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Do people want to be told what to think?


Xboxless

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First of all this is not a conspiracy theory, merely a sociological theory that I thought up while watching O'Reilly.

 

 

Do people want to be told what to think? Do they want someone else's opinion so they don't have to think themselves?

 

As a way to avoid thinking about too much I think we naturally seek others opinions. Basically, there is a lot going on in this world and almost too much information. If one were to try and dissect and come up with their own opinion on every little thing one would have too little time to do much else.

 

It's either a combination of being too lazy to think for ourselves or the sheer over-load of information and things to worry about that our mind requires us to prioritize what we think.

I think this is why we seek people like Charles Krauthammer and as Laura Ingraham put it, "Political Mastermind" Dick Morris? We can't worry about everything or our mind will crush under the pressure. So we let people like Dick Morris tell us what to think.

 

Now we don't let them spew their opinions and then just choose either Liberal or Conservative willy-nilly. We choose by a very subtle, almost sub-conscious, line of thinking.

 

Example: Hard-working businessman Joe has a lot of work on his plate, the deadline for his promotion folder and Kellog's advertisement deal are on the same day. He has to work hard to get that done, but the presidential vote is coming up. He needs to make sure he does his civil duty. So he flips to one of the main news channels and listens in. Generic Liberal and Generic Republican are giving their opinions. Now Joe has never thought about his political alignment.

He listens to both and practically decides his views sub-consciously. You see, he has a good heart and wants to help people. So when G.L. talks about how Generic Democratic Candidate will help Native Americans become self sufficient and become great again Joe immediately clicks a little to the left sub-consciously.

 

My point being in that example is that when these political pundits spew their opinion they aren't discussing but rather stating their political ideas and hoping people align with their political idea. I think it's all based on the persons inherent feelings. As Joe watches these people he chooses either opinion to take as his own by utilizing his inherent feelings towards life.

 

I'm afraid we don't think about our choice of political spectrum but rather feel it. I think that we possibly just sift through "experts" opinions and pick and choose based on how we are feeling at the time and our overall feelings of life.

 

 

Anyways, I want to apologize ahead of time if you don't understand what I am trying to say because when I think I don't have to think my whole idea out word by word. I just have to think it and therefore I know what I mean, but when I finally have to write down everything and translate my ideas from the way I think to some way that everybody can understand it screws it up.

 

So yeah, this is just a theory and my thought, so take it as what it is, an opinion.

 

Damn I feel like I am crazy right now.

Edited by Xboxless

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I don't think people are too lazy or don't have enough time. People want to think for themselves, and they do. When someone aligns themselves with a certain political party or movement they are doing it because it appeals to their beliefs and opinions they have already formulated beforehand. A person will already have a belief system, because it's a part of being human. Your experiences and influences are what defines you and your beliefs. "Immigration is becoming too much of a problem, so I'll side with the conservative party" or "The environment is really important, I'll side with the liberal party".

 

If someone appeals to you for whatever reason and you choose to believe whatever they believe then that is in a way avoiding having to think for yourself. But again I don't think it's out of laziness or not having time, it's a part of our social structure to have leaders and followers, to have a hierarchy. Those who follow do so because they agree with the person and recognise the qualities in their character or in their opinions. Blindly following someone is a form of laziness, but it may be because you ar not intelligent enough to think for youself to any large degree so you just jump on the bandwagon.

 

Others like to listen to peoples opinions but choose for themselves what they agree with and what they don't. A lazy person who doesn't want to think for themselves will just regurgitate whatever someone else says without even necessarily understanding what they actually mean. Someone who who wants to form their own opinions will do so. Seeking another opinion can be because you want to learn, by listening to other opinions you also increase the value of your own. That's the opposite of being lazy.

 

As humans I don't think it's a built in mechanism at all, which is kind of what you appeared to be hinting at. Everybody is different and whilst it may apply to some, overall I think it's actually the opposite.

 

 

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People don't want to be told what to think. Society feels superior to have its own ideas and thoughts. Although in a world like today's, it is impossible to not be told what to think. The media manipulates thoughts in any and every way. At lease most of it. The current forms of media and technology are biased and even when people don't think that their mind is being manipulated, it is. Like stated before, we are a world of leaders and followers. The leaders put themselves out there to be followed.

 

Although we still have people who refuse to follow others and think for themselves. People, who oppose general ideologies, accepted by society. A good example would be the Counter-culture, like Punks and etc. They do not let people tell them what to do, they fight for what they believe is right.

 

Society doesn't like to be told what to do, yet they are told what to do without accepting that someone is actually telling them what to do. Manipulation is easier these days due to the 21st century's communication systems.

 

Sorry if I didn't make my point precisely clear, I actually had difficulties explaining what I mean. I'll edit this once I find a better way to explain this.

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As others have said, no-one likes being told what to do. This is unfortunate, because many people are incapable of grasping the consequences of their actions once they extend outside their own personal space, or the current time frame. What appears to be a good idea for someone at that exact moment is often not for others, or that same person in the future. Ergo, some kind of hierarchical political structure is the natural state of affairs. Sure, many may mope and complain about someone else dictating what they can and cannot do. But if you have everyone doing whatever they please, you end up with carnage.

 

In relation to the political side of things, only the stupid believe what they hear or want to hear, and follow the individual. Anyone with an ounce of common sense or intelligence should be capable of understanding the difference between a sensible argument presenting a point of view, and a reasonless or unsupported demand that someone does something. Generally, people react far better to the former than the latter. If you can engage someone whilst persuading them to see your way of thinking, then they will generally be far more receptive to the idea of actually doing it. Like so many things in life, it's often not about what you say, but how you say it.

Edited by sivispacem

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I think there are a lot of people that want to do as little critical thinking as possible, but it's important to realize that these types pretty much encompass every spectrum. Not to get into any side argument, but just look at the whole Science vs Religion debate. There's plenty of people on both sides of the argument that have never really thought it through and formed their own opinion, but instead pretty much regurgitate what they've heard and agree with for whatever reason. I think a large part of it has to do with the way people are raised; if you grow up in a Christian house hold for example, it might be more likely that you'll have strong Christian values. It's really no different when you think about it since some people basically treat "science" in the same was as religion because half the time when you hear some of these people talk, they've put just as little thought into it as the indoctrinated Christian but because their peers and family re-enforce those ideals they just latch on to them like beliefs instead of real thoughts or opinions. That's why on each side of the table, you often have people from the one side of life become "born again" or "see the light" and become very religious, and sometimes you see a very devout or pious person completely renounce their religion, but in each case it's only once they put some actual thought into it that they reach those conclusions.

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People want to think for themselves, and they do.

That's a bunch of bull. People don't want to think. They want the answers given to them on a plate. They want to feel like they solved a problem. They want to feel like they are making decisions. But they don't want to do any of the hard mental work.

 

People do want to be told what to think and what to do. They just don't want to be aware of it. Between true freedom and illusion of freedom, people consistently chose the illusion.

Prior to filing a bug against any of my code, please consider this response to common concerns.

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People want to think for themselves, and they do.

That's a bunch of bull. People don't want to think. They want the answers given to them on a plate. They want to feel like they solved a problem. They want to feel like they are making decisions. But they don't want to do any of the hard mental work.

 

People do want to be told what to think and what to do. They just don't want to be aware of it. Between true freedom and illusion of freedom, people consistently chose the illusion.

I think to a degree it is true, if you're talking about having a simple core set of political beliefs then people generally do make their own mind up as to what they do and don't agree with. They may not, however, have a great deal of knowledge on subjects which are relevant to their core beliefs, this is more out of not having an interest in those subjects, and having no real need to. Do they then pick a political figure to follow, even if they have no real idea about what they stand for, because they want to be blindly led? Or is it just out of convenience. People want to have their own ideas and beliefs, but for some they are happy enough to do that up to a certain point. Whilst others genuinely do strive to try and formulate their own ideas as much as they can, and judge for themselves what they do and don't agree with.

 

 

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It's not even about politics. People don't want to think. In general. About anything. And it doesn't matter if the subject interests them or not. They won't think. When the situation arises where they have to think to achieve a goal, they give up.

Prior to filing a bug against any of my code, please consider this response to common concerns.

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Ah yes, discussion!

 

@SagaciousKJB Yep, I have seen many debates on different forums about religion and see those people that regurgitate. I don't want to turn this into a religious thread but I do want to share my experience with deciding if I am religious or not as an example.

 

I was never really religious but I had gotten myself baptized mainly to please my parents, but years later I started to look at it and I became atheist. After a while though I realized that the only reason I became atheist was to be the opposite of my father maybe even spite him, so now I am agnostic after actually putting thought into it. Now do not discuss religion, it's just a real life example from me.

 

So anyways, my point being is that sometimes their are ulterior and even unknown motives behind things you do. If you look at it, I first aimed to please my parents and then when I got into a rebel stage I became the opposite. Psychology is a b****....

 

 

 

@Gta_Stu I didn't necessarily mean that it was a programmed natural response that's been with us for ages, but mainly how our brains deal with it.

 

 

I'm not quite sure how to continue. I will leave this here for now and if I think of something I will edit it in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Everyone is different. Some people are incredibly strong minded and will be set on what they think. Their opinion is their opinion and absolutely nothing is going to change that. While this is an interesting and honourable mindset to have, it can also lead to problems: like easily being led into arguments and self obsession.

 

There are others who are weak minded and constantly change their opinion based on what others tell them. They cannot make decisions for themselves and have to often be guided in this sense. This is an equally bad stance to have, as it can lead you into a position where nobody really respects you and doesn't take anything you say seriously.

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