I don’t know. There is a probability of me being mistaken in this opinion article but I will say what I think about being wrong; People have to learn to admit when they do not know even though human beings love to know.
Human beings love to know, our senses grasp our environment to learn it and discover. Our minds consistently attempt to close patterns and fit puzzles. At the age of only 2 even my nephew is pointing at everything and posing questions.
“Unco Mike, what’s dis?” (Uncle Mike,what’s this?)
Genuinely he would like to know what “this” or “that” is though at his level it’s sometimes the simple things I have answers for. Sometimes, he will ask that one thing you and I have no idea of too. Do I tell him the actual truth that I do not know or do I decide to tell him a fable about it?
No here I’m not talking about my response to questions like, “Where do babies come from.”Definitely the lies we tell kids there are not because we ourselves do not know but are rather wise responses to give before toddlers can be introduced to the subject of sex. Of course with the government now discussing sexual consent for 12 year olds, we can no longer lie to them that condoms are balloons.
Nonetheless there are still topics frequently lied about by people. I mean with over 5 major religions in the world, one or all has to be lying. Myths, legends and allegories influence our judgement. Millenniums ago, the Greek told their children that a deity known as Atlas held the sky from falling. That was certainly disproved later of course, no such thing. They could have just admitted to the kids that they didn’t know, but the predicament is that most of us hate to admit not knowing. We love to be identified as people who know. I too am guilty of this. – Maybe I’m wrong.
To bridge the gap between knowledge and ignorance we create our own truths. These “untrue truths” are more blatantly lies that we believe in for an era. It’s like how for many years people believed a worm was responsible for tooth-decay and that the world had an edge where you could fall off if you walked too far. I can forgive humanity for believing the world was flat but that’s yet another lie that we said confidently as if it were confirmed.
In the song Patience by Damien Marley and Nas I like the humour when Damien says:
“The Earth was flat if you went too far you would fall off,
Now the Earth is round if the shape change again everybody woulda start laugh,
The average man can’t prove of most of the things that he chooses to speak of,
And still won’t research and find out the root of the truth that you seek of,”
Where I’m from mostly when somebody dies neighbourhood housewives whisper their assumptions and the most logical speculation is ordained truth. What they do not like to admit is that they were not there when it all happened? They will diagnose the deceased and decide if it’s HIV or witch-craft. If it is a murder or sudden death, the conspiracy theory about who the witch may be is carefully knitted through destructive chit-chat. The women sit there with ears erect and eyes wide open as the one who claims to have figured it all out makes illustrations of her speculation with aid of dramatic hand gestures. Occasionally, they cover their mouths in shock or clap once. – No actual facts but backs are stabbed.
Will we ever learn to just admit that some subjects are beyond us, unverifiable and unknowable?
I personally think accepting not knowing without shame is a good step to get on the path to discovery. Perhaps we will never discover certain things but will it really matter? Would we rather take comfort in made up truths only to feel agitated when the real truth surfaces?
This is why religions and traditions feel threatened whenever scientific breakthroughs disprove their founding beliefs. Some of their founding beliefs are based on widely accepted untrue truths. Automatically anyone who exposes those lies or simply brings them to question by telling the truth becomes an enemy and will be demonized and called ungodly. They warn their followers not to pay attention to the information or censor it. What are they afraid of? Loss of control? – I don’t know.
Galileo died for his truth. Years after his truth, what he died for is undeniably worldly accepted truth. Galileo studied astrology and agreed with Copernicus’s view that all planets revolve around the sun, at a time when people thought the sun revolved around us. The Church found him guilty of heresy. He was placed under very restricted house arrest. Then he went completely blind (because he would study the sun, and at that time it wasnt known that it was harmful to stare directly at the sun.) He also suffered from hernia and insomnia. 8 years after being put under house arrest he died of fever and heart palpitations.
Now tell me, does the Earth not revolve around the sun?
Immortal Technique said it best in Point Of No Return, “Universal truth is not based on mass appeal.”
Anybody who tells you that your logic is evil has been brainwashed and set up to disprove actual facts so that they can live in their own bubble that they do not want to pop. If something is indeed truth, then it should survive all tests.
For example if we say: “Marriage is the key to happiness” and state that as a fact but not an opinion. It automatically becomes a lie, when we see an unhappy married couple.
Why not rephrase it to, “Marriage is a key to happiness for some.” Now that’s undisputable because it’s open the possibility that some may be unhappy.
The problem is when fables, myths, legends and opinions come in to place of actual truths. There are things we are yet to discover and maybe it’s best that we admit our lack of intelligence in those subjects than fabricate deceit just to beat our chests and say, “Ah, we know.”
It is a very hazardous practice and history has shown that it becomes hard for people to accept the real truth when it comes because people will be accustomed to the lie and stuck in their ways. Sometimes it actually alienates people from the entire source even if the one truth lied about were the only one to ever be lied about. Trust can be permanently lost.
I don’t know if I am wrong, maybe I’m right, but next time someone asks you about something you don’t know, If you’re going to state an opinion let them know it’s only an opinion but what’s better is admitting that you have no idea.