Monday, May 9, 2011
Sharing Beliefs, Sharing Info
I’m learning how to better share my views with others. It started with the realization that beliefs are not really a choice so much as they are simply the most likely conclusions based on the information and experiences someone has collected and analyzed in their mind. If someone wishes to affect the beliefs of another person, it does absolutely no good to tell them that their current beliefs are false or that a different belief is true. These statements are logically incompatible with the information in their mind, and will simply appear illogical and raise defenses. While we don’t have the ability to directly change someone else’s beliefs, we do have the ability to present new information to them. We indeed may be able to guide a person’s beliefs closer to our own by exposing them to the information we’ve been exposed to, without ever even stating our own beliefs. Furthermore, presenting new information is much less threatening than presenting new conclusions, and leaves people free to draw their own new conclusions based on the new information. If I wish to have my wife/family/friends assimilate or understand my beliefs to any degree, the best approach is to avoid stating my conclusions outright as much as possible, but simply share new information with them. Their minds must and will draw their own conclusions, whether or not they line up with mine.
Posted by David Baker at 9:20 PM