April 19, 2013

You Always Think You're Right

"You always think you're right!"

Yeah, I do. And so do you. And so does everybody else.

There's a difference between always thinking you're right, and thinking you're always right. I always think I'm right, but I know that I'm not always right.

In any debate, each party believes that he and he alone is correct. Otherwise, they'd agree. There would be no debate in the first place. This is an obvious but often overlooked truth.

Everyone always thinks that he is right. The moment anyone becomes convinced that he is wrong, he changes his mind, and then, having corrected his thinking, he goes right back to believing that he is right (but for real this time). Is this arrogance? Of course not.

So, yeah, I always think I'm right. Does it follow, then, that I think I'm always right? No. (Read it again, slowly, if you still haven't gotten the distinction.)

In every argument. I think I'm right. Does that mean that I believe I've never been wrong (or never will be again)? Does it mean that I think I'm always right? Again, no. I always think I'm right, yet I know that I'm not always right. And this goes for pretty much everybody (except for that rare person who really does think he is always right rather than just always think he is right).

So, what's the point? I'm sick of hearing the phrase "you always think you're right" thrown around.  It's not that it isn't correct. It is. It's just that it's also trivial and tautologous. Yes. I always think I'm right. So do you. So does everybody. Get over it.

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