Binary Thinking


Re-read my question carefully and let me know if you still think you answered the question.


By ignoring the steering of one’s conscience, and by muddling what might be simple (not easy) decisions, a person can become paralyzed.
An issue might have a lot of variables and require some agile thinking, and it might not.
“Should I take the job and move my family out of state away from grandparents?” These can be tough. “Should we execute dangerous criminals who pose a threat?” Requires some agility to think these through.
After a person makes a moral evaluation, then a decision must be made. Many times this is where the paralysis happens. Will I do the right thing or not? This requires commitment, conviction, not nuance. The will to act morally shouldn’t be subject to nuance once an evaluation is made and a person knows what is true and good.
The article is just a mess. I’m sorry for being so critical, but I think it exemplifies things gone wrong in academia.


Yes, a color blind person could (should) agree the sky is blue from his own experience, because experience is not merely self determined and is not merely material. For the same reason that you will concede the dark side of the moon does indeed exist. You haven’t been there to touch and see it, but you can trust the totality of your experience, which includes the experiences of others that are trustworthy. You have to evaluate your experience and compare it with the whole. Morality is an evaluation in reference to an objective good.
For ex:
Human beings exist. It is good we exist. Human beings exist uniquely from the union of a man and woman. Men and women are made for human existence, physically and spiritually.
Your attorney writing in a psychology journal thinks the following is is a coherent question in the face of this reality:

What facts would you need to know to cause you to question your view on this issue?

Huh? What part of the reality of human existence would he like to question? Which facts would he present to change the way we are? How is “what is” reducible to a viewpoint?
"I challenge your viewpoint that the earth is round. "


Thank you for answering the question from your own experience.


Your welcome.
Let’s look at what common sense means. It is not a cliche that mothers throw at their children.
Common means that it’s not individualistic.
Individualism is not common because it tends to deny the sense of a community. It locks truth in the experience of one person.
Relativism is not sensible because it tends to deny objective truth. It would like to seek agreement for agreement’s sake rather than the sake of any objective good.


There is no grey. Grey is an admixture of black and white, taken from a general, non-specific viewpoint. As one moves closer to the seemingly grey picture and begins to uncover details, it is shown to be a series of exclusively black and exclusively white shapes forming the mass which gives the illusion of grey.

Killing is grey because there is no detail in just “killing”. As one begins adding detail, one begins to focus down on the picture and eventually, once all details are known, there will be no grey but pure black or pure white.

God, who knows all details, does not see any grey at all.


I think what I’d say on that is the article is a bad example of dealing with binary thinking, but that binary thinking in the therapeutic context it’s normally applied isn’t bad.

I posted one upthread that I had a friend making himself miserable over. “Either I have to get this girl, or I’m going to be lonely for the rest of my life.” He was paralyzing himself by sticking to that binary when everyone else could see that was plainly not the case. Or people might think “either I stay in a low-paying job near my family, or I move across the country and my children only see their grandparents once a year.” That might be true, but it might also be with a little work and thought another option could come out. Even with morality, sometimes the point is when faced with seemingly two bad options, to try to think about whether there’s a third option.


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