General Question

stanleybmanly's avatar

How does one get a fix on whether or not cynicism is justified?

Asked by stanleybmanly (22370points) December 17th, 2015 from iPhone

Where is the ground found to justify perspective?

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9 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I believe that one good way to do it is to constantly ask yourself “Why do I feel this way?” and encourage yourself to question all of your beliefs. To question everything, before you even come to believe a particular thing.

It also highly depends on what someone is being “cynical” about. If it’s their own life, they get the final say on whether or not their viewpoint is justified, because they’re the ones who experienced it. No one has the right to enter someone’s life and tell them “You’re looking at it all wrong”, because no two people have the same experiences – even when they’re extremely similar. Not everyone’s brain processes experiences the same way, and so, even two siblings who grew up in the same environment might turn out as opposites because they learned to cope differently.

If you’re talking more broadly, about a worldview, well… that’s not so easy to answer. As someone who is frequently labeled “cynical” by a lot of people (I disagree and say that I am very much a realist), I simply say “If I’m cynical, why then, is there so much horror left in the world? Why, if my feelings are not justified, is there still so much to fix?”. And that’s just it – those who think the world is more good than bad aren’t driven to make it a better place, because they don’t see anything wrong with it. So regardless of how I or anyone else labels me, it is impossible to acknowledge (unless someone is just a moron) that there is still plenty to fix.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Bravo! Cynicism is a sure fire method for avoiding disappointment.

janbb's avatar

I think you have to question what purpose it is serving you. Does it stop you from being disappointed? Does it make you feel superior? I decided recently that posting multiple anti-Trump items on FB was making me angrier and more upset with the world so I stopped doing it. In a similar way, I decided I don’t want to fund the American political system any more so I am looking to donate to non-profits that actually make some changes in the world. Not exactly the same as cynicism, but i am trying to turn negativity into something more positive.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Well said birdie!

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@stanleybmanly That, but more than anything, I see it – when used appropriately – as a catalyst for positive change. That is why it can be such a valuable tool for me.

ragingloli's avatar

It is ALWAYS justified.

flutherother's avatar

“It takes a clever man to turn cynic, and a wise man not to.” unknown quote.

LostInParadise's avatar

Not cynicism but healthy skepticism is always advisable. With regard to cynicism, being skeptical works both ways. It may turn out on second thought that what looked at first like cause for cynicism turns out not to be.

Cruiser's avatar

IMHO cynicism about anything projects a closed minded approach to whatever a person evoked cynicism of in the first place.

I prefer skepticism which is a more valid way of finding out the truth of a matter and is precisely the opposite of just saying “no” to others’ beliefs.

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