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  1. #1
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Default Does one create a balanced view about something by being repeatedly exposed to it?

    I got the idea for the question from some womanizing manual I found from the interwebs. The claim being, the more you try to pick up women and fail miserably, the more you get accustomed to the rejection and until you can be "cool" with both being rejected and accepted.

    The reason I'm telling this is because I told someone yesterday they could afford being less extreme about their trust in people's words. This someone usually believes a person if they're on a trusting mood, and disbeliefs them if they're on a distrusting mood. Seeing anyone's words come true puts them in a trusting mood, and seeing anyone's words being untrue puts them in a distrusting mood. Keeping this womanizing example in mind, I encouraged her to develop some analysis skills or "coolness" to her trust instead of dismissing or approving someone blindly. (edit: not in situation when someone is trying to flirt with them, but in situations of contracts and deals.)

    But.. is the advice good? What conditions are needed for a person to form a balanced view about distressing situations where the outcome may be success as well as a disaster?

    My theory being, if a person keeps a mental record of the conditions related to every situation, they will lose their attachment to any particular situation (and hence the wildly 2-polar opinion) and will instead start to see it as a numbers game, with odds of success being this and odds of disaster being that. That is, if they can win over their personal drama-factor that makes them see everything in extremes.

    Ideas?

  2. #2
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I think one can be become desensitized to certain fearful or distressing situations by exposure. You live through it, it's not the end of the world and you know how to cope even better next time. I guess it depends on the situation and the number of exposures and whether or not you have some positive experiences as well. If you repeatedly get rejected without ever achieving success even though you are doing the right things, you might just give up. I think you'd become more desensitized to rejection if you had some successes as well.
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  3. #3
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Exposure doesn't inherently do anything itself. So, I have to say no. This depends on your state of mind and receptiveness.


    This is evidenced by the fact that some people become WORSE through increased exposure, and moreso by the fact that some don't need exposure - they get it right with little exposure, or even on the first try.

  4. #4
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    I'd think more of an attitude of openness and receptiveness to any social situations you might find yourself in with a short-term goal of assessing which ones were good possibilities and a longer-term goal of only engaging in those that you think are good possibilities would be less discouraging. In other words, I wouldn't enter into every situation with the goal of either getting accepted or rejected so rejection doesn't hurt so much -- that seems somewhat limiting!

  5. #5
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    If the imbalance comes from ignorance, and the fear that often results, then exposure can provide the knowledge and familiarity needed to correct that. Then you can evaluate the situation for what it really is, in the context of your own values.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #6
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    It depends on whether or not you're dealing with a situation where you can have moral or ethical certainty without familiarity or experience. It reflects poorly on someone's character if they play a numbers game with morality and ethics. Thus, familiarity might be something to be avoided if it would reveal a low likelihood of suffering negative consequences for certain unethical actions and draw someone to take the chance.
    Take the weakest thing in you
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  7. #7
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Moral and ethical certainty cannot be established when factual and rational certainty are lacking. Familiarity with the facts is thus always a good thing. If your values are not strong enough to withstand this knowledge, that is a serious but different problem, and cannot be addressed through willful ignorance. Ignorance is never preferable to knowledge, and in fact is one of the roots of prejudice as well as poor decisions.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #8
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Moral and ethical certainty cannot be established when factual and rational certainty are lacking. Familiarity with the facts is thus always a good thing. If your values are not strong enough to withstand this knowledge, that is a serious but different problem, and cannot be addressed through willful ignorance. Ignorance is never preferable to knowledge, and in fact is one of the roots of prejudice as well as poor decisions.
    I'm pretty sure there are plenty of acts that I have predetermined immoral where I'm plenty satisfied with being ignorant of all the facts and rationalizations. I don't need to be familiar with explicit material documenting what happened during different human experiments by the nazis to gain more knowledge and the ability to make a full assessment. I don't need to know what valuable information could be gained from such experiments. Some things are so obviously heinous that deep analysis is unneccessary for a moral determination and potentially desensitizing.

    Frankly, I'm glad those priests or monks or whoever destroyed the records of Nero's evils.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  9. #9
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    I'm pretty sure there are plenty of acts that I have predetermined immoral where I'm plenty satisfied with being ignorant of all the facts and rationalizations. I don't need to be familiar with explicit material documenting what happened during different human experiments by the nazis to gain more knowledge and the ability to make a full assessment. I don't need to know what valuable information could be gained from such experiments. Some things are so obviously heinous that deep analysis is unneccessary for a moral determination and potentially desensitizing.
    I had no idea your life required you to contemplate the performance of such grave acts. In any case, I prefer to retain knowledge of what the Nazis did, as a lesson for future generations lest it be repeated. Knowledge of something does not lead automatically to its approval, and can frequently put disapproval on a much sounder and better documented footing. Ignorance is never preferable.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #10
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I had no idea your life required you to contemplate the performance of such grave acts. In any case, I prefer to retain knowledge of what the Nazis did, as a lesson for future generations lest it be repeated. Knowledge of something does not lead automatically to its approval, and can frequently put disapproval on a much sounder and better documented footing. Ignorance is never preferable.
    Ok, I'll give you an everyday example where ignorance is preferable. There are all sorts of different professions with ethical codes. Where there is an ethical requirement (that doesn't run the risk of violating a more fundamental moral value) set by an authority certain further knowledge may not be necessary or preferable. The reason is that at their worst people are purely consequentialist and further information might tempt them to break the code based on weighing probabilities and consequences. So let's say I become familiar with people who regularly dip into their client's funds and return the money without ever getting caught or losing their client's money. I learn exactly how and when to do this to reduce the risk of getting caught significantly. With that knowledge I'm now more tempted to break the ethical code should I have a sudden need for money. This may or may not cause me a problem. But, such professional ethical standards are set not to just protect the individual, but to protect clients and the collective professionals. So, if everybody in the profession does what I do then on the whole it will cause more damage to more clients and the reputation of the profession than if everyone remained ignorant of exactly how to go about breaking the rule to minimize individual risk.

    In other words the affect of knowledge on temptation should be taken into account.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

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