Idea-driven vs. Reality-driven

Have you ever had an argument in which you are 100% sure that you’re right, but so does your counterpart and it never reaches agreement?

No exit?
“No exit?” France, 2015

Recently I started to feel like fundamental issues in some arguments do not lie in the arguments themselves, but in people who are engaging in the arguments.

To be more precise, a conflict between two types of people ; idea-driven and reality-driven.

Idea-driven people are those who see things in macro-perspective. They put importance on signification of things, consider a matter on a large scale, and they do not hesitate to sacrifice themselves for the sake of their own beliefs.

Reality-driven people are those who see things in micro-perspective. They focus on actual facts, analyze each matter, and they are likely to behave on the basis of what benefits them in real terms.

Take a controversial issue, gun control, for example.

Idea-driven people might say “More guns, more crimes. Guns are not necessary for self-defense in a safe society with no guns, and armed teachers are like showing children that killing is ok under certain circumstances.”

Reality-driven people might argue “Although killing is wrong and a society with no guns is an ideal place, but the fact that many people already carry guns today remains the same. I need a gun to protect my family.”

These two arguments are very simplified and lack some other factors, but you get the point, right?

Take another example which is closer to our daily problems, shopping. Idea-driven people are more likely to buy things that match their style despite the prices. Contrary to it, reality-driven people stay reasonable, and cost-performance matters a lot.

It’s not a questions of gun control or what to buy anymore, it’s a question of the way people think. The way people think is influenced by many social factors, such as culture, family, childhood, friends, job, and so on. The diversity of opinions is vital in our society and that is why democracy is considered as (so far) the best political system. However, if people are fundamentally different in how they see the world, all those complicated issues in our society as well as in our daily life seem never to be resolved.

The important thing, I guess, is the education that teaches this diversity of opinions through different perspectives. Understanding that there are plenty of ways of thinking, respecting them, as well as expressing how YOU think (I wrote about how your opinions matter a lot and the significance of you transmitting them in this post ) are elementary, but also necessary steps to take in order to find better solutions in our society, along with our personal life.


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