- February 20th, 18:06
What is the objective nature of persuasion?
What if I told you that Neo was colorblind?
What if I told you that the white house is full of liars, and that the mainstream media is also full of liars? Which side should be believed; which side should be supported; which side should be defended? That right there seems to be the true problem at hand: the creating of sides, and then, the taking of sides, based on truth. But again, which are to be believed? Facts, or alternative facts? History, or the history you we never told? New media, or mainstream media? Unnamed sources, or unnamed sources? The people, or the smart people? The populous, or the college? All these dichotomies are pointless, and obfuscate the real issue. Facts are facts - they are objectively true, but perceptions of the facts are like the slippery, flip-flopping fish, your dad caught that was “this big” but got away. The thing in itself, and the reflection; the person and the mirror. People vote for what’s best for themselves, that is a fact, except when they don't, because in another moment they choose to be selfless, or they don't know what's best for them, and so they cannot, and therefore do not, choose what's best for them. Who is to be believed; who knows what's best? Them, or, Us? Us is chosen every time. And one can always point to Orwell and talk about how he predicted the concept of “alternative facts” (which do, at a fundamental level, erode the conception of facts as truths), but what if you always have been lied to? Alternative facts, in that paradigm, are just facts. This is absolutely a bandwidth problem, and not just at the individual level. The human capacity to understand and experience reality, is fundamentally too slow to download and upload, and is all too small to hold it all. At what point can one say; at what point can we say, we have learned the truth when there is an article left unread; when there is an idea left un-contemplated; when there are answers left unquestioned? What is the question at the core here? I believe it's a question of persuasion, or more specifically, knowing what should make ideas, and therefore truths, persuasive, and therefore accepted - making persuasive ideas, acceptable truths. So then, what criteria should be present to determine whether an idea is persuasive, beyond the simple subjective capacity for an individual to be persuaded? This question seems to be easier to answer. And to start the conversation I will leave, in conclusion, these two points.
1. If you were to preface every discussion, debate, and argument with an explanation of why you are persuaded by what you believe, and therefore, what you are saying, then not only would the discussion have a better base of mutual understanding (though leave out mutual judgement), it could also be determined whether continuing would be time well spent, being that we are all confined to our own little time bubbles as it were, and the time otherwise spent, on fruitless discussions, could be better spent on discussions with more of an understandable seed to produce fruitful thoughts. Concisely, if, after stating what you believe, someone asks why they should believe you, do not say, “I don't expect you to.” Ideas that are not meant to be persuasive are not healthy - they are the poison that kills a healthy mind. And with the presence of enough poisoned minds, a healthy mind will appear to be sick.
2. So, if you hold ideas that you do not want to persuade people of, or that are not objectively persuasive, then abandon them, or don't give them breath, or preface them as such. Do not propagate them as real knowledge - you are part of the problem, and are hurting us all. And obviously the question then becomes: What is the objective nature of persuasion? And so again I ask, what criteria should be present to determine whether an idea is persuasive, beyond the simple subjective capacity for an individual to be persuaded?