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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

No Carrot in this Garden


 

Have you heard idiomatic phrases such as “no horse in this race” or “no dog in this fight”? These expressions relate to the notion that a person has no vested interest in the outcome of a particular event. Still, I find that animal rights activists tend not to appreciate these phrases, due to allusions of animal cruelty.

 

While I imagine a breatharian may not like my alternative to these idiomatic maxims, I choose to say that I have no carrot in this garden when remarking on a matter in which I have no stake. To the vegetable activists who take issue with this phrase, I offer another alternative: I have no thought in this brainstorm.

 

Although the memory is reconstructive, I think I recall a time when people could engage in healthy dialogue while expressing different perspectives. Of course, some topics were considered too taboo for discussion amongst polite company (e.g., one’s stance on abortion).

 

However, as I stated in Let’s Have a Discussion, “something I found interesting began to occur at the end of 2014. I observed spirited dialogue with one’s ideological opponent begin to be replaced with calls for silencing of detractors from one position or another, creating an atmosphere of shame.”

 

A decade since then, I’ve observed rigid divides between sociopolitical antagonists. Now, it seems as though the irrational belief related to demandingness is frequently used when groups X and Y command that person Z should, must, or ought to choose between the perspectives of these groups.

 

For example, supporters of Palestine (group X) remain at odds with supporters of Israel (group Y). Independent minded person Z exercises rational compassion with perspectives of groups X and Y, though has no carrot in this garden one way or another.

 

Person Z rejects the false binary presented by group X which demands, “You shouldn’t be neutral in the face of genocide, so you’re either with us or against us!” This either-or fallacy isn’t based on logic and reason, though is instead an irrational appeal.

 

Additionally, person Z rejects the false dichotomy presented by group Y which commands, “You shouldn’t remain neutral when calls for our extinction are present, because not only is silence equivalent to complicity, silence is violence!” This, too, is an irrational appeal.

 

Allow me to demonstrate my position through use of a syllogism:

 

Form –

If a, then b. If b, then c. Therefore, if a, then c.

 

Example –

If you don’t take a stance on one side or the other of warring nations, then you’re an immoral person.

 

If you’re an immoral person, then you don’t deserve to be treated with decency.

 

Therefore, if you don’t take a stance on one side or the other of warring nations, then you don’t deserve to be treated with decency.

 

The categorical proposition of the major premise (i.e., “you’re an immoral person”) is flawed. This is because morality (determination of what is or isn’t proper) is subjective.

 

Although groups X and Y may share a moral code that infers a feature of demandingness (i.e., people should take a stance on one side or the other of warring nations), person Z’s moral code may conflict with this proposition. Perhaps person Z believes it’s a moral good to remain neutral.

 

Therefore, following from a flawed major premise, the syllogism results in an illogical and unreasonable conclusion (i.e., one doesn’t deserve to be treated with decency unless one adopts the moral code of others). Suppose person Z values rationality over irrationality of this sort.

 

Person Z may then conclude that while it’s preferable that nations would never war with one another, conflict of this kind is inevitable. Nevertheless, person Z has no carrot in this garden, because this individual maintains no control or influence to effect change in this regard.

 

Therefore, and despite remaining rationally compassionate for citizens on both sides of the issue who are affected by warring nations, person Z tends to one’s own garden. This is the essence of unconditional life-acceptance (ULA) in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).

 

Although I’m not quite sure how society within the United States went from engagement in healthy dialogue to silencing one’s sociopolitical opponents, and now irrationally demanding that people should take sides in partisan skirmishes, I practice ULA to keep from self-disturbing about these changes.

 

Just as person Z can’t change the experience of war, I can’t control or influence volatile dialog currently taking place across this nation – not in any meaningful way, that is. You know what else? Neither can you. Therefore, I have no carrot in this garden. How about you?

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

References:

 

Excelsior Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). False dilemma fallacy. Excelsior University. Retrieved from https://owl.excelsior.edu/argument-and-critical-thinking/logical-fallacies/logical-fallacies-false-dilemma/

Hollings, D. (2022, May 17). Circle of concern. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/circle-of-concern

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2024, April 2). Four major irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/four-major-irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2024, January 27). Genocide. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/genocide

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2024, February 11). Let’s have a discussion. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/let-s-have-a-discussion

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2023, January 8). Logic and reason. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/logic-and-reason

Hollings, D. (2023, October 2). Morals and ethics. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/morals-and-ethics

Hollings, D. (2022, October 22). On empathy. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-empathy

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2024, January 4). Rigid vs. rigorous. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rigid-vs-rigorous

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, December 3). Silence is complicity. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/silence-is-complicity

Hollings, D. (2023, October 17). Syllogism. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/syllogism

Hollings, D. (2022, November 14). Touching a false dichotomy. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/touching-a-false-dichotomy

Hollings, D. (2023, March 11). Unconditional life-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-life-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, June 21). What shame? Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/what-shame

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Inedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inedia

Zahra, F. (2024, February 20). A beautiful garden [Image]. Playground. Retrieved from https://playground.com/post/a-beautiful-garden-full-of-delicious-vegetables-and-fruits-clsv6gkrn06o9s601cmhagf70

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