TED Conversations

Sanjay Sharma

Ex Director, Maastricht University India Institute, Maastricht University

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Is it constructive to attempt arguing convincingly (forming opinion) about something not yet known or clear?

The issue in question is the opinion formation on the recent sex scandal involving the IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. While so far no details are out, a French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy has already written in favor of Strauss-Kahn ( http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-16/bernard-henri-lvy-the-dominique-strauss-kahn-i-know/full/ ) whereas Laila Lalami, an associate professor at the University of California, defends the accuser of Strauss-Khan ( http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-17/laila-lalami-defends-dominique-strauss-kahns-accuser/full/ )

What is your take on both approaches?

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    May 19 2011: general title, specific topic inside ...

    i'm going to go with the title. i find it troublesome that people seem to always choose their truth, and never admit they don't know. there is some irrational fear of being uncertain, so we quickly join to one side. how to overcome it?
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      May 20 2011: Agreed. Great overall question for a broad look at sociology regardless of the topic. Although our own individual perception is the only truth we know, it does seem that either our culture or nature has developed a callous over the evolutionary uncomfortable intake of corrective hindsight for a "one day vindicated foresight"...but then again, such overbearing public speculation isn't punished near as bad as it used to be. I would say that our human community is evolving accordingly. The town crier still serves his purpose. Some gather at the pedestal and some just keep walking and talking about the crazy man on the rock. But really... Trying to gauge the overall future constructive effects of their opinions is like taking Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle and questioning it from the particles perspective. Good Forum Sanjay.

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