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Ever catch an inconsistency in your own thoughts?

  1. May 12, 2009 #1

    chroot

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    I assume everyone strives to make their worldview as consistent as possible, but, clearly, many people hold conflicting beliefs, whether they notice the conflict or not.

    I recently noticed such an inconsistency in my own thoughts. I've been doing a lot of photography lately, and I've discovered that I simultaneously believe:

    - Beauty is rare and must be treasured whenever it is found
    - Beauty is everywhere if you just look hard enough

    I have no idea how to resolve this conflict -- I honestly still believe both of these statements, even after realizing that they are incompatible! Maybe my head will soon explode.

    What inconsistencies have you noticed in your own thoughts? What did you do about them?

    - Warren
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2009 #2

    Hurkyl

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    I'm optimistic to a fault, despite all of my cynicism. And I've decided I'm happy to be that way. (Although I would like to change "optimistic to a fault" to just "optimistic") I suppose that's not actually inconsistent, though -- just pseudoparadoxical.
     
  4. May 12, 2009 #3

    turbo

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    Those are not inconsistent - I have the same false dichotomy running through my head sometimes. I'll walk past a woodpile to look for wildflowers to photograph, while another person might see a play of shadows and light and make pretty nice photographs of the woodpile. It's the "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" effect, and it is real. I have seen some really nice images of mundane objects and thought about how I manage to miss things like that. I like shooting wildflowers, wildlife, and birds and I'm sure that when I'm looking for subjects I end up ignoring some nice opportunities for shots.

    I have a wonderful black and white photograph of a setter lying in the doorway of a shed with a brace of pheasants hanging on the wall and a pair of well-worn boots on the steps. It was posed, of course, and was a favorite of some people in the old Fish and Game department, which is how I got a copy (game warden buddy). That picture was meant to tell a story, but it could have stood alone without the dog, birds, and boots. Just a picture of a weathered shingled outbuilding with the door ajar.
     
  5. May 12, 2009 #4
    Maybe beauty is rare, but that it appears to be everywhere because of remembering the hits and forgetting the misses?

    I have found quite a few inconsistencies in my own positions, but I am sure that I have more that I have not discovered so far. Death penalty, government involvement to break up monopolies, teacher-student friction is a few I can remember of the top of my head.
     
  6. May 12, 2009 #5
    I find them sometimes and usually come up with some way around the inconsistency. And other times I just decide that I am human and it is ok if I am not always logical.
    I can't think of anything in particular at the moment though.

    In the case of your example I would consider that beauty is a transitory thing, of a moment and unique, so that while you may find beauty anywhere it is a treasure for its uniqueness which is a form of rarity.
     
  7. May 12, 2009 #6

    turbo

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    Rodin thought so too. Ever seen his bronze "la belle heulmiere"?

    http://www.artchive.com/artchive/R/rodin/belle_heaulmiere.jpg.html
     
  8. May 12, 2009 #7
    A unifying statement:

    Beauty is everywhere if you just look hard enough, but it is rare that we look hard enough to see it..so when we do see it, it must be treasured. Personally, though, I think the first statement is just flat out false.
     
  9. May 12, 2009 #8
    I always thought that armadillos couldn't talk until an armadillo told me that armadillos can't talk.
     
  10. May 12, 2009 #9
    We all say things we don't mean, sometimes.
    You mean what you say.

    I gave people a lot of credit, saying things out of anger, or other emotions. Then I began to question it. Now I think they are telling me exactly what they want me to hear.
     
  11. May 12, 2009 #10

    chroot

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    junglebeast, that ain't bad!! :biggrin:

    Now, if you can just sort out this global warming business for us...

    - Warren
     
  12. May 12, 2009 #11

    Danger

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    I change my mind all the time. No, I don't. Yes, I do...
     
  13. May 12, 2009 #12

    Math Is Hard

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    I'll try to dig up some of my favorite studies on "cognitive dissonance" for you later, chroot.
     
  14. May 12, 2009 #13
    On day x:
    wife: (loud) you have big ego problem.
    me: (silence)

    On day y:
    me: you have big ego problem.
    wife: every human has their own ego. You can't be a human without ego...
    me: (silence)

    I don't know...I keep thinking inconsistently whether ego is good or bad... :mad:
     
  15. May 12, 2009 #14
    Egos are fine, its your wife thats the problem.
     
  16. May 12, 2009 #15
    LOL wow beatme to it! hahahahah

    back to the OP
    I don't think there are inconsistencies in things that i believe in, for instance what you said about beauty, i dont find that to be an inconsistency at all. I do however find inconsistencies in my thoughts all the time about things that I have difficulty understanding or are new to me.
     
  17. May 12, 2009 #16

    JasonRox

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    I think everyone missed chroot's point. He's not talking about whether his beliefs are true or not.

    Yeah, I find some of my thoughts conflict too. I think it's relative to situations though. Not always though.
     
  18. May 12, 2009 #17
    - People usually have no idea what they're saying
    - I am a person
    - The plural of 'a person' is 'people'
     
  19. May 12, 2009 #18
    Done.
     
  20. May 12, 2009 #19
    It only bothers me if it is factually incorrect. For subjective ideas I find it useful to be able to hold conflicting opinions. It helps creative thought and gives me some idea where people are coming from when they communicate if I can associate with their viewpoint.
     
  21. May 12, 2009 #20

    CRGreathouse

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    Is that the Cretan paradox "All Cretans are liars"?
     
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