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Fuzzy Reality

Posted on 2013.04.01 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

My father used to say, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." It was years before I understood that. And even more years until I learned to apply it to myself.

I have been very thorough (and forthcoming) in this blog concerning my thoughts, ideas, and feelings on a great many topics. Up to and including which ones changed through growth, understanding or experience, and why. I have opened myself up for all to see, warts and all. I am well aware of my strengths and more importantly, my weaknesses. In doing so, I know very well what I understand, what I don't understand, and what I struggle to understand. I reveal all these things publicly. I do suppose its possible that I may have said something that runs contrary to what I meant, but those of us who use language as a solid communication tool, this is very easily rectified. I allow feedback, criticism, and discussion. I do not become defensive when someone disagrees with me. I lend all opinions the same weight as my own throughout the debate process. I look for holes in my own logic before I look for holes in the logic of others.

Sadly, not everyone behaves in this manner.

Given my recent modus operadni in bursting both paradigms and how we define ourselves, during a conversation on the subject several months back I willingly admit I made either the statement, "I do not want to label myself," or even, "I don't define who I am by my role, be it a husband or a father." Because emotions color much of what we hear (and given the inherent failure in comprehension by those who do not think critically), that statement recently came back to me as, "I do not want to be a father."

How could something like this even happen?

Enter the logical fallacy affirming the consequent:

"Father" is a label. You don't want to be labeled, therefore you don't want to be a father.

We ALL make incorrect arguments from time to time. I make them often, especially when I am emotionally vested in the discussion. But this is where it gets tricky, and falls well outside the realm of the rational:

I pointed out the logical error, restated my premise, and clarified my stance.

The rebuttal to which was my old nemesis, "Nuh-uh."

Ergo, despite my immediate enthusiastic reiteration that I very much do strive to be a magnificent father, everyone who has ever known me or reads this blog knows intimately my behavior and interaction with my kids, and a crystal clear illumination and explanation of the error...my statement was not believed. I was told I said, "I do not want to be a father."

Knowing myself as well as I do, that alleged statement has never entered my conscious. But even dismissing the absurd argument that I said it, the fact that my clarification was rejected? This is exactly the type of behavior I work so hard to avoid, the consequences of which could be staggering. Can you imagine if my children heard this from a source they trusted?

The mind boggles.


slchurchman at 2013-04-01 12:43 (UTC) (Link)
That was one absurd conversation! First of all not defining oneself by one's role is not the same as labeling. Labeling is what others do. You would never reject being called "Father or Dad". One's being is defined by the sum total of all aspects of one's personality and behaviors. You are simply saying that you do not arbitrarily pick only one of those to define who you are. And by the way, you are a marvelous father.
ehowton at 2013-04-01 15:08 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the kind words.
(Anonymous) at 2013-04-01 13:48 (UTC) (Link)
Did you possibly say:
"I did not want to be a father."?

Which as most should know, is a totally different scenario!

ehowton at 2013-04-01 15:07 (UTC) (Link)
Possibly, although it would not have fit into the context of the conversation.

Then again, that's is the defining factor here - I readily admit anything is possible. The one who vocalized, Nuh-uh is suggesting there is no possibility for misunderstanding whatsoever. This kind of egoistic dichotomous thinking is indicative of a deficit in the cognitive process.

(Anonymous) at 2013-04-01 21:29 (UTC) (Link)
I'd pretty much ignore anyone that would reply with: Nuh-uh!!

And quit giving me the freaky Frank N. Furter stare! :)

ehowton at 2014-04-17 21:54 (UTC) (Link)
And quit giving me the freaky Frank N. Furter stare!
michelle1963 at 2013-04-01 23:42 (UTC) (Link)
I would suggest that whomever made this statement and then chose to disbelieve your very firm clarification to the contrary is trying to hurt you. There really is no other explanation, as it has zero basis in reality. I dare say that the person who made this statement is quite aware of that.

The fantastic rapport you have with your children easily nullifies "nuh-uh." The wonderful bond with your children is what truly counts; not someone's illogical and hurtful ramblings.

Edited at 2013-04-01 11:46 pm (UTC)
Lelf Treperra
ubet_cha at 2013-04-03 02:50 (UTC) (Link)

thesweetestnote at 2013-04-08 14:38 (UTC) (Link)
Labels are what others give you I thought. Much like in rock/heavy music, there are so many labels but it's still rock n roll to me. I label you an "Awesome Human Being" and with that no need to further break it down into sub genres if you will. For me, knowing that you are a "Awesome Human Being" also should imply you are an awesome everything else. You may not even think or know you are a "Awesome Human Being" or even reject that label as you are a very honest and humble human being, but it's my label of you. I dunno. I can say my "father" is pretty much a sperm donor who only left me a name. I could go further to say he is human garbage and a complete waste of oxygen. That's something those who truly know you could never justly say. Obviously, I think that this person is sad in some way and finds happiness in "mindfuckery" as a means to feel secure on their high horse and also is a very non-awesome human being.

Edited at 2013-04-08 02:42 pm (UTC)
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