What views do you understand but don't agree with?

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Far too often I see people dismiss opposing positions or views as being completely moronic without actually trying to understand the reasoning behind the opposing belief. They can not seem to fathom how people could reasonably think any different from them. This seems to happen on all sides of any given issue. I think people need try to look more at the reasons behind an opposing belief even though it will not likely change your position because it will give them a better understanding of the issue and make resolving the issue and compromise much more obtainable.

So what views on politics/popular culture/gaming or whatever do you not agree with, but can understand and even agree with some of the reasons behind?

Also "I understand that they are just racist religious zealots/ Immoral godless heathens" is not understanding their position. These "understandings" are the problem. Please try not post these not so passive-aggressive "understandings" or others like them

As a historian, I basically have to understand everything. I can understand why people supported Nazism. I can understand why people are religious. I can understand islamic fundamentalism.

I can't think of any political/religious views that I can't understand.

Danyal:
As a historian, I basically have to understand everything. I can understand why people supported Nazism. I can understand why people are religious. I can understand islamic fundamentalism.

I can't think of any political/religious views that I can't understand.

Actually, I personally don't fully understand why people supported National Socialism, which is one of those reasons that period is interesting to me.

For me, personally, it's love of apple products.

theonewhois3:

Danyal:
As a historian, I basically have to understand everything. I can understand why people supported Nazism. I can understand why people are religious. I can understand islamic fundamentalism.

I can't think of any political/religious views that I can't understand.

Actually, I personally don't fully understand why people supported National Socialism, which is one of those reasons that period is interesting to me.

For me, personally, it's love of apple products.

It's pretty simple. The Germans were unfairly punished over WWI for doing the morally just thing of protecting their allies. In return France stole much of their energy resources and insisted that they pay off an immense war dept under the treaty Versailles. To add insult to injury the resultant political instability had resulted in the rise of communist and anarchy political groups who looked poised to destroy the middle class. For the German people, National socialism presented a way of reforming the glory and stability of the second Reich which had led to great prosperity; all while giving them a convenient scapegoat to which they could project their anger(The Jews). One of the biggest misunderstandings of National Socialism is that it was a "racist" ideology. It wasn't, it was purely based around concepts of cultural superiority; the issues of "racial superiority" came after they came to power and invoked by a select few.

Fraser Greenfield:

theonewhois3:

Danyal:
As a historian, I basically have to understand everything. I can understand why people supported Nazism. I can understand why people are religious. I can understand islamic fundamentalism.

I can't think of any political/religious views that I can't understand.

Actually, I personally don't fully understand why people supported National Socialism, which is one of those reasons that period is interesting to me.

For me, personally, it's love of apple products.

It's pretty simple. The Germans were unfairly punished over WWI for doing the morally just thing of protecting their allies. In return France stole much of their energy resources and insisted that they pay off an immense war dept under the treaty Versailles. To add insult to injury the resultant political instability had resulted in the rise of communist and anarchy political groups who looked poised to destroy the middle class. For the German people, National socialism presented a way of reforming the glory and stability of the second Reich which had led to great prosperity; all while giving them a convenient scapegoat to which they could project their anger(The Jews). One of the biggest misunderstandings of National Socialism is that it was a "racist" ideology. It wasn't, it was purely based around concepts of cultural superiority; the issues of "racial superiority" came after they came to power and invoked by a select few.

Oh, I'm well aware of the commonly held reasons for the Nazi party's rise to power, especially those taught in British and Commonwealth schools, I'm interested in how the different elements of the German population supported the Nazi party, why, how they were different from other group's reasons, and how they changed over the period of the Third Reich. Something that is FAR from simple. How much cognitive dissidence and willful ignorence was the general population delved in? Why did the Army accept racist policy in the East that harmed strategic and operational security with only mild objections and belligerent compliance? And many more.

I tend to be fairly good at understanding opposing viewpoints. Partly because I tend to avoid being heavily polarized on most issues.

What I cannot understand is truly blind faith in a concept. Not just believing in something without proof, that is generally acceptable (even if I wouldn't go for it myself), but by default assuming that all proof which contradicts that belief is a blackhearted lie.

Captcha "heated debate" On topic as always...

I can understand how people can be homophobic as I did use to be quite homophobic myself when I was religious (obviously that's changed now).

I'm also going to say that whilst giving food aid and other charity to developing nations seems like a good idea, it can have some really bad effects if it's done on a long term basis. It would be better to provide aid only in emergencies such as earthquakes and other natural disasters, and let millions starve in the short-term, than have a whole country grow dependent on foreign subsidies.

Guns. I understand why America has a thing for them but for the life of me i'll never understand it.

I'm one of those people that has a really hard time understanding the opposition most of the time. I mean I try to understand both sides, but I usually see the other side as 'uninformed' at best, and 'utterly moronic' at worst. There are some cases where I do understand the opposition's viewpoint though.

I don't understand the conservative position on most social issues, however, I can see most of them as outright unfair. But that really doesn't help me understand WHY someone wouldn't support equal rights for everyone.

I know, this post is heavily biased, but isn't that the main issue here? Bias prevents understanding, so it would have to be a completely unbiased person to completely understand two opposing points of view.

I understand economically liberal policies, but I disagree with them. I understand conservative policies (in Europe) but disagree with them. So within my context, I think I certainly understand opposing viewpoints. If the views are too outlandish, I cannot understand them, though. Not really. Not beyond "they must've been raised to, they must've been taught this, lived in a bubble where outside information can't penetrate".

Fraser Greenfield:
One of the biggest misunderstandings of National Socialism is that it was a "racist" ideology. It wasn't, it was purely based around concepts of cultural superiority; the issues of "racial superiority" came after they came to power and invoked by a select few.

This is simply not true. Hitler and nazism was racist to the core right from the get go. Mein Kampf has a whole section that is literally called "Nation and Race".

http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv1ch11.html

Well, you can be manipulated and conditioned into believing anything. So in that sense I can understand most beliefs.

Skeleon:
I understand economically liberal policies, but I disagree with them. I understand conservative policies (in Europe) but disagree with them. So within my context, I think I certainly understand opposing viewpoints. If the views are too outlandish, I cannot understand them, though. Not really. Not beyond "they must've been raised to, they must've been taught this, lived in a bubble where outside information can't penetrate".

Basically this.

I guess I don't relate to the genuine hatred of simple curiosity that comes with being a bigot of any kind. I mean, in this day and age you have to ACTIVELY try to be blind about these things. That's something I have difficulty with.

I try to hate bigotry, not the bigot. It's pretty damn hard though, as I don't really understand willful ignorance.

I also don't understand when voters say "I know he's a racist, sexist, homophobic asshole, but their's a tiny sliver of a chance he'll slightly balance the budget in between dialing back the rights of women and LGBT people." They claim it's a matter of priority. "The economy is more important that securing the economic, financial and social rights of 60% of the population....wait."

I don't think these people understand how the economy works. The budget maybe, but you can't off-handedly sacrifice everything else on a whim. But in an age with this much propaganda, shameless lies and denial, and a general lack of education regarding the economy, I can get why people don't get that social issues are directly linked to the economic status of the working class in a very big way. If you sacrifice social progress for economic progress, you've already shot yourself in the foot.

Of course we're all worried about the economy. That's no excuse to fly into a blind panic. But again, I get why people panic. I relate to that panic in a big way. A REAL big way, and if I was in more dire straits I might go into full panic myself. I sympathize, but still disagree.

And if more republicans represented what the party was actually supposed to be about, I'd probably vote for them every now and then.

I also kind of understand opposition to well-fare and Obamacare (and I think obamacare has some actual kinks that should be worked out), but still disagree. I understand the whole mentality of 'don't coddle them, they'll never learn to fend for themselves!' mentality, as false as it usually turns out to be for a lot of people on welfare. I believe eliminating these things would result in more deaths and crime, really.

Hey guys, just popping in thanks to a diminished but still very heavy work load around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Yes, there are plenty of views I don't understand. Recently for example, Chinese people's views of their own country. I recognize the picture is far more complex than the infantile version the American press tends to project, but I have to honestly admit I have no way to truly grasp what people there think. Another example, I have an older black colleague who seems to have a very complex relationship with her own racial identity. I have to admit that even if I have lived as a racial minority, even if I've even experienced racial discrimination, I'll probably never truly understand her experience.

There's no shame in admitting that. It is the opposite scenario, when you can't admit to there being anything you can't understand that is the problem. It ties in with another thread on this board about changing people's minds- you can't change someone's mind if they are not interested in learning, and someone cannot be interested in learning if they assume from the get-go that they know all there is to know about what the people who disagree with them think. That's part of why privilege is so pernicious - the people who experience privilege are unwilling to acknowledge the caricature that exists in their mind for what others think isn't the whole story.

And that's what leads to...

Silent Protagonist:
Far too often I see people dismiss opposing positions or views as being completely moronic without actually trying to understand the reasoning behind the opposing belief.

And so...

Danyal:
I can't think of any political/religious views that I can't understand.

...this should be setting off alarm bells for you. Giant alarm bells. Like oh-my-god-martian-tripods-are-vaporizing-people-on-main-street-with-their-heat-rays style alarm bells. Especially if you aspire to being an academic, there is no mindset that is a greater impediment to learning than what you've just posted.

And speaking ofacademia, it's time for me to dive back in. Enjoy your culturally-appropriate-harvest-feast-festivals if you celebrate such a thing.

Katatori-kun:
Hey guys, just popping in thanks to a diminished but still very heavy work load around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Hurray, Katatori is back and immediately I'm told that my mindset is the worst a 'learner' can have.

Katatori-kun:

Danyal:
I can't think of any political/religious views that I can't understand.

...this should be setting off alarm bells for you. Giant alarm bells. Like oh-my-god-martian-tripods-are-vaporizing-people-on-main-street-with-their-heat-rays style alarm bells. Especially if you aspire to being an academic, there is no mindset that is a greater impediment to learning than what you've just posted.

To phrase it differently: at this moment, I cannot think of a commonly accepted political-religious view where it's impossible for me to understand why a human being would have these views.

I do not mean to say that I understand the exact motivations that every single human being has or had to support a certain ideology.

I would say "objectivism" but frequently I'm told whenever I argue against it "that's not objectivism though!" so that option is out. =/

Hmmm, I suppose Libertarianism. I understand most libertarian views, they essentially just don't want a government that interferes too much in their lives. They want to take care of their own lives, if something like an accident or fire destroys their home they don't want to force the rest of the nation to, essentially, "pay for their mistakes" and cause other people undo stress by harming their finances just so the government can fix what they did wrong. They believe in maximizing peoples' liberty, both economic and social liberty. They believe in letting businesses self regulate, with the government acting only as a policing force to keep business from doing something VERY harmful or illegal. I suppose they feel that if people are disgusted enough with poor environmental standards or wage levels, they could "vote with their wallets/labor"

However I would have to (respectfully) disagree with them on the role of government. I believe that it's a government's duty to protect it's citizens. While I can understand disliking high taxes or "government meddlers" I believe that, as a nation, we need to aid each other in times of crises and Government agencies such as FEMA or the EPA are the best in handling that... Plus I'm very distrustful of business "self regulation" and I feel the only time the vast majority of people would be willing to demand stricter regulations would be when it's almost too late for those regulations to actually reverse any harm done... Unfortunately, there's a large chunk of people unable to see things in the long term.

People who are truly against abortion.

Now I am pro-choice, always have been. Women should be allowed to decide about their own body and all that. But recently I found a way of framing the problem that allowed me to understand the other side.
If a woman where to give birth to a healthy baby and then right then and there asked the doctors to strangle it because she did not want a baby I would object. That would be wrong to me.
Now to the people who truly, deep down, believe that life is there right at the time of conception then abortion to them would be like the strangling of the new born baby is to me.

I do not agree with them that life is there right from the time egg and sperm meet but I can understand where they are coming from.

I would still fight any one who would take away a woman's right to chose tooth and nails though. :)

Libertarians to a degree. I understand their idea that allowing market forces to do their thing to provide, but the problem is that there's never been and probably never will be a "fair" free market. The last time we had a nearly free market was the industrial revolution through about the early 20th century. It resulted in massive abuses of workers and a large scale of corruption.

I can basically understand anyone's views on just about anything.
That, however, does not make them any better.

I understand that you believe in what you were brainwashed to believe as a child, and believe in a 2000-ish year old carpenter who is God's son (or God, depending upon your Christian leanings), but I still think it's retarded.

WouldYouKindly:
Libertarians to a degree. I understand their idea that allowing market forces to do their thing to provide, but the problem is that there's never been and probably never will be a "fair" free market. The last time we had a nearly free market was the industrial revolution through about the early 20th century. It resulted in massive abuses of workers and a large scale of corruption.

you pretty much need a military dictatorship in charge to successfully run a free market capitalist society. like the cia experiment in chile

I understand the "pro-life" crowd, in its various forms, (because I used to be strongly in that camp) but I don't agree with them at all.

I also understand the creationists (again because I was one) but can't agree with them either.

Essentially they are based on the idea that there is greater knowledge and morality given to us from on-high and that anything, no matter the evidence or how well-reasoned, that contradicts them is false by default.

ElectroJosh:

I also understand the creationists (again because I was one) but can't agree with them either.

Id love to think i understand most view points. Slightly at least to the point i need to get on with my fellow man. I will NEVER properly understand VERY literal and oppressive religion though, especially ones with weird rules and regulations or that require mental gymnastics. On the other hand agnostic deism (pure deism) is something i can understand very easily.

I think the only way to understand it TOTALLY is to experience it yourself and change your views. My views have evolved but ive NEVER done such an extreme shift that the guy i quoted said.

Anyway sorry dude i was gonna ask, what was that change like for you? A little bit off topic but i find the idea really interesting. How did you change your view?

It's not particularly difficult to understand another viewpoint. Mind you, understanding another viewpoint is not the same as agreeing with it or sympathizing with it. Though, as easy as it is to understand an opposing view point, it's just as easy to misunderstand it. It's a very thin razor, imo. Maybe that would mean it would be difficult, then. I don't know.

BiscuitTrouser:

ElectroJosh:

I also understand the creationists (again because I was one) but can't agree with them either.

Id love to think i understand most view points. Slightly at least to the point i need to get on with my fellow man. I will NEVER properly understand VERY literal and oppressive religion though, especially ones with weird rules and regulations or that require mental gymnastics. On the other hand agnostic deism (pure deism) is something i can understand very easily.

I think the only way to understand it TOTALLY is to experience it yourself and change your views. My views have evolved but ive NEVER done such an extreme shift that the guy i quoted said.

Anyway sorry dude i was gonna ask, what was that change like for you? A little bit off topic but i find the idea really interesting. How did you change your view?

I do get asked this a lot, but I'm always happy to give a brief answer.

My belief in creationism was eroded slowly in university - I didn't study science but many of my friends (who were religious like me) were not opposed to it and thought the big bang and evolution were true (just mechanisms used by God). That surprised me and led me to examine their arguments (or counter-arguments) to the creationist dogmas I had been raised on. Overtime I got into reading skeptical literature (Skeptic and Skeptical Inquirer) and realized where the evidence lay on the question of evolution.

This (along with some other factors) resulted in my abandonment of biblical literal-ism and took me on the journey from evangelical christian to atheist. By this is mean: I am agnostic on the question of if there is a god and, therefore, do not believe in one. The god of Christianity (along with Judaism, Islam and Zoroastrianism) is one I am certain does not exist.

I understand "liberal" economic policies fairly well, and I understand why many hold them in such high regard. Doesn't stop me from offhandedly remarking that they are moronic. (I promise I only do this when I'm to tired from school and work to get into a serious discussion!)

I understand to some degree, at least I think so, the thought process behind many fundamentalists, and those who are wilfully ignorant. I group them because I believe they're strongest arguments come from the same source.

What I don't understand is divine revelation. I'm trying, I'm trying so damn hard. I'm going to read every damn mystic if it kills me and I WILL FIND GOD, GODDAMMIT.

Hafrael:

What I don't understand is divine revelation. I'm trying, I'm trying so damn hard. I'm going to read every damn mystic if it kills me and I WILL FIND GOD, GODDAMMIT.

In most religions divine revelation is a very personal experience, near impossible to put to words accurately or "teach" someone to do.

I think your best chance of coming even close to experiencing it is to take a walk one day, preferably in a nice quiet place like a park. Then, while you're doing that (and here comes the difficult/weird part) you need to first come to the realization your alive. It's hard to describe the feeling accurately, but you need to look around at all the sights, and realize that you can see and you can smell. What I mean by realize is more like "pay attention to". Most people walk around just seemingly ignoring their senses. Sure, they can see and smell things, but they don't ever focus on the fact that they're seeing things, it's sort of like they treat the entire world as background, something they ignore as they "sleepwalk" through their day. It's when they pay attention to that "background", when they realize that all that exists outside of their sight and smell and touch, that there's a reality you're constantly interacting with, that they begin to move towards an "epiphany".

After that, it's just requires thinking about (or I suppose, in your cases "imagining") that a single being, something infinitely powerful, infinitely close yet infinitely far, created that reality. It set the cogs in motion and created something totally unique. Not only that, but it created you as well, it nows you on a personal level and is there with you constantly. At that very moment, while you see that reality and pay attention to it, it's right there, next to you.

God, I sound like some new age hippie guru after writing all that. -_-

i understand people having utmost faith and belief in their religious ideas. i dont however understand why they think they have the right to make everyone live by those same beliefs

wombat_of_war:
i understand people having utmost faith and belief in their religious ideas. i dont however understand why they think they have the right to make everyone live by those same beliefs

Wait, really? It's the exact reverse for me.
If you honestly, truly believe that you have the knowledge, the moral views, the proper interpretation of the word of the all-powerful creator of the universe, surely you wouldn't let those remain unspread.
And if you see these words seriously threatened by the evils of individual freedom and secularism, surely you'd feel justified in resorting to unsavoury means if necessary.
Especially if the beliefs you were taught don't contradict violence against such groups. Oh, sure, violence is bad, but is violence against an enemy always bad? Remember, it's "thou shalt not murder", after all, not "thou shalt not kill".
What I don't understand is how people could hold on to such views in the modern world, but that's mostly a result of me not growing up indoctrinated, I'd wager.

Atheism.

You look around at the universe and in your pitiable and vastly small knowledge you declare that no godlike entities can exist. That because man, with it's inability to quantify all things, has yet to find evidence supporting, the the opposite absolutely must be true. My knowledge is just as small and pitiable, but I don't look around and declare I know the absolute truth to a matter such as faith. I say 'well, I suppose we'll have to wait until we understand more about the universe'.

Agnostic non-deist I can understand quite well, but atheism just seems to me to be as much the height of arrogance as any religion proclaiming itself to be the one true faith. Both exist purely within the realm of belief, and both are absolute ends.

"A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms-it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man."

Bentusi16:
Atheism.

Please don't conflate Atheism with its subset of Strong Atheism.

Skeleon:

Bentusi16:
Atheism.

Please don't conflate Atheism with its subset of Strong Atheism.

That would, ironically, actually show a lack of understanding. But as always I'll say, ignorance can be solved by digging up some information. Stupidity would be in refusing to get informed.

Vegosiux:

Skeleon:

Bentusi16:
Atheism.

Please don't conflate Atheism with its subset of Strong Atheism.

That would, ironically, actually show a lack of understanding. But as always I'll say, ignorance can be solved by digging up some information. Stupidity would be in refusing to get informed.

Are you really going to argue with me in any manner or way that atheism is not the rejection of belief in the existence of deities? Are you going to tell me something different? I invite you too because any other belief is not atheism. Atheism is the conscious rejection of the idea of theism. Anti-deist are close but not the same.

I am not talking about any subsets, or any cliques, or sects, of atheism. I am talking about the rejection of the idea that there may be god-like beings that exist.

1570s, from Fr. athéiste (16c.), from Gk. atheos "without god, denying the gods; abandoned of the gods; godless, ungodly," from a- "without" + theos "a god" (see Thea).

I'm dangerously good at rationalization. I even get where radical feminists are coming from when they say that all heterosexual sex is degrading to women.

Bentusi16:

Are you really going to argue with me in any manner or way that atheism is not the rejection of belief in the existence of deities? Are you going to tell me something different? I invite you too because any other belief is not atheism. Atheism is the conscious rejection of the idea of theism. Anti-deist are close but not the same.

"I don't think X exists" and "X doesn't exist" are two different things. You might say I'm just arguing semantics, but I'm not. One is a claim on one's own thought process while the other is a claim on the existance of something.

newfoundsky:
I don't understand the conservative position on most social issues, however, I can see most of them as outright unfair. But that really doesn't help me understand WHY someone wouldn't support equal rights for everyone.

I know, this post is heavily biased, but isn't that the main issue here? Bias prevents understanding, so it would have to be a completely unbiased person to completely understand two opposing points of view.

Let me first preface this comment by saying that I am not trying to hijack this thread, and I would appreciate it if anybody that responds to me realizes this as well.

Now then, the only social issue that I really agree with is deporting illegal immigrants[1]. They broke the law for their own personal gain, simple as that. As such, they should be treated the same way that any other criminal is treated, by which I mean that they should be punished/deported for their crimes. The fact that there are a number of them isn't a justification for rewarding criminal behavior, and telling me "but its hard!" is a pathetic and immature response. Hope that helps you understand a conservative stance on a particular social issue.

OP:Antitheism, I can understand why a person is atheist, but a serious adult antithiest that isn't just taking that stance because their trying to rebel against their parents? Or for that matter, people who seriously think that getting rid of religion will solve the worlds problems and don't think that maybe...just maybe, the way people behave is the problem and not religion in of itself.

[1] Please note that I am not referring to people who are seeking political asylum, as their situation is completely different IMO

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