By understanding the notion of human equality along a single axis (i.e. human rights), we have failed to appreciate the importance of properly identifying and accounting for functional differences. This has, among other things, led to an important problem posed by elements of the politically correct speech and
Focusing on our own ethnic, cultural, and historical context makes sense and is a good thing. Doing so to the exclusion of other contexts is a problem – because our context is a tiny percentage of the total available. By critically examining diverse sources, we access a far broader field of thousands of years of theories, practice, and trial and error.
Context can be hard to come by, especially because we tend to project our preconceived ideas and make snap-judgments. We turn to two ideas from classical Chinese philosophy, to fight these bad habits and help resolve some problems they create.
Context lets us read charitably. Reading charitably keeps us from becoming trolls, through decontextualization. We consider three examples of decontextualization, dealing with history, science, and cyber security – and how simple knowledge of context discredits the claims entirely.