People believe stupid things. Generally this is due to a lack of education, stubbornness, or actually being raised in an environment that insulates them sufficiently from reality that they create a foundation for a system of beliefs based on these bogus “realities”. Once such a foundation is created, the accepted “truths” reside on that platform and the conflicting viewpoints (true or untrue) have no place to stand and so are easily discarded or even vilified due to the the obvious lack of harmony with already ingrained “truths”.
People argue about stupid things. People feel the need to argue their points to make others believe. Most arguments are a construct of the denial a person with unimpressive views must rely on to keep from eroding the foundation of their unreasonable beliefs. Each argument creates a new platform very close to a trunk or branch of the person’s system of beliefs. These platforms -based on either winning an argument or based on how mean (and thus wrong) the other person was- serve as a much needed structural reinforcement to the precarious system of improperly developed beliefs. Personally, I love arguing. But I think arguing should be about comparing logical processes as a fun mental exercise. Whether you have the correct or incorrect view should be properly established beforehand so that you’re not wasting everyones valuable time. Sadly, most people get into arguments totally unprepared and not really knowing whether they know anything or not.
People pretend to believe what they believe. There are many times that people must make a concession on a certain level yet wish to retain the system of beliefs they have grown to cherish so. Thus they develop another type of platform. These new ad hoc platforms serve to stabilize the precarious structure while bridging gaps between other beliefs that must be at least partially assimilated due to scientific, sociological or psychological necessity. This works well as a coping mechanism because one can retain the unstable system of “reality” that has been nurtured while allowing other philosophies to support the structure, yet never needing to examine the core or foundation of these other logical structures.
People go with the flow. The well known phenomenon known as the “mob mentality” is a great example of people going with the flow. But let’s look at it from another angle known as the “bandwagon”. When mob mentality is treated in this way it is most often considered a standby marketing tool. “Everybody else is doing it, so will I.” But this way of thinking has been nurtured so much throughout the world that there is little chance that more than a handful of people out of any group would balk at committing any atrocity endorsed by the next guy over. Everyday people who wouldn’t steal a pen from work, will torture, burn, rape and kill as long as everybody else seems to be doing it. Most likely, you are one of those people.
So people kill for their beliefs. On a certain level you can understand it. They are merely protecting the core foundation of their system of beliefs. Murder is an extension of the argument. And let’s face it, if you’re dead, you can’t possibly be right. But it is odd how they never seem to think, “murder is wrong, so some core belief of mine must be wrong”. Rather, the reasoning generally takes the form of pretending that the opposing side is more of a jerk than your side. A war could just as easily be fought with a debate and whoever has a better argument wins, but wars are always based on totally stupid ideas that have no comprehensible basis. Since both sides know deep-down that they couldn’t possibly win an argument, they decide to argue with body count. Whoever kills the most usually wins the argument.
Now I don’t want anyone to tell me that murder is okay. If that is your firmly held belief, then that’s awesome in my book. Everyones beliefs have their own special kind of merit.
Why not just use the honor system? I propose a system where everyone just looks at their own system of beliefs and honestly analyzes it. We can’t all be right about everything so it isn’t that big of a deal when you have to back down from your outmoded framework of existence and build a new one. If you learned something that negates past understanding that’s a good thing. Why feel like you have been hurt by learning? Tear down the logical structure that has become your prison. Sure, some people would prefer not to think about life in a calm rational way. But once everyone else is doing it...