a priori/a posteriori

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


A person should never have to apologize for how they feel. But they should be able to act rationally and in the best interest of their feelings. All emotions have a positive side and a negative side (e.g. dwelling on a positive can lead to the negative, and learning from a negative can lead to a positive, etc...). Presenting the best side of an emotion will yield the largest foothold in growth. Understanding the worst side of an emotion will help balance out the honesty of the positive side. But I don't think we can presume to understand the negative unless we map it out in our brain as unbiased as we possibly can. Being unbiased comes from respecting both sides of an argument instead of being dismissive of whatever logic drives the side of the argument you don't believe in.

One thing I dislike are people who set up false arguments to justify their beliefs and ideas, as if they are too afraid to have an opinion without creating a context to cushion it. If you want to have an opinion, you shouldn't have to justify it by cutting down a made up group of generalized things. (The other night I heard a person talking about anti-gay marriage people, and the argument that person made was both generalized and largely untrue - along the lines of "most conservatives say, 'if we let gays get married, what's next, a man marrying an animal...(punchline)'" - at best his argument was playing up to certain biases liberals might have towards conservatives, things which are usually untrue or conflated, but are said so often in public forum that people tend to accept them as social truths. Yes, conservatives eat babies. Yes, liberals want to turn the U.S. into Europe. Etc.)

If you base your opinion as an opponent to the false argument you created, then you are limited by the failings of the logic you've created on the opposing side. Basically, one cannot be smarter than the fake argument they create - because the false argument is meant to fail from moment one.

Also, the ceiling of your opinion is limited by what amounts to reverse engineering. Let's say you know the point you're trying to make, then everything you write to make your logic add up to that predetermined final point will be limited by the necessity of making that predetermined final point. If you were to start writing with no end goal, then your writing can be free and unrestricted. You are not bound to a point or ideal. You are only bound to the act of writing for the sake of writing.

Both types of writing (free writing and bounded writing) have their positives. Writing with an end game in mind is perfect for deadlines and blogging and mass produced editorials. You have a thesis and then you work to make it the most clear and logical arguments you can. Readers appreciate short, concise takes on issues. Writing with no real direction, however, can lead you into areas that may take longer to edit and trim. When you write for the sake of writing, the point is not so clear and may appear aimless or largely superficial. But the more one writes unbounded, the easier it is for one to see their theme/point emerge from the writing, not unlike an image becoming clear on a Kodak Polaroid.

The main idea here, no matter how bullet proof our ideas feel, we must always remember that we are fallible. The only way we can strengthen our final argument is to build a better counter argument to surmount. Writing for the sake of writing opens the door to honesty and truth. Writing fairly, with an endgame in mind, leads the way to stronger, and informed opinion. What we think and what we feel are married somewhere down in the depths of our creativity and being. Where the two separate is where we find man. Where they connect is where we find god.

By creating false arguments, we're saying, "I wouldn't normally have this opinion, however, I have to because there are these idiots in the world who believe this!" The reality is, a person should believe what they believe because they learned to believe it. Their beliefs can't exist as a reaction to something, otherwise I can't help but wonder if what they believe will ever be derived organically. Of course, I'm only saying this because of what I heard the other night.

1 comment:

  1. “What we think and what we feel are married somewhere down in the depths of creativity and being.”

    “Where the two separate is where we find man. Where they connect is where we find god.”

    Yes yes yes. I love the wavelength you’re on. <-- that’s a cliche’ term, but I trust you understand: I hear you.