Without trust, are our everyday interactions without purpose?

Without trust, not only does discourse aimed at solving conflict becomes ineffective, but interactions with others also become distorted and deviate from the interaction’s purpose. In Ryan E. Carlin and Gregory J. Love’s peer reviewed journal, “Political Competition, Partisanship and Interpersonal Trust in Electoral Democracies”, Carlin and Love talk about how electoral competition alters inter-personal trust, therefore affecting cooperation. The paper goes on to say that within a political party, namely the democratic party, due to the nature of democracy requiring high levels of trust, this results in the production of trust within political groups and distrust across them. More specifically, they state that the presence of trust is needed in order to solve complex issues and solve inter-party conflict. However, it is not just in politics where trust is needed in order for a system to operate at a level at which it can achieve its purpose. It can also be seen in our daily lives, in conversation, sport, relationships and many more. Taking the example of conversation, the purpose of conversation is the pursuit of knowledge, no matter how ‘insignificant’ said knowledge is. It could be what one person ate for lunch, or what their philosophy on life is, but no matter what, the purpose of conversation, excluding the idea of conversing just for the sake of conversation is in my opinion, the pursuit of knowledge. In conversation, it is not necessarily trust in the words being spoken, one way the pursuit of knowledge is fulfilled is through the skepticism of what one says and building upon it. Instead, it is the trust in the integrity of the person and intent of the person to be one in the same, truthful in the attempts to attain greater knowledge. Without such trust that one is truthful, trying to gain further knowledge, one can distrust and immediately, all the words regardless of content that one says is irrelevant since the ethos behind it is distrusting and who would listen to what a devious person says. Without trust, our interactions with others prove to be distorted and stray away from their true purpose. This can be applied to sports as well, the purpose of sport is to compete, and through competing, becoming the best athlete that you can be. In sports, trust is hidden, it is not just the trust in your teammates to perform well and support you, but it is the trust in your competition that they, like yourself, will abide by the rules to play a fair game so that an athlete can see his or her true capacity for the game.

Relating this idea of trust to this week’s presentation, this week’s presentation brought up quite an interesting topic. It centered around how the media can generate biases that, in an electoral competition environment, create over-predictions on the results of said competition as compared to the final results of the election which were in fact not as close as it was predicted to be. Just like how we have to trust in the integrity and intent of the person, so in the case of the media, the news anchor, to speak the truth and to inform. This does not mean however that we should simply trust and take in everything the news anchor says, but by accepting knowledge with an open mind, and being critical, one can potentially prevent such biases on who is supposedly winning the electoral competition by questioning what is being said. Is this really what he/she is platforming for? Why is he/she being advertised so much on this news channel as compared to this other candidate? Is there a bias that I need to take into account? Of course, it could be said that you could prevent the entire problem of over-predicting competition results by not tuning into the biases of media through simply being distrusting on their intent and integrity. Despite this, there is always the chance you miss or skip over something incredibly profound or important towards basing your predictions on the results of the competition, and in that case, you are the one who is biased.

@cleacatona6529 also brought up something extremely interesting, she writes, “Each generation paints itself as more understanding and liberal than the last, but we are truly more open to others than before?” I think this definitely ties into one way we can begin the process of trusting people, in order to holistically fulfil the purpose of our actions, no matter how conscious or unconscious we are of fulfilling such purposes. Trust is reciprocal, and in showing it, you gain some back. One way we can start trusting people and begin to start solving political conflict more effectively may be to simply open up or be more transparent, so that others reciprocate in the same manner and problems can actually reach a level of discourse that can provide all sorts of ideas for all the problems we have to face together as a society.

Source: http://www.officeguycartoons.com/product/trust/

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