Thursday, January 3, 2013

connecting with others, when there are opposing views

[Someone asked, "how does one bear the arrogance and stupidity of the liberals one knows?????"; and my response was the following:]

I try to connect with the basic/universal things that "liberals" are concerned about... they are concerned about "the poor" and I try to reflect back to them, that I am also concerned about people who may not be meeting their basic physical needs for human-thriving and that I share their wishes that every person be able to provide for their needs and for a certain-optimal-level of physical comforts/luxuries with a certain-minimal-level of exertion/work to accomplish/meet those needs; where I might diverge in opinion is not the basic concern of that the "liberal" is expressing, but the *means* or strategy that the "liberal" would suggest that those *ends* be accomplished.

I find that in this way, there is a recognition of a basic agreement that we both can connect with and from then on, the conversation can be cooperative exploration of alternative *means*/strategies than than an antagonistic argument.

I am wondering if argumentation of "facts" is as persuasive as we would expect it to be... I wonder if a good definition of "facts", might be "uninterpreted data/observations"... and with that definition, I don't think "facts" are often in dispute as much as the *interpretations*/conclusions that are drawn from those "facts"... then I wonder about the situation in which two people are unhappily "arguing" with each-other... it seems like they "argue" because they both want the other party to "hear" their perspective/interpretation... they both want to communicate something that is important to them... if this were not the case then I would expect that one or both persons would just stop communicating... but the conditions under which they both continue to communicate, no matter how their unhappy feelings about the conversation is building, indicates to me that they each want to share something with each other but they are having trouble speaking/giving and/or hearing/receiving what is trying to be shared.

Rather than this kind of antagonism, I have found more satisfaction in discussions that begin with an exploration of shared values and then after the trust of shared values is established, then the discussion can go forward as a cooperative effort of the optimal means to accomplish those shared values. 

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