In talks I have with individuals regarding superstitions (ex: religions, ghosts) and pseudoscience (ex: homeopathy, reiki) they often state "I know what I believe". It is their right to have such belief(s), but they should be aware it is a very dangerous position to take, this position is one of "no matter if evidence, science and reason point to the contrary, I know what I believe!".
If that's how some individuals wish to act then they will have to accept others who profess the same lingo "I know what I believe" are just as right. Here's one; "I know what I believe is that I must be able to protect myself at all times and carrying a loaded gun that everyone can see will increase my safety". The list of irrational ideas of "I know what I believe" could go on indefinitely. Each religion has thousands of "I know what I believe" stuffed in each one (slavery, subjugation of women, beating of children, etc...).
Imagine if we accepted all of these, what would ensue? The most horrid times in history are based on this alone:
After the fall of the Roman Empire faith took over and for about 1000 years we went back in morale behavior and stories of witches, ghosts, spirits, demons, women subjugating to men, killing of others who were not the same religion, they were all based on the hierarchy stating "We know what we believed", no explanation required, certainly not evidence, reason or science, let alone reality.
WW2 was another "I know what I believe" moment. Germany's destiny was assured by the superiority of their race which was based on zero reason, science or evidence, just "Knowing what I believe" was enough to kills millions.
Other dangers are believing people who say they can treat illnesses (reiki / homeopathy) at the risk of the illness only getting worse, and flushing money down the toilet. Or being swindled out of hard earned money listening to the likes of John Edwards using parlor tricks to make someone believe he is actually talking to a dead person. ALL based on mountains of evidence that have clearly shown no one can talk to the dead and they use people reading skills, as well as a good understanding of human psychology, especially how we apply confirmation bias.
If the human species is to prosper indefinitely we have to take to task anyone who makes such a statement, demand they explain in a rational manner and be able to show evidence of what it is he/she "knows what he/she believes". And if he cannot his stance should be relegated to nothing more than daydreaming thoughts with zero respect and application in reality.
"I know what I believe" falls into the same category of pseudoscience (reiki, homeopathy, astrology) and supernatural (ghosts, religion, talking to the dead). All of which are a bane on building a better world.
Monday, September 19, 2011
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