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Steve_A's avatar

Can you be truly neutral?

Asked by Steve_A (5120points) February 7th, 2010

Is it possible to do this?

I find personally I enjoy the disconnect from things but enjoying it does not make me completely disconnected does it?

But being balanced and neutral are not the same right?

I am basically asking is it truly possible to be neutral? It just does not seem to be possible ever it seems like life is always a little bad or good,darker or lighter,right or not right,etc….

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19 Answers

Spinel's avatar

To be neutral is to be blank and uninvolved. Because we humans have brains, minds, imaginations and each other, being neutral is impossible.

Being disconnecting does not mean you are neutral. It just means you are isolated, which an extreme, an extreme opposite of “social butterflyism.” You would have to find an exact midpoint between these two extremes to be balanced, and only heaven knows how you would be neutral.

Urg. To much philosophy.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

I don’t think our nature is to be absolutely neutral about anything. I think we will always be biased about something in one way or another. I know people who can control their biased behavior more then others but we have a nature of assumption and prejudice.

Jeruba's avatar

About some things, yes. For instance, I had absolutely no interest in the football game today. I didn’t know there was one until my son turned it on, and when I walked through, I didn’t even know who the blue guys and the white guys were. I was as neutral as anyone can be with respect to the outcome of the game.

Zen Buddhism teaches not to prefer one thing over another. This is not to be neutral, though. It is to be detached from things, because attachment leads to suffering. You can see that this is darker and that is lighter, or this is pleasant and that is unpleasant, but you are not attached to either one.

Rarebear's avatar

No, but you can act truly neutral. I do it all the time when I mediate at meetings.

augustlan's avatar

I think everyone has made good points. Neutrality can be dependent on the subject, but, in general, I think it’s unrealistic to think one could be neutral about everything. The important bit is not being neutral, it’s being able to act as if you are.

Steve_A's avatar

Yes it does seem impossible to say humans or life.

But what about science or math, what is neutral to them?

Steve_A's avatar

@Jeruba You practice Zen Buddhism?

katwalk65's avatar

I think so, I had to be a ‘neutral third party’ in disputes between parties, and I was trained in how to achieve ‘neutrality.’ I think you can when you are focusing on the principles of balance in how you evaluate information.

But, being human and not a machine, perhaps we can never be 100% neutral, given our personal experiences and biases that come from our versions of life, but pretty close to 98.99%, I think is fairly achievable, with practice and dedication.

Neutral in math is a different story. I find numbers to be extremely opinionated!

Kraigmo's avatar

I think the people here are correct in that neutrality is mathematically probably impossible if human situations were converted to equations.

But neutrality is possible if an honest and intelligent person deliberately decides to be neutral.

galileogirl's avatar

I am completely neutral on many things I didn’t give a rat’s ass on who won the Super Bowl, I didn’t know who was playing (I didn’t even know Indiana even had a team)

augustlan's avatar

@katwalk65 Welcome to Fluther!

Bluefreedom's avatar

I don’t know if I can be completely neutral on everything but I can hide it well if I can’t. I wonder if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. It’s not like I’m trying to be overtly deceptive or anything. Maybe the saying ”discretion is the better part of valor” really does have some good substance to it.

filmfann's avatar

I like to think I can be truly neutral.
Whether I accomplish that or not is the question.

phoebusg's avatar

This question has already been answered in full almost.
@Jeruba great answer. “Attachment leads to suffering”, I love zen.

wundayatta's avatar

Is it desirable to be neutral?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It depends on my proximity to the subject and the subject’s relevance to my life and its connection to bringing about harm or justice – I am pretty good at staying neutral when it comes to my friends need objective advice.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Total neutrality would be like being in a coma or maybe a Zen master.

Jeruba's avatar

@Steve_A, I wouldn’t want to tarnish Zen by identifying myself as a true practitioner. You could call me a D student.

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