Just because I doubt the rigour of a (negative) statement about X, that does not mean I have any (positive) view about X. Negation is NOT endorsement. Negation is negation. Yet, many seem unable to grasp this.
Clinging to beliefs
People are often so invested in their beliefs and causes that they struggle to appreciate that you may have no definitive view about a matter. Perhaps, because you have not had the time, or inclination, to investigate it. Or, perhaps because things are rarely black and white. Because they cling to their positions with such vigour, such people might automatically ascribe a position to you. They may put you in some box, when you are only challenging the validity of a particular point they made.
It is perfectly reasonable to negate a particular statement, without having any other general value judgement on the thing. For example, if someone says the cake on the table is made of clay and I say it is not, this does not mean that I have any opinion on if the cake is edible, tasty, good or bad. Or, that I even know what it is actually made of. I am only negating the statement that it is made of clay.
Similarly, I may show that a particular statement about a person or thing is unfounded, without having any other opinion, either positive or negative, about that person. My negation is NOT endorsement of the person, it is just negation — very simple.
Blinded from seeing that negation is not endorsement
Yet, someone might label you as this or that for such very simple acts of negation. Remember that those who rush to label you are very likely blinded by their own beliefs. Blinded by the emotional investment they have made in the thing, whatever it is. Look, they are labelling you in exactly the same way that they are labelling the other person! Such people are not seeking the truth, but only seeking to validate themselves and their egos.
So, knowing whom it is you are dealing with, can make your life a whole lot easier. You may engage recognising with full clarity that they have little interest in rigour. Equally, you might decide to simply walk away. The choice is yours, and knowledge of what might be at play better informs this choice.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.