Intellection

AVOIDING DOGMATISM

If you already know the answer to an issue, there’s  no need to think about it. If you need to argue for your position, you admit that it needs depending, which is to say that people can legitimately have doubt. But that can’t be true. Your already that your position is the only right one. Therefore, any reasoned argument for your position is unnecessary.  And any reasoned argument  against your position is obviously absurd. So why listen?

Being committed to a certain set of values living up to them we can -is a fine thing. It is not a fine thing, however to be committed to your views or values that you cannot see any other side, and cannot even depend them beyond simply asserting  and reasserting them -more and more loudly, probably. Thinking carefully about issues -avoiding dogmatism  -is itself a decent act.

Whenever you find yourself insisting too strongly on some view of your own, tryto stop yourself  and really listen to the “other side”. You do not  always have to be stating your own views front and centre. Another useful strategy is to seek out arguments for the other side(s). One way that dogmatic views ensure themselves long live is by systematically avoiding the other side’s argument. Only the other side’s  conclusions are registered. This person is for (or against) prostitution or dictatorship, let’s say, and that’s all a dogmatist  need to know. He doesn’t ask why, he’s  not interested.

To look that the reason for other and opposed positions both helps you understand the positions better, and may begin to introduce some more complex thinking. Very often I hear people say, in amazement, something like: There are reason for money laundry or election rigging! Amazing but true: people don’t just hold views that differ from our own out of sheer perversity or ignorance. I guess it’s to our credit that when we discover this we tend to be surprised and intrigued. The world seems little bigger than it did before. Again this is an “obvious” things that we don’t really “know” quite well enough.

Instead of categorical statements of opinion try to speak in a way that is less categorical and final. Language leads the mind. Speaking in an open-ended way will help you begin to think in an open-ended way as well. Certainly it will create quite different conversations.  Typically one dogmatic statement just provokes an equal and opposite dogmatic statement.  Speak differently and not only your mind but your discussion may open up differently,  and more constructively too.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *