Friday, 10 April 2009

Probabilities in arguments...

Baba Gyani Triviani said:

"Anything can happen - Any event, can occur... The chances may be low, but that does not mean that you totally discount it, or discard it - A calculated discounting is permitted"


What Baba means by the above statement is that, in life, you cannot simply discard anything without even considering it for a moment. I have seen several people who argue with this attitude. Their arguments are never complete. For example, there was a person who once told me that a certain organisation is known to steal credit from people who do the work... Now, this may or may not be true, one never knows, unless they have gone through this personally (for, it's very easy to malign someone). However, when I told this to my friend, he totally opposed it, with expressions which made it appear to me like even thinking it for a moment is a totaly sin. This kind of thinking is not good - For, though we like to walk around with the belief in the line - "Innocent until proven guilty", it would foolish on our part to not even consider it for a moment. Especially when a warning has been given.

There is nothing wrong in listening, and staying alert. We should be able to judge... Now, the organisation mentioned above may be an extremely reputed one, may have a lot of ethical people... However, there may be some 'black sheep' within - You never know. But to totally shun the idea, closing your ears as if the sentences are taboo and 'thou shalt be punished, ye imbecile' attitude is plain stupidity.

I don't know if you have read a book called "I'm OK, you're OK". It's a famous psycho-analysis book... I will tell you a small part from the book. The author says that every person has three types of thinking - Parent, Adult and Child (PAC). Parent type of thinking, is something like - Your parent tells you that telling lies is bad, or always eat your vegetables. When you are young, you are told this, and you simply accept this to be a fact. You don't think about it, you don't analyse it... It's simply taken to be true. The message needn't necessarily come from a parent, but can also come from a parent-like figure, like a teacher... Now, problem with the parent type of thinking, is that this data that is fed in, is accepted to be true. If the data fed itself is wrong, then there is no processing done, and it will be continued to be accepted as true. So, if a thief tells his son : "All policemen are bad", the son will believe it to be true, and hate all policemen. Now, the thief told it for a reason... But it doesn't matter anymore.

The child way of thinking is typically like a child - All these emotional, impulsive actions etc. are from the child... I won't go too deep into it. The third is the adult type of thinking, where everything is taken in and analysed rationally... The veracity of statements is checked, and only then logical decisions are taken. The child behavior exista among adults as well. The adult way of thinking is very essential, as you may have realised. Also, parent data should be analysed for completeness and truthfulness.

I have had several discussions (arguments) with these people, who simply to shut their minds to possibilities. They are totally convinced about some things, and are not open to newer possibilities... As Phoebe (From famous sitcom, Friends) tells Ross [Roughly] - "You had believed that the atom was the smallest particle that existed... And now you see that there are smaller particles. Why can't you bring yourself to believe that there are other possibilities?" But NO !! For these people, when someone told them that something is true, and they at the moment of listening, believe it to be so, their thinking is simply shut off. It is simply accepted to be a fact. This kind of thinking is not Adult type of thinking... It is simply stored as Parent data.

To summarise, when we are told something, analyse if it is true. Think about all possibilities and probabilities... A 360 degree approach is essential for completeness. Don't simply disregard anything to be stupid, or not at all possible - You never know !!

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