The donkey told the tiger, “The grass is blue.”
The tiger replied, “No, the grass is green .”
The discussion became heated, and the two decided to submit the issue to arbitration, so they approached the lion. As they approached the lion on his throne, the donkey started screaming: ′′Your Highness, isn’t it true that the grass is blue?”
The lion replied: “If you believe it is true, the grass is blue.”
The donkey rushed forward and continued: ′′The tiger disagrees with me, contradicts me and annoys me. Please punish him.”
The king then declared: ′′The tiger will be punished with 3 days of silence.”
The donkey jumped with joy and went on his way, content and repeating: ′′The grass is blue, the grass is blue…”
The tiger asked the lion, “Your Majesty, why have you punished me, after all, the grass is green?”
The lion replied, ′′You’ve known and seen the grass is green.”
The tiger asked, ′′So why do you punish me?”
The lion replied, “That has nothing to do with the question of whether the grass is blue or green. The punishment is because it is degrading for a brave, intelligent creature like you to waste time arguing with an ass, and on top of that, you came and bothered me with that question just to validate something you already knew was true!” The biggest waste of time is arguing with the fool and fanatic who doesn’t care about truth or reality, but only the victory of his beliefs and illusions. Never waste time on discussions that make no sense. There are people who, for all the evidence presented to them, do not have the ability to understand. Others who are blinded by ego, hatred and resentment, and the only thing that they want is to be right even if they aren’t.
When IGNORANCE SCREAMS, intelligence moves on.
Daily, perhaps because of the glut of information available, we come across something that is, at least for us, blatantly false. The source of the information is often decidedly adamant that his or her version is true. I often wonder how the ‘Flat Earthers’ gained momentum, or the ‘New World Order,’ or any of the other conspiracy theories that have taken flight. I also wonder why people would place themselves in a position where they are diametrically opposed to what has been already been proven. But, as the lion responded, we can say that what you believe is true for you, is true.
It is useless to argue with someone who has set their mind upon some issue or idea and refuses to look at the evidence that does not support their belief. The quote often attributed to Herbert Spencer says:
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation.
In other words, if I am of the belief that I already know what the answer is, not only do I not bother to investigate it further, I will rebuke and rebuff any attempts to contradict my belief. I will never know the truth because I am not interested in truth. I am interested in my belief and will defend it even when facing insurmountable evidence to the contrary.
If an argument is not going to be enriching for both parties, then it is time to move on.
So as the lion says, just let that go; there is no sense in trying to argue with someone who is not willing to see another point of view. What one believes is true is true for them, is true for them. Some people haven’t yet discovered that the answers to questions are less important that the questions themselves. Moreover, one must realize that arguing with such a person is a waste of time.
We have all run into folks who love to argue but when their only aim is to bring others over to their side and not to listen to any information that does not support that view it is not a debate, but rather, an espousal of one’s views. For many, opinions on religion, politics or other hot-button issues aren’t open to any other interpretation but the one that their holders carry. To those we can say: “I’m glad that you believe what you believe,” and leave it there. However, it does us no service to completely dismiss their point of view because that makes us guilty of the same arrogant offence. Perhaps their belief may lead us to ask a new question.
I need open-mindedness to receive new information. I also need humility to accept that the information and the beliefs that I hold may not be correct. I do my best to seek the truth, to find answers to new questions that come to me. Some things that were true for me in my youth are no longer true today. New ideas in the realms of science, mathematics, and spirituality come to the fore often. I relish the chance to explore them for myself and find an answer that will work for today but not hold onto that answer so tightly that I refuse to see future evidence to the contrary. That will, as Spencer said, keep me in permanent ignorance.