Reply To: How do you guys keep going?



“Criticism is futile because it puts a man on the defensive, and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wound’s a man’s pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses his resentment.”

While that statement seems true enough, it is not clear to me why one would wish to avoid it. Without criticism what is a man left to reflect upon except his sense of self importance. It is true that certain methods of argument or discussion will lead to resentment and an extreme blockage of ones ears. The adversarial nature of differing opinions may lead to those feelings regardless of tact. A thoughtful and polite exchange of ideas can lead to reversal of ones opinions but more often than not the two parties walk away believing, erroneously, that they have made the other begin to “see the light”. A more combative discourse seldom leaves one with a happy feeling of accomplishment but the “win” may be achieved at a future date.

“Remember the other man may be totally wrong, but he doesn’t think so. Don’t condemn him, any fool can do that. Try to understand him.”

Again, that statement is true enough. People with loosely held beliefs or opinions can be easily swayed with a good dose of rhetoric and demagoguery but we deal with people, like us, who have firmly held convictions and require introspection to change. So, it is true that we tune out and strengthen our resolve to justify our beliefs when harshly criticized. It is due to this criticism that we push deeper and find fault or validity in our ideas at all. It is in my nature to want to be right and while I might loose a particular argument, it is the most heated exchanges that force me to test what I believe and provoke further study. If I turn out to be wrong at least I will know it. If I turn out to be right, I will be better prepared to challenge my interlocutor the next time around.

I suspect, in the realm of ideas, the course of exchange is less relevant than the need to be correct.
When you and your friend discussed fractional banking, whether or not the exchange was acrimonious was of less importance than the extent of your knowledge coming into question.

I believe that criticism of any kind can lead one to have a greater understanding of their own beliefs and become self aware enough to decide whether or not it is all bugaboo. However, the world is full of inauthentic people and no amount of understanding, wisdom or criticism will dissuade them from their interminable haughtiness. I am not a religious man but I can’t help noting that in Revelation the lord doth not say come hither non believers that I may reason with you.

In Liberty Classroom, I am truly the novice here. So I welcome anybody’s criticism otherwise I will just assume I am right and will have learned nothing.