Is That a Fact?
In a previous post, I referred to the Fallacy of Being Right.
You all know someone who suffers from the Fallacy. Right? That certain someone who always has an answer and they are unassailably correct. A person who aligns with the Fallacy will vigorously defend, both their argument and the evidence. That makes them 'right'.
The problem is that those who adhere to the need to be right paint themselves into a corner with their own certitude. Supporting beliefs can be freely fabricated to whatever is required to maintain the delusion of being correct. And to be clear, the detriment is chronic. The Fallacy of Being Right enables the absolute that one is always right.
That absolute should be a red flag!
Thinking you're always right? Humans have thus far failed to identify any real absolutes. Every time you think science has conquered some ultimate boundary, there comes a new revelation of something bigger or smaller. In general, there are no absolutes. In Psychology, the tendency towards thinking in terms of absolutes is considered a cognitive distortion.
Clearly, The Fallacy has some problems. Anyone suffering from the Fallacy will eventually see the cracks. And not be able to do anything about them. Belief systems are an amazing thing. Not easy to untangle. If you believe you are always right, you may not be able to see the trees for the forest. Helicoptering down to the ten-foot level exposes you to the suggestion that you are wrong about something. That opening of the mind will never present itself. The Fallacy has installed elaborate connections to your belief system. Good luck pickin' those apart.
I don't believe that once a Fallacy believer always a Fallacy believer. All I can address are my own struggles with it. I'm sixty-two-years old. And I still catch myself playing Mister Right.
It's tough to break down logically. The nature of beliefs makes it especially confounding. The root of the word, the full scope of the meaning of beliefs means you are claiming the Fallacy. Oh sure, you have a list of things you don't believe in—but that list itself is a belief.
Couple the looping nature of beliefs with the dearth of absolutes…now you have information you can use to break down the Fallacy, get a good look at what you're up against. And those two elements aren't the only cracks in the Fallacy's facade.
It's not that important to figure out the origin of the Fallacy. What's important is disabling the it. Rather than spend time and energy doing extensive retrospection, we act. A little surgical action and you can break the code that supports your Fallacy.
First things first. The fallacy cannot sustain if there's no knowledge to invoke. If you are to be correct on something, you must have knowledge of it, and more than likely that knowledge will have to be authoritative as well as substantive. To be right means that at some point, perhaps often, your knowledge will be challenged, triggering the Fallacy. You will dump the knowledge you have unceremoniously in front of the Fallacy's assailant so as to preserve the Fallacy.
Have I told you about my thoughts on knowledge? Clearly, I am going to have to get that one up on the unblog.
The truth about knowledge it that it is mostly horse-shit.
I'm not kidding. You claim to know something…but how much do you really know? Did you see something happen with you own eyes, marvelous creation, eyes, and it's too bad about what happens in the brain part of seeing. I mean, eyes are great, but you ever had fun with a book of illusions? Eyes are good, but often, and I mean really often, they deceive.
Your other senses suffer similar flaws. So…even if you were right there, I mean, right there. When the event that produced the knowledge happened…you can't be sure you know anything about it. Much less all the myriad other bits of 'knowledge' you claim. For real, how do you know that dinosaurs once ruled the earth? How do you know what another person is thinking? How do we know anything from history? Or from science? History is gettin' rewritten all the time and every fact science uncovers seems to be disputed by some expertise down the line.
People adopt such knowledge into their belief system and it becomes real. Nothing exists without you believing it does! And every single human on this planet has to confess they can't be sure about vast swaths of their knowledge.
The Fallacy of Being Right cannot exist without knowledge. Which means you can't be right until you vett your knowledge. What knowledge do you need to challenge? All of it! You have to empty the warehouse, and trust me, man, it's a big phuckin' warehouse. And it's all tangled up. Where does knowledge end and beliefs begin? It's not any easier but it may be more practical to throw all your knowledge away. Who needs it? The web is at your fingertips, where there's a web there's a calculator. Why keep all that stuff stored? Put it in the cloud! Or build a Tuff Shed for it. No need to carry it 'on-board'. Free up enough space that clarity and open mindedness can lead to new understanding.
Bottom line? There's one key understanding that most people don't get. And that is: The Fallacy of Being Right is completely antithetical to freedom. You're imprisoned by your so-called knowledge. You're legitimate fear of being proven wrong, even once, will enslave you and you'll have to trust me on this:
Being a slave sucks.