Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Literacy is Mind Control

At Tragedy and Hope (Tragedyandhope.com), Richard Grove or one of his guests pointed out that literacy is mind control unless the reader can hold a concept in his mind without believing it.

My sister just pointed out to me the importance of the difference between using evidence to persuade others that you're correct and using evidence to work with other people in an effort to find truth.  In Non-Violent Communication (NVC), this distinction is important.  When people are engaged in conversation, the attempt to persuade can be considered violent.  It is possible for a person to be persuaded to believe something that isn't true, or even convinced of it.  This, of course, requires that the persuasive speaker be presenting something false.

While most of us do not wish to present something false to those with whom we converse, we are often in error.  For this reason alone, it is advisable to avoid convincing and persuading, and instead engage others in a search for the truth.  From this perspective, the baser strategies through which we inadvertently spread confusion and falsehood will fall away.  It just doesn't make sense to use ad-hominem attacks or other logical fallacies when we're after the truth, and we honestly recognize the possibility that we don't yet have it.

NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. NVC also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that each of our actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs.

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