Leeuwenhoek2 wrote: ↑
Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:45 pm
For relevance I also note that a lot of positions about Israel/Palestine contains a number of attributions regarding the predicted actions, intentions, sensitivity, greed etc. of 'the other'. Each of them often offered as if they were to be taken on faith or as self-evidently true thus bypassing a working distinction between facts and predictions/possibilities/probabilistic reasoning. For evidence see Bundokji's recent post. (See phrases: good intentions, lack of good intentions, greed and insensitivity, whims and insensitive actions, by appearing to)
Notions such as intentions, sensitivity, greed ...etc should be taken by faith by a Buddhist, and they are also self evident by objective observations of oneself as well as the world we live in. The lord Buddha said:
Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter
Also there is no bypassing in my previous post, except in your groundless assertion. I explained clearly, while using these terms, why the long term consequences of political opportunism and lack of good intentions is going to be harmful. I also presented historical examples to support my claim.
To be more transparent let me say that:
- I'm far more interested in the topic of productive speach -- of which the recognition of attributions is one part than I am with the specifics of US foreign policy. Productive speach is an important element in foreign policy, diplomacy, treaty making and peace or peace and reconciliation processes. I also believe it's an import aspect of effective Buddhist practice.
- I am consciously focusing on US policy re moving the US embassy. I will probably not engage in wider international issues unless the relevance to the embassy location is evident to me.
- I am attempting to follow practices of more productive dialog. At the same time I admit I only have limited skill at using those practices. Your constructive feedback, especially examples of how to do it better, are gratefully requested.
To assess how valid your approach is in focusing on moving the US embassy and not engaging in wider international issues (which is vague considering the interconnectness of international issues), you might choose to consider that the decision itself has international repercussions, and that it was requested and encouraged by Israel.
As you spent time and effort replying, i think i owe you an explanation of my own approach, then you can make up your mind if this exchange is worthy of investing more time in it, or that our views/approaches are too different and that we wont be able to find a common ground.
My approach is influenced by my understanding of the Buddha's teachings, hence i am more interested in the question of suffering than a mere intellectual debate. The Buddhist approach to truth and the elimination of suffering are inseparable. The criteria for assessing any truth, from a Buddhist perspective, is not only how a statement/theory corresponds to reality, nor pure pragmatism (even though both are implied and utilized) but how it relates to suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering and the path to end suffering. Any speech, that is not driven by an understanding of the four noble truths (the Buddhist Truth), is not right speech (or productive speech as you choose to call it).
Also a Buddhist does not take sides nor gets distracted by labels (identities). I work for a peace organization and i have Israeli colleagues. In my country, i am often accused of being a traitor (or normalizer). If you see me engaging in a discussion with Arabs and Palestinians, you might think that i am pro Israel and vice versa. What i am trying to say is that i am not interested in taking sides, and that the views i expressed on this thread is limited and relevant to the context of this thread only. Laying blame or praise on one particular side or the other is not what i am interested in.
I thought I made a good attempt to separate what I judged as Bundokji's unhelpful use of personal attributions from this other comments. Also that I explicitly recognized the parts of Bundokji's comments that IMO were, to borrow Bundokji's description, "beliefs, ideas and positions with justifications ideally in an attempt to investigate the truth". Is there something I could have done to make that more clear?
Separating the message from the messenger can be easily misunderstood/misrepresented. Highlighting a bias by saying "you are ignoring a simple truth" is a description of the message even though the messenger has been addressed.
- I'm working on the theory that useful meta discussions require a sufficiently concrete and powerful theory. I'm using some of the most powerful stuff I know of from applied social psychology.
- Such discussion also benifit greatly from a skilled communicator. I admit to doubts about whether I am sufficiently skilled.
- People's suspicion that such discussions are manipulative, an attempt at "political correctness" etc are understandable given past history. If you think so I ask that a) if the shoe really doesn't seem to fit your "cynical" suspicions might be partly right and b) please let me know what I wrote that lead you to so believe or suspect.
- I accept (and come to expect) that a single argument, even a single sentence will contains productive and likely counter-productive elements. That is, a single sentence may both "play the man" and "play the ball". Dukkha making but true.
- Society tends to teach us to use attributions to express our ideas. Learning to communicate without the use of attributions is hard. Failure is normal. I'm more interested in the rare and super-normal.
A skillful communicator is an advantage, and yet, when it comes to suffering, i think simplicity, wisdom and compassion are far more important. The Buddha set a simple and powerful criteria
Like a beautiful flower full of color but without fragrance, even so, fruitless are the fair words of one who does not practice them.
How the above is relevant to the topic in hand? If you observe, as objectively as possible, both the Jews and Arabs, you would see that both claim to want peace. Both are very skillful in formulating ideas and shiny slogans, which raises the question: what is lacking? My own interpretations is good intentions. Actions speaks much louder than words in my opinion.
[*]I believe that in the context of a discussion, especially with people you do not know, making attributions about other's internal motivations or capabilities with explicitly testing them belongs to a cluster of values and practices that tends to an inability to persuade others, discourages the open exchange of information and ideas, encourages defensive/motivated reasoning and poor judgement.
I remember a talk by Ajahn chah in which he gave instructions to his disciples on how to deal with criticism. He asked them to listen and evaluate. If what is said is true, it can be used for self improvement, and if it is not true, it should be ignored.
That idea of "playing the ball" is a variation of (or super set of) Ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"), short for argumentum ad hominem. Argumentum ad hominem is variosly described as:
- An argumentative strategy that addresses the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument in contrast to attacking the substance of the argument itself.
- Original meaning was an argument "calculated to appeal to the person addressed more than to impartial reason".
- Can take the form of overtly attacking somebody, or more subtly casting doubt on their character or personal attributes. The result of an ad hominem attack can be to undermine someone's case without actually having to engage with it.
- Note that I have used edited versions of popular definitions because IMO many definition of argumentum ad hominem themselves verge on the ad hominem! Instead I offer definitions that focus more on the form than on assumptions about intentions.
I remember when i studied logical fallacies and cognitive biases, i used to use them excessively in explaining why certain views are wrong. In my case, they sounded sophisticated and impressive especially the Latin words.
In the last paragraph above -- Did you intend to express that as an either/or choice or were you reaching for another meaning?
I propose that your sentence that included the phrase "you are ignoring a simple fact here" included both a attribution and your attempt to offer your opinion about a subtle bias in my opinion.
Allow me to offer a better alternative:
My statement that "you are ignoring a simple fact here" is NOT my projection or attribution about the abilities of others, but rather my attempt to highligh a subtle bias in your input and to offer you a chance to expand if you choose to.
Even better in my opinion:
My statement that "you are ignoring a simple fact here" was NOT intended as my projection or attribution about your abilities, but rather my attempt to highlight a subtle bias in your input and to offer you a chance to expand if you choose to.
May i quotes my original statement?
So, if you choose to remove the glasses of which you are using to read other discussants interactions with you, you would see that a statement such as "you are ignoring a simple fact here" is NOT my projection or attribution about the abilities of others, but simply highlighting a subtle bias in your input and allowing you to expand if you choose to.
All i can do is to justify the original version which i used. I asked you to "remove the glasses" because on more than one occasion on this thread, your attributions and projections of other discussants interactions with you as if they are expressing superiority towards you. Just few examples:
it invites the reader to make the attribution that you want us to be grateful to have the instruction from the rare individual capable of recognizing the "simple facts" that so many others somehow miss.
Generally a good policy to assume the other person is as smart or smarter than you. And better informed.
And if you examine the alternatives you offered, they seems to be an attempt to justify my use of the term "simple" in an apologetic way so you do not get offended or you don't get the feeling that i am lecturing you.
Your latest and long post (which i am replying to now) did not address any important issues related to OP, but a long set of instructions of how to communicate with you in an inoffensive way!!
Now, if we compare the two alternatives you offered, and examine what you changed in the second version (which is even a better version in your opinion), you changed a couple of words!
Is this for real!!
Shorter, no controversial, unprovable distance diagnosis of my psychology, less Sturm und Drang, and less prone to error. I would even dare to say more intellectually honest.
I don't dispute the importance of intellectual honesty, but i would add that honesty is not a mere intellectual faculty.
Wearing Glasses. Of course I am. It comes with being human. I may have picked them up with my package of karma at birth. Unfortunately, as with other humans, I've found that swapping them out has proved to more challenging than first supposed.
Hence you invested too much time and effort in order to tell me why asking you to remove the glasses is inappropriate.
I put it to you that one implication of your words that a reasonable person might draw is that if only
I would put on your glasses I would necessarily agree with you. If I did make the glasses swap and we still disagreed what then? I put it to you that we can wear the same glasses and disagree or wear very different glasses and agree. The wearing of glasses misframes the important result -- pun intended.
<groans from audience followed by light
If i knew that my request to you to remove the glasses would cause such agony, and the lengths you have gone to to explain why, i would not have requested it!
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
This was the last word of the Tathagata.