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Is Objective Analysis Compatible With Strong Opinions?
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subego
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May 27, 2018, 02:48 PM
 
I’m beginning to think the answer is no. Objective analysis is unemotional. What makes an opinion strong is emotional attachment.

Thoughts?
     
The Final Dakar
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May 27, 2018, 04:27 PM
 
Is there any particular subject that brought about this thought?

I would say the problem is how that opinion is reached. If it is based on a 'gut' feeling or emotional reaction, then yes, objective analysis has an uphill battle. But what if it was reached by a preponderance of facts learned?

Honestly, I don't think the hurdle to overturning strong or even regular opinions is an inability to get past emotional attachment. It's getting agreement on what the facts actually are. From what I've seen, when you can get people to agree to facts that overturn their arguments, they will change their opinion.

Counter-question: Do you think emotional attachment is a large hurdle to rational debate? How about partisanism? I realize partisanism could be classified as a subset of emotional attachment, but my point is that, off the top of my head, I can't think of many issues where the hurdle is generic emotional attachment rather than partisanism.

(Also, I think emotion has a place in rational analysis because human beings have emotions)
     
subego  (op)
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May 29, 2018, 01:05 PM
 
The issues where people have the strongest opinions are the ones where the opinion intersects with emotion. Similarly, for whatever reason they’re not discussions where it’s just a question of dueling facts, otherwise people wouldn’t get so emotional about them.

The poster dead children for this are abortion and guns.

What made me think of it?

Trump.
     
andi*pandi
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May 29, 2018, 01:23 PM
 
There are people who think they are being objective when they really aren't.
     
subego  (op)
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May 29, 2018, 01:37 PM
 
No question.

Bush 43 was a bit of a dry run for me.

Hated the man’s guts for about 6 years straight.

Did not occur to me even once this could be interfering with my ability to judge him objectively.

No ability to recognize it at the time, but it was clear in hindsight... and when it comes down to it, how could that have not messed with my objectivity?
( Last edited by subego; May 29, 2018 at 01:55 PM. )
     
The Final Dakar
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May 29, 2018, 02:13 PM
 
On a phone but abortion falls into two categories for me:

1. Not an opinion reached due to fact
2. A subject lacking in clear objective answers

Number two makes overturning one impossible.
     
subego  (op)
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May 29, 2018, 02:58 PM
 
Does objective analysis not have a place in the abortion debate, then?

Honest question.
     
andi*pandi
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May 29, 2018, 03:13 PM
 
It should, but how to tell if people are being objective? It is a deeply personal subject.

You'd think men could be objective about it, since they aren't the ones dealing with pregnancy and babies, yet, they are the more forceful opponents. Could it be they care more about controlling women than objectivity. <cough>

Are the only objective ones those who'd never have babies anyhow? Except probably priests. <cough cough>

What is objective in this context? I think I'm being objective, which means I can take my own personal thoughts on it aside, and put myself In Her Shoes.

Anyway, I think we should find another example so this doesn't devolve into a rehash of the other billion abortion threads.
     
subego  (op)
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May 29, 2018, 03:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
but how to tell if people are being objective?
My proposition is thus.

Whatever analysis a person makes about abortion, the analysis will be more objective if they have no emotional attachment.

How objective any given person is in an absolute sense isn’t relevant to this proposition. It’s a relative argument. Whatever the mystery amount of objectivity is, emotional detachment will lead to more. Emotional attachment will lead to less.

In a similar vein, the subject is irrelevant. Abortion can be replaced with anything.
     
The Final Dakar
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May 29, 2018, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Does objective analysis not have a place in the abortion debate, then?

Honest question.
I guess I don't understand what objective analysis is when there are no hard truths. Can you explain?
     
andi*pandi
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May 29, 2018, 06:41 PM
 
It should be like Jury Duty. Can you separate yourself, as a parent, from someone accused of killing a child? Are you willing to overlook your own emotions to hear the facts?
     
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May 29, 2018, 07:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’m beginning to think the answer is no. Objective analysis is unemotional. What makes an opinion strong is emotional attachment.

Thoughts?
Sometimes an objective analysis leads to an overwhelming conclusion. In such a case, a strong opinion is entirely justified. I could now try to convince you that my opinion that Trump is a terrible human being with almost no redeeming factors to him whatsoever, but I doubt you'd ever be convinced so I'll offer a far greater example instead: Vaccines. All the reputable evidence says they work very well and do not cause Autism. All the contradicting evidence has been repeatedly and overwhelmingly discredited.

Consequently it is entirely objective and rational to strongly oppose potentially lethal anti-vaccine pseudoscience and disinformation.

Abortion is far trickier because its about the drawing of ethical, philosophical and biological lines, each of which is pretty difficult to do. Is it about the moment that a cell becomes a potential life? A fertilised embryo that doesn't implant will never survive so maybe its implantation? It it when the heart starts beating? The limbs start moving? The ability to feel pain? The point of viability? Which of these lines is objective and which are emotional?

Strong opinions need compelling arguments. And no compelling counter-arguments. If you have that then I think they are fine.


An interesting thing about objectivity is that it can feel like you are being objective just because you are going against a majority. Likewise it can feel like you are not being objective if you are going with the flow.

If you take Trump, while I am biased against him I still think there is an objective argument that he sucks and is the worst president ever. If you recall the old thread about the good each party has done for America in the last 50 years, the evidence came out overwhelmingly and objectively that the scorecard was in favour of the Dems to the point where voting Republican looks pretty foolish. Again, since I'm considered a staunch lefty in these parts this statement looks anything but objective but that thread was pretty compelling.
It sounds objective to say that both parties are as bad as each other but they really aren't, one is much worse when you do the math.
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May 29, 2018, 07:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
On a phone but abortion falls into two categories for me:

1. Not an opinion reached due to fact
2. A subject lacking in clear objective answers

Number two makes overturning one impossible.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Does objective analysis not have a place in the abortion debate, then?

Honest question.
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
It should, but how to tell if people are being objective? It is a deeply personal subject.

You'd think men could be objective about it, since they aren't the ones dealing with pregnancy and babies, yet, they are the more forceful opponents. Could it be they care more about controlling women than objectivity. <cough>

Are the only objective ones those who'd never have babies anyhow? Except probably priests. <cough cough>

What is objective in this context? I think I'm being objective, which means I can take my own personal thoughts on it aside, and put myself In Her Shoes.

Anyway, I think we should find another example so this doesn't devolve into a rehash of the other billion abortion threads.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My proposition is thus.

Whatever analysis a person makes about abortion, the analysis will be more objective if they have no emotional attachment.

How objective any given person is in an absolute sense isn’t relevant to this proposition. It’s a relative argument. Whatever the mystery amount of objectivity is, emotional detachment will lead to more. Emotional attachment will lead to less.

In a similar vein, the subject is irrelevant. Abortion can be replaced with anything.
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I guess I don't understand what objective analysis is when there are no hard truths. Can you explain?
The big question that needs to answered before one can proceed: is the there a human child in the womb or not?
     
subego  (op)
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May 30, 2018, 05:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Vaccines. All the reputable evidence says they work very well and do not cause Autism. All the contradicting evidence has been repeatedly and overwhelmingly discredited.
Level with me. Aren’t you confident enough in this position it begins to no longer fit the common sense definition of opinion?
     
Doc HM
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May 30, 2018, 05:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My proposition is thus.

Whatever analysis a person makes about abortion, the analysis will be more objective if they have no emotional attachment.

See also special "insert name of dead family member here" laws. Especially ones where the new law imposes some restriction on the wider society as a whole. The instinctive reaction is to say, listen to the people who have suffered the immediate loss because they understand the pain, whereas if you want an objective opinion on the utility of the law they are the very last people who should be involved in its draughting.
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subego  (op)
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May 30, 2018, 06:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I guess I don't understand what objective analysis is when there are no hard truths. Can you explain?
The objectivity with which the sides analyze each other I think is a not bad example.

A couple of massive generalizations.

The least objective pro-lifers analysis is pro-choicers are gleeful baby killers.

The least objective pro-choicers analysis is pro-lifers are misogynistic cultists.
( Last edited by subego; May 30, 2018 at 06:54 AM. )
     
subego  (op)
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May 30, 2018, 06:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
See also special "insert name of dead family member here" laws. Especially ones where the new law imposes some restriction on the wider society as a whole. The instinctive reaction is to say, listen to the people who have suffered the immediate loss because they understand the pain, whereas if you want an objective opinion on the utility of the law they are the very last people who should be involved in its draughting.
This is to some extent the larger dilemma.

Let’s say there could be some legislative good which comes out of a horrific scenario.

Usually the relatives that law is named after are the ones who make the call for action. No law will exist without their effort. This includes the good one.

For the good law to exist, lack of objectivity is required.
     
The Final Dakar
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May 30, 2018, 09:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The objectivity with which the sides analyze each other I think is a not bad example.

A couple of massive generalizations.

The least objective pro-lifers analysis is pro-choicers are gleeful baby killers.

The least objective pro-choicers analysis is pro-lifers are misogynistic cultists.
This is the opposite of what I asked for. I know what name-calling looks like on each side. I'm less familiar with your claim that it's possible to objectively analyze it. Give me an example of that.
     
subego  (op)
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May 30, 2018, 04:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
This is the opposite of what I asked for.
In what way?

These are analyses lacking in objectivity due to strong opinions on abortion.

The idea I’m going for here is not all questions surrounding abortion, such as the intent of opponents, defy hard truth.
     
The Final Dakar
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May 30, 2018, 05:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
In what way?
Uh, I explained in the post.
     
subego  (op)
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May 30, 2018, 05:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Uh, I explained in the post.
As did I.
     
subego  (op)
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May 30, 2018, 08:06 PM
 
Let me try and clarify.

I think there probably are ways objective analysis can play a role in answering questions which defy hard answers, such as whether we have a soul, and when life begins.

That said, I’m fine not dying on this hill. The hill I’m trying to die on is the one where abortion is a large enough subject it touches on things well suited to objective analysis, such as the intent of the players.
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 30, 2018, 11:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Level with me. Aren’t you confident enough in this position it begins to no longer fit the common sense definition of opinion?
Sure. Likewise Darwinian Evolution, the Earth is a 4.6 -billion-year-old oblate spheroid and the Big Bang happened nearly 14 billion years ago. Sadly common sense and objective fact are both currently on their knees like Boromir and fast filling up with Orc arrows.

Do these extremes not relate to the question though? And show there is a place for strong opinions without having to necessarily abandon objectivity?
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Doc HM
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May 31, 2018, 10:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
and the Big Bang happened nearly 14 billion years ago.
Possibly this one is a little rocky given the massive problems with every theory that makes this age fit. ie expansion and dark matter/energy etc.

Of all that you mentioned this one stands out as something thats very likely to be usurped with a wildly different theory.

Vaccination just wont die. People seem wilfully blind to the evidence for AND the evidence that any anti evidence was basically made up. At this point if you are anti vax then you are arguing entirely from blind opinion
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subego  (op)
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May 31, 2018, 11:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Do these extremes not relate to the question though?
I think they’re less useful for analysis because they lie at the boundary layer of opinion and fact. They are hence at maximum distance from what is meant by the word “opinion”.
     
The Final Dakar
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May 31, 2018, 01:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Let me try and clarify.

That said, I’m fine not dying on this hill. The hill I’m trying to die on is the one where abortion is a large enough subject it touches on things well suited to objective analysis, such as the intent of the players.
Weird, because while intent can explain motivation, it can't undermine facts. So in my mind, it's not relevant; If you have a good argument, facts supersede it, if you have a bad one it's pointless anyway.
     
subego  (op)
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May 31, 2018, 07:35 PM
 
What’s relevant is if person has intent A, and because I lack objectivity, I mistakenly assign them intent B.

If a person is not a gleeful baby killer, it is wrong for me to think of them as such.
     
subego  (op)
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Jun 1, 2018, 02:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Trump is a terrible human being with almost no redeeming factors to him whatsoever... there is an objective argument that he sucks and is the worst president ever.
Let’s assume these conclusions are more or less objectively valid. How’s that for a reasonable premise?

How have people reacted to the validity of these conclusions? With intense, negative emotion.

To be ultra clear... I’m not taking issue. What is one supposed to do with an objective conclusion that has horrifying implications? Anger and fear sound right. The reason those emotions exist is as motivators to fix a problem. This type of scenario is what they’re for.

The thing is, analysis isn’t complete. It’s finished with the general conclusions in the premise, those are explicitly valid, but these general conclusions can’t provide a specific answer, like for what Trump probably meant by any given example of his countless, trademark, ambiguous statements.

Flaming rage and existential terror will have a predictable impact on the quality of these analyses.

That’s the dilemma. The general conclusions are valid. The emotions are 100% legitimate. Those emotions will hinder specific analyses. It’s impossible for them not to. That’s what emotions do to objective analysis. They hinder it.

Of course everyone convinces themselves they’ve somehow escaped, and their analyses remain objective.

I bullshit myself, too.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jun 1, 2018, 06:50 AM
 
I think the question is are the objective conclusions driving the emotional response or is an emotional response or bias skewing the conclusions. With Trump maybe both. With abortion its mostly the latter. With vaccines its the former versus the latter with regard to people on either side of the argument. Theres some of that in every question of course but the mix varies. Abortion will have one split for the emotional concluders and a different one for the rational concluders. Then there is the emotional/rational split.

Is there such a thing as rational bias? I would argue yes. Its not perfectly rational, but it can be free of emotion.
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The Final Dakar
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Jun 7, 2018, 06:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What’s relevant is if person has intent A, and because I lack objectivity, I mistakenly assign them intent B.

If a person is not a gleeful baby killer, it is wrong for me to think of them as such.
Sorry, read this on my phone, forgot to revisit on my laptop.

You hit me with an angle I didn't consider. Bias against the arguer rather than the arguments. That said, that subject is inherently subjective because the only the arguer knows if their stance is in good faith.
     
   
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