In early July I started posting statements about current events that almost all of us believe. My thought was this – while we disagree on much, it can be helpful to be reminded what we almost all agree on.
It has at times been difficult to find statements about what is going on in American that we can all concur with, and sometimes the agreed upon statements are so weak that it might be slightly distressing, but I was pleased with how many fairly strong statements I could come up with.
I’ll keep it going.
I’d be interested in your thoughts and comments and suggestions and disagreements, but before you send corrections, you might want to look at my notes below.
Some Thoughts and Explanations of the “What 95% Of Us Believe.”
Axiom 1: Sometimes the 95% is wrong.
Given how many times in history a universally excepted idea has been shown to be incorrect, it would be foolish to think that for the first time in history, we have everything right.
Axiom 2. Many or most will believe a much stronger wording of the What95%Believes statement.
… But sometimes in order to meet the 95% threshold, I have to tone down the wording.
Part of my reason for writing these statements is to point out the unfortunateness of this. You might (correctly) call this a sad statement about our society (“We should all believe that more strongly!”), but don’t state that I’m incorrect if I haven’t posted it.
Axiom 3: While we may agree on the What95%Believes statement, we may strongly disagree about the implications of the statement.
You and another person might agree to a statement, but you might not agree to how this should affect our lives. People might agree to the statement, “It’s unfortunate that there are homeless people” but the actions people take as a result of believing this range from paying for a person’s lodging for a long time to nothing.
Doing nothing doesn’t imply that you don’t believe the statement.
Axiom 4: You might agree with the What95%Thinks statement, but be of the opinion that it should not be stated.
… and you might be wise in that assessment. For example, you might think that a parent shouldn’t have let their child play in the street, but the time when you’re consoling them in the hospital isn’t a good time to point this out.
Other times the hard statement should be overtly stated.
Axiom 5: It’s Never 100%
There might be very popular ideas, but there is always someone who disagrees with it. Almost everyone agrees with “You shouldn’t murder”, but (at least in practice) murderers disagree with this.
A Word About Scope
When I Say “What 95% of us Believe” – by “Us” I mean (1) people who have heard about the issue in the post and understand its basics, and (2) are Americans, with some definition of the word “American”.
And Three Disclaimers:
1. If at first glance you think you (or others) might disagree with one of the statements, ask yourself if there is a way of thinking about the statement that you could buy into.
2. When I say “95 percent”, I really mean “a very large majority”. The actual number may be 98, or 92, or 89.
3. I have statistics to back none of these “large majority” conjectures.