One of the wonderful things about the internet, and in my usage, Google Search specifically, is that I can easily look up the opinions of others who disagree with my opinions, or perhaps with the opinions that I am trying to form.
The latter may seem strange, for surely one does not have opinions before you actually hold them? Well, in my experience, people tend to hold clusters of opinions, even if they do not know enough on a subject to actually hold an opinion. So, when I am researching a topic, I find it helpful to look up not only the arguments in favor of my side but also the best arguments of the other side. This way, I can better understand what I believe, and why I believe it.
Of course, this is not to say that all opinions are equal, or that all arguments have merit. But I do think that, if we want to truly understand our own beliefs, it is important to be aware of opposing viewpoints and to be able to articulate why we do not agree with them. Furthermore, even if we never change our minds on a given issue, understanding the other side can help us to empathize with those who hold different views, and perhaps make it easier to find common ground.
For instance, if you are a strong believer in climate change (and good for you!), then you are also likely to be anti-war and pro-abortion, and also against the death penalty.
I’m not yet sure why this is the case, but it is.
The best way to pop this type of opinion bubble is to actively seek opinions that go against your core beliefs and try and really understand them, and then one of two things will happen:
- Either you will change your opinion based on a new logical argument that is better than your currently held beliefs.
- Or, you will find that your current opinions get stronger as the opposition has failed to make a dent in your armor.
Either way, they are both positive outcomes, and one of the best ways of doing this is to actively use an online search engine to find articles, essays, and books that are diametrically opposed to your worldview, and then absorb them deeply.
There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for this type of content. First, it is important to try and find sources that are as reputable as possible. This means looking for sources that are well-known and respected within the community that you are researching.
For instance, if you are looking for information on climate change, you would want to look for sources that are respected within the scientific community, such as peer-reviewed journals.
The second thing to keep in mind is that you want to try and find sources that are as unbiased as possible. This can be tricky, as it is often hard to tell if a source is biased or not. However, there are a few things to look for that can help you determine this.
First, look at the language that the source uses. If the source uses loaded or emotional language, then it is likely biased. Second, look at the sources that the author relies on.
If the author only relies on sources that agree with their position, then it is likely that they are biased. Finally, look at the overall tone of the piece. If the piece is angry or condescending, then it is likely biased.
When you are looking for content that goes against your worldview, it is important to keep an open mind and to be willing to change your opinions if presented with new, logical arguments. However, it is also important to be aware of bias and to evaluate the sources that you are reading carefully. By doing this, you can ensure that you are getting the most accurate information possible.