Friday, May 18, 2007

I Am Right and You Are Wrong

We often act like there is some kind of absolute truth out there that we have found through thinking in a rational logical progression of thoughts. We know what it is and therefore everyone else should reach the same inescapable conclusion that we have.

But they don't and we end up with a I am right and they are wrong situation where we need to convince the other person to correct their thinking. If they don't then we will if necessary go to war to force them to think correctly.

Farfetched we might say. Then we need to ask is what then were the religious wars, civil rights, abortion, lab experiments on animals, and environmental issues to name but a few; all about. I am right and you are wrong.

Our truths are not out there somewhere for us to discover. We carry them with us. It is generated by our environment, our experiences, our perceptions and not least our emotions.

I am Woman.

I Have a Dream.

Union For Ever.

War of Northern Aggression.

For God and County.

Beat the Huns.

We start out with different ways of looking at things and then use our intelligence and education to support that point of view. The result:

  • Everyone is always right
  • No one is ever right

We are right in our perceptual world but that world is not anyone else's perceptual world. Once we understand this then we move from I am right and you are wrong stance to exploring each others perceptual worlds to gain an understanding of how they see the world. It is called insight. When this is done then perhaps a combined vision from both viewpoints would lead to a more effective solution.

Food for thought.

RELATED POST:

Our Perceptions and Reality

20 conversations:

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

the war of NORTHERN aggression! ha ha ha

sorry, couldn't help myself!

smiles, bee

Peter Haslam said...

I will correct that Bee :)

paisley said...

your posts, every one are so well thought out and make so much sense as written... this is my first visit,, and i am leaving only because my mind is full,, i need to read them one at a time and drink it all in... thank you so much....

Peter Haslam said...

Just a perception Paisley and thank you for joining the conversation.

HollyGL said...

I have given so much thought over the years to individual perception. The filter through which we each view/feel our experiences. Thank you for drawing it out in such an articulate way.

Princess Haiku said...

Very good point. Are you trained in conflict resolution, Peter?

Peter Haslam said...

Princess Haiku no I have not received training in conflict resolution

Peter Haslam said...

Thank you for your comment hollygl sometimes a different wording or emphasis allows us to see what we have known but could not say

Beth said...

Peter - I love this post - I know that when my anger is at my highest during a conversation, it is high time I take a step back and put myself in the other person's shoes - for some reason that always seems to alleviate my anger and my need to be right...

Peter Haslam said...

Me too Beth :)

Random Magus said...

Brilliant post Peter.
I know at least on my part sometimes when I am passionate about something I just become blind to the fact that the other person also must be as passionate about their viewpoint and would be making it with equal authority. We need to be reminded that we should pause and think from the other person's viewpoint!
So thanks for the reminder!

Peter Haslam said...

I also need the reminder when I get heated up in an argument Random Magus. Sometimes I have to just stop and laugh at myself and change my direction.

Ed said...

You are absolutely right in what you say, Peter. I say this as someone who wants you to be happy with what you believe, even though secretly I know you are wrong :)

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks for your best wishes Ed :)

Jennifer said...

Hi Peter... I think our world would be a filled with peace if only we could remember this one truth.

Thank you for this very thought provoking and insightful article!

Warmest wishes,

Jen

Peter Haslam said...

Hi Jennifer thanks for joining the conversation and I agree with your observation

Comedy + said...

On a small scale this would work, or should I say could work. The big picture...I don't think so. It's is food for thought, but history continues to repeat itself.

Humans just want to be right, this is the only real religion, political party, and the list goes on and on. Maybe I'm just reading too much into this???

Peter Haslam said...

Sandee just pointing out that we can't look for other solutions if we are embroiled in an arguement.

Comedy + said...

Well, you must be getting too deep for me? Possible you know. I get it now. I had trouble with all these posts today. I just don't know why either. :)

Peter Haslam said...

Sandee your comments and observations are always welcome. Appropriately this is not about right or wrong but expanding our viewpoints. Agreeing to disagree is also acceptable :)