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Old 2004-01-12, 23:05   #1
Uncwilly
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Exclamation Strength in number don't make right.

Isn't interesting how often people point to the number of people that feel/believe/think/etc. a certain way as a strength of arguement?

Numbers or loudness of an arguement don't always lead to the right conclusion.

there are numerous examples of where the majority are wrong. So why do people continue to point this out? This includes larger lumps of people (businesses, nations, etc.), the majority ain't always right.
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Old 2004-01-13, 00:38   #2
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My maths master at school did not believe in the concept of democracy. His observation, based on years of marking maths homework assignments, was that "The majority is always wrong".
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Old 2004-01-13, 03:00   #3
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The other half of the issue is that right and wrong usually aren't clearly defined. For example, let's say the government wants to raise taxes. The public votes against it, thinking that this is the right thing to do. But in actuality the government needs the revenues to fund, say, education. Thus the action that appears to be right is actually wrong, but of course no one ever finds out about this until after the fact.
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Old 2004-01-13, 05:02   #4
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First, many subjects about which there are differing opinions don't have a clear "right" or "wrong", at least in some people's views.

Second, who shall define what is a "right" or "wrong" opinion about a subject? What if opinions differ as to who shall define the "right" and "wrong" opinions -- shall we have a vote to decide who defines the "right" and "wrong"?

The best general answer in a democracy is majority vote. Those in the minority who think they are "right" have the obligation to persuade others to change their opinions in order to become a new majority, so they have to present their best arguments. If their best arguments fail to persuade enough others to join them, then they have to compromise, or just live with it, or bide their time until conditions change, or otherwise find a peaceful way to proceed with life.

In many cases, the majority of the public delegates its decision authority to a smaller group of people who apply more concentrated attention to certain subjects and make the decisions, subject to subsequent amendment or reversal by the majority if enough people disagree with the delegation's decision.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2004-01-13 at 05:06
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Old 2004-01-13, 14:37   #5
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There are things that can be shown to be right or wrong, yet numbers are/have been used to show the validity of the arguement.

For an easy example:
The earth is not in the center of the universe (physically speaking). Yet, this was vigorously defended by mass of people.
The earth is not flat (and proven so) yet "everyone" knew it was flat.

Anyone who digs much can find out that Dec 25th is not even the right season for the birth of Jesus.
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Old 2004-01-13, 19:48   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Uncwilly
There are things that can be shown to be right or wrong, yet numbers are/have been used to show the validity of the arguement.

For an easy example:
The earth is not in the center of the universe (physically speaking). Yet, this was vigorously defended by mass of people.
The earth is not flat (and proven so) yet "everyone" knew it was flat.

Anyone who digs much can find out that Dec 25th is not even the right season for the birth of Jesus.
That's all accepted scientific fact now. It wasn't accepted hundreds of years ago because they didn't have the technology to determine that it was true. So when someone said something opposite to common ideas, people didn't believe them not only because of that, but because they had evidence that said THEY were right.

As far as the Jesus thing, the truth in the matter (which you'll find in Dan Brown's excellent books) is that December 25th was a long time ago, a pagan holiday. So to help the conversion of people, December 25th was set as the holiday so they would still celebrate on the same day, just for a different reason.
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