It’s okay to admit being wrong

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The Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving puts up an inside shot against the New York Knicks in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016.

By Tyler Panlilio , Columnist

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions, but not his or her own facts.

On a podcast that focuses on a more personal side of NBA players, Cleveland Cavaliers star point guard Kyrie Irving claimed last Friday that the Earth is flat.

When asked by his teammate for clarification, Irving had much to say:

“If you really think about it from a landscape of the way we travel, the way we move and the fact that — can you really think of us rotating around the sun and all planets aligned, rotating in specific dates, being perpendicular with what’s going on with these planets?”

I have to admit that, at first, I thought the NBA all-star was joking. I can definitely wrap my head around a planet orbiting something that has more mass.

In an interview a day later, Irving was asked if he truly believed in his claims.

“I think people should do their own research, man. You know, hopefully they’ll either back my belief or throw it in the water.”

While Irving later explained how he used his claim to display the sensationalism in media, it’s still unclear whether he actually believes it.

Irving is right that people should strive to validate what they hear in everyday life, whether it’s on TV or social media, among other outlets. But knowing that this planet is round isn’t news, nor is it a theory; people don’t question it because it’s a given.

How can someone even do research on an inherent fact? If you’re questioning whether or not the earth is flat, it’s essentially the same as questioning if water is truly wet.

Irving falls into the same category of people who believe that politics are ruled by a secret society of reptilians or that the moon landing was fake. Oh wait — Irving is indeed a firm believer that the moon landing was a hoax.


“The fact that his footprints don’t look the same comparatively to the boot that is in the museum, is ridiculous.”

When asked how he knew that, Irving simply said to look it up.

This is the main problem about doing your own research on these topics. With even the most minuscule pieces of “evidence,” — which is more often than not some pseudoscience found on a sketchy website from the ‘90s — people will still believe it.

When it comes down to it, anyone can justify anything to him or herself. If people want to feel right, they will continue to believe that they are correct without hesitation. Even facts such as the Earth’s rotundity can be wrong to some as long as they believe they’re right. There doesn’t even have to be concrete evidence here, just a belief.

The same concept can apply to politics, morality or even daily activities. An age-old example is the smoker who continues to smoke two packs a day because he don’t believe it actually hurts him.

I’m not trying to ridicule those who use self-justification, because all of us do it. In truth, it’d be weird to not have some sort of confirmation bias. There’s an even playing ground here, too. We experience the same self-justification as any president or celebrity. After all, we’re only human.

But people should work on recognizing this bias and acknowledge that being right all the time is no better than admitting you’re wrong.

Tyler is a freshman in Media. 

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