Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Valuable Lesson

I didn’t think it would be right to just dismiss the whole Rapture thing in an installment of “Dumbass Idea of the Week,” because the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there really is a valuable lesson in this little fiasco.

For those who have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, Harold Camping, a self-proclaimed “bible scholar,” and preacher with no credentials to back either of those claims, predicted that the Rapture was supposed to have taken place this past Saturday, May 21st, specifically at 6pm allover the world.  Needless to say he was ridiculously wrong.  His prediction came from some math formula he cooked up using numbers from the bible, and he even took into account the days lost due to the switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar (I was actually impressed with that).

He finally spoke abut his fail-boat prediction, and when asked how he felt he used the word “flabbergasted.”  Not only is he bewildered, but his numerous followers, some of whom dropped money to advertise this thing, are also in complete disbelief.  A friend of mine got defriended by some dumbass on Facebook because she apparently bought into it it, too, and of course he made fun of Camping about it.  There is a lesson to be learned here.

We’re all guilty of this same exact shit.  We have our own beliefs, principles and ideas we’ve held to be true for our entire lives, and when we’re faced with evidence that suggests our beliefs are not true, more often than not we simply dismiss said evidence as false.

Sometimes we dismiss evidence contrary to our belief even when that knowledge is indisputable, even when it overwhelmingly challenges our beliefs as misguided or even fallacious.  What makes it even worse is that we tend to group ourselves with likeminded individuals who serve only to validate what we already believe to be true.

I know this because I’ve been guilty of it in the past.  I know how it feels to think that there are tons of people who agree with you and think you’re right.  It feels great to be validated, to have people you respect tell you that you’ve hit the mark.

It takes a brave person to admit when they’re wrong or mistaken.  It takes an even braver soul to leave the comfort of his cronies and venture out to places where nearly everyone disagrees with you.  I can say, though, that if you’re unwilling to admit when you’re wrong then you might as well count yourself as one of those weirdo Rapture people.

Now of course many of my readers will say “well I’ll admit I’m wrong when someone actually proves me wrong,” but that is already a fail attitude to have.  I go into every discussion knowing that I may be wrong.  I always believe that I’ve probably missed something, or that there is some other angle to perceive the issue that I’ve not considered.  At the end of the day I might reject things that are logically fallacious—especially when someone tries to pass speculation as fact and cannot recognize the difference between the two—but rarely do I deny factual information.  Even so, I don’t necessarily deny facts, but rather I may deny its relevance or the presenter’s interpretation of it.

As always, we are here.
Politics today is so bitter because no one wants to admit that they’re wrong.  So in the face of facts or logic, both sides dismiss any fact or line of logic that are contrary to their opinions as fallacious, propagandistic, or as outright lies.  To be sure, there is a lot of that stuff—lies and misinformation—out there, but if we get stuck in the trap of believing that it’s all a lie unless it jives with our inner sentiments, then we’re all caught looking “flabbergasted.”

It’s okay to be wrong, and once you’re willing to admit that you might be wrong on just about everything you believe then you’ve taken the first step to actually discovering Truth.  Otherwise, you might still be futilely waiting for the Rapture.

4 comments:

Country Thinker said...

Politicians don't have to admit they're wrong because right and wrong don't figure into the equation. "Right" is nothing more than disagreeing with another politician's proposal.

Karen Howes said...

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Harrison said...

I have X amount of time to spend on things. Since X time is limited I'd like to make sure I'm spending it on the right (correct) things. I have changed my opinion on several important things over the years such as the death penalty and voting for Democrats. I want to be corrected when I'm wrong.

Silverfiddle said...

So much politics is in the realm of theory, and that is the problem. It consumes so much of our lives now, we're like lab rats.