Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 9 months ago

Certain agendas are mutually exclusive. Because you cannot have it both ways. True or false?

What is "mutually exclusive" is usually decided by mutually agreement of all the relevant parties concerned.

But in the absence of a workable consensus the actual definition of such a word will be determined by the strongest player.

By definition, the "strongest" is always the one who has the most bargaining power.

True or false?

6 Answers

  • P
    Lv 7
    9 months ago
    Favourite answer

    False. Inertia and vested interest rule the day. Those in power dictate, usually from out of sight behind the scenes. Divide and rule is the order of the day. Mutual agreement is left to those on the field of play but they're not the ones making the rules.

  • 9 months ago

    I agree that when, out of two things, only one or the other can happen, they are mutually exclusive, but parts of your statements don't make much sense to me.

    What is mutually exclusive is not a matter that is decided; it's more like a metaphysical fact. Which agenda, of mutually exclusive agendas, goes forward, or comes to fruition, may be decided by the strengths of those trying to further their agendas, but other factors may be involved. Outcomes are (I suppose) virtually always a result of the interplay of both actions, and circumstances.

    One can indeed define the one who has the most bargaining power as "the strongest", but not necessarily. Strength can be used to describe any number of things. A given person's strength may be their agility, their intelligence, their charisma, their drive, their musculature, their experience, etc. It may be difficult to identify which of the strongest will prevail in a contest of wills. A participant that is actually at a disadvantage may percieve himself/herself to be the strongest, (and therefore think he/she has the most bargaining power) while others perceive otherwise. Who has the most bargaining power when the strengths and weaknesses of the participants are unknown?

  • 9 months ago


    if you look closely you always see its not black and white but shades of grey

  • 9 months ago

    "Mutually exclusive" only refers to the ideas themselves and not the outcome. Yes, the one with the more power or authority is the one to decide what happens which in turn means that the other choice is no longer possible, but that does not mean that the ideas themselves are no longer mutually exclusive, it only means that one of the ideas was excluded. The definition is neither debatable nor changeable.

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  • 9 months ago

    Mutually exclusive just means you can't do both things - like install a water cooler or not install a water cooler. How the group decides between the two is up to the group.

  • 9 months ago

    Your headline question is true, but your expanded question is false.

    Agendas can only truly be mutually exclusive if there are areas where there is no possibility of meaningful negotiation and neither side is willing to move enough from their own position to satisfy the other.  When that occurs, it doesn't matter even slightly who is the weakest and who the strongest, as neither will budge regardless.  This is especially true if their positions are based on religion or some other form of firmly held ideology.

    What is mutually exclusive is, therefore, not determined by the stronger party, but by how willing each side is to negotiate potentially problematic areas.

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