Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Accepting one opinion makes you a sheep

My aim is to agitate and disturb people. I'm not selling bread, I'm selling yeast.
- Miguel de Unamuno, writer and philosopher (1864-1936)

Should we be comfortable with information sources that provide us with facts we assume to be truth? This is the means by which propaganda is successful.

Every news and information source is biased in some way. Sometimes the bias is unintentional, but most of the time the producers have a point of view they wish to convey to listeners or readers. If we accept this point of view as fact, as gospel if you will, then we have given up our right to think and to be considered as thinking beings. We have given up our right to be considered individuals and have adopted a flock mentality.

The wisest among us will listen to or read some "information," then say to ourselves "Assuming this point of view is false, what would an opposing opinion be?" Only when we have at least two opposing points of view can we realistically and fairly compare and make a considered decision as to which we will believe.

Even then we might choose a position between two others. There is nothing wrong with that. We don't have to stand on a soapbox and shout our opinions in order to have them. Just having our own opinions rather than adopting those of someone else is enough to qualify us as individuals who deserve respect.

What would an opinion opposing this one say? In this case, I have given you two opposing opinions and encouraged you to accept one of them. You know the choice.

Consider the two possibile choices and decide for yourself.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to encourage each person to think for themselves rather than follow the flock.
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