cuchulain

insistence in correctness(or wrongness)

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Is it wrong to insist you are right about something if you firmly believe yourself to be correct?  What about insisting someone else is wrong about something when you know they are wrong?  

There have been many instances on the board lately of people claiming to be right, without acknowledging the possibility of being wrong.  Also, of people claiming others are wrong without acknowledging they could be right.  These claims have come up usually under the heading of spirituality, which is debatable.  There are no solid proofs, yet still there is the insistence of rightness or wrongness.  

To a point, it irritates me(and clearly others), but I can also understand the approach.  There have been times when I have observed that myself and others have waffled back and forth between beliefs, and speaking for myself it is mostly because I harbor inside an almost brainwashed approach to the idea that I could be wrong, or they could be right.  I feel like I have been raised to be politically correct enough to give credence to what others say, even when I know they are wrong(or when I know I am right).  Waffling back and forth, it seems very counterproductive.  Maybe it's the best path?  Maybe it is understandable to want to question your beliefs and the beliefs of others, to change position when new evidence is presented.  But maybe it is a virtue to hold the course, as well.  After all, how many times has anyone else seen the science behind why certain food is bad for you, only to see the science behind why it is good for you come out years later?  

Just thought I would ask for others thoughts on the subject in an attempt to solidify my own position.  Thanks :) 

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I don't think either approach is wrong. Depending on the situation and your goals, one will be more useful than the other. It can be really hard to tell which one, without the benefit of hindsight.

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That's true, it would depend upon a person's goals.  If my goal were to be a virtuous person, for instance?

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

That's true, it would depend upon a person's goals.  If my goal were to be a virtuous person, for instance?

I don't really see a moral difference between the two approaches. Neither causes harm, in and of itself. I balk at making others responsible for my reactions, so it is only fair that I don't hold myself responsible for their reactions to me.

The only exception would be when the reaction was prompted intentionally, like when I get mad and say something mean just to hurt someone's feelings. To me, that crosses the line into unvirtuous behavior, and it prompts me to feel bad about it once I calm down. One of my proudest accomplishments is the fact that this no longer happens very often...

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On 5/16/2017 at 11:08 AM, cuchulain said:

Is it wrong to insist you are right about something if you firmly believe yourself to be correct?  What about insisting someone else is wrong about something when you know they are wrong?  

There have been many instances on the board lately of people claiming to be right, without acknowledging the possibility of being wrong.  Also, of people claiming others are wrong without acknowledging they could be right.  These claims have come up usually under the heading of spirituality, which is debatable.  There are no solid proofs, yet still there is the insistence of rightness or wrongness.  

To a point, it irritates me(and clearly others), but I can also understand the approach.  There have been times when I have observed that myself and others have waffled back and forth between beliefs, and speaking for myself it is mostly because I harbor inside an almost brainwashed approach to the idea that I could be wrong, or they could be right.  I feel like I have been raised to be politically correct enough to give credence to what others say, even when I know they are wrong(or when I know I am right).  Waffling back and forth, it seems very counterproductive.  Maybe it's the best path?  Maybe it is understandable to want to question your beliefs and the beliefs of others, to change position when new evidence is presented.  But maybe it is a virtue to hold the course, as well.  After all, how many times has anyone else seen the science behind why certain food is bad for you, only to see the science behind why it is good for you come out years later?  

Just thought I would ask for others thoughts on the subject in an attempt to solidify my own position.  Thanks :) 

 

Greetings to you my brother,

I don't believe that there is any one answer, as I think it will always depend on the situation.

For example, living in Milwaukee as I do, I happen to believe that the Green Bay Packers are the greatest football team ever.  I also have a great many friends in the Chicago area where I was born and raised who happen to believe the exact same thing about the Chicago Bears.  Because I love my friends, I do not share (except in a humorous way) my view about the Packers to them because it's not really an important issue. 

When I discuss matters of science, I am always reminded of the truth that Science is never 100% certain about anything.  True science is always open to the chance that something that was once taught as absolute truth may one day be found to be false as new information becomes available.  But it is the responsibility of those who want to challenge the generally accepted facts of science to prove something once held to be true is in fact false.  If a challenger does have compelling evidence that can be backed up using the scientific method, then a responsible scientist will be open to testing this new evidence, and if found to be true modify their own views.  

This past year I have been blessed to become a grandfather for the very first time.  My granddaughter has some very fixed opinions about what she wants and doesn't want.  For example, she now likes putting everything she can get her hands on in her mouth.  Now, this is not a good thing when it comes to small objects that can be swallowed or sharp objects like steak knives.  Alas, she gets upset with me when I take these things away.  She thinks she is in the right.  I, however, have very firm, inflexible views on this matter, and I must insist that she bend to my will.  It is a safety issue.  

Regarding matters of faith.  Indeed I do have some pretty fixed opinions.  I share them with people who ask me to share them, and often with people who pay me to talk about them from a pulpit.  More importantly tho, I try to live out my beliefs.  One of my most cherished beliefs is that there is a spark of God within each of us, and God speaks to each of us in different ways.  Because of that, I always want to be open to others views on faith, recognizing that, for whatever reason, this is how that person is experiencing (or not experiencing) God.  That experience is true for them, and not something I want to directly challenge.  Of course, I share what I believe here, hoping that my own faith journey can help others in theirs, and to be perfectly honest, in the hopes that I can help others to a loving relationship with Jesus.  So what I share I try to do gently and respectfully (with the occasional lapse).  And yes, recognizing that in matters of faith, I can only speak of my own views, my own experiences, and my own understanding of what Christ teaches.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

 

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To the extent that it is possible, it is best to have objective evidence behind an assertion.

Claim number one.  God exists.

Is there proof that God exists?  No.  Is there strong evidence that God exists?  No.  Could God exist?  Yes.  Based on evidence alone, is God belief justified?  No.  Could God exist anyway?  Yes.

Claim number two.  Belief in God makes people better than they would be otherwise.

This is verifiable.  Behavior is observable and quantifiable.  In an analysis of any prison population -- Is there proof that God belief makes people better than those who don't believe in God?  No.  None at all.  Is there supporting anecdotal evidence?  Yes, but both ways.  Could the proposition be true?  Belief in God does make some people better.  It also makes some people worse.

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On 5/16/2017 at 2:15 PM, mererdog said:

I don't really see a moral difference between the two approaches. Neither causes harm, in and of itself. I balk at making others responsible for my reactions, so it is only fair that I don't hold myself responsible for their reactions to me.

The only exception would be when the reaction was prompted intentionally, like when I get mad and say something mean just to hurt someone's feelings. To me, that crosses the line into unvirtuous behavior, and it prompts me to feel bad about it once I calm down. One of my proudest accomplishments is the fact that this no longer happens very often...

I can certainly appreciate the "very often" part of that myself.  I would like to think I have grown beyond such reactions, but we both know that isn't the case.  Still, I think the attempt counts for something.  

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

Still, I think the attempt counts for something.  

Absolutely. We are imperfect creatures. Despite what Yoda quotes you may hear, all we can really ask of one another is that we try. All we can really expect from each other is a constant need to forgive and be forgiven. Anything beyond that is just gravy. But don't get me wrong: I love gravy.

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In the spirit of insistence, is it a virtue to insist on being correct, or that someone else is wrong?  I believe it falls to the individual to decide for themselves.  Consistency is nice, but to the point of blinding oneself to the possibility of being wrong?  

I understand myself well enough to know that I am a flawed creature.  Most Christians will heartily agree with that simple sentiment, I believe.  But will they look into the mirror while doing so?  Will those of any religion acknowledge that they are flawed?  It seems to me to be a tenet of Christianity, that humans are flawed creatures.  With this understanding, why is it so hard for some to admit they may be wrong?  If you know yourself to be flawed, then you should be able to see that the possibility exists, yes?  And so, the insistence of correctness, or in another's wrongness, becomes a matter of pride, does it not?  And is not pride one of the deadly sins?

From this particular Atheists perspective, I fully acknowledge I may be wrong.  I know I am not perfect, though I certainly try to live the virtuous life as i see it.  This is a tenet of the ULC, "do that which is right".  Recently there was a post about that in the pulpit...but it leaves off the other portion of that tenet, "only you can determine what is right."  As such, I cannot find fault in someone else determining that they are absolutely right, since that is their determination.  I can find fault with someone insisting I am wrong, since only I can determine what is right.  I do not gain my virtues from the mouth of a preacher, I do not subscribe to the tenets of one particular philosophy or faith, or pick my morals and virtues from a book.  I take them from multiple sources, and rarely(if ever), are they a novel idea that I myself devised.  But, they are ideas that I have tested internally and found to be worthy within myself.  

Is the best way to for me lead others to the virtuous life, then, to berate their current virtues?  Is it to play word games with debates and arguments, redefining words at a whim, insisting that they are wrong?  Is it even necessary for me to lead others to what I consider a virtuous life?  No...resoundingly no, for me.  I see no need to berate anyone for their "wrong" answer.  Each of us has the responsibility which cannot be abrogated to determine what is right and what is wrong.  For some, this means reading from the bible, it means studying what the letters and commentators have to say about that book and the message contained within.  For others it is the will of Allah, it may be the words of a preacher on a pulpit, or perhaps it's the philosophy of some sci fi account, maybe stranger in a strange land or star trek or star wars or thomas covenant the unbeliever...and that is their choice, not mine.  

If they feel a need to berate me for being "Wrong", then so be it.  I am not harmed by mere words, arrogant though they may sound to my ears.  There is no force within those words.  There is no substance to a person insisting I am wrong(and conversely that they are right, whether they utter that or not).  My emotions, they want there to be a heaven, a God, they want an afterlife.  They also at times want me to be able to go back and do things differently, to be a better person in the past.  I do not see any of these things happening.

I have no mandate from heaven.  I have a mandate of conscience.  It is the voice within me, coupled with what I reason about the world I see around me.  I like to learn all the time, but I have found that I learn virtually nothing from conversations with Christians.  The same as Islamists, or other extremists.  I learn nothing from pagans, at least about virtue.  I learn what they believe to be virtue, all of them.  But that is not my belief.  Some things may line up, some may be identical, some are not there at all.  

All this leads me to state simply that my virtue is not insistent upon being right or that others are wrong.  Or as pagans may phrase it, harm none and do what you will.

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3 hours ago, cuchulain said:

As such, I cannot find fault in someone else determining that they are absolutely right, since that is their determination.  I can find fault with someone insisting I am wrong, since only I can determine what is right. 

Consider for a moment that they are doing what they consider to be right when they tell you that you are wrong. And when you fault them for doing it, you are telling them that they are wrong in their determination. 

You have a right to determine what is right for yourself, but others have a right to try to influence that determination. Part of that is telling you when they think you are wrong.  Of course, this means you have a right to try to influence them, and to tell them when you think that they are wrong.

We can't have freedom of religion without freedom of speech. And if it is wrong to tell people they are wrong, there is very little it is not wrong to say, because basically everything you believe is actively disbelieved by someone else. Know what I mean?

Edited by mererdog

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That's true.  Maybe they think they are right to try to change my mind, and I can accept that.  I can still find fault with it, however, since it is my determination that they should not forcefully try to convince me.  I don't mind when someone tries to explain their understanding and even try to convince me...but when the point comes where they have clearly failed, and they continually do so...it strikes me as harassment rather than enlightenment.  

Maybe I shouldn't say I find fault with someone insisting I am wrong so much as finding fault with someone trying to coerce or force me to believe the way they do?  But...if they truly believe man to be a flawed creature, they should be willing to accept that they are flawed and so could be wrong as well, meaning what they think of as right is suspect.  And if they think they are right in trying to convince me I am wrong, that too is suspect.

Or I could just play it by ear and circumstance, with some emotion added in :) 

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4 hours ago, cuchulain said:

 But...if they truly believe man to be a flawed creature, they should be willing to accept that they are flawed and so could be wrong as well, meaning what they think of as right is suspect. 

Ever read much about cognitive dissonance? 

Knowing you are able to be wrong does not prevent being completely convinced that you are right. Knowing my wife is imperfect does not mean I won't be surprised if she cheats. We are not entirely rational creatures. That irrational confidence is a survival trait because it allows us to face risks we would otherwiwe balk at. Which explains why it is so prevalent.

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2 hours ago, mererdog said:

Ever read much about cognitive dissonance? 

Knowing you are able to be wrong does not prevent being completely convinced that you are right. Knowing my wife is imperfect does not mean I won't be surprised if she cheats. We are not entirely rational creatures. That irrational confidence is a survival trait because it allows us to face risks we would otherwiwe balk at. Which explains why it is so prevalent.

I believe that says it better than I was attempting, thank you. :) 

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Of course, because we aren't entirely rational, we are rarely able to look at our irrationality rationally. Somehow, my irrationality is almost always more sensible than the other guy's. He jumps to conclusions while I see the obvious. He lacks solid proof but I have compelling evidence. When that tendency rears its ugly head, its really, really hard to catch myself doing it. Ironically enough for O Henry, anyone calling me out on it is likely to seem to just be doing what they are accusing me of.

Given how amazingly good we are at protecting our preconceptions* its kind of a wonder anyone can ever talk anyone out of anything...

Edited by mererdog

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On 5/21/2017 at 12:00 PM, cuchulain said:

That's true.  Maybe they think they are right to try to change my mind, and I can accept that.  I can still find fault with it, however, since it is my determination that they should not forcefully try to convince me.  I don't mind when someone tries to explain their understanding and even try to convince me...but when the point comes where they have clearly failed, and they continually do so...it strikes me as harassment rather than enlightenment.  

 

 

I can relate to this very much. 

 

Recent exchange with very enthused Christian.

 

Christian:  I must confess our church is one that goes out and knocks on doors 

to bring the good news to everyone.

 

Me:  I understand you are tasked with making sure that I KNOW the one true

right way to heaven.  And I "get" that you are worried about my eternal soul.

Thank you.   I have listened to you (and many, many others)

 

Now to ask you a question, if I may.  Do you think it is in your power to give

me the gift of faith.  My understanding is God grants that gift.  I am happy for you

that you have received it.  But if it is true that only God can give that gift - why are

you out knocking on doors?

 

Christian:   To plant the seeds for God. 

 

Me:   if it did not take root and you continue to push - how is that different

than stalking? 

 

At that point we both chuckled.

 

I am with you, chuchlain.    Each  person lecturing me - thinking either

they are the first one to tell me these things.

Or that they will be the one to finally crack the nut. 

 

In doing so they fail to recognize that I have availed myself of every 

opportunity to share their belief.    Yet.  I do not.   So end of story for this

round.  I listen.  I thank them.  I restate their position so they know I was

listening but they simply will not STOP when politely asked to do so. 

 

Therefore, I no longer waste my time respecting their rights and views.

I walk away. 

But I sure understand your feelings.    After a half a century of this behavior

one does get fatigued at the rerun of it all. 

 

Being polite does not equate to being a doormat. 

 

von

 

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35 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

 

I can relate to this very much. 

 

Recent exchange with very enthused Christian.

 

Christian:  I must confess our church is one that goes out and knocks on doors 

to bring the good news to everyone.

 

Me:  I understand you are tasked with making sure that I KNOW the one true

right way to heaven.  And I "get" that you are worried about my eternal soul.

Thank you.   I have listened to you (and many, many others)

 

Now to ask you a question, if I may.  Do you think it is in your power to give

me the gift of faith.  My understanding is God grants that gift.  I am happy for you

that you have received it.  But if it is true that only God can give that gift - why are

you out knocking on doors?

 

Christian:   To plant the seeds for God. 

 

Me:   if it did not take root and you continue to push - how is that different

than stalking? 

 

At that point we both chuckled.

 

I am with you, chuchlain.    Each  person lecturing me - thinking either

they are the first one to tell me these things.

Or that they will be the one to finally crack the nut. 

 

In doing so they fail to recognize that I have availed myself of every 

opportunity to share their belief.    Yet.  I do not.   So end of story for this

round.  I listen.  I thank them.  I restate their position so they know I was

listening but they simply will not STOP when politely asked to do so. 

 

Therefore, I no longer waste my time respecting their rights and views.

I walk away. 

But I sure understand your feelings.    After a half a century of this behavior

one does get fatigued at the rerun of it all. 

 

Being polite does not equate to being a doormat. 

 

von

 

 

 

When I was new to Facebook, I joined several Atheist groups.  To my surprise, the Atheists spent very little time talking to each other.  "We" were constantly being trolled by Christians and Muslims who thought that all the damned souls were gathered together -- for their convenience.

 

Some of them engaged in "preach and run."  They would sermonize, or quote their Scripture -- Bible or Koran -- then flee the temple of evil.

 

Others would try reapeatedly, over time, to enlighten the poor damned heathen.  They were genuinely surprised by their "rude" reception.

 

Then, there were the intellectuals, who would ask the same stupid questions as though for the first time.  "If evolution is real, how come there are still monkeys?"  Or "How come the Universe exists instead of nothing?"  There was a big list of these questions.  Always, the same questions.

 

Or, "Prove to me that there is no God."

 

Or, "Give me your top three arguments against God, so that I can refute them."

 

It's pretty much the same crap -- that I've always gotten from face to face missionaries.  It never ends.  The only real difference is that now, I'm getting lectures from  Muslims and Christians, instead of Just Christians.  It never changes and it never ends.

 

I'm not as nice as I used to be.  I'm worn down and I don't care any more.  I'm done with pretending that I care what they think.

 

The exception is this board.  With a few exceptions.  

 

:sigh2:     :whist:

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