A friend became subject to a critic’s venom. The subject of the critic’s viewpoint is of no importance. How the objection is dealt with is worth consideration.
Some people are not high achievers. Although they believe there are fountains of knowledge flowing in their minds. Their experience may or not have a foundation, although, it is used as the basis for their choices. We have to consider the factor of empirical knowledge when looking for alternative perspectives to critical observation. It is essential to know the reason for criticism. Is the criticism vindictive, personal, based on factual information or malicious?
In this instance, we could accept there is no empirical knowledge of spiritual ideas. The choice is black and white. People believe or not, assume, or no, there is no way to blend belief or non-belief. Of course, millions of people in either camp and arguing the points seem to be time-wasting.
When a man comments ‘You are a charlatan’ – He becomes a judge of another human. When he airs his feelings publicly, the slighted individual’s friends may support and come to defend the accused.
The judge enters a problematic situation. No matter that he is correct (we have to accept all men are right in their mind) he is now in conflict with more than one person. Because no matter what his argument: there is a differing opinion to his own and he may become isolated because friends’ consensus defends the slighted man. Now his comment becomes a seed of hatred, not only for the focal point of his statement but for the supporters supporting their friend. The critic will have his supporters, and before long, two tribes begin to wage wars of words. What next? The single comment becomes a situation ‘out of control’.
We should consider the critic’s reason to call a stranger charlatan. Is it because he has empirical knowledge which disputes the words, actions or methods or is the man a ‘charlatan’ intent on deception? The crux of the issue is evidence. It is easy to comment ‘You, sir, are a charlatan’ than to say ‘You should be aware that research at Avon University disproves your idea. I feel you should refrain from deceiving people with inaccurate information’. Most people will accept utilising facts as evidence is not a criticism.
Many aspects of life are subject to belief and supposition:
Religion is an example: Luther’s God is Issac’s demon. Politics another, a woman’s political hero is her friend’s conspiracy theory. Lifestyle one more, Jack believes in simplicity – Jill worships money.
Accurate information is ignored:
Despite the evidence, Japanese and Faroe Islanders eat whale meat, and one claims the flesh is a by-product of scientific research, the other claim the slaughter is a tradition of their culture. Petrochemical companies fell forests and ignore concerns about the ozone layer. The companies indicate fuel is essential to the world economy and ignore the possibility that the planet’s ecology is vital to life.
Sometimes there is a need for acceptance:
Determined attacks on vinyl ignore the benefits of P.V.C blood bags and piping used in every hospital. A vegetarian comments livestock farming is cruel and unnecessary. And if we were all vegetarians? The farmer soon slaughters the last cow, sheep and: animals have no use without the demand for their meat. The paradox is no requirement, no livestock. The argument is settled, no meat production, no meat-producing animals, no cruelty.
It is probable; the observations will anger some readers:
However, to write about and accept reality; even though the truth is not acceptable, it is essential to open-minded and critical (critical as in “accurate” thinking. I do not argue the benefits or disadvantages of plastics as most often, there are no viable alternatives. I eat mostly plant-based diet, and if there were no meat, I would not be concerned. However, no livestock is the probable outcome of universal vegetarianism. An open-minded thinker can review the point or provide a contra-argument and no matter what his conclusion accept the right of others to embellish their beliefs.
Writing about the problematic aspects of any situation or belief can cause automatic dislike:
We can quickly be disliked when we are unafraid to review (and air) all aspects of an idea, belief, methodology or lifestyle. It is easy to pre-judge another because he wishes to be fair and see the whole picture before making a judgement. Remember, because a person can review the entire image, it does not mean she has concluded. Moral, ethical and social aspects are also part of making a decision.
There is a campaign to change teaching practices in schools. The suggestion is “not teach facts, teach the kids how to think” How can this work? The child would need to understand how to reason without bias and prejudice. That’s a tough call; I’m not opposing the idea, I am questioning the how of the picture? The accepted way of learning to think and the reason is to review and reassess and learn the aspects of a subject: this is why history is an important subject, and it is not the facts which are of total importance, it is the outcome of leaders’ actions which is the lesson. History (on a deeper level) teaches us to think.
If it is decided to teach about open-minded, critical thinking children would have to face hard facts. For example, they would need to know that some will have to endure hard physical work as manual labour is part of society. Some become drivers and warehouse workers. Others succumb to social charity, and the majority become slaves to the wealthy minority. The possibility of fame and celebrity is millions to one odds. How do you tell the kids “most people do not achieve their dreams’?’
Suppose the way forward is to teach critical thinking as a primary subject. In that case, we should consider the aspects of reasoning without emotion and make conclusions from the facts, not perceived “truths.”
A critic names the psychic/medium a charlatan what was he saying? He may have inferred no-one can talk to the dead. He may believe the psychic/medium is intent on deception. Is he suggesting those who enjoy the psychic/medium are fools and being deceived? Whatever the inference it doesn’t matter, it is clear those who believe the messages are happy and content with the interaction. They enjoy their version of life after death. I cannot think of many spiritual people who do not live right and honest lives and hurt no-one.
The open-minded way of thinking:
Yes, there is evidence of deceptions and situations where mentally ill people are severely influenced by psychics/mediums. But how many are hurt? As many as the fighting football supporters? As many as the scarred and blinded drunks in Friday and Saturday evening casualty rooms? As many as the punch-drunk boxers who cannot think straight. As many as the drug addicts ruined by the pushers pills and powders? Answer the questions: accept the realities. Most aspects of life have a risk, and those who follow their team, tribe, belief get this as an element of the subject, sport, interaction.
What has this to do with the critic? – The thought is this:
Critics, bigots and their biases are more dangerous than the beliefs they hate. Most thoughts, in truth, hurt very few. The critic is a source of conflict and retaliation. At the extreme; criticism and non-understanding can be the reason countries wage war. Lower down the rung; criticism causes self-self doubt and anger. There can be no gain in causing others pain. Criticism is often based on personal dislike, not a wholesome appraisal of a situation.
Open-mindedness guides one to accept others’ beliefs even though they may not make sense or conflict with one’s viewpoint. Some may suggest the two words ‘Free Will’’are the spiritual persons teaching of this aspect of living in peace and without arguments. I may be wide of the mark, and my ideas are inaccurate. If so, no criticism please, your critic is of no importance to my life.