Meme: Respect Other People’s Thinking – Or Not?
I ran across this gem and couldn’t resist addressing because it’s math (which I like), and philosophy (which I like) and slightly skewed (which I like fixing).
The logic of what is presented is sound enough. The math is correct, and the point made is that there (MIGHT) be more than one way to solve a problem. But that’s a pretty big “might.”
I say all this to be fair, but the picture claims to much.
1. A person should never respect any thinking that is illogical, morally depraved, and simply wrong. The conclusion in the picture makes a blanket claim as do most pluralist who would champion the same statement. Consider what this would look like as a religious problem: Christians believe in Yahweh who is God. Muslims believe in Allah who is God. There is more than one way to God. Respect other people’s ways of thinking. In the math example, the methods yielded the same conclusions. Not so in the religious realm.
2. This statement is also ambiguous. Respect other people’s thinking in what instances? In math? Even here I can cite examples where former students solve a problem the wrong way and end up with the right answer by making a mistake that corrects their first mistake. Religiously, this would be the Christian who found God in a drug induced coma. I would hesitate to recommend such a method to others.
3. Finally, the heart of the issue is to respect people, not necessarily their way of thinking. Even when someone is completely wrong in their thinking, I can usually find ways to respect the person in some way. However, when someone’s thinking leads them to conclude that they ought to harm me, then I can neither respect the way of thinking or the person for that matter.
The bottom line is this: respect people enough that if their thinking leads to wrong conclusions, correct them with humility and gentleness. But if a person’s thinking is only different but not wrong, then we can agree to disagree on method which again, respects the person.
One last thought on the general statement: respect other people’s way of thinking. If this statement remains unqualified, it is a self-refuting statement. In essence, this statement is telling you that if you don’t like the way other people think, then you need to change how you think so that you can think like this statement tells you to think.
The motive was good, but it just doesn’t have the follow through.