Monday, March 2, 2009

If two people of very similar condition hear the same thing and draw completely different conclusions - which one is wrong? Each is equally convinced of the correctness of their conclusions, and each is equally baffled by the other’s obvious misreading. If I scratch my head and wonder how anyone could think this or that makes sense, and I know that they are just exactly disposed as I am to wonder about me, am I right? Am I wrong?
We use to, I suspect, have some better grounds to reason with each other. We could look at the facts, weigh the evidences. We were agreed, at least, on the merits of fact and measurement. But now it is not like that. Everything is suspect. Everything is debatable. The pretexts and the measures are dispensed with at the slightest hint that they are leaning against our notions.
We’re sophisticated. We can see where the arguments are leading. So we circumvent the arguments. Go right to the heart of the premise and dismiss it. We just dismiss it. Because we can. Because one reason is as valid as another. And a fact is no more effective than a rejection of a fact.
You would think that somehow the truth would come out in the end. And then it does. And it lays out just as you had suspected. And you think - foolishly - that your antagonist will now be convinced. But you only discover that they are looking at the exact same evidence you are and coming to a completely different conclusion.

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