Social Question

broughtlow's avatar

Why should I believe anything you say?

Asked by broughtlow (256points) June 18th, 2011

I asked a question that resulted in some debating which, in turn, brought a certain reality back to mind with vivid clarity. Something is always overlooked, from the first response to, well, always! It is this:

Equality is what it is and, in regards to individual thoughts, feelings, beliefs, emotions, and so on,equal has only one value – the same. When equality is not in the perspective, at any given moment, the result is what’s evident by all the responses I received with my last question – acceptable chaos!

If what I determine to be true is actually so based on all of my reasons then, equality dictates that the same applies to you, since all your views are equally as valid as mine in which case we are both right and wrong at the same time because, none of your arguments are more valid then mine.

An illustration:

I say you are an idiot!
You disagree and add that
I am an unintelligent fool with no brain!
I disagree.

Equality says, we are both right and both wrong.You are correct because you think so but you are also wrong because I, being equally as valid, do not think so. You follow?

In conclusion, obviously, the individual’s truth determines the individual’s reality, however, the individual’s truth cannot determine reality and, wishing there was order
instead of disorder, I ask

“Why should I believe anything you say?” furthermore,
“Why should I believe you over another?”

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

76 Answers

_zen_'s avatar

Welcome to fluther, genius.

rebbel's avatar

Because even when i am wrong i am right.
Even now.

broughtlow's avatar

@rebbel LMAO! ha ha. I needed that:)

broughtlow's avatar

@zen Sarcasm?

wundayatta's avatar

There is absolutely no reason why you should believe what I say. In fact, if I were you, I wouldn’t believe anything. However, what I would do is to test my ideas against the available evidence to see if my hypotheses are not falsifiable.

I don’t believe in anything.

Of course, it seems to me thta it’s reasonable to believe that most of what they see is actually an opinion they believe. Although sometimes it won’t be. Mostly it probably doesn’t matter. It’s more about playing games to entertain ourselves than it is about discovering any understanding that matters. Fun and games are the order of the day!

filmfann's avatar

You can believe me, because I never lie, and I am always right.

broughtlow's avatar

@wundayatta Aha! You might get the bigger picture I’m alluding to so ponder this. But haven’t you just expressed to me what you believe even if it be that you should not be believed? I mean, that’s your reality but is it?

WasCy's avatar

“People” have equality in society and under the laws of civilized countries. That means that even when their ideas are wrong, and they are incapable of “equal performance” with others (or even if their performance is exceptionally greater than others’), they have equal rights and should receive equal treatment (excepting, perhaps, from employers and others who are evaluating differences in performance and paying for that or cultivating it, such as teachers, for example).

But ideas are not equal. Some ideas are wrong. Some arguments are illogical. Some statements presented as fact are not in fact true.

If you called me an idiot, then you would be factually wrong. If I called you an idiot, then whether or not I was “correct”, I would consider my behavior to be incorrect – according to my own standards.

TexasDude's avatar

Because I’m an expert.

JilltheTooth's avatar

“Truth” is a subjective perception. Absolutes don’t apply.

broughtlow's avatar

@WasCy You ended everything you said with the truth since it is also applicable to what everyone else can say, including myself – according to my own standards.

Coloma's avatar

Don’t should on yourself.

You can believe what you want, although, I personally, see no reason to misrepresent myself, here or in ‘real’ life.
You can believe that or not. It won’t ruin my day. lol

My perceptions and ‘truths’ may or may not resonate with who you are, and your perceptions. That’s okay, just be an adult about your disagreements, minus clever little insults that serve no purpose other than to show the level of ones emotional IQ.

A wise grasshopper looks for teachings in all things and all people and remains open minded to different perspectives.

broughtlow's avatar

@JilltheTooth By that standard the truth is what the individual makes it to be and all crimes against humanity are justifiable.

broughtlow's avatar

@Coloma Well, I wasn’t aware that I insulted anyone since it was not my intent but if you say I did then it must be true!

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, for heaven’s sake, between your last Q and this one I get the impression that you have no concept of semantics and the fluidity of language. The statement you made in response to my post proves that either you are capable of hyperbole, or you only interpret language in it’s absolute form, thereby negating the concept of…well…concept.

I’m out.

tom_g's avatar

@broughtlow – I have no idea what you are talking about in the details of your question. However, I just wanted to add that you should not believe a word I say.

Coloma's avatar


I never said anything of the sort, my comments on ‘insults’ were intended in a genaral manner for everyone that participates here.

broughtlow's avatar

@JilltheTooth Interesting concept! You are, also, absolutely right! Please continue to correct since I may often lose sight of this:)

redfeather's avatar

Because I, believe in you.

broughtlow's avatar

@tom_g Ha ha! I don’t believe you:)

FutureMemory's avatar

@broughtlow You should know that everyone that posts on Fluther is an expert. It says so right on the front page.

SuperMouse's avatar

@JilltheTooth nailed this in her succinct restating of your question as a statement. When it comes to individual thoughts, feelings, beliefs, emotions there is no absolute truth, only the truth as I see it through my own personal filters. It seems a leap to use this reality as justification for crimes against humanity. When it comes to criminal activity, the pragmatic reality for all of us is that we live in a society that has a code of ethics that, in order to function, must be adhered to.

WasCy's avatar

Comprehensibility counts for something, too. I understand every single word of your reply to my response… but the collection and arrangement of words that you used is essentially meaningless. I try very hard to at least make sure that what I write can be understood, even if I am not always understood perfectly myself.

Aethelwine's avatar

I love lamp

broughtlow's avatar

@SuperMouse If the personal code of ethics is adhered to then everything is justifiable since we – humanity – have ourselves to dictate truth. Furthermore, by definition, if you separate absolute from the truth – as we do – you have an impossibility or an imperfect truth! C’mon now, can we call something that isn’t absolutely true the truth when not absolutely true is literally not all the way.

broughtlow's avatar

@WasCy right click. copy. paste. according to my own standards.

mazingerz88's avatar

You should not and you can’t.

gailcalled's avatar

@broughtlow: Your question is a brilliant, nay, unique example of obfuscation. How can I believe what YOU say when I haven’t a clue what you mean?

If you can rewrite that and use only concrete examples and less than 25 words, I will chime in.

Coloma's avatar

Has anyone thought to ask if @broughtlow is a non-english native?

How about it @broughtlow

Are you a native english speaker or is it a second language for you?

broughtlow's avatar

@gailcalled AAhhh, but that would defeat the purpose of my obfuscation:)

laureth's avatar

Facts can, and should, be checked. “The Bruins won the 2011 Stanley Cup.” Verifiable.

Opinions are subjective, and may not resonate. “The Bruins are the best team in Hockey.” Maybe, maybe not, it’s up to you and which criteria you use to determine “best.”

Claims have a little of both. They’re like opinions which can be checked. “I think the Bruins will repeat next year” is something that can be checked next Spring. If I am right, it says that I’m not always full of crap. If I’m wrong, it says I’m not the person to listen to when it comes to hockey, probably.

The responses on Fluther can fall into any of these categories (and then some). That is why I try not to talk crap, and why I also try to back up what I say with other links, so you can judge for yourself before believing me.

SuperMouse's avatar

@broughtlow as members of a society we have an obligation to live by a code of ethics that is subscribed to by that society. The reality is that when it comes to living our lives as members of a larger society, the absolute truth is that if we do not hold true to a code of ethics generally accepted by that society, we will be shunned (i.e. imprisoned) and set apart from that society. One using one’s “own personal truth” as justification for breaking the law has to pay the consequences just as anyone else who commits a crime. It just makes no sense to me to argue that the fact that everyone perceives reality through their own individual filers is justification for “crimes against humanity”.

It is impossible not to separate absolute truth from truth because – as you said and I reiterated – when it comes to individual thoughts, feelings, beliefs, emotions there is no absolute truth.

Oh and I should have mentioned this in my first response, I honestly do not give a sh!t whether you believe a word I say. Your responses to respondents in this in your other thread prove that you have no willingness or intention to believe anything that comes out of anyone’s mouth but your own.

broughtlow's avatar

@Coloma Born and raised in California.

broughtlow's avatar

@SuperMouse you said “I honestly do not give a sh!t whether you believe a word I say. Your responses to respondents in this in your other thread prove that you have no willingness or intention to believe anything that comes out of anyone’s mouth but your own.” I’m so very hurt by this!! And to think! I wanted to fit into your perception so very badly!!!

broughtlow breaks into sobs and takes another bite of his burger! Only, HE CAN’T SWALLOW as he chokes on his own tears! For so long he worshiped the beauty of SuperMouse ideas that, this blow may destroy him! Cmon now! Is this what you wish? It’s an exchange of ideas in which, my goal just more pieces to the puzzle? How bout we pretend that we have some dignity, some poise?

SuperMouse's avatar

@broughtlow sarcasm, how lovely. I’m out, hey @jillthetooth, wanna get a cup of coffee?

gailcalled's avatar

@jillthetooth: Got room for me at your table?

JilltheTooth's avatar

@gailcalled and @SuperMouse : This user is starting to smell familiar. Let’s get some cannolli with that coffee. I’m buying.

SuperMouse's avatar

@gailcalled it will be my honor to scoot over and buy you a latte. @JilltheTooth I got the second round of cannolli.

gailcalled's avatar

@broughtlow: Feel free to PM insults to me, but do edit before sending. A garbled sentences loses its impact.

Coloma's avatar

This brings to mind something someone posted recently that really gave cause for a good laugh.

” If one person tells you, you are a donkey, ignore it, if 10 tell you, buy a saddle.”

broughtlow's avatar

@gailcalled Good heavens! I am able to see this of myself!, stubbornness, reactions!! Of course it’s due to MY OWN PRIDE! It was not an insult! What the heck! My apologies! What is insulting to suggest that each and everyone of us may think to highly of ourselves to the extent that a conflict of ideas leads us all to behave like juveniles? Let me be the first to be honest with myself and say that I am hindered by my own pride! Me! I’m sure I’ll be the last.

gailcalled's avatar

Hits myself over the heat with a mallet.

Response moderated
flutherother's avatar

Here is a quote from Chinese philosophy which attempts to answer your original question…..

Chuangtse and Hueitse had strolled on to the bridge over the Hao, when the former observed, “See how the small fish are darting about! That is the happiness of the fish.”

“You not being a fish yourself,” said Huei, “how can you know the happiness of the fish?”

“And you not being I,” retorted Chuangtse, “how can you know that I do not know?”

“If I, not being you, cannot know what you know,” urged Huei, “it follows that you, not being a fish, cannot know the happiness of the fish.”

“Let us go back to your original question,” said Chuangtse. “You asked me how I knew the happiness of the fish. Your very question shows that you knew that I knew. I knew it from my own feelings on this bridge.”

poisonedantidote's avatar

You should not believe a word I say, you should go out and find out for your self and make your own mind up. If I expected you to believe me more over someone else, it would just be a fallacious argument from authority.

lloydbird's avatar

@broughtlow Have faith that what I say to you is true.

That’s pretty much all that you have to rely on, in this medium.

That and if what I say is verifiable.

As for any of my claims – you decide.

WasCy's avatar

More to the point, why should I waste another second on this nonsense?

And with that said, I won’t.

Cruiser's avatar

I may not tell you what you want to hear, but it will be what I want to tell you and it will be true!

FutureMemory's avatar

@broughtlow Trolls aren’t welcome here.

ratboy's avatar

One of the ducks died in captivity, and marginal notes in Bob’s copy of The Underground Man suggest that it was no accident. I think that pretty much sums up my credibility. Therefore, my word is my bond.

broughtlow's avatar

@FutureMemory I did suspect that I’d entered a mythical world.All negative responses from this point on are answered in my profile story about you:) Now then, which direction was the care bear village? I recall it was past the troll village but near the border of reality…............

woodcutter's avatar

because everything I do is perfect

wundayatta's avatar

I do not recommend belief, period. There are hypotheses for which there are more evidence, and hypotheses for which there is less evidence. You don’t have to treat hypotheses with no evidence as something to believe, anyway. I choose not to.

What that means is that I don’t believe anyone. I just look at the evidence to see what it tells me.

_zen_'s avatar

Smells of troll in here.

tom_g's avatar

@zen: “Smells of troll in here.”

I’m not entirely sure this is actually a person. I’m trying to figure out if it’s a bot that applies a rudimentary AI, but just strings random dictionary words together.

FutureMemory's avatar

@broughtlow @FutureMemory I did suspect that I’d entered a mythical world.All negative responses from this point on are answered in my profile story about you:)


_zen_'s avatar

On second thought, upon reading his “profile” – I don’t think he’s a troll, per se. He says he was born and raised in CA but his English is, well, lacking:

broughtlow’s story

Being highly upset right now, I have a story with a message to you all.

after a long relationship (14 years) I was deeply impacted, to say the least. I would meet females, get their numbers but it never progressed past deletion. Long story short, I’ve been called every name you can think of with the dominant word usage involving jerk, arrogant, and ass + hole by more than I can recall! I can only recall, however, one who asked me why?

Because it lets me know when I have actually met some one who can carry themselves with poise, dignity, sensitivity, compassion, and all the things associated with who I would ever choose to associate with and it isn’t true unless it holds up under a simple test of your ability.

I do want your insults.

Why does he want our insults? Why do his words make no sense? Why provoke a bunch of people he’s just met – instead of getting much needed help with his grammar and language skills?

Only time and @broughtlow will tell.

chyna's avatar

@zen In one of his questions he says he has a child that he stopped work to talk through an emotional crisis. That doesn’t go with the profile.

BeccaBoo's avatar

I’d rather plat ‘fact or fiction’ seeing as ‘truth and lie’ seems to merge into one a lot of the time!

SavoirFaire's avatar

Wait… people believe things they read on the internet?

Seriously though:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

Coloma's avatar

I’m afraid he is the anti-christ, I have tried to stop following this question twice, and it keeps reappearing…I am scared now, it’s a matrix of darkness and stupidity. Make it go away! lol

janbb's avatar

cough! cough! troll

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t believe you guys.

Only138's avatar

I don’t care if anyone believes me.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t care if anyone believes me, either!

At least, not under the orange tree.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

You cannot take equality and apply it to where it does not fit. Racial discrimination is wrong because there is no reason why one race should be considered superior/inferior to another. Equality should not be perceived to exist between ideas though. The idea of flying to Europe on a jet liner is obviously superior to the idea of swimming there. Your argument can be superior to mine, and vice versa.

So why should you believe me? You don’t have to, and in the majority of questions here it simply doesn’t matter. Factual questions can usually be answered by Google. Questions on Fluther are about opinion – so although I may or may not tell you the truth, the more important measure is how useful my answer is. Does what I have said help you resolve the issue you raised in your question?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@broughtlow By the way, equality doesn’t say that equally valid arguments are equally right. It says only that they are equally valid. In your example, it may be that neither person is correct; but it might also be that one person really is an idiot and the other is not. In that case, one person would be more correct, but the arguments would be equally valid (or invalid, as the case may be, since they are hardly arguments at all).

Then again, why should you believe me?

P.S. This statement is false.

broughtlow's avatar

I apologized to all I’ve lashed back at in a pm. To all others I also
wish to make clear that I have behaved in a way I am truly ashamed of
as is clear. I strive daily to become a gentle, humble person and must
therefore recognize my own weakness and remove myself from situations
that bring this out so please note that i will not follow this question
any further. I say this so no one gets the wrong impression when I do
not respond any further.

In my own defense, somehow, at 38 years old
I’ve become one sensitive bitch and I am what you say I am but still,
the insults hurt. I don’t know what to say…........don’t know how
to see good in people when you know it’s all good till they are crossed
and find it increasingly more difficult to see good in me. At any rate
let me clarify something.

My perspective is of one who lived the reality of a total loss of all,
literally and not figuratively. Even more so, i lived this reality
for many years. Most, it seems, don’t see their end and cannot live as
though the reality of life is that all we have is now. I do live this
way and when all that is glorious to you withers and fades, well, i guess
that’s what it takes because the questions I asked may have been answered
differently if we all really lived as though tomorrow is not a thing
to be seen as a constant probability. Always not us. No. Today is
never your last one until it is. Oh well, enough of this. My

graynett's avatar

What people say is what people say; You can never know. You must go by what people do! Not attribute motive or reason to why they do it. If they tell you the truth it’s easier to relate to them, if not it’s harder. One thing I’ve decided is, A wise man can learn from a fool whereas a fool can’t learn from anybody.

Plucky's avatar

@broughtlow It is becoming apparent that the only person you are willing to believe is yourself. So why bother even asking questions on this site? I mean, really. Your ignorant attempt at philosophy is absurd. It’s reminiscent of pseudophilosophy.

Aethelwine's avatar

@PluckyDog It is becoming apparent that the only person you are willing to believe is yourself. So why bother even asking questions on this site?

I’ve dealt with two people tonight who have been here for some time, one a lot longer than the other, who apparently needed a bit more personal information from me before they could believe what I was telling them. It’s the stupid internet. For all you know, you are speaking with the Easter Bunny.

The only thing that matters is who gets the last word. Do you really think anyone bothers to listen to what you write here? I would guess maybe 25%. Everyone else is thinking about how they will respond so they can be heard and get the last word.

Plucky's avatar

@jonsblond Huh? Well, I guess I’m in the 25% range then. I am not concerned about getting the last word. That is not what I’m here for. Basically, I’m here to learn and to teach – in which I find listening to be necessary. This is not an attempt to get the last word. I am answering your question.

Aethelwine's avatar

@PluckyDog I consider myself in the 25% too. Not trying to get the last word either, just saying some do. =)


SABOTEUR's avatar

You would be well advised to believe nothing I say.

Belief, in general, has nothing to do with whether what’s being said contains truth or validity.

One might consider the words of another, but should ultimately be guided by one’s own personal experience.

roundsquare's avatar

Believe us if what we say resonates with you.

If we say something that doesn’t, keep it in the back of your head. Maybe later it will.

If it doesn’t ever, maybe we were wrong.

I’m afraid the equality argument is quite silly. By that argument, everyone is allowed to raise themselves above everyone else. I guess that is a form of equality (since everyone is allowed to do this) but its hardly what we normally mean when we say equality.

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