I saw more "politics" in the academic world than in politics, but I
understand your concern for finding complex truth. Anyway, my model of
argument for truth is not a political debate but a continuous trial by
court, where evidence is sought under oath. And whatever we do we cannot
prevent prejudice for preconceived ideas, we have to show flexibility. I
am not religious about The Tickle but if you can't cite a reference
situation of humor, a standard measure if you like, then please say so
and lets cooperate to define one, but we got to have a measure if we are
doing science. Being partially subjective doesn't mean being unscientific.
Finally, I would appreciate it if you could call me by name, it is more
Have a good holiday.
Jim Lyttle wrote:
> Quoting "[log in to unmask]"
> <[log in to unmask]>:
>> ... I don't see anything wrong with taking sides in an
>> argument, or else how are we going to reach the truth?
> I cannot explain this better than the Blind Men story, but I will try
> anyway because it is absolutely essential.
> It is literally impossible (well, almost) to arrive at truth, if we
> begin with a "position" (in other words, we already think XYZ is the
> truth). We have seen many cases of police trying to pin a crime on
> someone who they feel is likely guilty. We have seen religious cults
> and UFO groups find evidence that supports what they already believe
> ... it is nonsense.
> Debate is a good way to tackle political issues, because there is no
> scientific way to "settle" opinions (or, at least, rarely). Should we
> have more freedom, so citizens can express themselves and grow and
> feel diginity ... or should we have more control so that conventions
> are not challenged and we have security for our citizens? What is the
> right balance between these? There is no right answer to such a
> question, so we can invite a speaker on each side of the issue. They
> can yell "Hooray for our side" in a variety of ways. People can decide
> for themselves who "won" the debate, and that may even be useful. At
> the very least, it should raise food for thought from people who care
> about the issue. But this depends on whether the best spokesperson was
> selected for each side, whether the moderator enforced fairness,
> whether all sides of the issue were represented, whether there really
> is a more-or-less equal debate, and so forth.
> Any attempt to do science like that is out of order. Imagine the
> following "fair and balanced" debate. One scientist from a local
> college is invited to argue in favor of gravity and one Transendental
> Meditator is invited to argue for "yogic flying." What possible use is
> this debate? What possible truth can be found by seeing who can argue
> best? What possible benefit is there in discovering which debator
> forgot a comma in their argument? This is assinine and leads to
> utterly ridiculous conclusions (to put it harshly).
> Where we are actually seeking truth, instead of just excitement and
> frolic, we have to adopt a scientific method of inquiry (science, of
> course, means knowledge). First, we cannot take up sides. Only a fool
> is committed to the outcome of a process that has not even begun
> (unless it is a soccer game ...).
> Second, we must represent each others' positions as charitably as
> possible, so they can potentially be combined into a comprehensive
> result. In religion, for example, it is common for people to compare
> the values and ideals of their religion against the practice of
> someone else's religion. A child can see that this is ridiculous.
> Compare the ideals, or compare the practices. When there is fair
> dialogue among views, there is the possibility of synthesizing them in
> some way and moving closer to truth. This could easily take several
> decades. But, when there is "Hooray for our side," we can expect fun
> and acrimony and competition and several good things - but absolutely
> no science (knowledge) whatsoever.
> In short, taking up sides is the diametric opposite of searching for
> Some old saying, perhaps Irish, goes something like this:
> Please God, surround me those who seek the Truth.
> And deliver me from those who have found it.
> JIM LYTTLE, Ph.D.
> 139 E HIGH ST APT 9
> POTTSTOWN, PA 19464
> BB: (610) 850-5050