Reasonable Disagreement

Sometimes cliches exist because any truth becomes trite when repeated enough.  Sometimes, they exist so that people won’t notice the truth.

Reasonable people cannot disagree.  This is clear if you give the matter some thought.

Either reason mandates a position, or it does not.

If reason mandates a position, then reasonable people are required to accept that position; to reject it would be unreasonable.

If reason does not mandate a position, then holding a position on the matter and expecting others to adopt or acknowledge it is unreasonable.

Reasonable people do not have to hold precisely the same positions on everything, most especially if the information available to them differs, but they can never disagree about any position. Disagreement indicates error on the part of at least one of the participants, possibly more.


3 Responses to “Reasonable Disagreement”

  1. Sometimes, they exist so that people won’t notice the truth.

  2. michael vassar Says:

    At the very least they can disagree if it is not common knowledge that both are reasonable, though interaction should largely create such common knowledge in many situations. Also, they can do something like disagreeing which is more precisely changing salience in order to change aggregate judgment, for instance, if two people disagree on which restaurant to go to and both point out the positive traits of their preferred restaurant in a manner which causes them to both focus their evaluation function on the same set of traits.

  3. Elaborate.

    If something is generally recognized as true, individuals will often accept that statement as true, implicitly. It becomes something that “everyone knows”, a premise that is no longer recognized as a premise but considered to be a self-evident truth.

    Such truths require constant maintenance lest the erosion of everyday life eventually make it clear that it isn’t true.

    One of the most common forms of maintenance is repetition.

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