The vast majority of human beings are ignorant, stupid, and superstitious. As I wrote in, "Reality—An Introduction to Philosophy:"|
"It is not a necessary condition. People choose to be what they are. They are mostly poor, unhappy, and always in some kind of trouble but never make the connection between their misery and their own wrong choices. To be stupid, ignorant, and superstitious is a chosen failure."
No one has to be ignorant. They could all learn more than they do. Ignorant does not mean not knowing anything, it means not learning all one can learn, or learning as little as one thinks they can get away with.|
No one has to be stupid. They could all think better than they do. Stupid does not mean unable to think, it means not thinking as well as one can and not bothering to learn how.
No one has to be gullible. They could all see what they believe cannot possibly be true. Superstitious does not mean being afraid of black cats and Friday the 13th, it means believing things without evidence or reason, based on nothing more than one's feelings, sentiments, irrational fears, baseless impressions, or, credulity in some experts or authorities.
Few ever make a real effort to learn and understand much of real intellectual importance. Most simply believe whatever they have learned, or "picked up," along the way, from their teachers, peers, or the media, and are satisfied to believe what everyone else in their personal click believes. Some do desire to know more, to understand what the world and their own life in it means and how to live successfully and happily. To find the truth they will turn to those who claim to be authorities in knowledge and truth, but in fact, are mostly con-men selling lies and deception.
In "Why Do Most People Believe What Is Not True?" I explained two reasons most human beings believe what is not true. One of those reasons is because it is easier to accept what one is taught by their authorities and teachers than to do the hard work of discovering, learning, and thinking for oneself. Learning and thinking are hard. It is less troublesome, and more comforting, to simply believe what one's teachers have told them. Most of the absurd things people believe they could never have thought up themselves.
All the worst ideas embraced by human beings that have doomed them to perpetual failure and unhappiness have been taught them by three sources of deceit. Those three sources are: Religion, Philosophy, and Pseudo-science.
Almost every wrong belief and mistaken view of life and reality, embraced by humanity can be traced back to religion. Religion is the oldest and most comprehensive systems of false beliefs, and still the most powerful after politics, in deceiving and enslaving men.
All religion is superstition. Superstition is any belief that is not based on sound reasoning from observable facts and nature of reality and always in denial of that nature. In a very early article," Truth & Superstition," I described what superstition is and explained that, "hatred of reality," is why superstition is almost universally embraced:
A Secret Loathing|
Reality is ruthless. Defy reality, and it will destroy you. Refuse to work, and you will starve. Refuse to learn, and the mistakes you make in your ignorance will kill you.
Reality is demanding. You must conform to the nature of reality all the time, because the moment you let up, it will strike you down. Stop paying attention, just for a few moments, while driving on the highway at 70 miles per hour. Don't bother paying your bills for a month. Forget your insulin injections for a day. Just forget where little Sarah is for a while at the Mall.
Reality seems cruel. Disease, death, disaster strike without regard to anyone's position or opinions. The world is full of destruction and misery, though most of it is created by other men. But all of nature seems cruel and the entire chain of life is one of death, killing, and being killed.
Reality is unforgiving. You've made a mistake, but the law forgives you, your parents and friends forgive you, you even manage to forgive yourself, but reality never forgives. It may be a forgivable mistake, but the dead animal cannot be made alive again, the pregnant girl cannot be made "unpregnant", you cannot cancel what you have done, ever! Have you been unfaithful once, then you will always have been unfaithful once. Did you steal something once, then you can never claim always to have been honest. You do something stupid and loose an arm, a leg, or put out your own or someone else's eye. You may never do another thing so foolish, and you may be forgiven by others, but you will never have the arm, leg, or eye, yours or another's, restored.
While it is true that reality is ruthless, demanding, and unforgiving, cruelty cannot really be attributed to reality, even though all the things listed as cruel are true in nature, the evaluation of them as cruel is a subjective judgment. This characterization of reality is only a partial view, the view of one whose knowledge is primarily irrational and superstitious.
It is this view, however, though seldom made explicit, that is the motivation for our mysterious factor, the cause of universal superstition. Mankind, generally, hates reality, just because mankind does view reality as ruthless, demanding, cruel, and unforgiving.
What mankind wishes for is a reality that is pliable, easy-going, kind, and forgiving. At bottom, mankind hates reality, hates the necessity of having to work hard all the time, hates the necessity of having to learn so much, hates never being able to act on whim, or passion, or impulse without consequences, hates knowing they cannot do wrong and get away with it, hates knowing one cannot get something for nothing.
What mankind wants is exemption from consequences and a shortcut to success, wealth, happiness, or whatever else their current whims and fancies convince them they want. Reason does not show them how to have or achieve what they want the way they want it. Reason only enables them to understand the truth that describes reality as it is. They don't want truth, either. The truth just condemns them for their hatred of reality. They hate the truth, too.
Here, finally, is the secret, that unrevealed factor, the mystery of why almost all men prefer their superstitions to the truth.
At the heart of all superstitious beliefs, sometimes explicit, but always implicit, is the promise that there is something more than reality, something above reality, something which cancels the requirements of reality, a secret that enables those who know it to rise above mere reality, to defy it and get away with it. Superstition, which is never called superstition, is a magic wand that makes exist what in reality cannot exist, a metaphysical wild card that makes one automatically a winner, the universal "get-out-of-jail-free" card that allows one to escape the consequences of their choices and actions, the flying carpet that defies all of reality to give its owner a free ride to success and happiness.
Since reason is limited to discovering the truth of reality, the means to that, "knowledge," which the superstitious desire must be something other than reason, something like that "knowledge" itself, something "above" reason. The superstitious generally, readily admit their superstitious beliefs are not based on "mere" reason. They have knowledge which is, "above," that. Unless you are prepared to deal with someone very angry, it is never a good idea to press the superstitious to explain exactly how they came to their "knowledge which is above the truth."
Some people are skeptical about the extent to which humanity is infected with the deadly disease of superstition. If you are one of those who is skeptical, ask anyone you know, ask yourself, the following questions: Is there any other route to knowledge other then reason? Is it possible to have knowledge of anything without the use of reason? Is there any knowledge derived without the use of reason that is higher or superior in any way to knowledge derived exclusively by the process of reason?
"Yes," to any of the questions means they, or you, are at least partially superstitious. "Yes," to all three means one is a thoroughgoing mystic.
All religion is superstition, and all superstition is in defiance of the truth of reality. It is not possible for one's choices, based on superstition, to conform to the requirements of reality. Any choice or behavior in defiance of reality is doomed to failure and disaster. All superstition is dangerous and harmful, but some superstitions are so wrong, the behavior of their adherents defy all reason and sense, which explains all those religions that produce radical and militantly destructive and terroristic behavior.
Most superstitious beliefs are so absurd, it is difficult to believe that millions of people embrace them and live by them. For a brief satirical look at some of that absurdity, see the article: "If They Believe That—Religion."
What is called philosophy began about 2600 years ago in ancient Greece and became an established discipline around the fifth century (500 AD or CE). Ostensively rejecting religious, "faith," and, "superstition," as a basis for knowledge, philosophy was an attempt to discover the truth by means of reason. Unfortunately, philosophy never rid itself of religion's influence. If philosophy was ever meant to be a quest for truth, what it became, and is today, is worse than religion. From: "Reality—An Introduction to Philosophy:"
With few exceptions no one is interested in philosophy. They don't mind what passes for philosophy in academia, however. The academic perversions of philosophy are written and taught by those who use the methods of philosophy, not to discover the truth, but to evade and obfuscate it. They are just as ignorant, stupid, and superstitious as everyone else.|
They hate true philosophy because it describes reality as it actually is and it is reality the sophists and cynics, passing themselves off as intellectuals and philosophers, despise.
Reality is immutable, absolute, and ruthless. Immutable means the nature of reality cannot be changed or ever be other than what it is. Absolute means reality is complete and unconditional; it is all there is and is not contingent on anything. Ruthless means reality determines what is true and not true, and no human feelings, desires, choices, acts, beliefs, or wishes can change it.
No one wants to learn about that kind of reality, but it is the only reality there is. No one wants philosophy because the reality it describes is not nice:
- The real world is a very difficult place to live.
- There are no shortcuts to life, success or happiness.
- You must earn everything by your own effort.
- Anything less than your best is failure.
- You cannot do wrong and get away with it.
- There is no forgiveness.
- There is no mercy.
- Neither your feelings nor your desires matter.
- Reality is all there is, the way it is.
- The truth is whatever correctly describes any aspect of reality.
Does that make reality sound harsh? Well, it is. The proper name for that harshness is justice.
Reality is neither cruel or kind, reality is just what is. It is neither malevolent nor benevolent, but it is the means to all that is worth living for and the source of all that is possible. That possibility includes the fact that every individual is provided with all they need to live successfully and happily and to be all they can be as a human being. It means, your every shortcoming and failure is the result of your own choices and actions. It means, if you are not happy, it is your own fault. Reality provides you the means to all good things, but you cannot achieve either success or happiness if you defy reality, or refuse to even learn what it is.
With rare exception, the entire field of philosophy is as superstitious as any religion, adopting every false premise of religion couched in the language of reason, which is not reason at all, but a perversion of reason called, "rationalism." Every false belief of religion is repackaged as some suppose philosophical discovery. Some of those abominable ideas are:
While religion, until it was amalgamated with politics, relied on fear (of hell and eternal retribution) and the promises of unearned joy and glory to control its subjects, philosophers relied on political power, threats of real punishment and retribution and the promises of unearned wealth and success in the present world to control its subjects.
- Reality is not what it appears to be. (Plato, Hume, Kant)
- True objective knowledge is not possible. (Hume, Kant)
- Knowledge is inherent, inborn, instinctive (philosophical version of religious revelation or inspiration).
- Human behavior is determined (not by "God," or, "sinful nature," but evolution, genetics, environment.
- Human nature is essentially corrupt (like religious sinful nature).
- Real knowledge is not possible
- Consciousness is an illusion
- Purpose of life lies outside oneself (not God or supernatural, but others, society, or mankind, e.g. statism, collectivism, altruism).
- Life has no meaning or purpose (nihilism)
- Reality is produced by one's own consciousness (solipsism)
In the same way all religions and superstition were aligned against individual freedom, all that goes by the name philosophy today is the enemy of every individual choosing to think for himself and live by the truth.
It is called, "pseudoscience," because there is real science. Real science is the objective study of reality and its nature. [See, "Science Philosophy," and "Science."]
Most of what is called science today is not science. Far from being an honest quest for knowledge about reality, it is mostly deceitful and fraudulent; a duplicitous attempt to convince others and control their behavior.
Characteristics Of True Science
There are characteristics of all pseudoscience that are never true of genuine science. Among those characteristics are:
Real science does not need to be advertise, promoted, defended, or, "evangelized," unlike the latest products, social ideologies, or political programs. It is reality itself that determines whether a scientific principle is true or not, not whether anyone knows, understands, or believes those principles. It was not necessary for Pasteur to promote germ theory. Germs are real, always were and always will be, even when no one knew they existed and even when Louis Pasteur was the only one who did.
Real science is not advanced by propaganda or appeals to people's fears, desires, sentiments, or irrational beliefs, because no science is established by consensus. There are no authorities in science. What is scientifically true is true even if no one knows or agrees with it and what is scientifically false is false even if everyone believes and agrees with it. The final arbiter of all scientific truth is reality itself.
Real science does not determine any specific application of its knowledge. The same scientific principles can be used to produce poison or medicine, productive machines or war machines, power for production or power for destruction. Science can only provide the knowledge necessary for the creation of things; it cannot determine what created things will be benevolent or which will be malevolent.
Real science is never a basis for any political policy, regulation, or law. The fact that so-called, "scientific evidence," and, "scientific studies," are regularly used to justify the worst of government oppressive laws and actions is proof enough that what is being called, "science," is, in fact, nothing but political agendas couched in scientific sounding language to deceive the gullible masses.
[NOTE: Observe that every form deceit depends on something that cannot be tested or examined. Religions use invisible spirits and a promise of eternal reward (after death), philosophy uses mystic "something behind reality" like Plato's, "forms," Kant's, "noumena," or psychology's, "consciousness," which cannot be seen or tested. Pseudoscience relies heavily on guesses and conjectural history based on present evidence, (evolution, cosmology), because the past cannot be tested or examined.]
[NOTE: No objective knowledge makes any demands or places any requirements on the behavior of anyone. When any supposed, "knowledge," requires or is used as a basis for requiring some specific behavior, prohibiting or demanding specific actions by individual human beings it is not knowledge or science, it is politics.]
Some False Things Pseudoscience Teaches:
- Reality is not what it appears to be.
- Nothing can be proven absolutely. (Induction)
- Things are only statistically true.
- The mind is only the physical brain.
- Human behavior is determined (physics, psychology, chemistry, genetics, evolution).
- Political policy must be determined by science (psychology, environmentalism, medicine, health, accidents, and diet).
[NOTE: These articles address all those, "scientific," fallacies, and more:
The last article, "Anti-human Environmentalists." addresses the primary danger of all perversions of knowledge: the use of any fact as justification of evil. The use of science, even legitimate science as an excuse to impose government oppression is the real deception.
"The truth is, it doesn't matter whether the science is right or not; it doesn't matter if the environment is damaged and it doesn't matter whose pet interests might or might not be hurt or endangered. The only thing that matters is individual human beings and that they be free to live their lives as they choose and that no one be able to force their own views of how others ought to live on them.
There can be no moral justification for any individual, group of individuals, or any agency to be able to force others to conform or submit to their view of how things ought to be. The environmentalists and social planners have convinced the world that they hold some kind of moral superiority which sanctions their forcing their views of what is good and right on the whole world, and all the governments of the world are in their service. If anything, these social manipulators are moral pariahs, but even if they were Gods, there could be no moral justification for their forcing their views on others."
Real science would be very difficult to use to deceive the world. It is enough that people are convinced that whatever is called science is true. So long as most believe that, anything can be put over, and the perversion of science accomplishes the same as all the lies propagated by the other corruptions of knowledge foisted on the world by religion and philosophy.
Any argument that begins, "The Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, (or some religious teacher or pope) says," or, "Plato, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, (or any other philosopher), says," or, "scientific evidence, scientific studies, scientific consensus, (or any scientific authority), proves," is a lie, and most of the world will believe it.