Humans are not wired to want the truth

by rebel8 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • rebel8

    That's what I suspect.

    Perhaps some of us retrained our brains to not surrender to a natural urge to believe the simplest, most drama-laden spins on facts.

    Examples (at least I think this is the truth!):

    The clock. The son of Muslim activists makes a device that, on purpose, looks like a bomb. Brings it to school, and plays the victim. The media immediately reports this with a stock photo of a different clock, and people who don't read the farking article believe that's the clock he made. Drama ensues with people criticizing the school and police. Literally 24 hours later, some people try to reason with the Internet hordes by exposing the truth about the stock photo, but nobody listens. They'd rather shout with their torches. [citation]

    The cups. A known con man, who calls himself a pastor, says Starbucks is persecuting xians because their holiday cups this year do not have a bold pattern. (They do have a pattern this year--just not a bold one, and in exactly zero previous years did they ever have a religious theme.)

    A total of 6 people, who obviously are operating with a few xmas cookies short of a dozen, agree with him. They are the people who keep sending him $ for no reason, so they need to believe in him.

    Atheists get a hold of his post and spread this non-story around the Internets. The proportion of atheists outraged at the xians to xians actually upset about the cup is approximately 1:10000000000000. The atheists start a campaign to patronize Starbucks even more. Over nothing.It is on the national news--meanwhile, no cure for cancer.

    Vaccines. Need I explain? People are not getting their vaccines because they hear anti-vaxx, foaming at the mouth, nonsense. Truth doesn't matter.

    GMOs. Human beings have been genetically modifying foods since their knuckles dragged on the ground, and they're safe, even when assisted by technology. A known purveyor of snake oil, Food Babe, made up a story about a scientist getting rich from GMOs (all while receiving much more $ from her sponsors). The scientist was harassed and threatened, even after donating the $, that he stepped out of public view for the sake of his family.

    NYT published a BS article.

    The apostle who started it all doesn't even believe it anymore.

    What do you think? Are people simply hard wired to believe what they want, instead of what's true?

  • John Aquila
    John Aquila
    I totally agree! You just confirmed out loud, what I had been thinking for years.
  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    "Are people simply hard wired to believe what they want, instead of what's true?"

    Yeap. That's something I found out right after my d'fing. But different people have slightly different wiring or maybe none at all so you cannot project such obstinacy to everyone.

  • John Aquila
    John Aquila

    But different people have slightly different wiring or maybe none at all

    VI. You just said something else that I didn't want to admit. It makes perfect sense.

  • Village Idiot
  • done4good

    Great post, rebel8. Absolutely. I would only refine it just a bit and state that the degree to which someone is not accepting of truth, is the degree to which they are committed to a particular belief. The question really becomes why are they committed as such? I certainly have my own theories on that, but it goes off-topic.

    Overall that hardwired nature of acceptance of things that are untrue has much to do with survival, even if to modern humans and society as a whole, it does far more harm than good. The broader concepts of dissonance theory have quite a bit to say about this, from an evolutionary perspective, both biologically and socially. For example, an animal in the woods that hears what it believes to be a predator, decides to run for cover. That animal does not reason that the potential predator may be nothing more than than the wind ruffling some branches. It makes a decision and commits itself, (even if it means running into a real predator in its efforts to escape).

    Humans inherited this fight or flight mentality from our ancestors, and do not always reason when making commitments. If someone commits themselves to a particular belief, the degree to which they have a vested interest in that commitment, is the degree to which they will not accept reasoned discourse with respect to what is real. Their delusion, be it fear driven or otherwise, becomes very real to them, just as that animal trying to escape from what it perceived to be a dangerous threat. Reason does not always prevail, and evolution to a degree, has almost ensured it will not.


  • DJS

  • sir82

    I don't that we are hardwired to prefer lies, but we are definitely hardwired to try to make sense of stuff.

    It's a survival mechanism - if you can figure out the methods of your predators, you can develop a workaround and keep living.

    Many times there simply are no answers that "make sense", so we make up stuff that appeals to that instinct to "make sense" of the world.

    This instinct to "fill in the missing pieces" with "stuff that seems to make sense" gets carried over into all aspects of life - Starbucks cups, vaccines, etc.

    Notice how the WT publications word it? They always say how the Bible provides "satisfying answers". Not "true" answers, not "factual", not "accurate", but "satisfying". The WT knows: If they have a choice, people will pick "satisfying" over "true" in the vast majority of cases.

  • cappytan

    Uh mentioned GMO's and took a rational position. Now you're gonna get flamed. lol

  • tim3l0rd

    Not wanting to hijack your thread, but I'm still on the fence about GMOs. Selective breeding and genetic splicing are two entirely different things. I'm not convinced that they are bad for us, but I'm also not convinced that they aren't. I'm also not convinced that they couldn't have a harmful affect on native varieties down the road.

    The other issue is the veracity with which companies protect their patented genes. I don't think it's right for a company to seize what a farmer has grown just because their gene entered his crops through pollination. If he stole seed or purposely cross pollinated, then that's a different story. I understand that they need to protect their intellectual property, but pollination is a natural process that the farmer has no control over. Sadly the small farmers don't have the resources to fight the big companies.

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