I can't look into another person's mind, so I have absolutely no idea if when someone tells me that, "Personally, I concede that there may be viewpoints different than my own which are perfectly reasonable..." they are telling the truth. But please believe me when I tell you that if I should ever say this or anything similar to you, I will be lying through my teeth.



  1. That’s like one of those “Happy Wife/Happy Life”-type apologies. You don’t have to believe it, but if you say it in a way that’s believable, your life will go SO Much Better (Happy Wife/Happy Life).

  2. I take the point! But two dubiums for clarification:

    1) What about subjects about which I might have a viewpoint as such, but I don’t know much about them, and don’t care about them (both the no-knowing and the not-caring have to be present)? Or does that kind of vague hunch or assumption about something unimportant not count as a real viewpoint?

    2) Do you mean, strictly speaking, “reasonable”? A viewpoint can be reasonable without my thinking it has any chance of being right compared to my own viewpoint. And are we meaning “arrived at by reason”, “open to reason” or “transparent to reason”?

  3. I’m pretty certain that the person I am quoting was using the word “reasonable” inaccurately. I agree with you, an argument can be reasonable and wrong. For example, the argument that women cannot become bishops because the disciples were men has been formulated by the application of reason. I believe that the conclusion that reasoning leads to is bollocks. An honest proponent of such a view would believe that my conclusion was bollocks. A dishonest proponent of either conclusion would come up with some platitude about having to accept the opposition might be right. And I ask you, where’s the fun in that?