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← Two equally bad fallacies

cynicaloptimistrealist's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by cynicaloptimistrealist

I find when dealing with the media or politics I often find myself somewhere in the middle. For example, you could read an report about the same event in the Guardian and the Telegraph ending up with two different views. I sometimes find myself agreeing with political ideas from both the centre right and centre left, but this usually leads me to think that the political establishment has lost touch with reality, or maybe I have.

When dealing with something like an illogical belief that is supported by a tiny minority in the scientific community against a raft of evidence, you may ask them what their evidence is? Who checked and cross checked the evidence? Have there been rebuttlas? Most importantly, who funded their research? When faced with a fence sitter where the evidence is more or less conclusive, just ask them exactly where they stand, if they cannot provide an opinion encourage them to go away and come back when they have figured out which way the rain is falling. I am sure you all remember medical reports from France extolling the benifits of a glass of red wine or similar results from German research regarding the benifits of a glass of beer a day. I do think there are some issues where it's impossible not to sit on the fence though, for me it's the Arab-Israeli problem. I've been in the middle east, I can see parts of each opposing argument as valid, but for me it's really one bunch of zealous nationalistic psychopaths versus another equally zealous bunch of nationalistic pschopaths. They can both be very resonable on some issues but as soon as you hit their magic button, they explode (some in quite a literal sense).

Regarding the original post, sometimes the goal has to be compromise, there are too many grey areas in some issues. When faced with the choice of achieving some goals through compromise or achieving none of them by sticking rigidly to your principles, what do you do? In the above case I think taking the middle ground is not only the sane choice, but the only honourable choice if the reward is a genuine improvement. It's far easier to cross a river if you can get to the island in the centre.

Mon, 30 Jan 2012 20:42:07 UTC | #912801