Monday, 24 April 2017

Both Parties Right in Disagreement


It seems to me that when disagreement occurs between two or more parties, both or all parties may be right, responding as they are to their own sensibility and focus (see Knowledge and Sensibility), or at least have some elements of truth in what they’re saying, only no one party has a full, monopolistic grasp of the whole, objective truth since this is humanly impossible. 

Truth, defined as that which is, can admit of more than one perception and while some perceptions may be closer to that which is than others (see Interpreting Information and Angle and Truth), no mere human can grasp the entirety of factual reality. 

At first it would seem that facts, i.e. events that have already taken place, would only admit of a single correct perception - although in practice even merely establishing what actually happened is often a contested and arduous process, such as in court procedures where there are different and competing versions of the facts of the case depending on whose side of the litigation you look at, as well as in history where different historical researchers disagree on such basic things as, say, who was responsible for deciding to launch the atomic bomb in World War 2, the military or President Truman - but events are of course open to interpretation and therefore opinion, defined as one possible angle out of many.

This is evident when it comes to terrorist attacks. All or at least the vast majority will agree as to the event of the attack itself but very soon there will be those labelling the attack as a false flag, i.e. blame its occurrence on the deep State, as compared to the officially acknowledged and mediatised culprits. 

When it comes not to factual truth but philosophical or even psychological truth this has entirely to do with sensibility and when a couple have a fight over something they both may be saying true things about the other partner yet both think they are in the right as opposed to the other who is in the wrong.

Ditto with left-wing and right-wing dialectics; both sides of the political spectrum will think they are in the right and the other side wrong yet it may turn out that both are right in some areas and wrong in other areas or even, as anarchists would argue, both wrong in all areas because these would interpret government itself as being the problem, the existence of which Left and Right take for granted. 

It remains that the different angles people have, i.e. their opinions, will seize and focus upon different aspects of factual and philosophical truth (often through the agency of what is called confirmation bias) and it would take divine, i.e. impossible, understanding to get a full grip on all aspects of factual and philosophical data in an omniscient manner.  

In my writing Half-Truths I quoted the saying that every truth is a half-truth and therefore also a half-error. I recommended embracing half-errors and half-truths, including the half-truth of the statement ‘every truth is a half-truth’, as the closest approximation we can achieve to a degree of truthfulness. 

The insight that those we disagree with in life may also be speaking some truth should alleviate unhealthy desires to dominate, dismiss or dehumanise those others as well as of falling into dogmatism, i.e. turning into truth-holders seeking to control the thoughts, emotions and actions of others as opposed to truth-seekers who are aware of the ongoing and never-ending journey of knowledge acquisition understood as continual life learning and unlearning (see posts Thinking v Opining and The More You Know the Less You Think You Know). 

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