Have you believed something to be true for years, and then suddenly received information that led you to conclude that your belief turned out to be false? Did it change the perspective of the world you live in and disrupted similar beliefs you once held to be true and valued? Such questions have prompted philosophers to ask and examine since the days of antiquity, and more recently others in psychology, behavioral neuroscience, linguistics, education, cultural anthropology, sociology, and neurology have also made inquiries about the nature of just what indeed constitutes “knowledge” and exactly how do we acquire these “matters-of-fact?”
A fundamental starting point for all of our beliefs and what we hold to be true begins with how we attain the information, what we do with that information when we process and analyze it, (or lack of processing and analyzing), and the resulting effects these beliefs have upon our world-perspectives and perceptions of incoming events, existing ideas, and thoughts or feelings that populate our minds.
Do we live in a world of our own creations, where our constructs of reality are determined largely by our abilities of intellect, perception, intuition, and logical analysis? Ask any law enforcement detective about the reliability of eye-witness testimonies and you’ll probably find the error rate is a good indication that we are not as accurate as we would like to be. Are we sure that the information we receive from the world around us is authentic and true, or can it be that much of this information is interpreted by the limitations of our minds and therefore susceptible to errors of judgement? Think also about how reliable our information actually is after we screen for biases from the originating sources themselves; such as corporate owned media conglomerates that have proven to fail to give an accurate account due to editorial pressures, political alignments, skill set deficits from journalists and other news team personnel, as well as budgetary concerns that all impede the conditions for a truthful contingency. If we are ultimately responsible for comprehending the beliefs that we hold to be true, why do we not then challenge more of the information that we perceive from a constant duplicity of sources?
Instead of going off in the direction I think I once wanted to say something about, I find a compelling diversion with this topic. The author had the intention to connect to some of the readers with an illustration and an examination of the basic human desire for a deeper need for meaning in their lives. Since only a select population would have any interest in this subject, then this sample population becomes even more specialized. I have no utopian aspirations so I do not partake in the notions of posting something I believe everyone would like, but simply realize that I may only capture a fragment of this reading population that has any interest in such matters.
A closer inspection of what we may know, and how we acquire this knowledge of the world raises questions about the validity of these fundamental beliefs if we proceed down that path of reasoning. Despite all information that one can write on the topic of epistemology, much has been covered through-out the ages and this author has decided that a stale treatment of its history should not be read here. A conclusion that many have come to hold is the truth that most people cannot “be reached” through ordinary means or measures. Unfortunately logic alone, will not change a great deal of the population, largely due to their own limitations, awareness and comprehensive skills including the abilities of the author of this post. When I speak of “being reached”, the author intends to suggest that people often do not rethink their positions and thus continually fail to challenge the status quo in their thinking. I envision that one must have something more, something with more tenacity, and fortitude in the language of the communicator when considering this goal. One must have something that can connect to people on a deeper level, and possibly more than just one level; but rather on a multiplicity of levels which just might optimize this communication. ERGO: One must be able to INSPIRE!
The dangers of the fragility of the human mind have been demonstrated over countless ages that we have broadcasted our dominion. In the infancy of our intellects, for some of us we often imposed quasi-truths to make sense out of the world that fills in the gaps of our reckoning. As for others, many have often used alternative mechanisms to decide just how they should encode the world around them including illusion, myths, pseudo-sciences, and quite possibly the most prominent offender; misinterpretation.
Historically, whichever of the tolerant dictates of the current cultural paradigm are employed, there often leaves a byproduct of consciousness that has not yet been tapped. The courage to discard useless mythologies, and baseless or senseless philosophies has left an indelible mark in these societies that take special notice of some of it’s distinguished persecuted or heretical members. Whichever school of thought one imparted their beliefs to, it was either fear, or misunderstanding that would take precedence in past evaluations when these members have surfaced in the musings of the denizens over the years. The examples that come to mind are people such as Socrates, Copernicus, Mahatma Gandhi, Nikola Tesla, Galileo Galilei, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Jesus Christ, Siddhartha Gautama, Confucius, Plato, Lao Tzu, Immanuel Kant, Robert Bauval, John Anthony West, Robert Schock, David Hume, Søren Kierkegaard, and the list goes on.
The mass appeal to the misguided is only a reflection of the work we have to overcome as a people if we are to evolve our thinking processes. It begins by thinking for ourselves. Attend not to the spells cast out from the sycophant’s and the sophists.