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Presupposition # 16 – Do I love animals or hate plants?

Paul Krugman the Nobel laureate opens one of his blogs with: ‘My old teacher Charles Kindleberger once wrote that the existence of multiple measures of the balance of payments had one great virtue: they allowed observers, by picking and choosing, to be always optimistic or always pessimistic, depending on temperament.’ That is a great way to describe what a presupposition (a thing tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action), really is about. What’s really interesting is for a while to think of why we nowadays so often get so diametrical different viewpoints from the same material. Scientists draw almost contradictory conclusions from sometimes the same researches. It is good for you to eat fat vs you shall not eat fat at all. Amalgam is really dangerous vs amalgam doesn’t harm you at all. C02 is the villain to the climate change vs this is all natural variations in temperature etc.

In the end everything boils down to the presuppositions one has. If we all try to get the best understanding possible without letting our prejudices be obstacles to the understanding – we’ll probably go forward in a way that suits most. However it’s very hard to leave all preconceptions we have, when internalising new things.

It’s said that Einstein phrased it like this: ‘ Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by the age of 18.’ We don’t hope that Einstein take offense if we put it like this: ‘Common sense is the assembled amount of presuppositions picked up by the age of 18’.

Paul Krugman’s blog ‘The conscience of a Liberal’ and the article  ‘A hawk for all seasons‘ is in itself a brilliant example of an area and a science where people depending on presuppositions come to very different conclusions. Unfortunately the results of these conclusions affect a whole world and one might wonder if focus for many specialists, scientists and pundits really is to come to an understanding…

So, am I a vegetarian because I love animals or is it because I hate plants?

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