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Thread: Why is explaining causality considered an ulitmatum/hostile?

  1. #1 Why is explaining causality considered an ulitmatum/hostile? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    As the dictionary defines an ultimatum:
    a final, uncompromising demand or set of terms issued by a party to a dispute, the rejection of which may lead to a severance of relations or to the use of force.
    Now lets look at 3 examples:

    A) A boy has few friends in school but is suddently
    invited to come play with the "cool" kids in class. His mother says
    finnish your homework first or you are grounded.
    The boy obviously risks his mothers demand to go
    play because of the vast reward over risk factor.


    B) A good guy that has never done anything wrong or illigal
    is dying is in need of a new kidney to survive and his family
    is to poor and the wait list to long. Without him his family
    will suffer in poverty. He robs a bank and escapes.
    A police officer stops him on the escape route and says
    "Stop or ill shoot"


    C) A student gets into a school but is forced to take a class
    that isnt really needed for his education on that particular
    school alone. He tells his Rector that if he is forced to take
    that class he will rather change school
    because its
    unneccesary for him in all ways.

    Now the likely outcome of these events are:

    A) The boy runs to play with his friend and gets
    grounded. Starting an ill mood with his mother
    which he will see as an enemy for trying to stop
    him and not understand.

    B) The man has no options. The only difference
    is that if the policeman lets him go the man will
    save his family either by getting the operation
    and get back to work or by giving the family the
    money and turn himself in/kill himself or other options.
    The policeman would in most cases stereotype the
    robber as a "bad person" and not hesitate to shoot however.

    C) The rector looks upon the student as disrespectfull
    and ungratefull while the student just wants justice.
    But because the student says "If you do not, i will..."
    the Rector is hostile toward the student and reject his
    request (Someone would call it demand while it is in
    reality again, just explaining causality)


    I know these examples may be flawed but it seems to me
    that explaining causality to someone is always considered
    a hostile action, a threat, blackmail and so on. Why is this?

    The events where you dont use casuality seems
    to favor the speakers more, it could go like this:

    A) The boy explains how much this means to him
    and begs his mother to understand, and asks to do
    the homework on the evening.

    B) The robber quickly explains his situation to the police
    officer while falling on his knees crying. Id say there is a
    good chanse here with a backalley with no witnessess that
    the cop might turn a blind eye and let the robber go.

    C) The student tells the Rector how much energy the
    "not needed" class is going to waste for him and asks
    for the sake of his future career that he is given the
    liberty to drop that class.

    In Aristoteles rhetoric teachings according to wikipedia
    he says that there are 3 major differences in communication which is:

    Ethos: Speakers authority
    Pathos: Emotion
    Logos: Logic

    It seems to me that using causality is using mostly
    authority and logic, while trying to explain as in the
    last examples are mostly emotion with some logic and no authority.

    So my conclution is that when requesting something from
    others when you dont have a choise - using logic fails,
    and using authority is considered hostile. Emotion is key
    backed up by logic.

    This again proves the imperfection of humans in my
    opinions as LOGIC should ALWAYS be the strongest influence.

    I got abit carried away now so again... explaining the
    simple law of causality is as ive seen - always deemed hostile
    and threatening. Is this because of the authority shown and
    cold logic? Why is casuality such a "Broken tool" when it
    comes to communication? Id really like some thoughts on this
    and escpecially examples you can make were using causality
    is the strongest option in a situation.

    Edit: Tried to make it less of a "Wall of text"


    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  3. #2  
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    What is casuality, and how does it differ from a threat?

    On what basis do you claim that logic should always be the strongest influence? There is no logical reason I can see for that statement. It is an opinion. Besides, a threat can be logical. Example: Persons running away from a cop carrying bank loot could get shot. You are running away from a cop carrying bank loot. Therefore, you could get shot. QED


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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    What is casuality, and how does it differ from a threat?

    On what basis do you claim that logic should always be the strongest influence?
    There is no logical reason I can see for that statement. It is an opinion. Besides, a threat can be logical. Example: Persons running away from a cop carrying bank loot could get shot. You are running away from a cop carrying bank loot. Therefore, you could get shot. QED
    1) Casuality is the law of cause and effect.

    As in the example of the student telling his teacher "I will chose another school if you dont let me drop class x"

    The student is in this case simply stating the cause and effect of the rectors response to him. However stating the cause and effect of the options given is in many peoples eyes considered "Threatening" "hostile" and considered an ultimatum.

    This is due to the lack of options available to the student for example. He says "If you dont let me, i will..." Giving the rector a simple logical realization of the effects of his choises.

    2) Logic isnt always the strongest influence, it varies from person to person - that is true Harold. But feelings arent objective truths, they are chemicals... flawed fragile subjective terms. Shouldnt logic hold a stronger value?

    Take 2 neighbors that is fighting over something, they could apply logic and strike a mutual beneficial deal. However - they are more likely to fight more and more as anger consumes them. Emotion easily crushes logic, while using logic is more beneficial. Therefore Emotion is weakness?
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  5. #4 Re: Why is explaining casuality considered an ulitmatum/host 
    Forum Masters Degree Twit of wit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell

    B) A good guy that has never done anything wrong or illigal
    is dying is in need of a new kidney to survive and his family
    is to poor and the wait list to long. Without him his family
    will suffer in poverty. He robs a bank and escapes.
    A police officer stops him on the escape route and says
    "Stop or ill shoot"
    Bank robbery creates a new kidney?
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  6. #5  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I would have found the whole item more digestible if you had taken the trouble to spell causality correctly. But that's just me.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I would have found the whole item more digestible if you had taken the trouble to spell causality correctly. But that's just me.
    I dont know why, but even aware of myself writing it wrong i kept writing casualty. Ill try correct it.

    Edit: I didnt spell it correctly even once it seems, and not even the title was correct. So much for getting any serious response to my thread Mustve made people more irritated and confused than anything else.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Thank you for your readiness to acknowledge the error. As a result I went back and had a further read of your OP. One thing that struck me was a possible error in your argument.
    You speak of situations wherein there is no choice, but as far as I could see there was always choice for all participants. Could you narrowly examine one example and demonstrate where the lack of choice lies. I dont' think I can advance further with your argument until that is resolved.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    I daresay an ultimatum is a causality-based warning with a special flavour. The flavour being that the speaker is part of the chain of causes and effects.

    "Don't walk on this frozen lake or you might drown" is a warning based on causality:

    - walking on ice puts pressure on it;
    - the pressure can break the ice;
    - the walker than looses support and falls into the water;
    - the cold, the crushed ice around the shoulders, and possibly getting completely under the ice prevent the (now ex-)walker from swimming;
    - the (ex-)walker dies.

    The speaker is not part of the process; he is merely stating the situation. Therefore, the warning is not an ultimatum.

    "Don't touch my money or I'll shoot you" is an ultimatum (as well as a warning based on causality) because here the speaker is part of the chain:

    - the thief touches the money;
    - the speaker sees there is no other way to stop the thief but shoot him;
    - the speaker pulls the trigger;
    - the gun fires;
    - the bullet hits the thief.

    Hope this helps.

    BTW you live in a very friendly country if a bank robber can get away with his loot by explaining to a cop why he needs the money.
    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
    History teaches us that we don't learn from history.
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