On Not "Getting It"

Questioning How Conclusions are Reached

Conclusions are often determined regardless of alternative arguments. Why is beyond my depth expect to say that it has to do with those pesky (behind the scenes) prejudices pushing and prodding one’s leanings. However unrelated or materially irrelevant they are, these predispositions and personal inclinations have very often sealed the deal before the offending case is even made. We can notice and restate this problem one thousand different ways. But excessive description of the problem provides menial benefit. What matters is what we can do about it.


Upon hearing or reading some case, proposition, or viewpoint, the receiver is of course not obliged to agree. To dissent or raise doubt is both healthy and helpful, with one requirement. The dissension must be rooted in substance.


An all to common retort by the receiving party is often something akin to “I don't get it”, “I don't buy it”, or a similarly ambiguous and non-specific catch-all response. To this, one only has to ask, "Which part?"—that is, what particular aspect of said view are they not getting or are not buying? This simply question serves to show just how often little or no substance lies behind the overly generalized, non-substantive retort.


I was at first surprised how rarely the retorter could describe what it was they were objecting to, outside of vague generalizations. Frequently the issue is not a lack of understanding but of comprehension. For one reason or another, they have little desire or willingness to do so. Hence, it is not that they “don’t get it” but that they do not want to get it. They do not like what is being proposed. There is some objection rooted in predispositions rather than the argument itself.

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