Philosophical opinions on perspective

One of the main things that keeps me comming back to the straight dope is that I enjoy hearing new perspectives on issues. It offers me more options for evaluating things.

 I tend to be a little obsessive about feeling things from the proper perspective, when I discover an additional factor I was unaware of or I find the scope of a factor was much smaller or larger than I first imagined I go through a process of weighing the importance of each factor and revaluating my views. 

Very often it will lead me to an area I have very hard set feeling about and am not even sure where they came from. I find I have to force myself to open up to others about my re-evaluation in order for it to set. I start off with the ones I care very little about their opinion and progress to closer associates who I know will not respond well. Once I have done this process I feel I have opened myself up. 

How do you deal with forming perspectives?

I actively seek out opinions that are different from my own, and try to use them to open my mind to diverse beliefs.

One of the problems with the huge segregation of the memeosphere is the “echo chamber” effect, where, if I do find (for example) a pro-life forum, it isn’t actually filled with good reasons to hold a pro-choice viewpoint, but, instead, just a self-applause gallery, filled with “Yes, you’re so right” postings.

Even informational and advocative web-sites tend to be tautological. (One of the better exceptions is “Answers in Genesis,” for a creationist viewpoint. They’ve gone as far as to list several failed creationist arguments, with a note to their readers not to use these any more.)

Reading dumb stuff from the opposition doesn’t help at all. It only hardens my opinions. I need my opinions challenged, and that requires intelligent stuff from the opposition. But that’s hard to find: if the opposition viewpoint were actually that intelligent, I would have been a believer in it all along!