In today’s world, perfect sight - but no insight

Yasser al-Ghaslan

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Most of the prevalent political and economic ideas in our time can only be categorized under “point of view,” which is the name given to the famous play by the extremely politicized Egyptian actor Mohamed Sobhi. The play tells the story of a group of blind people who are staying on their own accord in a charity association for the blind. The word play in the title of the play and the nature of its characters is symbolic in a way that becomes obvious now more than ever. In today’s world, all are provided with an outlet and allowed to express their points of view at a time when many suffer from lack of insight despite their perfect 20/20 sight.

Many misunderstand the concept of a point of view and assume that their points of view are indisputable facts even though at the end of the day they remain individual opinions that might be supported by some yet cannot be proven through neutral means, especially if they are related to the variables of life and the changes in human mood.
Birdseye view

In a very small book called “Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite,” writer Paul Arden talks about the types of points of view. According to him, points of view can be traditional and common, personal, shared by the majority, or shared by the minority, yet none of all those points of view can be considered “right.”

Arden explains that in all those types of points of view, people think they are right while they might actually be wrong and he attributes this contradiction to the angle from which a person looks at this point of view.

When philosophers started laying the foundations of humanity’s first ideas, they always subjected their points of view to contemplation, thinking, study, and sophism in an attempt to discover the weaknesses of each of those points of view before it can be turned into a logically and scientifically proven idea. But the philosophers of the present time are “take away” thinkers who naively try to turn points of view into givens even though they lack the most basic evidence. Some points of view are even now treated with a degree of sanctity.

Let us remember that opinions which prove to be closer to the truth are those that result from thinking, experiments, questions, and neutral proof. They are not those that come out of inflated egos, intransigence, and applause from the crowds.

This article first appeared in Saudi Arabia’s al-Watan on March 1, 2013

Yasser al-Ghaslan has worked as a reporter and editor in several Saudi newspapers and is the founder of themedianote.com, a website focusing on Arab media issues. He has previously been a director at the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting in Doha and now is the head of Media & Public Relation at Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University in Saudi Arabia. He can be followed on Twitter: @alghaslan.

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