definition: par•a•digm (pār'ə-dīm', -dĭm')

3. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this blog is four-fold:
to recognize that every person functions within a basic paradigm, which affects how all information is processed;
(2) to understand the paradigms of others;
(3) to discuss, in particular, paradigms which are related to science, religion, and philosophy.

(4) to reveal the paradigm shifts in my own life, a process that has completely changed the direction and purpose of my existence.

The purpose of this blog is NOT to convince anyone that their paradigms or beliefs are correct or incorrect. I am hoping for an honest dialog, but the discussions must remain respectful of others, even if there is profound disagreement. If any comments are not respectful, they will be removed.
(Revised 1/13/09)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Effective Communication Requires Understanding Another's Paradigm:

If you have ever watched the Beverly Hillbillies, during its original run or recently on TV Land, you know that the main reason it is funny is that the "hillbilly" Clampetts continue to live in a different culture (paradigm) from the modern world of Beverly Hills. Something similar happens when a person of one culture, religion, or political pursuasion tries to discuss strongly held beliefs with a person who believes differently. Each is immersed in a paradigm so strong than even simple words mean one thing in one paradigm and something entirely different in another. Take a simple, non-religious example: Two people are discussing the fact that a friend's dog has just been diagnosed with cancer. Finances are not a hardship, so we can remove monetary concerns from the equation. One person considers a dog to be a dear member of the family. The other views a dog as a likable, but replaceable possession. Their friend has been assured that the cancer can be completely cured with surgery, but that the surgery will cost $3,000. The person who view dogs as members of the family thinks that the friend should go ahead with the surgery, as long as post-operative pain can be adequately controlled. The other friend thinks that it is ridiculous to spend that kind of money on something that can be replaced for a fraction of the cost of surgery. The friend that you think is right will depend, in large part, on how you yourself think of dogs. No amount of argument, using points consistent with the paradigm in which the person is living, will do anything to convince the person on the other side, whose paradigm of beliefs is very different. Unless one intellectually and emotionally steps into the paradigm of the other person, it will be almost impossible to communicate meaningfully about the issues involved.


FishHawk said...

Your point is so very valid. For without a willingness to understand where another from a different point-of-view is coming from: any attempt at discourse will go nowhere; but without the witness of our Heavenly Father's Holy Spirit to light the path: will not even what we would naturally consider as being good movement still be in the dark??? Yes, this applies unto all subjects.

Amarendra said...

I agree.

Reminded of what Katherine Paterson said once:

"Peace is not won by those who fiercely guard their differences, but by those who with open minds and hearts seek out connections."

SoulandSubstance said...

I appreciate the comments. Thank you.