I rarely get into debates/arguments any more over social or political issues these days. I took a cue from author, Marc MacYoung’s Facebook page, where he said an army intelligence officer asked his analysts three questions. I added one to the mix making a 4 Stage Filtration System that decides how to proceed. Here it is:
1) What Do I Know?
The answer has to be backed up with facts (to the original source is ideal) and personal experiences.
2) What Don’t I Know?
This is a far deeper well than what I know, this is where what you believe (cannot point to reliable sources or prove like hearsay. Parts go missing the more people it passes through.) Belief is important and accounted for so it can be dealt with.
3) Do I Even Care?
Unless it effects basic survival it is a mental exercise at best, and it has to interest me.
4) What Do I Think?
Now with the data at hand I can make a better, well-informed point or choose not to. Either way I still learn something like what are my biases.
Recent example, a celebrity allegedly insulted a race of people. Let us run this through my filtration system.
Facts? He does run off at the mouth. I have not personally heard him attack that group of people though it is possible. The internet media from obscure sites loves to sensationalize to elicit emotion.
Beliefs and Missing Information? I did not know if the headline was true.
Personal Interest? Yes, I have enjoyed his books so I read the story, then I went through the links to retrieve more information.
My Opinion? The article’s author took a real statement, attributed it against a larger group instead of the few it was intended. I will acknowledge that until we see a recording I could be wrong, when I see it from the horse’s mouth. Anything else is ‘a guy told me what he heard another guy say about _______’
This filter saves me from a lot of headaches and unproductive bitching.