Quote of the day—Roberta X

Be careful what you believe.  Be careful what you wish for.  Dramatic narratives are appealing, but emotional engagement is no assurance of truth.  It’s just the easiest way to manipulate people.  Distrust all cheering crowds, and distrust even more the men and women for whom they shout.

Roberta X
June 12, 2022
A Pause For Reflection
[I am tempted to extrapolate that to say, “Truth does not need emotion to validate itself. Emotional engagement is an indicator you must examine the evidence and logic closely looking for deception and/or error.” But that’s not as succinct.

The problem is that long before we developed logic and formal processes to distinguish truth from falsity we had emotional shortcuts that served us and our ancestors reasonably well as far back as there were pea sized brains. Logic and rational thought is an extremely thin veneer on top of that emotional lizard brain core. People, others or ourselves, can either deliberately or unintentionally bypass than thin veneer and engage that emotional core with minor effort to great effect. It is a wonderful system for generating extremely fast decisions with minimal effort. This works well for probably 99+% of the decisions we make each day. But this emotional core can also override reality. It takes a lot of evidence and effort to correctly conclude the earth is not flat and is not the center of the universe if you have have spent 20 years believing it was flat, motionless, and were certain the sun and stars move in the heavens.

Reality is really, really tough. Don’t let emotion, especially that created by a charismatic leader, degrade your ability to discern truth from falsity.—Joe]

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4 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Roberta X

  1. Very interesting thing to remember. As Mom use to say; “engage your brain before your mouth.” (4 older brothers helped that lesson.)
    And still, it didn’t take all that well.
    But I notice a certain trick that always ties a piece of logic into the emotion. And if the emotion is amplified. Based on even faulty logic. All kind of craziness can ensue.
    Strange and wonderous phenomenon of life. As you and X points out. It can and will be used against us.
    X, You go to sleep early on election night? Or is my lizard brain missing your point? No matter what we think of Trump. That election was stolen.

  2. Yes; ”Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

    You’re reiterating millennia-old Bible verses.

    And yet the world teaches us to, “Trust your feelings”, and to believe that emotion is the very essence of being human. Television, movies, advertising and music all appeal to emotion, as does politics, and almost all religion. So who is lying, Jesus or the entire world?

    And don’t make the mistake of believing that science is immune to the destructive influences of emotion, preventing the truth from being upheld come what may. Historical accounts abound, of otherwise brilliant scientists being heavily influenced by their desire for certain outcomes or conclusions, or to maintain a certain paradigm, or to “fudge” things a bit here and there out of concern for their careers, or to be bribed in some way. Indeed the warning applies especially to science (or science so-called) because scientists, or purportedly scientific claims, can easily take the place of the high priests of old who claimed “infallibility” and thus had near absolute power. Where ever there is the presumption of authority, it will be co-opted by the power hungry, and the corrupt of every kind. Everything of any value has its counterfeits and mockeries, and science is valuable indeed! Therefore we must be especially vigilant regarding science.

    ”Take heed that no man deceive you.” Matthew 24:4. This was a warning to the very disciples, who had walked with Christ for three and a half years, and above all men should be least susceptible.

    And the discussion is incomplete without broaching the subject of pride. Though it too is an emotion, it’s an emotion that often disguises itself as unassailable logic.

  3. This discussion reminds me a lot of the work of David R. Hawkins, a psychologist who looked at spirituality and religion from a psychological perspective. In fact he has a book titled “Truth vs Falsehood”.

    He orders all human emotional states on a linear “map”. The bottom contains the most destructive emotions such as shame, guilt, fear, anger, and pride (in that order). continuing to move up, you reach courage, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, and bliss. Below courage is considered destructive, and above pride are constructive, increasing in destructiveness or constructiveness as one goes further up or down. He expands greatly on this map and its parts, and how they manifest on personal and societal levels in his various books, particularly “Transcending The Levels of Consciousness”.

    Much of his work also has to do with the mechanisms of the ego, which he describes as the tendency to identify with and assign undue self-importance to memories and perceptions, creating varying degrees of narcissism.

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