People need contrast. Facing opinions that challenge us takes us further. But only if these opinions are at a certain level.
It’s annoying when other people contradict you. Which is especially annoying when it comes to a topic you know well and really make sure you have the right opinion.
It’s annoying when others oppose you. Which is especially annoying when it comes to a topic you know well and really make sure you have the right opinion.
This is especially true in Sciences: You spend months doing extensive research, thinking about complex formulas for consecutive nights and at some point you finally find a nice solution. Then you write it down and send it to a niche journal – and the niche journal first sends the work to someone who’s supposed to object.
Even after scientific lectures, you are not praised for your kind words – the subsequent discussion is there to discover possible errors. The audience taps their fingers at the weak points of the thesis submitted and checks whether it will hold up or not. But this was not done out of malice. it comes, To improve theses. The best way to do this is to try to refute these theses.
Contrast makes you smarter
It’s often annoying, but it’s an essential part of the science. Only by counterarguments can one sharpen, define or change, if necessary, one’s own thesis.
This means that the people who question what we think is clearly true are not our opponents. We should be grateful to them. This is not only true in science. Perhaps, as a citizen, I have well-researched opinions on how to reform the tax system? My opinion doesn’t get wiser just by discussing with people who have similar opinions. I must subject the opinion to a critical attempt at falsification.
If I Vaccinations against COVID Ahem, I can still find it good when someone tries to prove the opposite. If I’m convinced that climate models predicting a dangerous rise in temperature are correct, I can still find it good if there are people out there looking for errors and considering whether there are no better models.
Even if I come across an opinion that I will never accept, even if I am really right and the other person is wrong, it can be useful for me to engage with that opinion – if only to practice explaining my own opinion accurately and concisely. Therefore, even if one is certain that one is right, one should not judge others recklessly “Shorbler”Or “conspiracy theorists” or “fake news publishers” aside. The contrast is good. Inconsistency makes our thoughts better and more reliable.
The only problem is that the contradiction doesn’t get us any further unless it reaches a certain level. When someone tells us that the COVID vaccine is evil because dark elites want to give us a little chip, or when someone tells us that climate change doesn’t exist, that doesn’t make our thesis any smarter or more reliable. We learn nothing from counterarguments that are so cheaply given up.
So it is not important for us only to back up our opinion with good arguments. We also count on the other side being represented by competent people. If someone sits down in a TV debate and gives their opinion with good arguments that I find awful, it annoys me, but it’s a good annoyance. It’s the anger that challenges us, strengthens our arguments, and makes us smarter. We should be more concerned this way.
So we should specifically contact The smartest and most advanced people on the other side searching for. If many people disagree with us, we should not point the finger at the most extreme and stupid members of this group – because there are always extremist and stupid people, in every group. We should think about: Who are the smartest and most inspiring people who disagree with us? We must deal with them.
Of course it is nice to only surround yourself with people who obediently repeat what you have already said yourself. But that does not make us wiser. If we want to learn something new, sometimes we have to get angry. And we should be happy about that.
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