO IMPROVE THEIR LOT IN LIFE, THEY ARE NOTORIOUSLY SILENT. IN FACT, AN ACTUAL REVIEW OF THE AVAILABLE INFORMATION POINTS TO THE FACT THAT SOCIAL PROGRAMS ARE USUALLY TEMPORARY MEASURES FOR FINANCIAL HARDSHIP, THAT MOST RECIPIENTS USE FOR A BRIEF PERIOD OF TIME, AND ARE NOT A PERMANENT WAY OF LIFE.
HOWEVER, THE FALSE ASSERTION ABOUT THE MOTIVATIONS OF THE MAJORITY OF RECIPIENTS, IS USED TO CLAIM THAT IT ENCOURAGES GENERATIONAL DEPENDENCE ON SOCIAL PROGRAMS. THIS, IN TURN IS GIVEN AS A REASON TO ELIMINATE SUCH PROGRAMS.
It is Nothing Less than a Deliberate Attempt to Demonize a Segment of the U.S. Population, by spreading Lies and Falsehoods.
LOGIC. HOW CAN YOU SPOT A WELL REASONED ARGUMENT, OR AN IRRATIONAL ONE? PT 3.
Although I have Touched upon the Following in other Posts on this Website,
it still has a Tremendous Influence on the Subject Matter that is covered in this Article.
We can Break it down like this, when discussing Investigations into the Paranormal:
THAT ANY JUDGMENTS OR CONCLUSIONS MADE ABOUT THE REALITY OR EXISTENCE OF A PARTICULAR PHENOMENA IS OFTEN MADE WITH ASSUMPTIONS AND/OR PREMISES THAT ARE UNTRUE, UNVERIFIED OR UNPROVEN.
Here are a couple of examples:
#1. The "Ghost Hunter" who claims that "Cold Spots" in a room Indicate the
presence of a Spirit or Supernatural Entity.
- THE INFRARED THERMOMETER THAT THEY USE IS DESIGNED TO MEASURE THE SURFACE TEMPERATURES OF ANYTHING THEY ARE POINTED AT. THESE INCLUDE WALLS, FLOORS, PLUMBING, OR EVEN OTHER INDIVIDUALS. THE READINGS THEY ARE GETTING ARE SIMPLY FROM THE OBJECT OR SURFACE AREA THAT THE UNIT IS BEING DIRECTED TO. WHAT AN IR THERMOMETER CANNOT DO IS RECORD THE TEMPERATURE OF SOMETHING THAT IS INVISIBLE.
#2. The Bigfoot Hunter who claims the Plaster Casts of certain Footprints are Proof of a previously Unknown Creature.
- ACTUALLY, THEY ARE ONLY EVIDENCE OF AN UNIDENTIFIED SHAPE, THAT MAY, OR MAY NOT BE A FOOTPRINT. WHAT CAUSED THE "FOOTPRINT" IS UNKNOWN UNLESS YOU CAN PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF THE TIME, CIRCUMSTANCES, AND CAUSE. AS HISTORY HAS SHOWN US, THEY ARE EASY TO FAKE, AND THINGS LIKE SOIL TEMPERATURE AND CONSISTENCY, PRECIPITATION, WIND etc., CAN INFLUENCE THE FINAL SHAPE.
What must be Taken from these Examples, and the The Previous One from Part 2 taken From Politics, is THE FOLLOWING:
AN ASSERTION IS IN NO WAY A MEASURE OF TRUTH. IN FACT, WITHOUT PROPER AND SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO BACK IT UP, IT IS SOMETIMES A DELIBERATE ATTEMPT TO MISLEAD OTHERS INTO ACCEPTING IT AS FACTUAL, WHEN IN REALITY IT IS NOT.