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  #1  
Old 09-29-2010, 05:51 AM
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Default Are Some Ideas Better than Others?

"Some ideas are better than others."

Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
We each have our own opinions but are there correct ways of thinking?

I would agree and say yes. What are your thoughts?

Last edited by Banefull; 09-29-2010 at 02:38 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2010, 06:05 AM
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...Should this really be a thread on ToS?

I'm afraid to answer this question, because I don't know details on all beliefs.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:06 AM
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This is actually a very common philosphical debate. By beliefs I mean opinions. Is someone's opinion superior to another person's opinion? If I said that I believed that the sky was green and you said that you believed it was blue, is one person's way of thinking superior?

Last edited by Banefull; 09-29-2010 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:22 AM
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All right then. In that case, I believe my "form" of Christianity (if you could call it a "form") is superior to that of who I call "Amen-er" Christians, in that, the way I believe is superior to those who just say "Amen" to everything without actually trying to find out the "why" or "how" side. Those types of Christians (ESPECIALLY those types under 18) are usually the first ones to lose their faith: because they're ill-informed of the facts.





...I won't go farther than Christianity.

Last edited by Woodsprite; 09-29-2010 at 06:25 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-29-2010, 06:35 AM
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I never intended this to become a religious debate if thats what was on your mind (I was thinking beliefs about education, healthcare, whether a movie is good or bad, etc), but why would an opinion including "why" or "how" be superior. Do opinions need justifcation?

Last edited by Banefull; 09-29-2010 at 06:39 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2010, 09:14 AM
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I'd say this is a world which lies entirely on each person's experience. If you haven't experienced it yourself you'll have to trust the source or dump whatever they tell you to believe in.

For example, for "knowing" man has landed on the Moon I have to trust what the NASA and textbook says, as well as believing the Moon is actually a ball of rock and not something painted on the blue sky. Or "knowing" there are starving kids in Africa means I have to trust the video footage.

Same for almost everything, we could just say everything is a lie and stay alone with our own experiences (that is, if we assume our feelings don't lie to us).

But since I am against counterproductive skepticism, I'd better begin with a set of assumptions, and then work up from there -questioning and reforming each so I can have a solid base, instead of no base at all.

That being said...

Best beliefs for me are the better adjusted to reality -not personal perception. Since we all know reality by our experience only... perhaps sharing and comparing, putting emphasis in the "why" we reached our conclusions, will let us know what's actually going on, and how to act in consequence.

Still, why is it necessary to label ways of thinking as better or worse? Why not just say we think different?
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Last edited by ZenitYerkes; 09-29-2010 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
For example, for "knowing" man has landed on the Moon I have to trust what the NASA and textbook says, as well as believing the Moon is actually a ball of rock and not something painted on the blue sky. Or "knowing" there are starving kids in Africa means I have to trust the video footage.

Same for almost everything, we could just say everything is a lie and stay alone with our own experiences (that is, if we assume our feelings don't lie to us).
I bet you'd love "No Particular Night or Morning" by Bradbury. That story is pretty much like what I just quoted you to say. I loved the story, anyway.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:11 AM
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No, I do not think some beliefs are better than others - because it's all depends on perspective and personal opinions.

As Zenit-Yerkes said,
Why is it necessary to label ways of thinking as better or worse? Why not just say we think different?


Oh and also - Banefull, would you mind if I changed "beliefs" in the title to "opinions"? We can avoid a lot of confusion that way.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:16 AM
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No.

This thread is already looking like flamewar potential, and certain people should avoid deliberately causing that - we KNOW what you think, you don't need to bring it up in every single thread you think you can get away with it.
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post

No.

This thread is already looking like flamewar potential, and certain people should avoid deliberately causing that - we KNOW what you think, you don't need to bring it up in every single thread you think you can get away with it.
Seems like it, and that's what I thought...

...But I don't think it really means what the title may look like. I think Banefull just wants to know if people here think whether or not certain worldviews may contain superior ideas related to certain subjects; like what was mentioned, i.e.:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
(I was thinking beliefs about education, healthcare, whether a movie is good or bad, etc)
But I agree w/Eltu; Banefull, you should clarify this in your OP (and perhaps the title), so it won't be associated with what I and most others assumed.
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2010, 02:38 PM
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Sorry for the ambiguity, the orginal quote did have the word "beliefs".

Back to the topic.

Is not this statement the reason why we have debates? If all views were inherently equal, then we would not attempt to change the views of others. If someone came here on these forums and said Avatar was a bad movie, would you not counter and say Avatar was a good movie? You are trying to change his beliefs on the subject to what you think is the correct way of thinking (whether you actually would is a different matter). A more stark contrast would be a child who believes that it is okay to break the law. Society would put him in a reform school and try to correct his habits. Are they not implying that conforming to the law is better than breaking law?

The point of debate here is not which ideas are better than others. Every single other thread in this subforum is an attempt to put forward the case that one idea is better than another.The point is whether some ideas are inherently better.

Last edited by Banefull; 09-29-2010 at 02:43 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2010, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
Is not this statement the reason why we have debates? If all views were inherently equal, then we would not attempt to change the views of others. If someone came here on these forums and said Avatar was a bad movie, would you not counter and say Avatar was a good movie? You are trying to change his beliefs on the subject to what you think is the correct way of thinking (whether you actually would is a different matter). A more stark contrast would be a child who believes that it is okay to break the law. Society would put him in a reform school and try to correct his habits. Are they not implying that conforming to the law is better than breaking law?

The point of debate here is not which ideas are better than others. Every single other thread in this subforum is an attempt to put forward the case that one idea is better than another.The point is whether some ideas are inherently better.
First, not all ideas are inherently equal. They are simply different.

And, after being on AF and this forum, joining two Anarchist forums -I finally realized that if you expect to change someone's mind through debating, it rarely happens.

People often have two choices in this case: get defensive on their viewpoints, and attack anyone else's to demonstrate theirs are "the best"; or either use a debate as a learning tool: considering what others say, comparing their perspective with the rest's, admitting your flaws and taking what you find true or valuable from other points of view.

In the first kind of debates, the "winners" are not who have the most true or logic statement but those who have debate skills. The second ones are carried on the best, and lets everyone grow and broaden their postures.

So for me, no, not all ideas are the same -but neither better or worse than others. They simply bring different perspectives on the same issue.
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Last edited by ZenitYerkes; 09-29-2010 at 03:21 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-29-2010, 03:45 PM
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A debate can still be held for the intent of changing another's viewpoint. Presidential debates are a good example. They are held to convince the general public. Everyone holds different beliefs about which policies should be put in effect. The results of these ideas be measured quantitatively. If an idea increases the growth of the economy more than another idea does, then is it not superior?

Even subjective things can be measured through popularity. There is ever increasing war among ideas. Every single meme is competing for your attention. If a funny internet meme takes hold among a greater proportion of a population then another funny internet meme, then, by its orginal goal -- to entertain the largest amount of people possible, is it not superior?

The degree to which an idea is superior can be measured by how well it fulfills its original intent.

Last edited by Banefull; 09-29-2010 at 03:50 PM.
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  #14  
Old 09-29-2010, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
A debate can still be held for the intent of changing another's viewpoint. Presidential debates are a good example. They are held to convince the general public. Everyone holds different beliefs about which policies should be put in effect. The results of these ideas be measured quantitatively. If an idea increases the growth of the economy more than another idea does, then is it not superior?

Even subjective things can be measured through popularity. There is ever increasing war among ideas. Every single meme is competing for your attention. If a funny internet meme takes hold among a greater proportion of a population then another funny internet meme, then, by its orginal goal -- to entertain the largest amount of people possible, is it not superior?

The degree to which an idea is superior can be measured by how well it fulfills its original intent.
If we have and will always have two parties, it's because both won't change their views.

And there can be viewpoints more beneficial for X or Y purpose -it's a matter of wide or narrow perspective, anyway; the larger your range is, the better you recognize what trouble and more prepared are to offer solutions. But then again...

For the same situation, a variety of different solutions can be offered depending on the focus. You focus on making wealth, I focus on social services, Mr Nutterson focuses on an anti-squirrel program,...

As you see, there is no worse or best ideas. Just different ways of thinking according to which end they defend.
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  #15  
Old 09-29-2010, 04:19 PM
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There are two main categories of ideas -- rational and moral. Whether your idea of living is to make wealth or to provide a service is a moral idea. Is Hitler's worldview equal to Gandhi's worldview? Today we praise Gandhi and revile Hitler. We clearly make a distinction that peace and love is a better path than war and hate. If war and hate were just as valid as peace and love, why do our laws favor the latter so much? International law dictates that countries cannot initiate unwarranted aggression upon another state. Judges often consider a person's intent when he does a crime. If a person does not seem remorseful, then a judge may decide to hand him a heavier sentence. We instantly recognize certain ideas as being good and other things as being bad.

Whether or not we should raise taxes is a rational idea. A different policy may be best in another case but in every single case there are superior policies for a situation. We can look in hindsight after we have made the decision to know whether a policy was best.

Debates can change the way a person thinks. If you have two friends arguing amongst each other, it is still possible to reach a 100% concensus. If you have five people it is still possible to reach a 100% concensus; it is just harder. It is not impossible to convince everyone that an idea is proper, just very difficult. Even through debating some minds are changed. Do not the popularity ratings of policies and political figures change as a direct result of debates. A political figure can be leading the polls but if he bests his opponent in a debate, then his popularity rating usually soars. Apparently a certain proportion of the population has become convinced.


Now it is important to note that tolerance for ideas does not mean that ideas are equal. We can still be tolerant of an idea but that does not make them equal.

Last edited by Banefull; 09-29-2010 at 10:51 PM.
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