Why can't everyone be right all the time?

  • Thread starter tribdog
  • Start date
666
6
When someone asks me a question I have three possible answers:
1. I don't know
2. I'm not positive, but I think the answer is ....
3. The answer is...

If I answer someone's question and tell them that I'm sure I'm right, then I AM right. I don't EVER give someone a wrong answer, without the qualifing "I'm not positive but..."
Lately I've been accused of being a know-it-all, and several people have asked me "You think you are always right?"
My answer is "Yes, if I say something and say it's right, then it is always right"
Why is this so hard for people to grasp? I have no problem making guesses, but I'll let you know it's a guess.
I think the problem is that I deal with stupid people quite often. I assume that if you actually found this web site then you are an intelligent person, so I want to know: Aren't you always right?
 

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,093
174
Originally posted by tribdog
When someone asks me a question I have three possible answers:
1. I don't know
2. I'm not positive, but I think the answer is ....
3. The answer is...

If I answer someone's question and tell them that I'm sure I'm right, then I AM right. I don't EVER give someone a wrong answer, without the qualifing "I'm not positive but..."
Lately I've been accused of being a know-it-all, and several people have asked me "You think you are always right?"
My answer is "Yes, if I say something and say it's right, then it is always right"
Why is this so hard for people to grasp? I have no problem making guesses, but I'll let you know it's a guess.
I think the problem is that I deal with stupid people quite often. I assume that if you actually found this web site then you are an intelligent person, so I want to know: Aren't you always right?
Hehe. Sounds all too familiar. I think a few things are happening here. For one, you have the typical analytic, pragmatic, logical approach that irritates the hell out of people who are not as smart as you. I had a friend in college who affected me this way. I knew that he was smarter than me so his confidence irritated me. [note that I was wiser so ha ha ha! ] Also, many people mistake opinions for facts. If they don't know the difference, since they perceive that you are only expressing an opinion, people may consider you to be pompous; when really you are just stating a fact. Also, since this may require that they reconsider their values or opinions, many people don't really want to be objective. Physicists and scientific types in general typically prefer knowledge to fantasy. I don't feel that this is typical of most people. I have actually felt guilty after once shattering someone’s deluded belief system. I realized that this is all that some people really have. So be kind. Not everyone enjoys the brand of intellectual honesty that you and I and most people in this forum do.
 
732
2
You know I was just having a similar discussion over in philosophy. So let me share a little personal info with you (no, not THAT personal:wink: ) One of my closest friends whom I've now known for many years is very intelligent. Moreso than myself, though it took me many years to admit that to myself. When we were kids(ya it's been that long) we used to always lock horns on anything and everything. But over the years I believe I've taught him as much as he's taught me. But we're both stubborn, and both have egos, though I would concede that his ego is a little bigger. Weather it's desrved or not is of course a matter of opinion. For many years I would not listen to anything he tried to explain, because I was the older one, and so I assumed as a kid, the wiser one(hey a few years is a big deal when you're a kid!:)

But as we grew older I began to put myself in check, at fist out of humoring him. But then I began to realize that a lot of his ideas had great merit(though not all). Now we listen to each other, and have come to an understanding. I've since then learned to temper myself against swift judgement not only of him, but of everyone. It was a growth experience for me. I'm sure a lot of people have similar stories of finding thier places in reference to others, that is mine.

I try to remember on a daily basis that NO, I don't know everything, and there always something to be learned from a misconception, if you are open minded enough to accept your mistake. We can't all be right all the time. I'm reminded of a confucious saying: sometimes it is better to remain silent and leave others to wonder if you are a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt. The more energy you spend trying to prove the wrong answer, the longer it takes to reach the right one, and thus you learn less.

But that's just my way of looking at life
 

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,093
174
Originally posted by Zantra
I try to remember on a daily basis that NO, I don't know everything
I failed to include this point, but of course, this must always be remembered. This is also something I have often failed to remember. It had never occurred to me that someone could disagree with my physics books and still have a valid point of view.
 
732
2
Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
I failed to include this point, but of course, this must always be remembered. This is also something I have often failed to remember. It had never occurred to me that someone could disagree with my physics books and still have a valid point of view.

Sometimes what appears to be a step backwards in achievement is actually 2 steps forward in enlightenment and understanding.
 

Matt

"I assume that if you actually found this web site then you are an intelligent person..."

Ahh, I think its google that is intelligent, not me. Haha. ALl the same, this site still rocks.
 
80
0
Originally posted by Matt
"I assume that if you actually found this web site then you are an intelligent person..."

Ahh, I think its google that is intelligent, not me. Haha. ALl the same, this site still rocks.
if you made the effort to click search for this site, click on it, create a name, and post on these forums... all by your own will.... you, my friend, are more intelligent than most.
 
1,488
20
Originally posted by tribdog
Aren't you always right?
I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.
 

Another God

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
974
3
I too have been accused of "Thinking I am always right" many times over.

I have since figured out a reply to this:

"I don't think I am always right...but I do always think I am right."



(Just incase you couldn't be bothered out figuring the word play there: Of course I think I'm right...if I didn't think I was right, I wouldn't be saying it would I? But although I think I am right in this instance, I also know from many many experiences, that I am often wrong. So I now await your case to prove my error to me. Until you do this, I will continue beleiving that I am right.)
 
73
0
If you're ever interested in the right answer, just as Physicsrocks88, he knows everything...
 

Another God

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
974
3
HAHHAHA, LOL...go look at the How do you hypnotise people thread in "how stuff works" i only just posted in there telling PhysicsRocks88 that he has a lot to learn in terms of stating 'facts' which he doesn't know...

*I am amused*
 

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,093
174
Originally posted by Another God
HAHHAHA, LOL...go look at the How do you hypnotise people thread in "how stuff works" i only just posted in there telling PhysicsRocks88 that he has a lot to learn in terms of stating 'facts' which he doesn't know...

*I am amused*

Yes it took all of 1 post from him to get me started. I guess I'm getting quick at spotting this type of personality.
 
477
4
Originally posted by Dave
If you're ever interested in the right answer, just as Physicsrocks88, he knows everything...

LOL! that's great! i'll bet you ten bucks he'll be kicked out by the end of the week!
 

Another God

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
974
3
$20 he'll be out by the end of today!
:wink:
 
732
2
Couldn't resist.. had to say something to him.. hehe...
 
73
0
Originally posted by maximus
LOL! that's great! i'll bet you ten bucks he'll be kicked out by the end of the week!
Not before he says i'm 100% absoluely incorrect.... and swears at me...

I thought 100% and absoluely were the same?
 
477
4
i swear to god if he ever posts anything with "100%" in it again, i'll go crazy.
 

Related Threads for: Why can't everyone be right all the time?

Replies
76
Views
10K
Replies
50
Views
20K
  • Posted
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Posted
Replies
4
Views
1K
  • Posted
Replies
22
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
296
Replies
13
Views
6K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top