I recently posted an article on my WordPress site in reply to a criticism Rick Paul received after presenting a ‘FaceBook Live’. The ‘FBL’ was watched and enjoyed by more than a hundred people; the comments were excellent. One was demeaning and unnecessary. This article is not focussed on a specific area, it is written for anyone who is subject to malicious and vindictive attack.
→The comments and ‘likes’ for the article received on both WordPress and Facebook were of such number; I felt the article may be of interest to the readers of LEN.
Tomorrow’s articles will be composed of three replies made after reading this article.
Never worry about criticism:
A Community Member became subject to a critic’s venom. The subject of the critic’s viewpoint is of no importance. How the objection is dealt with is worth consideration.
There are people who are not high achievers. Although they believe there are fountains of knowledge flowing in their minds. Their knowledge may or not have a foundation, although, it is used as the basis for their choices. We have to consider the factor of empirical knowledge when looking for alternative perspectives to a critical observation. It is important to know the reason for criticism. Is the criticism vindictive, personal, based on factual information or malicious?
In this instance, we could accept there is no empirical knowledge of spiritual ideas. The choice is black and white. People believe or not, accept or no, there is no way to blend belief or non-belief. Of course, there are millions of people in either camp and arguing the points seems to be time wasting.
When a man comments ‘You are a charlatan’ – He becomes a judge of another human. When he airs his feelings publicly, it is possible the slighted individual’s friends may support and come to defend the accused.
The judge enters a difficult situation. No matter that he is correct in his mind (we have to accept all men are right in their mind) he is now in conflict with more than one person. Because no matter what his argument: there is a differing of opinion to his own and he may become isolated because the consensus of friends defends the slighted man. And now his comment becomes a seed of hatred, not only for the focal point of his comment but for the supporters who defend their friend. The critic will have his own supporters and before long two tribes begin to wage wars of words. What next? The single comment becomes a situation ‘out of control’.
We should consider the critic’s reason to call a stranger charlatan. Is it because he has empirical knowledge which disputes the words, actions or methods or is the man a ‘charlatan’ intent on deception? The crux of the issue is evidence. It is easy to comment ‘You, sir, are a charlatan’ than to say ‘You should be aware that research at Avon University disproves your idea and I feel you should refrain from deceiving people with inaccurate information’. Most people will accept utilising facts as evidence is not a criticism.
Many aspects of life are subject to belief and supposition:
Religion is an example, Luther’s God is Issac’s demon. Politics another, a woman’s political hero is her friend’s conspiracy theory. Lifestyle one more, Jack believes in simplicity – Jill worships money.
Accurate information is ignored:
Millions believe Green Peace’s information as accurate, in spite of the evidence, Japanese and Faroe Islanders eat whale meat, one claims the meat is a by-product of scientific research, the other claim the slaughter is a tradition of their culture. Petrochemical companies fell forests and ignore concerns about the ozone layer. The companies indicate fuel is essential to the world economy and ignore the possibility the ecology of the planet is essential to life.
Sometimes there is a need for acceptance:
Determined attacks on vinyl ignore the benefits of P.V.C blood bags and piping used in every hospital. A vegetarian comments livestock farming is cruel and unnecessary. And if we were all vegetarians? The farmer soon slaughters the last cow, sheep and pig. Because the animals will not be kept without demand for their meat. The paradox is no requirement, no livestock. The argument is settled, no meat production, no meat producing animals, no cruelty.
It is probable, some readers will be angered by the observations:
However, to write about and accept reality; even though, the reality is not acceptable, is essential to open-minded and critical (critical as in accurate) thinking. I do not argue the benefits or disadvantages of plastics as most often there no viable alternatives. I eat mostly plant-based diet, and if there were no meat, I would not be concerned. Although no livestock is the probable outcome of universal vegetarianism. An open-minded thinker can review the point or provide a contra-argument and no matter what his conclusion accept the right of others to embellish their beliefs.
Writing about the difficult aspects of any situation or belief can cause automatic dislike:
We can easily be disliked when we are unafraid to review (and air) all aspects of an idea, belief, methodology or lifestyle. It is easy to pre-judge another because he wishes to be fair and see the whole picture, before making a judgement. Remember, because a person can review the whole picture, it does not mean she has drawn a conclusion. Moral, ethical and social aspects are also part of making a decision.
There is a campaign to change the teaching practices in schools. The suggestion is ‘do not teach facts, teach the kids how to think’. How can this work? The child would need to understand how to reason without bias and prejudice. That’s a tough call; I’m not opposing the idea, I am questioning the how of the idea? The accepted way of learning to think and reason is to review and reassess and learn the aspects of a subject. This is why history is an important subject, it is not the facts which is of total importance, it is the outcome of leaders ‘actions’ which is the lesson. History (on a deeper level) teaches us to think.
If it is decided to teach about open-minded critical thinking children would have to face hard facts. For examples, they would need to know: some will have to endure hard physical work as manual labour is part of society. Others will become drivers and warehouse workers. Many will succumb to social charity. The majority will become slaves to the rich minority. The possibility of fame and celebrity is millions to one odds. How do you tell the kids ‘Most people do not achieve their dreams’? If the way forward is to teach critical thinking as a primary subject, the advocates of the idea should consider the aspects of reasoning without emotion and making conclusions from the facts, not perceived ‘truths’.
A critic names the psychic/medium a charlatan what was he saying? He may have inferred no-one can talk to the dead. He may believe the psychic/medium is intent on deception. Is he suggesting those who enjoy the psychic/medium are fools and being deceived? Whatever the inference it doesn’t matter, it is clear those who believe the messages are happy and content with the interaction. They enjoy their version of life after death. Incidentally, I cannot think of many spiritual people who do not live right and honest lives and hurt no-one.
The open-minded way of thinking:
Yes, there is evidence of deceptions and situations where mentally ill people are severely influenced by psychic/mediums. But how many are hurt? As many as the fighting football supporters? As many as the scarred and blinded drunks in Friday and Saturday evening casualty rooms? As many as the punch-drunk boxers who cannot think straight. As many as the drug addicts ruined by the pushers pills and powders? Answer the questions: accept the realities. Most aspects of life have a risk, and those who follow their team, tribe, belief accept this as an element of the subject, sport, interaction.
What has this to do with the critic? – The thought is this:
Critics, bigots and their biases are more dangerous than the beliefs they hate. Most beliefs, in truth, hurt very few. The critic is a source of conflict and retaliation. At the extreme; criticism and non-understanding can be the reason countries wage war. Lower down the rung; criticism causes self-self doubt and anger. There can be no gain in causing others pain. Criticism is often based on personal dislike not a wholesome appraisal of a situation.
Open-mindedness guides one to accept the beliefs of others even though they may not make sense or conflict with one’s viewpoint. Some may suggest the two words ‘Free Will’ are the spiritual persons’ teaching of this aspect of living in peace and without arguments. It is possible I am wide of the mark, and my ideas are inaccurate. If this is so, no criticism please, your critic is of no importance to my life.
See You Soon
Excellent article Ian as I said on the word press article, I hid the statement when I was aware in my own mind of one the things you had mentioned in here, that there are a number of people who follow my work and I felt the same about maybe people defending me as it has happened before. I want people to know as well after a week of reflection and incredible support from friends and family that this “charlatan” remains true to his beliefs in wanting to help people, I am destined to do this and I have work to do in regard to how I let one meaningless comment get under my guard. I receive loads of support on a daily basis and this is gaining momentum the majority of words written about me are positive but human nature dictates we focus on the one thing that makes you feel sad. I am at worst over sensitive at best human who experiences human emotions. I will continue to help those that seek my counsel and I will do my utmost to inspire those that request my help. To my critic I say you have knocked me for a few days I am blooded but not beaten, you have dented the medium’s persona but not the daily man who is also part of me, I will take this as a lesson and rise again, future critics note as Ian has eloquently wrote “no criticism please, your critic is of no importance to my life”.