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Why Criticism and Mockery are Important

Yesterday I talked about the perception that criticism and mockery is often considered going negative. Today I want to talk about the value of criticism and mockery. Quite simply, it is how we learn.

When presented with an idea (good or bad) we have to think about the idea. Sometimes we don’t do that or we don’t think deeply enough about the idea. This is where someone else comes along and points out why the idea is poor by criticizing the idea. Their criticism may or may not have merit, but at least now we can think about those criticisms.

Sometimes however, ideas become deeply held beliefs and regardless of how valid the criticism might be, we still reject that criticism and cling to the belief. We might even insist that the belief be taken seriously and believed by others on insufficient reasoning and/or evidence.

This is where mockery comes in. When people refuse to take our deeply held beliefs seriously, we might dig in deeper in trying to get people to take our beliefs seriously. The more people mock the belief, the more we are confronted with the criticisms of the belief and he more we must try to deal with those criticism if we still expect our beliefs to be taken seriously.

Mockery is withheld as a last form of criticism for those who refuse to have their ideas criticized. It is more dismissive of the idea and usually only comes in when the particular idea is really ridiculous and worth mockery. It is a message that, “hey, your idea has way too many criticisms and is just so ridiculous that is really isn’t worth taking seriously at all.”

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  • http://www.politicalopinionarticles.blogspot.com david

    Almost makes you wonder how we got past Greek mythology, well most of us anyway.

  • Peter A.

    ‘We might even insist that the belief be taken seriously and believed by others on insufficient reasoning and/or evidence.’

    Define the word ‘insufficient’. What would be considered to be ‘sufficient’ for an idea in question to be taken seriously?

    ‘It is more dismissive of the idea and usually only comes in when the particular idea is really ridiculous and worth mockery.’

    At what point should one consider an idea to be ‘really ridiculous’ and ‘worthy’ of mockery?

    This little diatribe of yours I consider to be ridiculous and worthy of mockery because you are advocating the humiliation and bullying of those you happen to disagree with. That is sick, stupid and obscene. Not to mention callous, cruel and idiotic! There, I am ‘mocking’ your stupid and offensive opinions. How does it feel? Good?

    • dangeroustalk

      Here I have talked about mocking ideas, not people. I don’t advocate mocking people…. only ideas. We do it all the time. If someone where to tell you that he seriously believed that aliens could read his thoughts unless he wore a tinfoil hat, you would have no problem viewing that idea as ridiculously silly. It would be extremely unlikely that you would take such a claim seriously without some pretty convincing evidence. Now, you might not laugh at the idea out loud, but you would certainly be laughing silently. I would tell the guy that I thought his belief was silly and I might even mock the belief in some way if I knew that the guy didn’t have a mental illness and was just as sane as I was.