Sunday, October 16, 2011

Home Schooling - When Subjectivity Is Invalid



Song:  Tuesday Afternoon

Group:  The Moody Blues



First and foremost...

I am not a highly educated man.

I am not particularly intelligent.

My grades throughout school were atrocious.

I am certainly not highly trained in logic and reasoning...
or for that matter...in really anything.

So why should you believe me or what I say?

You Shouldn't!


????????


It is precisely because you should look Objectively at the message...
and not the messenger...
no matter his position or status...
no matter who says it...
 that I say to not believe me.

To not look Objectively...
is in fact the definition of Prejudice...
the pre judging without knowledge or reason.

Additionally, it is a fallacy of logic
if you were to automatically believe me
and think by virtue of the fact that I am writing this blog that
I am especially knowledgable in this area.

You would not only be wrong...
it would be an Appeal to Authority.

So long as the message can be verified...
or shown to be logically sound...
the messenger does not matter.

A person should not blindly believe in anything.

Skepticism is healthy.

This, of course, in no way means to disbelieve something automatically.  
It means to think it through for yourself.  To withhold judgement 
until you can find evidence to support or disprove the proposition.

Understand the fundamental concept...
you will have understanding of all that naturally flows from it.

When a child learns to do this...
he is well on his way to thinking critically.

I operate on good old country common sense.

I do not hold myself up as an authority of any sort.

I am merely pointing to a way of thought and subsequent actions
that are reasoned by me to be...well...reasonable :)

I appeal to the common sense that we all possess...
but some may have simply not thought through.

This is to stimulate the latent thought patterns
in those who, because of daily concerns and worries...
have not had the solitude to think conceptually.

Now...
having said this...
it does not necessarily relegate what I say 
automatically to that of an opinion.

I try to present a rational argument...
with evidence or reasoning
to support my premise...
to present a logically sound argument...
and to correctly draw a conclusion directly
from that argument.

It is this ability to separate an opinion from a reasoned argument
that will serve your child so well in life.


So now...
when is Subjectivity Invalid?

1)  When Subjectivity is used in the realm of the Objective.

Subjectivity is how a person perceives something.
Because they feel a certain way does not necessarily make it so
(It also does not necessarily make it not so).


Where there is right or wrong...
whether we know which is which or not...
where something can be shown to be true or false...
whether or not it could be done at that moment...
or even by that person...
it is in the realm of the Objective.

A reasoned argument is then called for.

A statement/s upon which your argument rests...
which through correct supporting evidence and reasoning...
can be shown to be true...
or that which is self evident...
is the premise.

Through correct logic...
the establishment of cause and effect...
the correct relationship to other known facts...
 and/or through the proper placement of it in the smooth
working of the whole...
a correct conclusion becomes self evident.

What I usually do when I write or speak...
I state my conclusion first.

The order does not matter...
it is the validity of the components
and their correct usage that matters.

When someone attempts to flippantly dismiss a rational argument
through a claim of it being merely an opinion...
in their attempt to force a stalemate where there should 
have been right conquering wrong
(provided the rational argument were correct)...
it is an act of subterfuge.

At best, it is an attempt to censure others...
to nullify their position so as to not expose 
the weak position of themselves.

Rather than admit they were wrong...
they wish to claim it is an impasse...
so often with the attempted neutralization of the argument 
by agreeing to disagree.

Some even feign offense so they could claim to withdraw
to prevent an emotionally charged argument.

Even worse is when they become purposely rude...
casting personal attacks and unsubstantiated aspersions
to make it an emotional and unproductive argument so
it has to be stopped to prevent harmful escalation
(this is usually initiated by raising their voice).

The evil or ignorant act is magnified where the outcome can negatively affect others.

It is often employed by the unscrupulous in seeking your money or vote...
and especially by those seeking dominance in a group.



2)  It is invalid when the Subjective thought or feeling 
is based on an incorrect premise/s
(If their reason for believing something is false).


Say a person absolutely hates Tacos
(my personal favorite Mexican food).

It is their opinion and is subjective, and so, unassailable right?

Let's see.

Say a person based their opinion on one incorrectly made Taco?

They had overgeneralized from one experience and had determined
that all Tacos were bad as a result.

Say a woman were maltreated by a man.

Thinking that all men would mistreat her
and she hated all men thereafter as a result...
her anger at other men would be invalid.

Invalidity is not the same as her feeling or not feeling it...
it is about her right to feel it toward all others...
or even at all.

But emotions are not about rationality...
you may say.

They are when they are based upon a rationalization.

When people realize the invalidity of their incorrect feelings...
their feeling often times abates...
and so, their often resulting incorrect actions.


A way in which I am teaching my son, Alex...
the difference between the two...
and by strengthening his Objectivity...
is through correct argumentation.

I attempt to engage him in a reasoned argument
at varying times throughout the day.

I should also point out that I also, very much, lead by example.
Heck...my wife and I argue all the time.   :)






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