Monday, April 12, 2010

why are people wrong?

this is not exactly art, but in its own screwy way its got something to say.

i am struck by how often people divide themselves into two camps and both sides think the other is absolutely nuts. thats the observation, now the attempted explanation...

Why are people wrong?

Never mind that some people are right, they are in the minority. Most people are wrong. Ask anybody. Those guys, they don’t have a clue.

Politics is religion. All sides, all creeds, have their faithful and true believers. It colors how they see things. Their way is right, and they will fight and argue for it. The stupidity and calumny of the other side is scarcely to be comprehended.

Religion is religion (no argument there) .

Science is religion.

Art is religion.

Each have their adherents who cling to it as the truth, as the important, the relevant. It informs and shapes their perceptions, their actions, their wishes and desires.

People look for recognition. They are motivated by recognition. Whether it be hitting the most home runs, writing the best book, being elected to the highest office in the land, or quietly being a good accountant.

The first impulse is that somebody out there has figured this all out. And so you become a follower. Somebody is worthy and can teach or lead. Whether it be politics, art, religion.

People who have religion have figured out the most important questions in life. Never mind that different religions have completely different practices. In some you sit in the dark and try to see inside your mind. In others you kill other people who don’t follow your rules, like communists. Others you cant play cards, or dance. Some you cant wear short skirts.

Some young people do as they are told. They cross themselves. They believe that adam and eve were our first parents. Sometimes they have doubts. Maybe those who tell me what to believe are wrong. its called free will. Its very inefficient. Everyone has to grapple with the same problems and reinvent the mental solutions. That’s where teachers come in, but sooner or later, they all are wrong. maybe in a subtle way, or a gross way, but what great student has not differed with his teacher?

But that’s putting the best light on it. Even plato was wrong. what never seems to change, is putting belief into the next big thing. I guess people cant motivate themselves unless they believe in something. Art, politics, science, the children, the environment, baseball. When religion goes away, something has to come in to fill that need. Atheism is a religion. They have meetings, they pass the hat, they say hallelujah, they have a building fund. everybody has a religion. If they are a republican, a democrat, a monetary acquisition specialist, that’s it, that’s what they do, that’s who they are, that’s what they believe in. getting mine, getting yours, becoming known, getting respect, finding love, being secure in the search for the answer, the formula , finding your own individualized code that brings satisfaction.

Why are people wrong? why do other people not get it? Why do other peoples religion look wrong? why do other people on a different path leave you cold? look at the way she fixes her hair. look at him suck up. the bosses in this place are stupid. the workers in this place are stupid. the president is an idiot.

In search of something they can hang onto to help them know who they are and what they do, in search of a code that brings mental sureness, they have adopted a core belief that necessarily must oversimplify the problem/solution so as to be possible to follow. It may even be false, but it’s a motivating belief. For some reason, people must have beliefs to function. They cant walk without legs, and they cant function without beliefs, but it blinds them. Their evidence always points to the same conclusion. Whatever side they are on, they only see the evidence that supports their beliefs, and the other side thinks they are crazy and shortsighted, and living in error. Their beliefs predict how they will see new evidence. that’s what I believe. I cant understand why you wouldn’t agree with me.

This religion can be art, politics, sport, or even religion. But if religion falls, and fall it must if they want you to believe what science or your own experience can easily disprove, then the next big belief will fill the cavity.

People will believe in something, they have a belief spot that cannot be empty, but they also cannot see it or easily examine it. Its like looking at your own eyes. We can see these big beliefs easier in other people if we do not share them. Believing in the republican or democrat party, Catholicism, scientology, nationalism, fundamental Christianity, anti-communism, science, atheism, the pursuit of money or power, technology. It doesn’t matter what core belief people have, by definition, if its not really, really the truth, they will eventually come into a situation where it does not help them. Some of them will cling to what they know, some will abandon hope, most will start the process over of coming into a new or more complex, nuanced belief.

How many religions and core beliefs has there been since history began and how many of them were right? Most of them were wrong. people are wrong. we are still wrong. we are trying to get it right. Its not easy. Our beliefs prevent us from seeing things as they are. Rather than try to figure things out, figure out what you believe. Religion has many forms. If we didn’t have one though, what would we do with ourselves? I believe in…that’s what motivates me. Everything else is secondary.

No comments: