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Incentivising Political Intellectualism and Eroding Bias.

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posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 05:52 AM
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Good day fellow members.

Recent times, and indeed the last several decades of human history, have the potential to teach us a great deal about what really drives the human experience, with most particular regard to the driving forces behind the effort to divide people along lines of faith, colour, sexual preference, gender, and a great many other lines. That there is such an effort ongoing, is not something which can reasonably be said to be up for debate.

However, the discussion surrounding the origins of this divisive tactic, the perpetrators, the instigators, the intention, grows ever more difficult to have, without those very tactics being applied to the discussion, at which point, even here, where minds and cultures, concepts and political theories meet on neutral territory, the whole thing collapses into mudslinging, as hominem attacks, straw man arguments and a plethora of other nonsense.

The tactic succeeds, even though we know it is being applied, and that concerns me greatly. If we know that our political leaders lie to us, which they do, that religious leaders are not to be trusted precisely because they are leaders, which is also true, and that the things which divide us are fabricated in order to make the population of our world easier to manipulate, which at this point is beyond any reasonable doubt, then we ought to be able to prevent ourselves from being driven apart, simply by applying our knowledge to the situation.

And yet, even here, where the best possible environment for an honest and unbiased approach to the issues can be found, where there is no money pressure acting on the members to toe a line, where people are free to engage without backing from companies, governments, or political blocs, the best discussions examining these topics, fail to retain any form of decorum, because rather than fighting the bias, denying the propaganda a foot hold in the mind, there are elements who have grasped hold of it so firmly that they believe they are fighting it, while in the very same breath giving in to it.

So, my question to my fellow members, is how do we promote intellectual honesty, a wide and even handed understanding of political matters, an inclusive and broad acceptance of the needs and beliefs of others, while eroding bias from even those who believe they have none? How to we make it more beneficial for people to abandon entrenched, polarised positions, and meet their fellow debaters on a ground which stands outside the battleground, to debate without worrying about loss of face or egoistic concerns?

To be intellectually honest, when dealing with political discussion, is often to be placed in a position where one is hated or misunderstood by every side of every debate, and made an enemy of by even those who profess to be staunchly against propagandism. How do we incentivise people to be open to the sort of discussion that is needed to free us from the bonds about our wrists, and do so without being misjudged by those who have no ability to be honest about their motivations?

I throw the question open to the membership.




posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 06:10 AM
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Good luck. I have given up any hope of any semblance of decorum when delving into political topics here on ATS or anywhere.

I just choose not to participate anymore, it is much easier to hold to some form of hope for humanity this way.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 06:50 AM
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a reply to: stosh64

I have to have hope that there is a better way forward than keeping ones head down, and avoiding the issues entirely. There must be more to it than that!



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 06:52 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
How do we incentivise people to be open to the sort of discussion that is needed to free us from the bonds about our wrists, and do so without being misjudged by those who have no ability to be honest about their motivations?


We can only do our best. I try to follow these guidelines. (I'm not always successful...)

1. Be intellectually open yourself. Be curious about an opponent's position. Ask a lot of questions.
2. Be willing to admit mistakes and to apologize.
3. Don't be concerned about others' judgments. Be concerned about yours.
4. Check and re-check your sources and your motivation.
5. Understand that there is no "right" opinion.
6. Always look for common ground.

Be the change you want to see.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 07:47 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

"how do we promote intellectual honesty, a wide and even handed understanding of political matters, an inclusive and broad acceptance of the needs and beliefs of others, while eroding bias from even those who believe they have none? How to we make it more beneficial for people to abandon entrenched, polarised positions, and meet their fellow debaters on a ground which stands outside the battleground, to debate without worrying about loss of face or egoistic concerns?"

I don't have a good answer but I would like to make a suggestion for a possible starting point.
I don't like "politics" very much because it always seems to be agenda driven. So my suggestion would be that maybe rather than people starting from some pre-determined "political" viewpoint, maybe people should be more encouraged to engage in discussions involving problem solving!

So, for example, lets say that a nation faces chronic high unemployment. The "right wing" suggests tax cuts to incentivize capital investments, the "left wing" suggests tax increases to fund make-work infrastructure projects. My suggestion would be......"lets drag out all the examples from the past of how other governments addressed this problem and lets examine the effectiveness of their respective efforts", i.e., leave politics aside and examine and quantify and measure the results of various efforts. I think that rather than being a "right wing nut" or a "left wing nut" this qualifies me for the "Pragmatist" political party.

As to not trusting religious leaders because they're leaders, that reminded me of fond thoughts of a religious leader that was NOT a leader......St. Francis of Assisi. You might want to look him up. Quite the interesting and inspiring fellow.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 07:52 AM
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That's a decent to do list, and I agree with everything on it, particularly being the change you want to see. That is an important driver for any positive change.

However, given the situation more broadly, outside the rarefied confines of our community here, it seems that individual change of the sort you are talking about, will not be effective enough, fast enough, to have a positive effect on enough opinion and indeed on enough national stages, to avert certain disastrous things coming to pass in the near future, and my concern is that averting those potential disasters is necessary, because the situation will only become MORE impossible, if the future pans out as I expect it to, given the current state of things.

Put plainly, we are on greased wheels, on an icy track, and it's all downhill from here, with respect to geopolitics. I am concerned about hitting a potential point of no return, because watching our potential as a species wiped out or even slightly stunted by events in the near term, is just excruciatingly painful to watch, from the perspective of reasoned observation.


originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

originally posted by: TrueBrit
How do we incentivise people to be open to the sort of discussion that is needed to free us from the bonds about our wrists, and do so without being misjudged by those who have no ability to be honest about their motivations?


We can only do our best. I try to follow these guidelines. (I'm not always successful...)

1. Be intellectually open yourself. Be curious about an opponent's position. Ask a lot of questions.
2. Be willing to admit mistakes and to apologize.
3. Don't be concerned about others' judgments. Be concerned about yours.
4. Check and re-check your sources and your motivation.
5. Understand that there is no "right" opinion.
6. Always look for common ground.

Be the change you want to see.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 08:17 AM
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a reply to: TonyS

I think it is absolutely vital that when we discuss things together, that we abandon the bias and approach things from the position of achieving goals which present themselves, rather than aiming toward ends purely because the means seem appealingly cheap or easy.

ETA:

While we are on the subject though, I think it is important to mention that the previously used solutions to things like unemployment, have often been related in some way to inciting one group of people, to make war on another group of people, in order that money be made by arms manufacturers, designers, oil companies and transport companies, to prop up an otherwise failing economy, not to mention drawing significant numbers of human beings out of the unemployment figure, while putting them to work as small cogs in the war machine. It is probably worth avoiding any such past solution.

Remember, the solutions of the past are what bought us to the unenviable position in which we find ourselves, geopolitically speaking.
edit on 12-12-2015 by TrueBrit because: Added details.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 09:45 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

People are going to do what they're going to do. We cannot change others, but we can conduct ourselves in such a way to make honest and open discussion possible. I have had some really great discussions with people whose opinions are diametrically opposed to my own, and I've learned from those experiences. I've learned more about the issue being discussed, I've learned more about the reasoning behind other opinions and perspectives, I've learned to keep my ego and defensiveness in check (well kinda sorta!)... and I've learned that for whatever reason, I cannot have a good discussion with some people, and it's better to just step back and not force anything. For myself, I try to keep the following in mind:

1. Find the virtue in the other person's position.

2. Step outside my box and ask questions to understand the other perspective.

3. Never judge the whole by the individual.

4. Look for solutions that respect -- not just "tolerate" -- everyone's needs and beliefs.

5. Always be ready to see the flaws in my own position and address those shortcomings (easier said than done!).

6. It's okay to laugh at myself. (Many ATSers have a great sense of humor -- even when I'm the butt of the joke!)

7. Whatever the issue, never ever blame my fellow man/woman first.

8. Always remember to distinguish between fact and opinion.

9. Appreciate those who do adamantly disagree with me, but make the effort to discuss things in a friendly and reasonable fashion...

In general, the hardest part for me is knowing when a productive conversation is just not possible, and walking away before I start getting ugly. I'm trying to go with a "three's charm" approach; if I can't make it work after three tries, then it's time to walk away... we'll see how it works!



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 10:58 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

I would suggest reinstating the trivium back into education. Logic, grammar and rhetoric in the classical sense is entirely lacking from even post-secondary curriculum, when it should be a required part of early-childhood education. Nowadays the only help in these areas is to teach yourself.

People are simply unaware of their intellectual dishonesty, and it is so enterenched as you put it, that telling them where and how their thought is irrational doesn't necessarily work. They simply do not care. But if hey were taught to value valid reasoning from a young age, and how to apply it, I believe that would change.

Study and use the trivium everyday.



posted on Dec, 16 2015 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

Humour and honesty is the way I go. This way every reader should be able to make up their own mind about what exactly happens during the debate. Trust in their wits.

There is a lot of shilly spindoctoring going on here, don't waste your time trying to reach those folks. Most of them never intended to find the truth in the first place and some would rather try hard to cover it up. Either due to cognitive dissonance or due to a shilly way of life.

Doesn't really matter after all, at least if you were able to shine some light on said process of denial (that's where your logics and arguments count). Mind your readers, especially the ones who don't partake in that discussion. Ignorance is bliss and very funny in a sad way, so please don't forget to have lots of fun while pointing out the madness. You've earned it!




posted on Dec, 16 2015 @ 04:41 PM
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The first step of interjecting intellectualism in politics. Which is actually an oxymoron.

It's the realization of just what it is. A farce.

The whole aim of practical politics is two sides each trying to convince the 'masses' vote for them the other guys suck.

The reality is they both suck. It truly is like the matrix.

Your choice. Take the red pill. Take the blue pill. Doesn't matter your still gonna end up with indigestion.

American politics is about perception. That's it. That is ALL it is about.

Acceptance of the facts above is the first step of putting the intellect in politics.

Anyhow that's my opinion.



posted on Dec, 16 2015 @ 05:44 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

The part of your response which most concerns me, is the part at the bottom, about realising when a reasonable debate or discussion is impossible. Accepting the situation is tantamount to accepting that politics will never, can never be a process in which fact trumps bias. As long as opinion informed by no understanding what so ever, has the same weight as opinion formed on the basis of facts and evidence, surely the entire process becomes devoid of any merit, and can only have the shoddiest possible outcomes? Surely this is not appropriate, when the machinations of the political class, for want of a better group descriptor, effect the lives of the billions upon billions of human beings living on the face of the world?

a reply to: LesMisanthrope

You know, the unfortunate thing about your statement, is that while you are absolutely right, many would assume that you were talking about a metal band, rather than a trifecta of intellectual tools, the proper use of which allows one to lever the truth out from under the stones of life. That being said, I could not agree more that there ought to be more, and better education available, and from a much younger age. I often look upon my primary and secondary school education, as the period in my life during which I was told the most lies, owing to the vast inaccuracies present in nearly every single subject from infant school, all the way through to high school (I before E except after C and so on and so forth).

a reply to: PublicOpinion

I think what I am getting at here, is that no matter how pleasant a political discussion might end up being, if it lacks meat and gristle, if it lacks the basic structure of any intellectual architecture, how can its processes bear fruit which, rather than making what can only reasonably be called a bloody huge, and foul smelling mess, actually achieves a positive end for the people on whose behalf those debates take place?

For example, Ted Cruz, despite having no business commenting on anything more complicated than putting his socks on in the morning, feels free to lambast NASA, deny science of all sorts all over the board, and generally get his gun off into the gut of any issue which makes him personally feel threatened.

He feels threatened, because he is not an intellectual. He is not familiar with high reasoning, has no interest in, or preparatory or special knowledge of the sciences, has nothing, in actual fact, but public support for his apparent effort to see the Idiocracy installed as the next great government experiment. His popularity amongst voters has nothing to do with how smart he IS, just how smart he APPEARS to be, and without wishing to singe any whiskers here, to appear smart to the sort of person who would be happy to vote to have him chair a committee responsible for space science and transportation is hardly a difficult prospect.

And in actual fact, it is the voters who are the problem here. Keeping the backwoods spoon whittlers like Cruz out of science related matters, and insisting that only intellectual people with a significant and long association with those sciences, ever get to administrate their budgets, their activities, their schedules or anything of any import what so ever, starts with having a voter base who are uniformly intelligent enough to know, that if you put a person in charge who cannot tell the difference between the ISS and a satellite dish the reigns, it is not going to end well.

So how, without worrying about how we all feel about it, without navel gazing and exploring our inner selves, but relying on facts, evidence, and above all, the truth, how can we move politics into an era where the people are uniformly well educated and informed enough, to vote only for candidates of high intellect, rather than borderline morons who will simply continue the argument they were trained to have, regardless of situation, reality, or necessity, which is the situation we have today?

a reply to: neo96

An interesting angle to approach this subject from neo96.

I think what I am getting at is, that politics ought to have an aim greater than to be a boxing match which never ends, and is never won. It should be the process by which things are done which keep a nation, continent, even a world moving forward and making some kind of progress toward a series of known and agreed upon goals, and for that matter, deciding what those goals are. I believe that people should want more from politics than some half decent acting and a big mudslinging match every few years. People should expect more from the processes which run their nations, especially in a nation whose political landscape is carved out by democratic elections.

So rather than concentrate on the fact that, at present, politics and intellectualism have about as much to do with one another as a dinner knife and an albatross, what do you think ought to be the first step, or even a route map to making politics a practice performed by persons of high intellectual capacity, voted for by persons of high intellectual capacity? Where would you start, what would you do?

I think we can all agree that if our populations have better information, then they make better choices, but how do we translate that knowledge and agreement, into something better for the future of politics in general, both here on ATS, and on the national and world stages?
edit on 16-12-2015 by TrueBrit because: Added grammatical clarity



posted on Dec, 16 2015 @ 07:19 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit


What a fantastic response, thanks a lot!




how can we move politics into an era where the people are uniformly well educated and informed enough, to vote only for candidates of high intellect, rather than borderline morons who will simply continue the argument they were trained to have, regardless of situation, reality, or necessity, which is the situation we have today


Short answer: education, or elucidation as far as Kant's Dialectic of Enlightenment is concerned.

Re_brain the voters! Just explain the difference of our International Space Station and some spy-sat to your audience. Deliver the message with a joke and you'll have a higher chance that all the information really gets through. Which way did you prefer to learn something you actually couldn't imagine yourself to be true? The paternalizing one or the one you were able to laugh about and just not opened your mouth to remove all doubt (that you were possibly an Idiot at that time)?
Transparancy and truth is the key, people in doubt will search for answers themselves just 'cause you showed them in a highly attractive way, that thinking for yourself doesn't hurt a bit. Been there, done that show_ering in the cold a lot.

That's all we need, innit?

We could use a real free press to get the majority 'back on track' again, yes we can! Speaking of which, you should think about joining SO's effort to meddle with alternative media. Sometimes I'm really having a hard time to follow your train of thoughts, as my English is not the best, but I didn't regret once reading some ...yeah... ok, got me... many of your posts twice.

Think I'll throw in some painted dada as well, heads up!



edit on 16-12-2015 by PublicOpinion because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2015 @ 09:51 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit



The part of your response which most concerns me, is the part at the bottom, about realising when a reasonable debate or discussion is impossible.


My apologies... I should have been more specific. I was speaking in terms of discussion and debate on ATS, as in when a conversation degenerates to mocking, insults, ad hominem attacks, sometimes to the point of harassment, when no real discussion is possible.

In terms of national issues, even international issues, and the necessary political and national dialogue, I pretty much agree... but it occurs to me that even many public issues are based on little more than emotions and/or morals, allowing for (creating?) much opinion, debate and division. Sometimes truth is elusive and facts are a dime a dozen. But that's just all the more reason for more discussion and debate!



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