Saturday, 5 August 2017

More Cynical = Fairer?


To see how far from (moral, philosophical, physical, aesthetic) ideals reality actually and practically manifests itself is often labelled being 'cynical' which prompted comic George Carlin's statement
"Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist." 
I have recently toyed with the idea that in some contexts, being more cynical results in a fairer judgement in the sense of, perhaps, more accurate to reality as well as less biased and angled by prejudice.

Thus, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook the statement 
"Women use men."
A woman replied to this post saying "I feel exactly that way about men."

While both the statements 'women use men' and 'men use women' reflect a cynical view of the opposite sex, they single out the latter for moral blame, excluding one's own sexual gender. 

Yet, while more cynical than the above, since including a greater number of people under its purview, the statement 'humans use humans' strikes me as fairer and more truthful. 

Another example I'm fond of is the statement often found on the internet as to the toxicity of the 'mainstream media', some commentators recommending looking at alternative sources of information for a more accurate and balanced view of the world. 

Yet, like I've suggested before, all media - whether mainstream, alternative or social - can be toxic and constitute poisons for the mind! This is both more cynical - since even alternative media is seen critically as potentially falling way short - and yet more mature in so far as it understands that no form of media is exempt from being manipulative and harmful. 

So, all this to say that, in some cases, the more cynical view, in the sense of the view that takes the more pessimistic angle, is sometimes the fairest and wisest one.

Differently put,  qualifying a blanket statement (e.g. politicians are hypocrites) with an even more cynical blanket statement (e.g. humans are hypocrites) may, paradoxically, result in an outcome less cynical in affect, since opening up the statement to include more than its intended original groups and categories and thereby making it less unduly discriminating and purposefully targeted. 

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