The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, June 27, 2014

What To Believe?

I used to be a "pub crawler" back in my drinking days... way back, when I was young and still had a healthy liver, that is... Today, I am an "internet crawler" who wanders through the internet from time to time looking for a "interesting story" instead of a drink.

I think I found one here. It is interesting because the previous story I perused spoke of how and why some people believed things that others did not. That story can be found here.

I have an hypothesis that we all believe what we want to believe. That is, we either agree with a story/report or we don't. And we do that based on our cumulative experiences or teachings. I am not saying I am above this, I do it too. And I also, on occasion, knuckle under to peer pressure. That is, I will come to accept as true or valid that which it seems like the majority believes. But that majority, or that belief, can change with who my peers are. Or I seek out like-minded peers so as not to challenge those beliefs.

When I was in my twenties, I was pretty liberal in my thinking. I hung around with liberals, I agreed with them, I thought like them, and I avoided (as much as possible) speaking unorthodox (to them) thoughts. I, like most folks, wanted to get along and, as the saying goes, one must "go along to get along." Or so I tended to believe at the time. But we evolve, we can change. We can learn new things, alter our beliefs, form new opinions. And I think we do... many times throughout our lives. But the how and why of those changes intrigues me.
Some years after I got out of the Navy, I realized I had dropped my dislike of it and retained my "good" memories of that life, eschewing the "bad" ones, changing how I viewed that 4 year period. Think of a marriage that ended in divorce; these usually do not start out with rancor and animosity (just the opposite usually) but they end with them. It is only much later that we might think of that marriage in a good light. Unless, like my own first marriage, the scars run pretty deep and the rancor does not mellow out. The experiences in a second marriage will likely have a huge impact on how one comes to feel about that first one.

I have a brother and a brother-in-law who are polar opposites. The brother, who was once pretty conservative, is now pretty liberal (though he retains some prejudices and bigotries of his earlier days) and the brother-in-law (Frank) is very conservative and has been throughout his life, as far as I can tell. I once made the mistake of discussing evolution with him and found he firmly believed it to be a hoax. My brother, I learned, is a "911 Truther" and firmly believed the Bush administration was behind the attacks, or they just  knew of it in advance, as well as believing the buildings fell because explosives were planted. I could not make a dent in either of their beliefs. I no longer even bring up those subjects with either of them. It's pointless.

I am occasionally stunned by what some people believe. I am mystified by their reasoning and befuddled by the fact that they do not believe as I do on these matters... whatever matters are at issue at the time. And then I mentally slap myself as I realize that much depends on who they view as their peers.

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