A human being is, among all forms of life, unique. Unlike all other organisms, what any particular human being is and how one lives their life is not determined by one's nature, but must be chosen by each individual. How any individual chooses to live their life is determined by their beliefs—what one believes about the nature of the world they live in, what they believe about their own nature, and what they believe is the right way for the kind of being in that kind of world to live.|
Since it is one's beliefs that determine what one chooses, if one's beliefs about reality and their own nature are wrong, what they will choose to pursue and live for will be wrong, and their entire life will a pursuit of that which cannot possibly succeed and must ultimately lead to their own unhappiness and self-destruction.
Most of humanity, unfortunately, does believe what is not true. They are wrong about almost everything, but the worst mistakes are about the nature of reality itself and their place in it. There are two explanations for the ignorance and stupidity of humanity. One is innocent, the other is not.
The innocent reason for the ignorance of mankind is the simple fact that for every right or correct explanation of anything, there are an infinite number of possible wrong or incorrect explanations.
The not-so-innocent reason for ignorance is the refusal to do the learning and thinking necessary to understand the truth, because it is difficult and demanding and not immediately pleasant, and few are willing to do the work required for such self-improvement.
Why Wrong Beliefs?REF
Why is what most people believe not only untrue, but absurdly untrue? The references below explain the most important reasons for the ubiquity of human ignorance and stupidity.
The fundamental reason for wrong beliefs (the, "innocent," reason mentioned above) generally goes unrecognized. There is only one reality and only one correct description or explanation of any aspect of reality. For every correct description or explanation of any aspect of reality there are an infinite number of possible incorrect descriptions and explanations of that same aspect. This principle can be reduced to a general law:
For every true proposition regarding any fundamental fact or principle there are an infinite number of possible untrue propositions.
It does not matter what the field or subject is, if there is a correct or right explanation or description of a thing, there are an indefinite number of possible incorrect and wrong explanation and descriptions. If the sum of numbers is 12 (3+4+5, for example), then, 0, 1, 2, 7, 15, 7/8, .21344, and 9,000,000 are all possible wrong answers, as is the infinite number of other possible numbers.
The right formula for dinitrogen trioxide is N2O3. N2O (actually nitrous oxide), NO (actually nitric oxide), NO2 (actually nitrogen dioxide) and N2O5 (actually dinitrogen pentoxide), and any other possible formulation are wrong.
All knowledge is constituted of true propositions. True propositions require evidence and reason and are established by reasoning correctly about the available evidence.
All superstition is constituted of untrue propositions. Untrue propositions require no evidence (or use "testimony," "consensus," "statistics," "opinions," "impressions," "feelings," "intuition," or some other kind of non-objective assumptions as evidence), and are established by gullible credulity in authorities and teachers rather than reason.
No one can know everything or even most things. There is just too much knowledge available for any individual to learn more than a fraction of what can be known. The kind of knowledge that everyone must have (and which is the basis of all other knowledge) are fundamentals. To be wrong about the fundamentals makes it impossible to be right about anything else, except by serendipity.
The Table below lists nine fundamental aspects of reality, followed by a correct description of that aspect, (True and Right), followed by the more common incorrect belief in the nature of that aspect, (Untrue and Wrong). The name of each aspect of reality described is a link to a short explanation of each entry.
Since there is only one right explanation of each aspect or feature of reality, each explanations has two parts: 1. a clear explanation of the true nature of an aspect reality followed by 2. a list of various wrong beliefs regarding that same feature of reality.
1. The True Nature Of Existence: Existence is all that is. Existence and its nature are absolute, immutable, and primary.
Absolute means existence is all there is and has the nature it has independent of anyone's knowledge or awareness of that existence. "Independent of," means whether or not anyone knows or is aware of that existence.
Immutable means the nature of existence itself cannot and does not change. No change or event can limit or alter the fact and nature of existence itself. [All change is within existence, not of existence.]
Primary means existence is before all things and is not contingent on anything else. Nothing precedes or determines any aspect of existence.
2. Wrong and Mistaken Beliefs About Existence: The mistaken views of existence make existence contingent or dependent on, something else, which cannot itself be existence. There is almost no possible wrong or mistaken view or belief about existence that is not embraced by humanity.
—that there is something else besides existence
—that there is something else that precedes existence
—that something else caused existence
—that something else, "created," existence
—that something else sustains existence
—that something else can change existence
—that existence is contingent on something else
—that the nature of existence is contingent on something else.
There are two different versions of these wrong, "something else," views of existence:
1. Mystic and religious views—that make the something else some supernatural, (spiritual, ineffable, impalpable, intangible, ethereal) thing, such as a "god," "spiritual being," or, "mystic force."
2. Philosophical (and pseudo-scientific) views—that make the something else some pre-existent "something," (most theories of cosmology), other "existent" universes, or the product of human consciousness.
The importance of the right view of existence is this: there is no magic and there are no miracles and no wish, desire, hope, or prayer can possibly make what is anything other than what it is. If one chooses to live successfully in this world one must embrace the fact existence is what it is and make it one's objective to discover and know what exists and what its nature is and to conform one's life to those facts.
Perceived Existence2, Table
1. The True Nature Of Perceived Existence: Existence as it is directly perceived is reality as it actually is.
The existence one directly experiences, all that one sees, hears, feels, smells, and tastes, is the real world as it actually is.
2. Wrong and Mistaken Beliefs About Perceived Existence: The existence one directly perceives is in, "some way," deceptive and reality is not what one perceives it to be, but something else, not quite or totally different from the world as we perceive it.
All religions, most philosophy, even, "science," all promote wrong views about the nature of perception.
—Perception Unreliable: Existence as perceived is only a inaccurate representation of real existence. (First espoused by Plato.)
—Consciousness Distortion: Human consciousness is subject to distortions and illusion incapable of perceiving reality.
—Brain Created: Perception only exists in one's, "brain," and may or may not be like what really exists.
—Neurological Limitations: Perception is only an interpretation of data provided by the neurological system and may or may not be correct and real.
—Mysticism:Mystics of all stripes assure us that the world we directly perceive is only a "shadow" or "thinly revealed appearance," of the real world as seen or known by god or some other supernatural being.
—Science: Today's scientific community generally assumes the physical properties of existents as perceived are nothing like the actual atomic and molecular structure of material things.
This is not about the nature of knowledge itself, but how knowledge is acquired. The nature and certainty of knowledge will be discussed in the next section on, "Reality."
1. The True Nature Of Knowledge: All knowledge is acquired. Human beings are born with the capacity to learn (intellect) but must intentionally used that capacity to gain knowledge.
All knowledge is about that which exists. The process of gaining knowledge is the process of identifying existents, their attributes, behavior, and relationships. All knowledge is held by means of language in the form of concepts (the identification of existents) and propositions (all that is known about existents). All knowledge must be discovered or learned from others directly or indirectly (from written records, for example) from those who have discovered that knowledge.
2. Wrong and Mistaken Beliefs About Knowledge: All wrong views of knowledge assume there are some kinds of knowledge that do not need to be discovered and learned. There are endless wrong views of knowledge. All religions and superstitions depend these wrong views, and most philosophy, especially since Hume and Kant, is based on wrong views of knowledge. Some of those wrong views are the following:
—Revelation: the superstitious belief that knowledge is, "given," to someone, or it is, "put in their mind," by some supernatural being or force.
—Inspiration: similar to revelation but the source of the knowledge can be almost anything from in-dwelling spirits to nature.
—Inborn: any presumed knowledge one is just born with without having to learn it.
—Instinct: A most commonly believed view of, "inborn," knowledge confuses animal instinct, human reflex, and the autonomic nervous system for knowledge.
—A Prior knowledge: a "philosophical" version of inborn knowledge widely believed since Hume, Kant, and others promoted it.
—Intuition: The belief that some kind of ineffable knowledge one just has.
—Feelings: The view that confuses feelings and emotions for knowledge.
—Conscience: The most common view that confuses feelings and knowledge.
—Knowledge without language: Confuses imagination and emotions with knowledge
—Subconscious: The belief that there is knowledge one is not conscious of.
None of these presumed, "unlearned," examples of knowledge are knowledge or sources of knowledge and if depended on as knowledge are always deceptive. Any choices made or actions taken based on any of these "false" forms of cognition must result in disappointment and failure.
Like life itself, knowledge is not something that happens to an individual, it is something one achieves. Whatever one has they call, "knowledge," if they do not know how they acquired it or why it is true, it is not knowledge, it is superstition.
All knowledge is knowledge of reality. By, "reality," is meant the, "absolute, immutable, primary existence that is directly perceived as it actually exists, whether or not anyone knows it. To know reality means to know that existence as it actually exists. It does not mean to know everything that can possibly be known; it means that which exists can be discovered and its nature understood, that the existents that are that existence can be identified, and their attributes, behavior, and relationships understood.
1. The True Nature Of Reality—Knowable and Certain: Reality has a specific nature which is certain and objective.
2. Wrong and Mistaken Beliefs About Reality—Unknowable and Uncertain: Reality has no specific nature or not one that is certain and cannot be known objectively.
The denials of the objectivity and knowability of reality coming from religion and philosophy are almost endless in variety, including the following:
—Perception: As discussed above, the first assault on knowledge is the repudiation of the validity of perception.
—Mind: Since the mind is the faculty that makes knowledge possible, all false descriptions of the nature of the mind are denials of knowledge.
—Omniscience: The lie that because one cannot know everything they cannot know anything.
—Infallibility: The lie that because one can be mistaken they can only be mistaken.
—Nature Of Knowledge Statistical: The wrong view that all knowledge is only, "statistically likely, and therefore never certain.
—Nature Of Knowledge Inductive: The wrong view that all knowledge is derived inductively, based only on frequent observation, not on deduction.
—Nature Of Knowledge Subjective: Asserts that what is considered real is a subjective experience and there is not objective reality.
—Nature Of Knowledge Social/Cultural: Asserts that what is considered reality is whatever one has learned from their social experience, what they have been taught—frequently called a, "social construct."
Human Behavior5, Table
1. The True Nature Of Human Behavior: All human behavior is consciously chosen. The faculty that makes conscious choice possible is the human mind. The mind is that unique human consciousness which consists of three attribute: volition (the necessity and ability to consciously choose), intellect (the necessity and ability to gain and hold knowledge), and rationality (the necessity and ability to think and judge). It is volition that distinguishes human beings from all other organisms and which makes both knowledge and reason necessary and possible.
2. Wrong and Mistaken Beliefs About Human Behavior: All wrong views of human behavior are denials of the nature of volition—either denying volition altogether or denying that it is the only determiner of human behavior.
[NOTE: By, "human behavior," is meant only that behavior which one is conscious of doing and excludes physiological actions, like reflexes, the autonomic nervous system, and biological functions (breathing, heart rate, digestion).]
Every wrong view of human behavior assumes or asserts human behavior is, in some way, wholly or partly, determined by things other than conscious choice, such as these examples:
—Physical: The physicalist view denies volition on the basis that all things are determined by the laws of physics, denying the nature of life, consciousness, and the human mind.
—Biological: The biological denial of volition asserts that human behavior is determined by one's biological nature.
—Brain or Neurological System: One psychological denial of volition attributes human behavior to the physical behavior of the brain and neurological system.
—Chemicals In Brain: Another psychological denial of volition attributes human behavior to chemicals in the brain.
—Instinct: A most common denial of volition is the assertion that some or all human behavior is determined by, "instinct," like the irrational animals.
—Heredity or Genetics: Many denials of volition are falsely based on the view that human behavior is determined genetically, inherited from forbears, including instinct.
—Social Conditions: Another psychological distortion of volition is the view that human behavior is determined by their social and economic conditions.
—Cultural Background: Another psychological distortion of volition is the view that human behavior is determined by their cultural background, what they have learned or have come to believe from the society in which they live.
—Feelings and Emotions: Another psychological perversion of volition is the view that human behavior is determine by the feelings and emotions.
—Subconscious: A thoroughly false psychological view that attributes human behavior to causes which one is not conscious of.
Almost every human failure and all wrong beliefs are the result of denying or evading the fundamental attribute, volitional consciousness, that differentiates human being from all other creature and determines how they must live to be successful and happy in this world.
Meaning and Value6, Table
1. The True Nature Of Meaning and Value: All meaning and value are concepts for relationships of things and events to human ends, goals, and purposes. Nothing is good, right, or important that is not good, right, or important to some individual human being for some human chosen objective. Separate from individual human being nothing matters and nothing has any value.
2. Wrong and Mistaken Beliefs About Meaning and Value: Meaning and value are independent of independent human goals or purposes or innate (just good) or intrinsic (just important) in themselves. Such views are usually assume some mystical or supernatural source, such as God or nature.
Some examples of wrong views of meaning and values are the following:
—Mystical: That meaning and values are determined by God or some other supernatural determinant.
—Nature: That meaning and values are determined by the natural world.
—Life: That meaning and values are based on life—not individual human life, but all life.
—Others: That meaning and values are determined by other's lives, choices and fate.
—Society: That meaning and values are determined by society.
—Civilization: That meaning and values are determined by the objectives of civilization.
—Mankind: That meaning and values are derived by the mystical notion of mankind.
—Environment: That meaning and values are determined by evolution.
—Evolution: That meaning and values are determined by ecology and the environment or the earth itself.
—History: That meaning and values determined by some mystical historic mandate like manifest destiny.
1. The True Nature Of Purpose: The ultimate purpose is the life of individual human beings. All purpose resides in and comes from individual human beings. There can be no purpose without choice because a purpose is a chosen objective or goal relative to which something matters. There can be no purpose without an objective or goal. Only individual human beings are capable of having chosen objectives and goals.
2. Wrong and Mistaken Beliefs About Purpose: Every wrong view of the purpose of human life makes something other then the life of the individual the ultimate purpose.
Both religion and philosophy are aligned against all true purpose by making something other than the life of individuals the ultimate purpose. The religious perversions make purpose something dictated or determined by some mystical or supernatural force or being. The philosophical perversions make the purpose some, "objective," of nature, society, mankind, history, or some, collective; none of which have any purpose or objective. The following are some of the wrong views of purpose:
—God: The purpose of one's life is to please or obey God.
—Mystic Purpose: The purpose of one's life is to fulfill some predetermined destiny.
—Nature: The purpose of one's life is all life, or the biosphere, or the future of the, "natural," world.
—Others: The purpose of one's life is the success and happiness of other human beings. The name of this lie is altruism.
—Society: The purpose of one's life is to, "serve," or, "contribute to," the good of society. The name of this lie is collectivism.
—Government: The purpose of one's life is the good of their country. The name of this lie is statism.
—Subjectivism: The purpose of one's life is pleasure. The name of this lie is hedonism.
—No Purpose: The philosophical view that human life has no purpose. The name of this lie is nihilism, most often found in post-modernist and existentialist philosophies.
This is not about what life, the attribute that differentiates between living organisms and mere physical existents; it is about what life itself means and what its ultimate purpose is, because it is how one views the meaning and purpose of life that determines what they will choose to live for and basis of all their values.
1. The True Nature Of Life: The purpose of one's life is achieving and being all one can be as a human being and thoroughly enjoying the adventure of unlimited potential which life makes possible.
2. Wrong and Mistaken Beliefs About Life: That life is evading evil, a constant struggle against pain, loss, suffering, disaster, and death.
—Malevolent Universe: The view that life is a perpetual struggle against an evil universe with constant threats of death and disaster.
—Corrupt Human Nature: The view that human life is doomed to failure because they are essentially defective.
—Suffering Inevitable: The view that suffering and pain are unavoidable but the whole purpose of life is to evade and alleviate them.
—Hopelessness: The view that no true success or happiness is possible in this world.
A fear of death is not a love of life.
Human Relationships9, Table
1. The True Nature Of Human Relationships: The only right relationships between human beings are those mutually chosen by each individual to their own benefit. Reason, the use of rational discourse, is the only means human beings have to communicate and deal with one another to their mutual benefit. All other relationships are malevolent.
2. Wrong and Mistaken Beliefs About Human Relationships: The use of any method, from force to intentional deception, in any human relationship is always malevolent and inhuman. All appeals to the irrational in others, their fears, weaknesses, feelings, sentiments, desires, gullibility, ignorance employed to influence others behavior in any way is malevolent. The following are some of the lies used to put over these irrational human relationships.
—Herd Animals: The absurd belief that human beings are, "social animals," like cattle, apes, bees, or ants.
—Tribal: The belief that individual human beings belong to some collective, their family, community, state, society, or, "mankind."
—Duty: The belief that individual human beings are born with some obligation to others and their welfare above their own.
—Morality: The belief that right human relations are dictated or mandated by some authority or moral imperative.
—Competition: The belief that all human relations are a kind of contest or competition of all against all.
—Influence: The belief that right human relations require influencing others and their behavior.
—Compulsion: The belief that right human relations require some kind of force or threat of force to control human behavior.
—Mutual Fate: The belief that right human behavior is determined by some common purpose or fate of mankind as a whole.
—Malevolent: The belief that all human relationships are ultimately malevolent and evil—at least in this world.
All war, all crime, every possible malevolent relationship between human beings is the consequence of the rejection of the right view of human relations to excuse or justify some irrational coercive or deceptive method of dealing with other human beings.
To Be Fully Human
What a human being is, what any human being is, is whatever that individual has chosen to be.
When I say, "only one percent of human beings are fully human," I do not mean they have some kind of genetic defect that makes them less than human. I mean, most human beings do not choose to do what is necessary to be what their nature requires for them to live as the kind of beings they are. Most human beings live in defiance of their own nature—most human beings are less than fully human because they choose to be.
As explained in, "The Moral Nature—The Requirement For Life Principles," every organism has a specific nature that determines how it must live to live successfully as the kind of organism it is. The aspect of human nature that determines how he must live is the human mind which means a human being must consciously choose all he does, must think in order to judge and choose, and must have knowledge because knowledge is all there is to think with or about.
Knowledge is all that one believes that is true. What one believes is whatever they hold to be the actual case or so, but it is only knowledge if what one believes is actually true. Otherwise it is superstition, which is what most people's beliefs consist of.
To fail to learn the truth and to live by it, is to fail to be fully human. It would be tantamount to a fish refusing to use its gills, or a bird refusing to use its wings, or a carnivore refusing to use its teeth and claws.
It is impossible to not consciously choose one's behavior based on what one believes. All behavior determined by beliefs based on gullibility and superstition (most of what humanity believes) is detrimental, self-destructive, and less than fully human. Only behavior determined by beliefs based on reason and knowledge is beneficial, self-constructive, and fully human.
References: (Click on the title of any category to return to the link that brought you here.)
Why Wrong Beliefs?
2. Perceived Existence
5. Human Behavior
6. Meaning and Value
9. Human Relationships