Principles of Discovery, Part 12

Principles of Discovery, Part 12
The Anti Majority Principle

“Take that belief which is embraced by the world, or the majority in a group, and look in the opposite direction. In this opposite direction much truth lies hidden.”

I have found many hidden morsels of truth by using this principle. A natural suspicion has always arisen in me when I have seen a belief being widely accepted that has not been positively proven.

Often is the case that I have asked myself, “Is this true, just because the vast majority says so?” Then I did something that most do not do. I ask “what if the opposite were true?” Is there any logic to support it?

Global warming is a good example. Almost all the media and visible authorities believe the earth is warming to an apocalyptic degree and humanity is the main cause. They think we need to spend trillions directly combatting the threat. I have given out some interesting facts that I have found from my research indicating the opposite may be true.

Here are some facts.

[1] Humans do release the greenhouse gas of CO2 and it has some effect, but no one can yet prove how much.

[2] CO2 is a plant fertilizer and has the positive effect of causing more greening of the earth and an increase in food production. Some greenhouses pump in additional CO2 to increase yields.

[3] In the past the earth has had over ten times the CO2 as it does now and there was no apocalypse.

[4] Much of the proposed spending will have little effect and the money would be much better spent to prepare for possible climate changes rather than to change the climate. For instance, a third of the Netherlands is below sea level, but they have wisely spent money in adapting to the situation rather than changing the climate.

Then one must also look at the majority belief within groups, even small groups, for all groups are influenced by the general thoughtform created from its members.

A majority belief among those who totally reject global warming seems to be that they think it is their right to drive as big of a gas guzzler as they want and by damn, they’ll go out of their way to drive what they want.

They may have this right but we all have a responsibility to apply the Law of Economy and use only those limited resources that we need and avoid waste and pollution as much as possible.

Now let us examine some fairly universally accepted religious beliefs to which I have applied this principle.

[1] God is perfect.

He is? How do you know this?

[2] God knows everything.

Everyone believes this, but why? They have no evidence.

[3] God is all powerful.

And we know this because? Maybe if he was all powerful things would be different in this world.

[4] God knows what I am thinking.

Maybe he’s not interested in what you are thinking.

[5] Jesus is the savior of the universe.

What the reason for thinking this? The universe is a big place. Maybe the earth by itself is a big enough job for a savior.

[6] God is infinite?

Maybe not.

[7] The mark of the Beast is a computer chip or some mark upon the right hand or forehead.

Maybe not. Maybe it is something everyone has overlooked.

[8] Life is not fair.

Maybe it is if we consider reincarnation.

Always be suspicious when you see a belief that is gaining great popularity and look in the opposite direction. In that direction is much truth to be found.

If you can think of any interesting bits of enlightenment you have found by looking in the opposite direction of the majority let us know.

The Pendulum Principle

Understanding the Pendulum Principle is a powerful key to aid in the discovery of truth. It can basically be stated as follows:

Average humanity swings back and forth in their beliefs from one extreme to the other. The reason for this is an extreme belief requires little thought or judgment. One can be lazy and not use the mind, but rely completely on feeling which swings to the extreme without check. In other words, everything is viewed through a black and white mode. All is good or evil, right or wrong with no shades of gray.

The reason this principle is important is that in most cases the extreme position is filled with error. If the seeker understands that some widely accepted beliefs are really an extreme position taken by the lazy in thought, then he can look at the middle, use judgment and discover much truth.

Let’s go through some popular beliefs and see how this plays out.

Extreme Belief Side One: Jesus is the God of the universe, is all powerful, all knowing and created all the billions of galaxies.

Extreme Belief Side Two: Jesus was just a regular man if he existed at all.

It is most likely the truth is between these two popular extremes. Good judgment can find it.

Extreme Belief Side One: Global Warming is caused by man and threatens our very existence within the next few years.

Extreme Belief Side Two: Global warming has not been proven so ignore what they say.

The most likely truth is that we will successfully adapt to any warming or cooling that may come just has humanity has done in the past.

On the other hand, we cannot just take it for granted that we are not creating a problem for the future and should work toward a reasonable understanding of our possible effect on nature.

Extreme Belief Side One: There is a conspiracy behind every major tragedy that happens.

Extreme Belief Side Two: All conspiracy theories are silly and to be ignored

Again, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Obviously, not all disasters are caused by government conspiracies, but then we know from history that sometimes there are true conspiracies. However, these often involve assassinations rather than some very complex plot that would involve thousands of people.

I tweaked the extreme conspirators after the Tsunami in Indonesia. I joked that someone would accuse Bush of planting a100 megaton atomic bomb in the ocean to cause a Tsunami to destroy lots of Muslims. It was only a couple days later that such a conspiracy theory did surface.

Extreme Belief Side One: We must cease from drilling for new oil for we are running out of resources and destroying the environment.

Extreme Belief Side Two: We must drill for all the oil we can for the foreseeable future.

Truth: Oil needs are still high so we will need new domestic oil production, but if we are wise, we can switch to alternative fuels within the next 30-50 years. Then we will need very little oil.

Extreme Belief Side One: the president is totally evil and I hate him.

Extreme Belief Side Two: The president is totally good and I love him.

Truth: All our leaders have their flaws and should be judged as doing their best, not as a Hitler or a saint.

We could go on and on but the sad truth is that many of the popular beliefs and positions of average humanity are extreme and lacking judgment. Some of these extremes are accepted as being moderate if popularized by the mainstream media. The true seeker will see where the true extremes lie and avoid taking a blind unthinking position on that extreme as he would a plague.

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Aug 18, 2006

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