is exceeded only by his ignorance and stupidity. Man’s gullibility is a natural consequence of these other flaws.
How many other flaws are also?
How could a being who is ignorant and stupid, and who deceives himself into believing just the opposite, be otherwise?
The smarter we are and the more we learn, the humbler we become, for on this lifelong journey of learning, we have learned to be humble by bumbling our way to some little truths invisible to others.
A little truth: No claim that is flat-out contradicted by reliable evidence can be true.
Why do so many believe well-contradicted claims? Arrogance, ignorance, and stupidity.
In the struggle for survival, plants have several potent weapons: they can poison or sicken the animals who eat them and they can bribe them to plant more of them. Fruit-bearing plants are guilty of bribery and we are guilty of taking the bribes.
Among the plant poisons we have occasionally been able to extract tiny medicinal benefits by carefully controlling the dose and by purifying the poison away from more dangerous poisons. These plants got an unexpected result from their poisons. How complicated nature is! How simple minded man is!
Were we created in god’s glorious image and did we degenerate to the present level of brutishness? Praise be to God; blame be to us.
Or did we evolve from a greater level of brutishness toward an animal who is almost civilized? Praise be to us.
Is it not obvious that religion had to pick the first, even though the data support the second view? Our limited progress is entirely our own doing; our future is entirely our own doing. god has had and has nothing to do with it. If we aspire to be godlike, we have to do it ourselves.
A book has been written claiming that wheat is the cause of America’s weight problem.
The killer counterexample is Jared Vogel, who lost over two hundred pounds eating wheat every day in Subway sandwiches (as I understand it, even the oat bread Subway serves contains wheat; all of their other breads are wheat).
If he ate wheat every day and merely maintained his weight, that would contradict the thesis of this book, but it might just be an exception to the general rule.
But actually losing over 200 pounds by consuming the putative cause of obesity is a killer counterexample. That simply cannot occur if the thesis is true.
How mad we are may be seen by what percent of people believe the ruse of the bard’s Hamlet.
His ruse = being mad, while pretending to be sane, pretending that he is only pretending to be mad.
They err who think one cannot be mad, while pretending to be sane, while claiming to be pretending to be mad.
The evidence that Hamlet is actually mad begins with his hearing and seeing things that are not real. So many people believe in spirits and ghosts that they do not see this as delusional, but it is. At the start of the play, his entire belief system about the nature of man is as delusional as belief in fairy tales like religion. His delusions extend to his justification for killing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, dupes of the king, by claiming that they made love to the employment. Insane squared! His best defense for his cruelty to Ophelia is “not guilty by reason of insanity.”
By human standards, my Hamlet, though stressed more severely than the bard’s, is and remains sane – he hears no voices, sees no ghosts, believes not a jot in anything supernatural; before Darwin, he intuits that man is the kissing cousin of the chimp; he believes in nothing that is directly contradicted by reliable evidence, believes in nothing absolutely, and believes only in things to the degree that they are supported by evidence of the most reliable kind.
To be sane in this world is as rare as being honest; ’tis to be one in perhaps ten thousand.
A good man wants to be good; a villain wants to seem so; an unrepentant villain does not care what others think.
To a person of the liberal persuasion an unrepentant villain is “morally ambiguous.”
Rule: a person with diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipdemia, obesity, or full-blown metabolic syndrome has at least one psych problem that is a contributor to the severity of their condition. “Contributor” is weaker than “driver” and driver is weaker than “cause”.
Exception: organic forms of the medical conditions/diseases. (For those not familiar with this distinction, I have defined the term “medical condition” as being the disease while it is still reversible with present day technology.)
Because of the rule and because of the sad state that twenty first century psychiatry is in, there is little hope for these people.
If our society became more “primitive” in its psyche, we could significantly ameliorate these medical conditions within a generation.