I am involved in an ongoing battle with someone about the following issue and am beginning to doubt my own argument!! The issue :
The example was of contrasting European and British attitudes to the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. The person claimed that the French are more likely to understand the Iraqis due to their experience of being occupied in WW2, whereas Britain, although they fought in the war, were never invaded, and no battles were fought on British soil.
He believes that you cannot fully understand what you do not experience, or at least, that when you do experience something, your preconceived opinion of it is bound to change as a consequence.
Whereas I am (was?) an adamant believer in the capacity for human imagination and speculation, which allows people to feel empathy for others even if they have not directly experienced the situation at hand.
What are your opinions? I believe it may have something to do with empiricists and rationalists, although maybe that's just because I'm being indoctrinated by my current TOK module.
Thanks ever so.