I shared the first quote today in my instagram and whatsapp. Second one was the first quote about common sense heard from physics professor in school. Now I was reflecting, how far the talk of common sense is really sensible.
Wikipedia defines common sense as sound practical judgment concerning everyday matters, or a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge that is shared by nearly all people. It looks quite interesting and innocent.
What is troublesome for me is the word highlighted there — shared by nearly all people (or atleast a big majority). In the multicultural and pluri-religious world of ours, are there many things shared by many. Definitely the regular answers of humanity, rationality and others do exist. But beyond that…??
What is a matter of common sense for a carpenter (or a technically sounded person) may not be for others. What is common sense for women may not be for men.
[When we see a person in accident on the road, we might say it is the simple common sense that he should be helped or taken to hospital. But the question is how many do? So I find the statements of common sense slightly problematic].
My point is that our claims, views and understandings are based on our cultures, religions, educations and many other aspects. Thus our understandings and perceptions are extremely different. Everybody might accept the UN charter for human rights or the Indian constitution, but there are different interpretations on what is justice? what is minority rights? and so on.
Common sense is definitely influenced by our world-views and we do have different world-views. Even highly educated scientists do possess contradicting worldviews, not necessarily a unified view.
Such an understanding that differences do exist between us and there may be nothing called common-sense (that is common to most people; such a sense may be there for a small group) needn’t mean that co-operation and collaboration is not possible. Understanding such sensibilities reminds us of the need to have greater communication, leading to better understanding the other (things are not common among us as believed), which will further help in forming cordial relationships.