This does not necessarily mean that either one of us is purposely lying about these moments, but that the events were interpreted differently and time allowed these differentiations to increase. Likewise, when a crime is committed, eye witnesses are often questioned about what occurred and make a statement based upon their explanation of an event. These accounts are often used as evidence and a basis in court cases. However, an individual may fail to fully understand the circumstances of an event, much less an interaction between two unfamiliar people.
A person’s ability to retell events all depends upon their perception and understanding.
For example, if someone playfully punched their friend’s arm to emphasize a joke, a bystander could possibly misinterpret that playful gesture as a malicious one. This bystander neither understands the context of the punch nor the two people who were active participants in this exchange, therefore, the bystander would give an inaccurate account of what had happened based upon their incorrect intuition about what they saw.
There are also other cases in which perception would be skewed to the point of inaccuracy. Eyewitnesses are often used to recognize criminals from a number of suspects.
However, sight is a sense that can easily be influenced by emotion and the subconscious. For example, if a person is in a gas station when it is robbed at gunpoint, said person may believe that this traumatizing experience would lead them to recognizing the criminal at any given moment. This one witness is then presented a lineup of ten strikingly similar looking men: the witness could easily blame an innocent man for this crime.
The eye witness, in their state of fear at the gas station, may have failed to notice a crucial facial or physical feature, or even may have added one that did not exist.
Often, when my sister and I reminisce about the past, we have differing accounts of what occurred and what was said. This does not necessarily mean that either one of us is purposely lying about these moments, but that the events were interpreted differently and time allowed these differentiations to increase. What, then, can we assume about intuitions we make about life itself? In cases like these, intuition takes on a form that is less likely to be harmful because they are based in reason. If a person has a belief that is both justified and true, then they have no reason to reject this explanation.
For example, English philosopher John Locke formulated his theory of natural rights by observing the poor treatment of the common people. His intuition led him to establish an explanation about what people deserved, which in turn developed into a belief that every individual should be respected by the state. In this case, this explanation grew into a theory that benefitted several cultures throughout history. Though, other explanations like these should be discarded if they blatantly ignore ethical convictions. If this is true, then who is to say which explanation should be discarded or not?
Who is to say what is ethical or not? An intuitively appealing thought is always open to several interpretations. Though some explanations seem intuitively appealing, they are always limited due to the nature of humanity itself. Whether it is because of shortcomings in reason, emotion, or perception, the conclusions made are subjective, and therefore, incapable of applying to all aspects of a real life situation. If this holds true, then all intuitions have a possibility of being wrong. Then, should we discard or except everything that is intuitively appealing?
The answer is simple: we should do neither. We should only discard explanations that are intuitively appealing when we are unwilling to face the consequences of being wrong, while not letting the fear of consequences keep us from experiencing life.
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