How Black and White thinking harms us all

in #science4 years ago


Disclaimer: This is less a scientific article and more of a think piece on something that has bothered me for a while, especially in communities like on Steemit. I’m going to quote comments from below my most recent post, but will only attribute the ones I use as positive examples. Why? Because I don’t intend this to be a call-out post. If you were quoted but not attributed and want to have your name next to your comment, let me know and I’ll change that. But please, read this post as what it is: An observation of things that might need to change.”

Every time anybody writes an article, a post, a newspaper publication or a comment about a topic that has potential to be discussed there will be people who start fighting for one of the sides. In almost every case, it turns into ”them against us”, which makes every bit of intelligent discussion impossible. Once you’ve determined that the opposite viewpoint is inherently evil, everything inside you will refuse to even think about the possibility that some points the other person makes are actually true.

This black and white thinking doesn’t help anyone. It leads to constant fights that can drag for hours upon hours without a productive result because none of the parties involved is willing to even touch the gray area.

I’m not saying that I haven’t done this myself. I still catch myself doing it. It requires reflection on your own beliefs and the things you consider facts to accept views that differ from yours. I try to include that in most of my scientific articles, that discuss the pros and cons of things like cannabis.

But it’s not my own beliefs that get in the way, it’s the expectation of others too. Because black and white thinking is so common and widespread, it seems almost impossible to most people that you agree with one thing, but also agree with the thing that is usually seen as the exact opposite.@suesa
Personally, I’m an advocate of both, modern and alternative medicine. Because both, the pills and the herbs, have their time and place. I won’t fight a light cold with antibiotics (which is dumb anyway, because a cold is usually induced by a virus and a virus can’t be killed by antibiotics). I will drink some herbal tea and stay in bed. On the other hand, I won’t treat my thyroid hypofunction with “organic food”. My mom almost exclusively cooked from scratch and we had a plant-based diet while I was growing up. I still developed this hormone deficiency.

The synthetic hormones help me function and without them, my body and I are pretty messed up. A time and place for both.

I tried to convey that in my article about “Plants vs. Pharmaceuticals”, which lead to four kinds of reactions:

  1. The ”Yes, I prefer herbs too!” Faction

Good Post. Nature gave us everything but man expects something more. In this process, we are damaging the nature plants and running for pharmaceuticals. Very sad.

Correct friend the medicinal plants are going to be always healthier than those medicines that they sell in order to make money for them and many of those medicines have addictive drugs like sleeping relaxers, good post

I don’t know if they didn’t read the post or just fell victim to the “she agrees with one thing, she must agree with the other one!” fallacy.

  1. The “Yes, a combination is probably best, but the real problem is the people.”* Faction

[…] As a scientist it is also nice to see someone acknowledging that some herbal medicines have their place, but it is context specific, and that simply because something is natural does not make it benevolent or fantastic.
Too often I see scientists and science enthusiasts being obsessive and arrogant about anything being naturally derived and downplaying and validity or legitimacy to plants/fungi/fermented products only to tow a line they do not properly understand. It is as if they cannot bear to yield an inch of ground, and so are intellectually dishonest with themselves and others, while simultaneously accusing others of that very thing. To see a more reasoned stance portrayed in this article is a welcome change from false-dichotomies and finger pointing. Cheers! @molecular-wizard

[…] I do think/know that some herbal remedies work. The problem is there is the assumption and cult like belief that there is a herbal remedy for every ailment. Even genius like Steve Jobs used herbal treatments for cancer. On the other hand, preventing disease using diet has a growing amount quantitive data backing it. There's more than enough proof for us to overhaul our ag-industry. I'm all for dietary prevention of diseases. @unicornvomit

[…] I think there is use for both medicine and herbs. For example if I have a simple cold I would try to cure it with herbal teas, vit C, echinacea, ginger. Same with stress - some chamomile or mint tea wold work perfectly! And of course for some serious illness people should seek medical help along with taking medicines. @sunnydidi

This faction is the good example. For one, they actually read the post (which can’t be said for the majority of those who comment, sadly) and they also manage to break from the “black and white” mold. To my delight, there was a huge amount of comments like these, so I still have some faith in humanity.


That said, you should do more research into how much harm the pharma industry inflicts. 100,000 per year die from opioids alone, killing our vital organs such as livers and stomachs, designed to get you addicted. That's a million per decade, genocidal proportions. And it is, genocide of the foolish peasants by the all-knowing, all-powerful elite. Then they have the anti-psychotics and psychiatric drugs which are zombifying our people across the globe, targeting our minds and souls and is directly connected to all these mass shootings... And you want to demonize plants? When it comes to cancer? […]

No comment.

  1. The “Thanks, I didn’t think about it this way but it sounds smart.”* Faction

Wow! I used to have a theory that eating fruits and taking herbs in place of drugs are better than taking the modern medicines itself, the Post has made me to understand better though.. I will have to see my doctor for more prescription and advice. Thanks so much for this post, I have learnt a lot. @kingsclot

Very interesting and eye-opening article. I believe in herbal medicine as I live in a place where medicines are very costly. But then, you opened me to a whole new perspective of trusting modern medicine and having a balanced view of herbal medicine. @yadah04

These people are my favorites. Why? Because they’re willing to take in new information, evaluate it and change their way of thinking. Furthermore, both of them sound like they’ll be doing their own research on this now, using the help of professionals. That’s like how it’s supposed to be. If you’re not a professional in an area, find someone who is and discuss things. Be open to new perspectives.

Funny enough, I originally had a 5th group of people prepared, the ”Herbs are evil!” faction. But I couldn’t find a single (non-joking) comment, that held this belief. Some might have had a tendency towards pharmaceuticals, but always acknowledged that there are a time and place for plant-based medicine.

This is rare as, in my experience, both sides are usually very firm about their point of view. Then again, this topic might not have been as controversial as I first believed it to be. The problem is, that a lot of people reject everything that is even slightly attached to a governmental agency or another kind of higher authority.

And I get that! I don’t want the government to decide what I can do with my money, if I am allowed to buy Steem, if I can produce my own electricity or if I can not watch public TV and thus not pay for it (Everyone living in Germany has to pay a monthly “fee” for public TV and radio, it’s a bit annoying).

But you know what? I still think taxes are important, I still think health care should be universal and especially government funded. I don’t have to worry that I might be in debt forever if I break my leg or, god forbid, become pregnant and have a child! Pharmaceutical companies here can’t raise drug prices as much as they can in the USA, which leads to less abuse on their part (in my opinion at least).

This might also explain why most people who are radically against pharmaceuticals are usually (not always) from the USA: The health system sucks. But don’t blame it on the pharmaceuticals themselves, don’t blame it on the scientists.

This went almost off-topic for a moment, I’m sorry but I had to get it off my chest.

What I’m trying to say with this whole post is, you should try to get away from that black and white thinking. It might apply in some cases (there is no good side of pedophilia for example), but by far not in every case. And it keeps you from growing as a person.

Stop thinking that one point of view excludes another one. It keeps you from seeing the whole picture. And life is much more interesting if you have the whole picture.


Pictures taken from


GIF was created for me by @saywha and @atopy , rest of the signature by @overkillcoin


Ever since I learnt about cognitive dissonance I've been consciously battling with it. Like, during brexit and the snap election, I followed both Left and Right / Yes and No leaders and parties, and subscribe to centrist youtubers so I could get as much balance as possible.

What I found was my position just ended up getting lost, and that really highlights why cognitive dissonance is so prevalent. It's just really hard to go against your beliefs and comfort zone.

I guess it takes up too much physical energy for your brain to bother dealing with, unless you give it sufficient exercise.

I do believe I've improved but it'll take a lifetime to be truly balanced

P.S. Probably read my last post before this one....yeah kinda sorry about the order thing...
@mobbs, Read above first...
Fuck you!
Truth is what other's believe.
Worst part is....
What you believe is truth.
Also fuck you because balanced is amazingly excessively not close enough ....and yep, I'm to drunk so goodnight and...

What just happened here? @mobbs gave quite a great comment on a even more great summery of how people are reacting to @suesa's last post. What were you thinking when writing this @iforge:P
I am not at all trying to be negative here, just super curious why one would be willing to press enter after typing this :P It it was meant as artform, I didnt say anything.


Awesome reply, so much more entertaining than a flagging or flaming.

If by artform you ment, overly intoxicated reply to an amazing post about belief system's that really struck me, then yeah, it was very artsy.
Cheers mate.

Well, in your defense, isn't most art created that way? But maybe It's an idea to keep somewhat negative artworks for yourself =p. Cheers!


"guess it takes up too much physical energy for your brain to bother dealing with, unless you give it sufficient exercise."

Try mushrooms.

I have been trying to do the same, especially in politics where the emotional/moral value component is important (compared to say, medicine, where opinions should have less weight than objective facts).
I agree with you when you say your opinion tend to get lost in the process. I mostly read articles that go against my political views (because i don't see the point of reading my own opinion over and over). As a result i just end up seeing the contradictions across the whole spectrum, which leaves you in a weird gray zone.
In some way that's probably the right stance: understanding that if political views don't all have the same objective value, none are perfect. The downside of that is that it could just leave you completely unsatisfied with anything (especially when it comes to voting).

I never really thought that the post of yesterday would cause so much commotion. Am also glad you wrote this post because I was not able to read through all the comments of yesterday but with this post I now know what really happened.

I don't really know why some people can't be open, don't they know that life is all about change and that life is a learning process?

When you are open to other peoples ideas you learn a lot. But when you don't, you will live in ignorance.

You post of yesterday really served as an eye opener.

Thank you for taking out your time to address this issue and for telling us your view

I have a huge respect for your take on such matters!

I notice on myself that I often fall victim to black white thinking and taking opinions for granted without reflection. And I think steem is the perfect place to combat this. Here is no filter bubble, all kinds of viewpoints come together and that is a good thing.

There are many users here who actively embrace other viewpoints and some of the discussions here are pretty amazing, just by how respectful people can discuss things with one another, even if they disagree.

I mean we have our fair share of bad apples and mud fights, but I have hope for all our users who use this platform to advance themselves. And I am trying to learn from them each and every day.

Let us all learn a thing or two from each other :)

Great comment, straight to the core of the problem. Mutual respect is the only way! When there is mutual respect, good debate could arise. But unfortunately most people today lack emphaty and respect, so we live in a society of self-proclaimed gurus and experts that can't lead a constructive debate. And then there is Steemit. :)

Steemit had actually made this possible the world claims a whole deal of segregation and separations slap racism, it's not like Facebook where there is a limit to who you can talk too, and that's the beauty of the blockchain so many things have been achieved here, and many more due to the fact that everybody is within reach of each fellow user and their opinion.

Fantastic post here

I joined steemit a few days ago in the hopes of finding this sort of level headed, rational argument. Glad I found your blog. I hope that articles like these open people's eyes to how harmful this type of polarized thinking can be.

Thanks again.

Welcome to steem :)

There are many users here who go inte heated discussions, as everywhere else. But the concentration of level headed discussions is way stronger. So if you find the right people, this is the perfect place to find what you are looking for :)

Cheers :)
To be honest, I've been having a hard time finding good people to follow. This comment section appears to be a gold mine. Looking forward to engaging in some heated (and level headed) debates!

You can come to and give me a holler in the #general channel, I could introduce you to a bunch of people ^^

Ah, I didn't even know there was a chat. It's 7am, so I need to get to bed, but will definitely take you up on that when I wake up :)

I actually did work at a pharmaceutical company for 3 years (laboratory worker mostly) and I do have some insight on it. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Yes, pharmaceutical lobby is strong but most of the medications are actually good. We did mostly generical products (products which patents expired) but we also did all sorts of pills for Pfeizer, Bayer, etc. As an ex-pharmaceutical worker I have an opinion that everything that could help a human being survive is good in a subjective manner. (and our life itself is subjective - it is ours) Great article!

I have a similar background as yours. There's definitely a middle ground to find about the pharmaceutical industry, but i don't think that its SPECIFICALLY more evil than any other industry.
Big pharmas are useful for society and generally very efficient at what they do, but it's also true that some decisions (to discontinue the production of a drugs, to end a promising project because the market is too small...) are made out of pure greed. This is true for any tech industry (with planned obsolescence and its impact on the environment for example).
The real question here is: should health be just another industry following a capitalistic logic or should the dynamic and rules be different ? I don't have the answer but i think that's how we should consider the problem.

I can only say on steemit the black and white are moderated, in other places in the wild wild west of internet, the opposing team always comes running your end with a Mack truck speeding at 200mph :)
I always like to see a balanced opposing view of things, but being open-minded is something that is almost getting as rare as a hen's teeth; main reason you would never catch me in a religious discussion.

Good guy or bad guy; with me or against me; friend or foe; right or wrong; love versus hate; yin and yang.
Our minds seem to like simple categorical ways to divide up information in the world. This is kind of interesting given how terribly complex and nuanced most things are - especially in our social lives.
@suesa thanks for a such a lovely post...

It is easier to divide things in two, that way you can think more about destroying the other than about what they actually are.

One of our greatest challenges is to overcome this thinking each and every day again.

Yeah thats true.

I was reading through your comments and I can see where this is coming from. Most people seem to have tendencies for black and white thinking, especially on some topics - even though we enjoy thinking we are being completely objective and taking all points of view in consideration.

Or not only points of view, but facts. It's easy to try to seek out the facts from different things (like herbal medicine) and only pick the ones which support your point of view.

One of the issues with US is that how competition is controlled. Famous case with Daraprim is a great example of this: in other countries you can find generic medication for 0.05 to 0.10 USD per pill, while the price increase was 13.50 to 750 USD. Reading this from Wikipedia, but it's mentioned on several articles too.
However some people are seeing this blindly from the perspective of their ideology instead of taking facts in consideration. They might blame evil capitalism, free markets and require government control. However, with free markets I would assume someone could buy the generic versions of the medicine..

This went a bit off the tracks though.

Someone who agrees that we should look past simply black and white...

This might also explain why most people who are radically against pharmaceuticals are usually (not always) from the USA: The health system sucks. But don’t blame it on the pharmaceuticals themselves, don’t blame it on the scientists.

I think you hit the nail in the head with this, haven't though about it that way. Also, despite being one of the biggest economies in the world, their educational system is terribly lacking. Combine the two and you get all sorts of fanaticism and recalcitrant unjustified hatred towards what they don't understand, instead of curiosity and desire to research their options.

Great post as per usual :-)

This is a bit tangential, @suesa, but you said:

But you know what? I still think taxes are important, I still think health care should be universal and especially government funded.

Taxation is theft! Burn the witch!

Nah, but seriously, I share your dream of healthcare for all but I'm not so optimistic about it unless we can all agree to do it voluntarily. It's impossible to ignore the effect that cryptocurrency can have on a government's ability to levy taxes. In my view, the invention of cryptocurrency, especially coins with in-built privacy like Monero, is a Pandora's Box which, if successful, will eventually result in either:

  • governments losing the necessary power to compel the rich to help the needy on the government's terms, or
  • governments using the momentum they have today to sabotage our efforts at removing that power from them.

Perhaps this is a false dichotomy, but I don't see it, because the very possibility to evade taxes with impunity means most people (or at least, most money) will. Naturally, as a cryptocurrency enthusiast, the first option wins my vote, hands down. Some people might think I'm a monster for that. But I believe our collective freedom and agency is worth more than any one life, or collection of lives. There is precedent for this-- the founders of the United States of America believed the same thing.

Perhaps that means that good, caring people will have to choose to be less prosperous than the selfish. Or perhaps when the time comes, there will be a people's rebellion against the plutocracy. Regardless, I think we have to work as a society to figure out how we can help people in a post-taxation world.

Well said.
To be honest, I haven't been an adult for long yet. I'm 21 and, thanks to steemit, I now have to pay taxes for the first time. And I already know why people say it's "theft", why should I give my hard-earned money to the state?
And then I remember that my whole bachelor degree cost me about 1600€ in fees, total. I remember that I can see my doctor whenever, that the streets here are fixed and clean, the police comes when called and actually does their job and I'll be receiving money from the state when I finish my degree and can't immediately find a job.

So I grit my teeth, declare every cent I earned and pay up.

Maybe that's one problem in many other countries: the taxes aren't used in an appropriate way. Especially in the USA! The stories about how you're basically in debt for life after school, how cities like Detroit just fall apart and so on, they paint a picture of taxes not well spent.

And I'm not sure if I'd be willing to to pay any there myself.

Under such circumstances, it'd probably really be better to get rid of taxation and rely on people helping each other voluntarily. Because it's already happening anyway. People start fundraisers to pay their student loans, they give food to food banks,...

The world isn't ideal, it never will be. And everything is just so damn hard, because there is always someone who messes everything up. Be it an individual or the state.

I'm one of the more reasonable libertarians (if you can even call me one). I believe that calling taxation theft is unproductive. I think one of the big pitfalls of mainstream libertarianism is the failure to understand the definition of government.

Government can be defined in layman's terms as the practice of pointing guns at people, taking their money, and using it to do things. We want to build a society where that doesn't happen, not one where corporations and criminals, absent the "legitimate" government to control them, end up holding those guns instead.

This is our last chance to get it right... we are building the next oligarchs, the last ones... here today. Who we choose to support and the technologies we embrace are critical.

I'm not aware of the situation there in the first world but here in the third world countries like mine, situation is not good. Inflation and lack of education are two big reasons that lead the majority go for cheaper medical options. I know many villages where there is not a single M.B.B.S doctor available. These villages consist of at least 1000 homes with at least 8 family members in each.Quacks are respected as doctors in these areas. According to World Bank, 61% of Pakistan's population consists of rural area. So you can imagine the number of villages and quacks working in these areas as doctors. Now, my point is, despite all the internet facilities and access to the research based-articles, the vast majority does not have the required awareness to differentiate the good from the bad because there is too much info online, and offline, these quacks are considered the authority figures. Governments keep spreading the right message but it's not effective as it could have been in the presence of quacks. A better option could have been a crackdown on these quacks but that is not possible because governments don't want to take the responsibility of providing medical facilities in the villages. So, in a way they are partner in this crime.

However, I'm also from the same country and continuously reading your articles. At least I can share this info with my family. So, the scenario is not as hopeless as it apparently seems. Excellent post @suesa.

Steem On!

interesting thoughts @sausa. I once read a paper about black and white thinking, who approached this phenomenon scientifically. I don't remember everything, but this one-dimensional thinking pattern has many consequences. The logical consequences are the fact that there is a good chance that you can not always think equally nuanced, or that you are not able to find other options or possible solutions for small and big problems. There are always several possibilities. always.
The trick is to develop the ability to think at least two-dimensionally. From there you can practice to become a multi-dimensional thinker.
Research shows that the cause of this black and white thinking are patterns from your youth. You were never taught from your parents that there were several opinions, possibilities or solutions to a specific problem, because only the truth or the reality of your parents was pushed through. There was not much talking at home, not much discussed, let alone that there were lively discussions in which different opinions might be there. If you come from a family in which the possibilities were limited or absent, you could not develop those brain connections necessary to develop a multi-dimensional thinking pattern. Chances are that the parents also had a one-dimensional thinking pattern.

A misunderstanding is also to think that a multidimensional thinking level is associated with a high IQ or with a high level of education. On the contrary, these are two totally different aspects. You can be low educated and come from an emotionally healthy family and have a multidimensional level of thinking and you can come from an emotionally unhealthy family and have a high IQ, be well educated, have a top job and yet have a one-dimensional way of thinking. The underlying motives are then to show others (in fact still the own parents, even if they are no longer alive) that you can do it, that you are able to be succesful.

An example of black-and-white thinking is: it may or may not rain. This is one-dimensional thinking: rain/no rain. Compare: do/do not stay alone, yes/no relationship, this job/another job, having/ not having children, etc. Your brain is thinking from a known pattern. It is programmed and experiences life in this way.

Another dimension may be that it can rain hard or soft. Dew or mist is also a form of moisture, without rain. The possibilities are infinite. Yet another dimension is the composition of the rain: snow, hail, or raindrops? In my opinion, all aspects of life have multiple dimensions, and it is an art to get to know all those dimensions and to be open to them.

Your observations on human nature is quite accurate and also the actual reason humanity has never been able to live in peace thus far.

This is partly because all things are subjective in nature and the ego loves tunnel vision, there is just no other way it can be for most.

So without being able to see the bigger picture which produces greater understanding, we feel separated and therefore, automatically seek those with whom we can side in order to strengthen our own positionality and to ensure our point of views are validated. This gives us a sense of worth in some sense.

The problem we encounter usually lies within our own expectations of the world around us because no matter which side of the fence we are on, we will always manage to offend someone else. Even having no opinion at all could enrage some.

So I guess it's true what they say... We are all on the same ladder, some above us, some below but at least were all heading in the same direction - just on different levels. Great think piece. Thanks

Hello Suesa. I enjoyed your post. Concrete thinking can be considered a developmental issue. Tolerance of ambiguity exists along a contituum as a mental health issue. For example, sometimes you have to make decisions based on imperfect data. Moreover, science is rarely settled. Theories are only the best thing until a breakthrough in scientific thought is achieved and we get the next best approximation of reality. There are usually multiple interpretations of evidence based on statistical analyses and sound judgment. For many, the bottom line is vested interest and worldview.

I apologize for the late comment. I read your post thoroughly and agree with you on almost everything...

reminds me of a post the other day where I was explaining to an anarchist that both he and "the statists" were wrong, drug prohibition is a terrible and counterproductive policy but also a total lack of regulations would be a terrible and counterproductive policy. Selling illicit heroin is in fact not a victimless crime, lots of people die because it is impure and inconsistent and unlabeled. I explained that even if heroin was legal it would and rightly should still be a crime to sell it in unlabeled bags with contaminated substances in it that you mixed in at home without a permit or paying taxes because we don't even let people sell apple pies like that.

Yes, I see even more dividing ahead. Now you've opened tax vs no tax faction, government vs. no government faction. I don't think there will any dividing camps for monthly “fee” for public TV and radio. We all agree that we don't need it.

But as long as there is no harsh words, insulting or flagging for stating an opinion I think we're fine. And I see no point in looking at it as my camp and your camp. It's a good thing that we are different. The world would be totally boring if we would all think the same. Where would all the stories come from? Certainly not from me.

You'd be surprised how many Germans think that the public TV and radio fee isjustified.

But I agree, as long as nobody is seriously hurt (as in, suffers serious consequences from the view points of the other), we should all just calmly discuss. It's impossible for everyone to share all beliefs, but that would make for a very boring life, wouldn't it?

When I was in primary school I was annoyed by what pupils were constantly babbling about and not listening to class. I was eager to learn and any outside stimulus that distracted me from my concentration was unbearable. So I though what a beautiful place it would be if everyone would just listen and be like me.

Now looking it back that would be the worst thing it could happen. All listening, no one talking, like a bunch of zombies. And those same people succeeded better in life. So even if a debate sometimes seems meaningless it is ultimately good for something.

We all change through time. It is something that cannot be rushed and it takes different pace for each individual. We are generally influenced by the people we are surrounded with. I've heard somewhere that each individual is an average of 6 people that he spends the most time with. I'm sure those speaking in favor of certain theory have a good reason behind it and probably a person that they greatly respect. That's why when they are being criticized they take it personally and are sometimes offended.

Divisive issues tend to be argue to the point ad nauseam because of b&w thinking, and we lose the focus on creating a better solutions or outcomes. It's hard to leave preconceptions about ingrained beliefs behind and easy to retreat back to them.
It so easy to deny, use cognitive dissonance, or confirmation bias to ignore conflicting data or information of a core value. Are we actually hardwired to defend our believes?
We don't live in a black & white world. Straying into the grey may serve us better!😜

Black and White thinking will always be a dillema in different aspects of life: health, economy, or even politics. Its only human nature that we react base on our cognitive conception of ideas. For me what matters the most the concept that fits your perspectives in life, how you deal with it and live by it. Its not about the black or white but its about us, HUMAN as a PERSON!

Very True, I could not agree more, we sometimes are so adamantly insistent on our black or white view we lose the opportunity to learn something through the process of an open discussion.

Live and let live is what I believe, and allow others to express their opinions, no matter whether you agree with them or not, as it could open up a door to a new perception previously unnoticed.

It is exactly due to fundamentalists that we find ourselves in the probable pickle we are in right now. We need to open our minds up, but not so much so that our brains fall out.

Take careful consideration of others opinions before we cement our own.

stay blessed

Great point! There are lots of good informations in your post. I always try to look at everything from different points of wiew and at the end I tend to believe what seems to be the most logical. But sometimes you just have to choose because, let's say you did some research about some topic. Andy you found facts that proofs something but you also found facts which rebut it. So what do you do now? You cannot know where is truth, because both of that facts are just written somewhere or someone said it. So I think nowdays is really hard to find the truth at least for topics that you can't just try and findout by yourself.

For a long time I hoped that food can heal us but lately I too started to think that maybe sometimes is better to take medicine and get some additional help to out body!Unfortunatly a lot of us are finding hard to escape this black\ white thinking

@suesa I missed the post on this. I think the mark of a truly great mind is to learn and unlearn things and to do that requires an open mind. That's how we evolve our thinking

Probably due to different place we were born and different level of bringing up. Not every one believes life is a changing process. It takes alot of talking to convince someone that has always been on herbs and getting desired result that synthetic drugs has its own advantage too.

The problem is that there are topics where one point of view excludes the other. An example is the vaccination stuff, but als the climate debate. There can be no common ground when one side denies plain scientific evidence.

So for some topics, thinking in grey zones works. For others, it's just impossible if you know the data. One can and should try to stay respectful in answering even though, of course.

I also disagree.

It´s very hard to find any system that is simple enough to deduce an imperturbable true or false (black or white) statement. You find such systems in mathematics to some extent but even there it can become tricky (e.g. does "10" represent a ten or a two? Answer: it depends...)

For others, it's just impossible if you know the data.

Having data means nothing except being able to start interpreting.

I wrote a post some time ago dedicated to the problems that science cannot truly establish black or white conclusions, but that there is always a little insecurity left.
Science can however calculate probabilities of certain conclusions, and if you have a calculated probability of 99.99% that humans cause climate change, then the grey zone is virtually non-existant.

Exactly, it´s all about probabilities that the scientific method can deliver. Hence, there is always some grey zone in scientifically described systems. And one should keep in mind that also probabilities are subject to change as new data arises.

if you have a calculated probability of 99.99% that humans cause climate change, then the grey zone is virtually non-existant.

I´m not sure whether this is meant as a hypothetical statement. Because, if not, I would doubt it. I would agree if this would be the confidence for us being in a phase of global warming. However, whether humans are the cause ( in the sense of being the main cause) seems much less probable to me. I´m not proposing the contrary but a confidence of 99.99% appears to me as an ideological rather than a scientific statement.

But this would be a dispute around a specific scientific problem. Regarding the question whether science delivers truth or probabilities, I think we have the same stance.

Thanks for your reply and I will check your post a bit later.

that is actually a number derived from scientific studies that calculated those probabilities based on a meta-analysis of the available data. I quoted the studies in this old post of mine.
To be precise, it's >99% for human causing and 99.999% for greenhouse gases causing climate change.
and - in the full text.

I'll have a look, thanks for the links.

I must confess, even in the vaccination debate, there are some points that are a grey area. Mostly the fact that a vaccination can go wrong. It's not that often but the possibility exists. But the moment you mention that, black-and-white thinkers will assume that this means vaccinations are ALWAYS dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Which is not true. We should aim to make them safer, not abolish them.

That makes this kind of debate very, very exhausting. Because, if I don't want to be seen as agreeing with their whole point, I basically have to ignore this one fragment of truth.

Not easy. Absolutely not easy.

Mostly the fact that a vaccination can go wrong. It's not that often but the possibility exists.
Because, if I don't want to be seen as agreeing with their whole point, I basically have to ignore this one fragment of truth.

Of course, but I'm not even ignoring this fragment. Just from stating the obivous, that infections have decreased extremely after vaccination programs were induced - which is just a fact - you get loads of angry/ignorant/denying comments. How do you find a common ground with someone that has successfully constructed his/her own seperate reality?

Not easy. Absolutely not easy.


I disagree :)

On one side there is no discussion when one side dismisses evidence. But that does not mean that there is no common ground, should both parties stop the black white thinking. The problem is just that the discussion is already in a place far away from logic.

well, I had some of those discussions recently. And while I stay respectful and just focus on the science, I have the feeling there is not even an understanding on which data to use and how to interpret it. That makes the whole thing very tiring and exhausting...but still, the discussion has to be done, else we endanger millions.

You have just encapsulated (pardon the pun) the whole problem with what i am trying to write about... (not the subject) but the problem. Sometimes you get one chance to eloquently reveal your idea, which is intrinsically grey, but the black and whiters want to slam a point which negates but also highlights the exact same problem. I have thought of very little else but just how to just say what i want to say, not to offend, or cause controversy, but to just put it in the colour that it is. All of us mixed together... IS Dishwater grey. It is everyone that is effected by the topic that i wish to write about. I get one chance to get it right, and i think about it constantly, and i test the waters with everyone i meet, to try to get it right, so that i can make a difference, that actually will make an impact on people's lives.... I think however, this may be impossible as there is always going to be the black and the whiters. I just want it to all mesh together, and yet the fence that sits between us is nothing but an a tool for us to be divided, non unified ill educated and left the same. :( i do live in hope though, and i cant let that be the reason to be silent, and not try for change. I love this post @seusa tis my favourite yet. @steemsausage

I always like to read your articles because its mostly about science and science is not where my knowledge is. I know you are doing research and read a lot before you write an article and thats why they are always from high quality! I recognise the black and white thinking you are describing because I do it myself too sometimes and when you are a stubborn person it dont help so much :p What I do tough is when I know that I dont know so much about a subject is reading it objectively and try to form an opinion based on what I read. Thats especially when I know that the one who wrote the article is one who knows far more about the subject then myself. So keep continuing the good stuff because I think a lot of people can learn a lot of your posts!!

Excellent perspective. I like to think that I do my best to keep an open mind, consider new information thoughtfully, and grant charitable interpretations of my opponents' arguments.

I'm often left wondering not so much if it's good to think this way, but what makes a person willing to give up polarized thought patterns? I can see any number of experiences or events in my life that could have impacted my outlook, so it's unclear whether the development of a (hopefully) more open and generous mind is the product of any one of them or all of them or none.

Here's hoping that posts like this one can be a part of that process for someone.

This is pretty powerful. I've actually being seeing how it has been harming myself to think in these rigid forms of supporting ideology. Shout out for the reminder that being neutral is the more dynamic approach to flowing in the moment @suesa

Your post reminds me of a research I did in some Psychology classes some time ago about Borderline Personality Disorder called also Black and White thinking or Splitting. The world itself is such a colorful place, and I feel bad for all those extreme thinkers for missing so much of it. What I know for sure is that you can't force someone to see all those colors in between if they are not ready for that. Best wishes :-)

The conflict you are saying is what happening with the biggest crypto Bitcoin which is between developers, miners and users.

There will always be conflict because we are born differently and have own thoughts which are attributed to our behaviour.

This can not be changed even with everything we have got

So let's be with the good and do good to others

This way good things will happen to us also

wow awesome post thank you for sharing @resteemed

Nice one dude keep going i like your content

Yeah I've kinda lost where I'm at tonight but as your the OP in this most entertaining of thread's I wish you a goodnight and best of :)

plural noun: goads
1.a spiked stick used for driving cattle.

Yes, but did you read the post?

Great discussing about education ..I appreciate.

It's the Greta ...Science related information is really amake ..
Carry on master

I am really sorry sir ....I am in new person in steemit ...I have no enough idea about thats reason I can't understand your blog ...So i have been done wrong comment .....
I am really sorry sir ...
Don't flag me flag me ...Please ...
Next time never mistake sir ...
Later on, if I ever made such a mistake, I will get the punishment for the punishment that will punish me...
Please pick up flag .Master ..😰😰😰

  1. I'm not a man
  2. If you don't understand a post, don't comment. It's spam.

I just respond with bad words that do not add to the writing well,

That's true @suesa. It's better to have the whole picture than just a piece of it. I can imagine how awkward it would be if only half of a picture is displayed on your favorite living room. A whole is always better.

Some people really are sickening. I often lose faith in the human race too-I often wish I am not human simply so that I do not have to associate with such vile people. However humanity does have its good points, however small they are. I know there are a lot of good, innocent people out there who dont deserve to be punished for the wrong doings of the rest of mankind but I also cant stand what humanity is doing to Earth and to each other.

And people wonder why I dont like to socialize? People wonder why I have such trust issues?

My reasons are obvious enough in my opinion.

Nice work :)

you're very new so, a piece of advice: Commenting the same thing everywhere is generally seen as spam and often flagged. Try to relate to the post you're commenting on.

True, initially I was doing the same thing, after then one of the experienced member of Steemit adviced me the same, and that advice really helped me, if we comment our true opinions after relating to the post, it will be appreciated and also we can get good exposure as an curators.

Have a great day and stay blessed.


A worthy observation that would be beneficial for many to understand. You made me think of a little poem I wrote for my now wife years ago. I decided to share it with the Steemians because of your post :)

It looks like a more scientific article, Black and white combination is always best combination of all colors. It attracts a lot :)

thank you for the article

it does not evaluate it. It causes motionless movement without thinking on the contrary.

Actually i like to see and observe problems as a variable because if your faced with a problem most would say you have a breaking limit but this topic about racism and stereotype is somewhat i like a part of.

Dont mistake me as a Psychopath its just that as a Human i cant stand to see people get hurt or even die! thats why i want to become a variable in the first place so i can alter the outcome, second the reason i like it in some way is because i use the event as a means of harnessing my emotions and humane characteristics into something useful and i somewhat treat this as a play to which i watch and learn something for the better instead of being the actors who's stressed with each other.

For a long time i have burned my self with my own emotions such as anger and despair so i can see down to the little things screaming its great.

Let me give you a example.

Lets say your the congress of america
America is filled with so much diversity that racism is common

With the everyday grind of work and war you may think of its okay to take drugs,cheat and suicide. On the next day the same stuff repeats causing despair and anger which is bad.

But for me as a 13-year old i have used these emotions to burn myself only in the mind and have gained lazyness through despair, you might think lazyness is a bad thing but its actually a core part in geniuses so it will prevent them to do anything rational and just think of it.

PLUS black and white isn't a color so we shouldn't even accept it as our colors to represent our mental state.

Common sense, is that OK?

Hey @suesa

Whenever we see any controversial topic we take one side which matches our ideology. And we may sound contradictory to our own thoughts.

Have you faced this situation?

Too many times. It's hard work to overcome that.

Very interesting and informative post, black and white thinking never got anyone anywhere

nice and informative post

This post is very nice..Thanks for sharing this ..Carry on your life.

i am little steemer..i am very very sorry this coments..please withdraw flag.

Then I recommend you stop spamming and start writing comments that actually relate to the post you're commenting on. Or people will keep flagging you.

many many thanks..

Sungguh artikel yang mendidik, saya menantikan yang selanjutnya

Wonderful your education post, personally i like education post. thank you very much for sharing us, i want carry on your life. all the best....

I am very very sorry, please!! withdraw your flag

Sorry sir! please!!!...withdraw your flag. next time i don't comment you, just upvote you

Great black and white combination .