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 Openness, reality check

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regmelocco



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1PostSubject: Openness, reality check   Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:50 pm

Dear fellow members,

I am proselytizing here for the sake of openness towards new opinions, points of view, and experimentation.
There is a principle in communication studies called Miller's Law. It means that if you are in a conversation, try to imagine how what the other person is saying is true in their world without first looking at it from your own point of view or without judging or hitting back as a reflex.

I also believe in conversations, not proselytizing, so this is what I proselytize. Just like a teacher of English as a foreign language (from personal experience) gains far more when his student improves her speaking or writing skills and feels proud and encouraged to use her knowledge, rather than being bombarded by how super the teacher's knowledge or accent is.

My perfect models are some radio hosts (unfortunately the best ones I heard are in Hungarian) in talk radios where callers are encouraged to express their views, their experiences or their feelings, especially about public affairs. They are politely interrupted if it drags too long. Instead of calling people liars and names, you point out contrary facts - and provide hypotheses at least in two interpretations, while sometimes having a chance to express your own bias or taste or preference. But everyone is treated with respect.

By experimentation I mean we try to understand alien points of view. Whether it is being Republican, being Chinese, an astrologer or one experimenting with another irrational system, you have a chance to come to agreements or disagreements in modern society especially in the Information Age. I also believe that the true results of communication is not your intent but the other person's feedback and reaction. I also believe in comparing many sources and narratives (reality check). Life is sometimes far more complex than what I think.

I also fervently and seriously preach humor. This whole communication business can be a lot of fun, it is downright addictive when there is a positive sense of humor in it instead of taking yourself too seriously.

And perhaps we don't ask enough questions in these forums. Yet. I'm going to start.

I also want to share an anecdote - a Rabbi was interviewed in a talk show together with an Atheist. The Atheist confronted him saying: "I don't believe in God." The Rabbi nodded and said, "I don't either." The Atheist asked carefully, "But sir, due to your professional position, aren't you... sort of required to? Is it not what people would generally expect from you?" The Rabbi replied:"I don't believe in the god you don't believe in either." Or, another translation: "Regarding the god you don't believe in, I don't believe in it either."


Last edited by regmelocco on Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:56 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added points)
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2PostSubject: Re: Openness, reality check   Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:55 pm

Reg, #1, re: "I am proselytizing here for the sake of openness towards new opinions, points of view, and experimentation. There is a principle in communication studies called Miller's Law. It means that if you are in a conversation, try to imagine how what the other person is saying is true in their world without first looking at it from your own point of view or without judging or hitting back as a reflex."

This is essentially an effort to apply the scientific method to aspects of human behavior that contain substantial subective elements, which always puts the person who attempts it on shaky ground, but I'm still a firm believer in this approach myself, so I'll be on your side in any debate that develops here.

re: "I also believe in conversations, not proselytizing, so this is what I proselytize. Just like a teacher of English as a foreign language (from personal experience) gains far more when his student improves her speaking or writing skills and feels proud and encouraged to use her knowledge, rather than being bombarded by how super the teacher's knowledge or accent is."

I've notice the same thing when I've tried to help people open their minds to ideas and opinions about the nature of spiritual reality that the consensus in this society consider "unthinkable".

re: "My perfect models are some radio hosts (unfortunately the best ones I heard are in Hungarian) in talk radios where callers are encouraged to express their views, their experiences or their feelings, especially about public affairs. They are politely interrupted if it drags too long. Instead of calling people liars and names, you point out contrary facts - and provide hypotheses at least in two interpretations, while sometimes having a chance to express your own bias or taste or preference. But everyone is treated with respect."

I don't listen to talk radio much any more, but IMO, all Web discussion forums worth posting on contain significant numbers of messages intended to do the things you're talking about. IMO, it's what you are trying to accomplish with this thread and what I'm trying to help with.

re: "By experimentation I mean we try to understand alien points of view. Whether it is being Republican, being Chinese, an astrologer or one experimenting with another irrational system, you have a chance to come to agreements or disagreements in modern society especially in the Information Age. I also believe that the true results of communication is not your intent but the other person's feedback and reaction. I also believe in comparing many sources and narratives (reality check). Life is sometimes far more complex than what I think."

I interpret this as meaning that it's more important to learn and teach during debates than it is to try and change the other person's opinions.

re: "I also fervently and seriously preach humor. This whole communication business can be a lot of fun, it is downright addictive when there is a positive sense of humor in it instead of taking yourself too seriously."

I keep saying over and over that I try not to take myself too seriously and hope that everyone else will do the same, but most people don't seem to realize that there are too forms of humor. The lower form builds up one person or viewpoint at the expense of another, but the higher form attempts to teach us that "We are all Bozos on this bus."

re: "And perhaps we don't ask enough questions in these forums. Yet. I'm going to start."

Yeah, that's a good idea. And IMO, one of the best ways to start is feeling free to break the old taboo against answering a question with another question.

re: "I also want to share an anecdote - a Rabbi was interviewed in a talk show together with an Atheist. The Atheist confronted him saying: 'I don't believe in God.' The Rabbi nodded and said, 'I don't either.' The Atheist asked carefully, 'But sir, due to your professional position, aren't you... sort of required to? Is it not what people would generally expect from you?' The Rabbi replied: 'I don't believe in the god you don't believe in either.' Or, another translation: 'Regarding the god you don't believe in, I don't believe in it either'."

Personally, I don't endorse any kind of faith-based belief, whether it's in God, being a religious authority figure (Rabbi), or in atheism.
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