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Monday, August 28, 2017

"I always think I am right, but I don’t think I am always right"


Douglas Wilson: "interviewing" himself --
Me: A critic might say that you always think you’re right. You leave no room for discussion, no room for the possibility that you might be wrong.

Me: It is true that I always think I’m right. But I don’t think I am always right.

Me: Come again?

Me: Thinking you are right is the same thing as thinking. Everyone does it. Stepping back and looking at the sum total of your thoughts, of course it would be folly not to see that you have been guilty of mistakes and errors. But while you are thinking at all, you are thinking you are right. So that is why I say I always think I am right, but I don’t think I am always right.

Me: But isn’t that arrogant?

Me: The curious thing is that out of all the people I have met who think so (and I have met a number of them), they think so. And they think they’re right. No one ever came to me in a spirit of rebuke, but with the prefatory proviso that they might be the arrogant one and I might be the innocent baaa lamb. Furthermore, I don’t ask them to. But I do find it curious that they ask me to. And so it is that I conclude, 9 times out of 10, that the goal is not to admonish and edify me, but rather to steer me.
The "arrogance" charge is almost always cynical intellectual dishonesty meant to play on the emotions of the easily-steered. It is an attempt to convince others (i.e. the easily-steered) that the view or conclusion the accuser detests is false, by the mere allegation that it is false, without making any *effort* to demonstrate *any* error.


Nate Winchester said...

But Vox and Zippy are pretty darn arrogant. ;)

Ilíon said...

I agree, and about both. You'll notice that I said "almost always"

Ilíon said...

But also, when you (you yourself) are asserting that "Vox is pretty darn arrogant", you are *not* "arguing" that THEREFORE whatever has said is false or anti-logical.

Nate Winchester said...

Oh not at all, but often it is related to how he is not seeing the flaws in their statement.

The problem with the very smart is that they see so much more than other people, we can assume we in fact see everything. But the world is bigger than even the smartest brain and even the very foolish might notice something the wise man overlooked.