Do you listen to contrary POVs?

Do you regularly seek out, tune into, or read opinions and news from a POV contrary to yours?

For example listen to conservative talk radio even if you’re not conservative? Watch liberal leaning news shows if your not liberal. Frequent Facebook groups and internet forums that disagree with your view of reality? Etc.

Why or why not?

Maybe not as much as I should, but I try to get all sides. Confirmation bias is a real thing.

2 Likes

I “appear” listen to what others have to say. However, it’s merely an elaborate act. :wink::smirk:

3 Likes

For me, listening to other POVs is primarilyabout the fascination in how others view things. Secondarily to get details your side might omit. One always has to make sure they’re not the bad guy.

1 Like

Gasp* you mean…you don’t always pay attention to ridiculousnes???

1 Like

image

1 Like

I do. But then I expect to share my POV. Sometimes it doesn’t work so well, like when I am flipping through the TV and watch a conservative news channel for a while. Nobody in the TV seems to care about what I am saying. :grin:

Honestly, I think it is very dangerous to live life in an echo chamber. Hearing other people’s point of view, even if I don’t agree, keeps things fresh. I think it’s an important thing to do.

3 Likes

I do primarily by reading. I find I’m much more likely to get an actual argument with reasoning that way, rather than clickbait or preaching to the choir. I like to know why people think the way they do. If there’s substance, it will show.

In conversations with friends, it’s also a lot easier to disagree without forgetting the humanity of the person.

1 Like

I listen, but then I dismiss it out of hand if it doesn’t fit with my pre-conceived framework of what the world looks like. :slight_smile:

In all seriousness, I do try to see different points of view, though I wouldn’t say I do it in an overtly deliberate manner through what I read. I generally try to avoid overtly partisan sites of any stripe just because there are less things of value to be gleaned amongst the editorializing.

By nature, I like to find common ground with people and harmonize opposing viewpoints. Of course, we cannot usually find a mental compromise that is agreeable to everyone, but I think we can almost always at least identify something in another person’s view that points to some shared value.

For example, I might disagree with someone who thinks it is good that same-sex marriage is legal, but I can at least appreciate their desire that people be treated fairly and equally, and their notion that love is a good thing. Those are all good impulses, even if I think the person is applying them incorrectly.

1 Like

I’m here at CAF, am I not?

4 Likes

Ditto. Lol

2 Likes

This.
I’m pretty much willing to listen to any viewpoint if it’s expressed in an intelligent and neutral way.

By “neutral” I mean that the person

  • doesn’t take the position that other reasonable viewpoints are wrong or “-ist” unless the -ism is extremely blatant and clear)
  • doesn’t behave like people with other reasonable viewpoints are poorly educated, stupid or “ignorant”
  • doesn’t insist on trying to persuade me to their viewpoint or make the discussion into an argument that they must “win”
  • doesn’t continue to pursue the subject with me if I make clear I’m done discussing
  • accepts that reasonable people can disagree, with no statements like “You can’t call yourself a good Catholic if you vote for X” or “If you don’t agree with me, you’re racist/ you don’t care about children/ you’re what’s wrong with this country” etc.
  • avoids getting emotional over the issue, such as resorting to tears, tantrums, name-calling, insults, ad hominem attacks, other snide or overexcited actions

I do have friends who are able to discuss some subjects in this way, for example atheism or gun control, and I learn from listening to them.
Unfortunately, many people seem unable to have the type of neutral discussion I describe above.

2 Likes

Yes. For example, I read both the online versions of the National Catholic Register and the National Catholic Reporter.
I won’t say which, but I do tend to agree with one more than the other.
Clearly, each one has a different editorial bias, which I think helps me to better see the big picture.

2 Likes

Usually not because I do not want to waste my time with things I do not agree with. If I do not know about certain issue, I will find out about it just for information.

Probably should be more open about hearing other people’s opinions and perspectives but I’m not.

I do like this question.
I miss the days of honest debate.
Somewhere along the line I feel that people started defining the “other” as stupid and crazy.

Maybe I should have a thicker skin, but I don’t like being called stupid and crazy. And sometimes I’m simply too emotionally tired to sit there and be insulted (i.e. If I’ve just had a family member die, or I have work stress or one of my kids is going through a rough patch). Then I will seek out people like me, and I don’t have to risk being insulted on top of whatever other pain I’m going through.

Other times I enjoy a lively debate.

There are still people out there who are willing to discuss ideas without assigning heros and villains, but they’re hard to find.

As St. Paul said in one of this letters, “examine all things, keep that which is good.” I think it is a very good rule when confronting something controversial
The danger in listening to contrary POV’s is that, unless one has a firm sense of self definition, what one believes to be core values, listening to contrary POV’s takes on the aura of being dangerous. There is a statement about atheists that is somewhat germane to the question. It is said that “an atheist doesn’t believe in nothing, he ends up believing in everything.” Take a position you believe in firmly, then listen to contrary POV’s. If you ground your life in truth, opposing views will not shake your foundations. On the other hand, if you are untethered in life, opposing POV’s will toss you around like a beach ball in a hurricane.

As part of my job it is important to listen to others point of view, so I can have a clear understanding of that person.

Likewise, with regard to news in today’s world are often biased or has elements of proper-gander. I do often seek for more information.

But there’s a problem here. We live in a society filled with those of opposing POV’s. Isn’t the opposing POV and understanding the logic behind it part of working together?

Not trying to thread creep, but something like the contraceptive mandate in the ACA is an example. On the surface of it, those who don’t share a certain POV can’t understand the issue and can be unsympathetic. After all, the government does several things I dislike with my taxes but I don’t refuse to pay them. Perhaps if the relevant groups understood the opposing POV and the logic behind it they would have provided a work around.

You cited tax law as an example. That is a civic matter. I am referring more to moral matters. My POV is that life is sacred from conception to natural death. The eugenics and euthanasia crowd have a different POV. Should I try to understand the logic behind their POV and work together. Toward what, some sort of moral quicksand? No. Now if you don’t have a moral code that mirrors mine, then seeing other people’s POV will send you in a dozen different directions.
Seeing other POV is everyday situations is probably one of the best ways to get along in society. “Walk a mile in my shoes” is a great idea. But not when it comes to eternal truths that we hold as Catholics. The nonbeliever would have difficulty with my positions I am sure. But it won’t change my positions.
American society today is in a moral mess. It has come from everyone trying to get along, to have empathy and sympathy for societal situations that are destroying the fabric of marriage, family, and the future generations. That is how I see it, no one is going to change my POV. Others are entitled to theirs.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.