Or, to be more precise, it is stronger. But belief is stronger than knowledge from the emotional point of view. Since we know we are right, we are not proving it to other people. Because, well, this is knowledge, isn’t it? We know it, others don’t or do, or at least should know. Or, if they get the facts, they will know. But Armenians believe, so they go around convincing other people, consistently, constantly, in different ways, in artistic ways, in political ways, in economic ways.
That is, their reasoning is emotional, while ours is empirical.
Ours is empirical. We say, look, here are the facts: here is Khojaly, the occupation, Aghdam, destruction, this and that… Our approach is if you have a brain, read this, learn this and you will know. Basically, ours is a very practical and pragmatic approach.
That is, we appeal to the mind, while they appeal to emotions.
As a result, it is because of this approach that we keep losing to Armenians strategically, rhetorically. Because Armenians know how to tell stories. Very plaintive, sympathetic stories at that. We cannot even convey our grief. Because to us, showing ourselves in a pitiful light… no, of course, we complain a lot between ourselves. But we have this curious barrier… We are a nation who doesn’t like to tell our woes to strangers, to other people. I don’t know, it’s like it hurts our honor, our dignity, perhaps. “Even if I’m suffering, I’m going to suffer with pride.” Armenians are not like that. Armenians go around telling pitiful stories. It does not even occur to then that no one listens to them anymore, whether people believe them or not, whether the reaction is genuine. For example, Pelosi came to Yerevan and cried. Armenians just took it at face value. This wouldn’t work with us. For example, Putin comes to Baku, speaks in front of the 20th January monument—what would our people say? “Enough with the theatrics, so you came, thanks, we got it, you apologized, that’s it, stop crying.” This is us. This is a great quality of ours. This skepticism is a great thing, we just don’t know how to capitalize on it. While Armenians… looking from the outside, to us, this is shamelessness. How can you lie like this? You occupied our lands for thirty years, you wreaked havoc everywhere on those lands, and now you call us an occupier? And they say it without a shadow of a doubt. Because they believe in what they are saying. We know they are lying. But they believe they are telling the truth.
And that is the fundamental difference between us… I’m not saying we should adopt their strategy, their tactic. The point is, we know we are right, but they believe they are right. And our reasoning proceeds from that: What is knowledge? I give you information, I show you the facts, now you should know. We are not a nation that tells stories. We do not go around trying to convince anyone. We actually think this is a waste of time. But Armenians are great at that, they tell stories, they win people over, they will do anything. Because they believe. They believe, while we know.
Erkin Gadirli – Member of the Azerbaijani National Assembly’s VI convocation
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