Saturday, April 13, 2013

Why We Believe. Superstition, Brand-Loyalty, Myth, False-Fact, or Saga. Explaining Inconsistencies.

 Modes of Learning, Describing What We Believe, and Why.
When false "facts" underlie an entrenched belief, how to re-pnace the false fact?

Can education foster a left brain analysis of right brain certainties.
Reconcile myth and religion: Applying "saga" to all accounts of religious founders.
The Jesus Sagas, plural.
Can facts displace an entrenched belief: Tea Party

How to reconcile all the facts available, and present them in a way that separates out the false "fact" from the verifiable.  Whether economic theory (austerity is good for you at all times) or religion, or political party positions (take Tea), must each group's propaganda depend on false "facts."  The role of historical embroidery:  Instead, can we educate ourselves to separate the embroidered from the essential, and still retain a community identity. 

Start with Superstition underlying belief.  Since 1794, superstition as a concept has included the idea of an unreasonable notion, adhered to nonetheless. The word superstition itself stems from Latin involving soothsaying, prophecy, see Online Etymology Dictionary for both superstition and superstitious, Find the concept of one idea standing over another, as an excessive fear of the gods might engender.  In that plight, believe, to be on the safe side.  It is commonly used as to other people's cultures, seldom seriously to our own. What general rules govern our belief systems.

Does a label, firmly repeated, sell?  Of course.  Should an idea-buyer beware? Of course. Vet the

1.  A belief is correct if enough people buy in.

Early on, Americans have been gullible, mixing numbers of supporters to an idea with merits. Blurring entertainment, huckstering, with information needed for a wise purchase. A peculiarly American superstition is the notion proposed by one Andrew White in the context of whether to believe in petrified giants, see

  • A statue was so believed to be actually a petrified giant in 1869 ff, that Mr. White opined:  " 'There was, he noted, a 'joy in believing' that was increased by the peculiarly American superstition that the correctness of a belief is decided by the number of people who can be induced to adopt it.' "   A willingness to be humbugged, noted another observer, Mary L. Day Arms in her 1878 book, The World as I Have Found It.  See site.
 2.  A belief is correct if enough people elect not to check it out.

Tea Party.  Brand-loyalty.  Founded in merit as to ideas promulgated, to supposedly benefit the members; or an agenda of bi industry, big money.

Turn to The Trial Lawyer magazine articles on point:  Brandon De Melle's How Billionaires {read, Koch Brothers] and the Tobacco Industry Built the Tea Party.  It is reprinted at the Huffington Post, at  How to get any Tea Party advocate to read it, much less assess how that might change the bona fides of the positions the Tea Party is supposed to take.  Yet, the article is based on a study in Tobacco Control, an academic journal reviewed by peers.

Example:  " 'Nonprofit organizations associated with the Tea Party have longstanding ties to tobacco companies, and continue to advocate on behalf of the tobacco industry's anti-tax, anti-regulation agenda.' "
3.  A belief is correct if authority says so, the authority I also may well not check out.

If we try to force each other to agree on the meaning of the life of Jesus, for example, or to the facts of his life and ultimate death (was it really on the cross?), we will end up as we have with crusades, forced conversions, bloody usurping of local populations' ways, purges, and those going on today with compulsories in creed statements, etc.

4.  A belief is correct if it acknowledges its own foggy origins, and inconsistencies, so that others' views can be accommodated.

Jesus.  Could that slaughter of forcing conformity not be avoided by a concept not of history and the life of Jesus, but the Jesus Sagas.  The idea of Jesus was probably not a myth, or false-fact in the idea of an actual person in there somewhere.  So use the Saga approach, not the "this is it."

That way, the cultural memories reflected in all the varying accounts of what happened and why can be reconciled.  Does anyone take the Icelandic or Nordic Sagas, for example, each with variations in fact, dates, relationships, words, can be retained in one idea of composite meaning, not specific.

But then, what to do with our drive to stand above others, force them to our will.  The original super-stition. My super is over you.

5.  Does this adherence to unreasonable notion explain in the West how brand-loyalty to a party in politics becomes unassailable, pervasive among many.

Climate Change.  Guns.

 Watch how that platforms once set out and accepted shall not be challenged by fact or context or flawed analysis, that repeated spoon-fed characterizations of opponents' policies may actually be vetted and rejected by a thinking voter as wanting in analysis?

6.  Right-Brain Religion, Left Brain Science.  Daniel Goodman, review in Harvard Divinity Bulletin Winter-Spring 2013, as to book, The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.
Find the review at

Religion, Emotional Attachments:  associative, holistic; about "meaning"
Science, Philosophy:  linear, analytical, about "facts"

Reconciling the hemispheres may be impossible, but with strobe-like back and forthings taught to all students and others, can we better understand both.  Specifically ask, set the emotional branding aside and just start to do linear assessing. 

1 comment:

city said...

thanks for share.