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ninjacolin's avatar

Why do you think people disagree with you at all?

Asked by ninjacolin (14224points) March 24th, 2010

From your quiet life of casual fluther questioning and answering to the extreme lifestyles of blowing up planes, committing murder, voting against your political party, or even other lifestyles of carpentry or plumbing or computing or science research or music…

why do you think it is that others don’t believe whatever you believe about how life should be lived? why do people disagree with you at all instead of agreeing with you? even the answers to this question will be different between the responders. why won’t they be exactly the same?

what causes others to have a different opinion than yours?

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43 Answers

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

The things they find important in life are probably different than the things I find important in life.

laureth's avatar

Sometimes it’s because they have different information.

escapedone7's avatar

People have different beliefs, attitudes, and values. People can have an entire different schema. Their experiences and knowledge (or lack of it) shapes their view of the world. That schema becomes the window they see out from.

fyoz's avatar

Are you trying to say that people disagree with others just for the sake of disagreeing?

mrentropy's avatar

Because they are misguided.

Cruiser's avatar

Nobody likes being wrong!

ninjacolin's avatar

@escapedone7, @laureth, @Captain_Fantasy: but why? why don’t they all have the same information? the same beliefs, the same attitudes, the same values?

JLeslie's avatar

Because each of us forms our opinions based on our own experiences, and I think many times it is difficult for people to accept that there can be more that one right way to do something.

davidbetterman's avatar

Because variety is the spice of life…

fyoz's avatar

@ninjacolin To answer the question you gave others, if we were all to have the same beliefs and attitudes, we would all have to be ALL KNOWING, everything, everyone, all religions, thoughts, morals. Perfect beings.

And we are FAR FAR from that.

mrentropy's avatar

Because everything I say is a lie.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

They’re batty! Lol!

escapedone7's avatar

Different shcemata from their developmental experiences for one.

Pandora's avatar

Wow, wouldn’t even know where to begin but to sum it up, it because we are all extremely different.
There is so much that makes us each who we are and as many things alike we may share , like a father or a mother, they are also 2 individuals that will not always agree and who will teach us opposing views. If we all thouht a like, we might as well not bother to live.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Because no one is forcing them to conform to standard which is fine with me.

ninjacolin's avatar

does this mean something is forcing them not to conform to a standard?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Yeah I’m going to leave this one for the rest of the armchair philosophers at Fluther.

ninjacolin's avatar

@fyoz okay, if we’re not “all knowing” then what kind of “knowing” are we?

escapedone7's avatar

Are you in essence asking why people have different perspective, personalities, and aren’t clones that think and behave exactly the same?

Take identical twins. Their cells, their dna, match. They begin life as clones. They develop through life as two different people with completely different personalities and identities. So there must be more to what makes us who we are than what you see on a cellular level. What do you think that is @ninjacolin ?

Shae's avatar

B/c my plan for world domination has not reached it’s completion just yet, but when it does…

wundayatta's avatar

Why? Because I’m stark raving bonkers. My analysis of most situations is somewhat to quite different from other people’s. Either I’m brilliant (highly unlikely) or I’m just crazy to think what I think.

But I do seem to see the world quite differently. I question conventional wisdom all the time. I’d like to think my answers are informed by more information and more theoretical understanding than most people have. I’d like to think I’m more open to new ideas and new ways of seeing things than most people.

But I’m crazy, so who knows. This could all be a delusion. Probably is. Excuse me. Gotta go. They want me to take those nice, colorful pills here. Oh, and there’s Koolaid to down them with. See you later!

ninjacolin's avatar

@escapedone7, take two rocks in one hand. They’re in (relatively) the same place. Throw them across your neighbor’s yards.. even if they left your hand with the same velocity.. perhaps one will hit a tree in it’s path, and the other won’t… The difference, i would guess, is just that: Physical opportunities. One rock had the physical opportunity to go further than the other. One rock had the physical opportunity to stop short.

One twin might physically be given blue pjs and the other red to wear as children inducing different favorite colors…

zophu's avatar

Without such diversity, everyone would make very similar mistakes as they came to very similar conclusions, thus increasing the chance of extinction. Diversity, complexity, adaptability, survival. But then, being too diverse can cause instability. It’s a balance between diversity and compatibility that allows a population to survive.

Trillian's avatar

Nobody has complete information about anything
That aside, different cultures raise their children differently, and family dynamics have an impact just like genetics.
Everyone has his or her own unique “lens of perception.”

DominicX's avatar

Because everyone has different and unique experiences. No two experiences are the same. These experiences shape people’s beliefs and opinions. Not to mention personality and psychological wiring affects how one will react to such experiences.

wonderingwhy's avatar

we can’t all be right, we learn more and by virtue of it alter our opinions/conclusions, most answers (at least to personal issues) need to some extent be tailored to the person with the problem, different experiences lead us to different solutions, all sorts of reasons as evidenced above, and hell, some people just like to argue.

faye's avatar

Not to mention IQ’s and the ability to learn new things.

escapedone7's avatar

If I could back in time and argue with my 18 year old self, we wouldn’t agree on much. My experiences have changed the way I think about things.

josie's avatar

They are entitled to disagree. They are not entitled to being correct (unless they are).

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

The human brain forms ideas from the information it has, and often extrapolates and makes assumptions when the information set is incomplete. We all have different information, and it interrelates with our previous experiences differently.

I find serial killers somewhat interesting. There are biochemical and genetic signs that someone is predisposed to being a serial killer, although not everyone who possesses these is a killer. In the same way, it is possible (although entirely unproven) that certain chemical combinations can predispose someone to being compassionate, or to being a communist. When someone is tired or has low blood sugar, they can come to different conclusions than if they were in perfect fitness, and then cognitive dissonance causes them to hold these imperfect ideas as true.

Mostly though, people disagree with me because they don’t realise they are wrong.

jazmina88's avatar

Some people are stubborn snobs…my sister and my neighbor…and have the need to dominate and be the queen and right…..self-centered, arrogant. I tend to accept folks and go on, and have high esteem for my philosophies.

mattbrowne's avatar

Well, I sometimes disagree just for the sake of disagreeing. For example if someone thinks everything is wrong with Republicans, even though I’m a liberal. I just don’t like one-sided simplification. When people criticize atheists too strongly I start defending them.

JLeslie's avatar

@mattbrowne Me too. I do that.

laureth's avatar

@ninjacolin – sometimes information is different because there are different sides to it. It’s like that blind men and the elephant story, where the information is out there, but everyone gets a different piece and then are so invested in their bit of it that they don’t look at others’. And then there are times when the information they have is utterly false or hopelessly skewed or with details left out selectively to promote a particular view or is seen through the lens of a particular philosophy or belief. The possibilities are myriad.

mattbrowne's avatar

Otherwise there’s no progress.

ninjacolin's avatar

Sounds like what many are suggesting is that an individual is confined to their perspective. And of course, all subsequent choices being a direct product of that restrictive perspective.

DominicX's avatar


To me it’s more that all the subsequent choices have the capability to alter that perspective, even if in a very small way.

ninjacolin's avatar

@DominicX actually, i don’t think that opposes what i said. i agree with you about that. the choices made will alter the perspective, but still within the current perspective is where the choice will be born from.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@ninjacolin That’s it, even if you try to free yourself from a certain perspective and try to understand that of others you have simply broadened your own. Its not just that we are trapped by perspective though, it is because perspective is all there is. Certainty of knowledge in a metaphysical sense is nearly impossible, and there is no “gods eye view” of the world by which we could make calls on absolutes.

laureth's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh – For concrete things, I disagree to some extent. There can be an objective truth, and someone could be unable to perceive it. That doesn’t mean that whatever they believe in the absence of that truth is true just because they believe it, or because that’s their “perspective.” It just means they hold on ruggedly to a wrong thing.

If you’re talking about “are the Yankees the best team in baseball?” – your mileage may vary. But for questions like “Did the Yankees win the world series last year?” – that’s measurable, even if someone doesn’t believe the answer.

meagan's avatar

Because I’m conservative. Thats all there is to it.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@laureth That is true, but I generally try to give people credit for having a reason for believing as they do. As far as I am concerned, the idea of a soul is abjectly false, but it is a matter of perspective to some degree and people have reasons for believing in it, however weak those reasons are. There is an answer, whether we are aware of it or not, but until that answer is proven to be a certainty it is a matter of perspective.

If you ask someone “did the Yankees win the world series last year?”, there is a chance that they missed the match, and have been told by devious friends that they did not win. There is still an answer that is objectively correct, but the person’s perspective of the event is warped.

ninjacolin's avatar

i think what i’m suggesting is that someone deceived to believe the yankees won.. is restricted to that belief until the belief is modified by a more credible source.

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