Some musing on the decision making process.
Belief creates fact. Belief is reality. Hope leans on belief. Believe whatever you want to believe.
It is only a first impossibility that is difficult to believe. Once an impossibility has been accepted as fact, that is to say believed; there is no limit to what one can believe.
Faith and belief:
If acceptance of such a thesis is a sign of intellectual infirmity, the "logical" conclusion is that there are very few sane people. Starving people just do not have enough faith that a God or some force unknown to scientists will produce food for them; eh!. I have not been intellectually abused during early schooling. Have you?
Getting personal :
Do you appreciate the merit of doing things yourself, your own way, with little or no guidance from others; that your common sense, experience and inborn skills will see you through? Do you honestly believe on that basis anyone can compete, with those who have access to, and take advantage of the useful information that is increasingly accessible (since Gutenberg at least) to anyone willing to assess and use it? I would expect a No But we get selected information from selected "teachers".
It is easiest for me to push problems away and settle for food and entertainment. But there are always a few shit disturbers that want me to do more than that.
What is the most important activity that one can engage in?. What one activity influences wealth, success, happiness, prestige, misery, fear and on and on? I have been lead to believe it is decision making and improving decision making skills. . For me there may be nothing else under my personal control.... and I live with the results of a lot of questionable decisions. Understanding the criteria and methods used to make decisions does not mean good decisions will be made. But the information it is a transient reducer of tension.
The decision making art is supposedly taught in school. I do not recall much that dealt with anything useful to me personally. I learned to make decisions within a framework suitable to "mill owners". The "mill owners" were stuck with someone else's decision making criteria. That is about as simple and compact a way of making the point that I can manage. But this is only a small slice of time. As travel, weaponry and communication become more efficient, the political and religious decision making will evolve and some philosophies will emerge winners. Looking backwards a lot of winners were pretty bad.
Once the pressure of securing adequate food, shelter and satisfying some acquired needs has been taken care of , there will be time to address the decision making conundrums; at least for those that have not been overrun or shut down by time.
There are surrogate decision makers to help ease the burden. Some examples would be, municipal officials that make rules to guide us in zoning and garbage disposal matters; religious leaders to help with moral and ethical decisions as well as being attorneys for personal dealings with the deity; chieftains and war lords to lead their followers in war and sometimes in peace. "Enlightened leaders" are accepted because they are relieving followers of a lot of thinking, discussion and taking responsibility for what they (the leaders) do.
As an example; if you follow certain rules which I agree are generally acceptable, you will be rewarded in the after life. "All" authority derives from God and God apparently does not send messages to just anyone. We find here what appears to be an analytically fragile link. Fragile because it is dependent on believing the story of the leader's special relationship with God, as told to us by that leader. Some faith is needed to secure belief.
Faith can be lost in religion, political systems, banking, the credit industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and in scientific method and reason. Some kettle of fish. Pedantic skeptics deny themselves the luxury of faith and play with logic and semantics, apparently unaware that our systems of logic are susceptible to contradictions. The work of Godel and Escher makes the point fairly well. Logic is not a discipline that points to invulnerable conclusions. To rephrase the famous (infamous) Descarte(s), "do you know anyone that thinks they are deficient in common sense".
Semantics is a symbolic swamp. My apologies to the greenies for this use of the word swamp, but it best connotes a condition or place that presents difficulty for local exploration and travel. I seldom take a short cut on foot through a big swamp. Common sense! of course I will never know much about the swamps.
Benefits of knowledge:
Can we lose something by analysing our decision making methods honestly? We do not lose anything by demanding an expose of the decision making criteria of our accepted surrogate decision makers. I believe that politics, which nowadays impacts trade, and religion, which impacts how we treat each other; are the highest priority activities that we can engage in. When a leader is placing expediency ahead of integrity in their decision making hierarchy; it is uncomfortable for minorities. Pragmatism only succeeds when it works, the beauty is, it always seeems to work
Trust your Librarian:
Years ago I found a book that dealt with the history of decision making methods or systems. Now here is no trace of that book in any local libraries. There are no records of it ever having been published. Book burning is a publicity stunt. Why would such an interesting book disappear.
Prognosis for me:
I will continue a leisurely search for that manuscript, which was well done. By now the author is "invulnerable". I heard about what happened to Christ, Galilaeo, Joan of Arc, ugly speculation about what happened to Moses. So like Rene Descartes I will be cautious. The truth can or cannot be found is a false statement. Perhaps I should use the famous recursive "Truth does not exist".
Perhaps someday I will compile a bibliography that will let me pass the buck for my ideas and opinions. In closing, I believe some of the stuff I read simply because it suits me to do so.
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