Are we a community or an individual person?

belive II

For the purposes of this discussion belief is defined as mental acceptance of a premise, image, or thought as being true or real without evidence, in spite of contrary evidence, or after repeated failure. Belief, in this limited definition, is purely a function of the human mind. It enables humans to know what is demonstrably false, not knowable, and what is not known by anyone else.

There is a large area between belief and knowing where a great deal is accepted on faith. It is not necessary for every human to re-prove that Newton’s motion formulas are accurate in macro physics, that the earth is not the center of the solar system, or that the city of Tokyo exists. The truth and accuracy of those premises have been proven and established in the body of recorded human knowledge. While most humans do not know these things are true based on personal experience, these things are knowable and known by others. That is the slipperiest of slippery slopes. It leads to faith in experts, authorities, and gurus.

Faith in experts, authorities, and gurus that presumably know leaves humans vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation. Modest attention to the doublespeak of expert Alan Greenspan should be enough to reveal to any person of reasonable intelligence and linguistic competence that Greenspan is incompetent; self-deceived; or a willful, knowing liar. The economic exploitation that results from Greenspan’s folly are equally obvious in statistical growth of debt published by the Federal Reserve System itself.

The quarreling exaggerations of environmental experts passing themselves off as scientists prevent accurate evaluation and making of rational policy on environmental issues.

Faith in authority has resulted in more mass murder and destruction of property over millennia than could be documented in a nominally sized encyclopaedia. Super murderers from Alexander and Qin Shihuangdi to Stalin, Hitler, Roosevelt, Truman, and Mao could not happen without participation in or acquiesence to their authoritarian madnesses. When authority is combined with the guru phenomena one gets Pharoahs, Popes, Jim Jones, and David Koresh, none of whom would have had any influence without the support of self-deceived believers.

Two sources of beliefs are environment and imagination.

The first and primary source of belief is environment with parents playing the pre-eminent role. There is a high statistical probability that children will acquire the beliefs of their parents and maintain them for a lifetime. Church is another source of belief. Education another. Dictionaries define educate as to persuade to feel, act, and believe in a desired way. Whose desired way? Perhaps, the greatest source of belief outside family is entertainment/information media, commercial institutions with nothing other than their own economic self-interest to guide actions.

Both truth and bullshit can arise from imaginative processes. With imagination you get science, mathematics, and technology. With imagination you also get religious, economic, and political bullshit. You get art and literature, too, which can represent either truth or bullshit; but often represents bullshit. Today, what is produced as art and literature is almost wholly commercial product.

The problem that confronts every human individual is to discriminate between what is real or true and imaginative bullshit.

Scientific processes provide ways of acquiring knowledge of the world in the venue of time, space, material, and energy. Once obtained, verified, and published, knowledge is available to everyone. Anyone and everyone can use accummulated knowledge to assemble functioning electrical circuits, for example, anytime and all the time. The circuits will work practically anywhere and everywhere. No amount of belief in magic or other form of imaginative non-knowledge can make an electrical circuit function or malfunction.

Scientific processes have no validity outside the venue of time, space, material, and energy because scientific processes are about measurement, prediction, and repeatability. No proof exists that there is any other venue except in human imagination, but uncounted venues exist in human imagination. What can be measured, predicted, and repeated in imaginated venues? Nothing. How does one measure a dream?

Whether other venues exist is a matter of faith or belief. Other venues, so far, cannot be proven to exist or not to exist.

Money creation and resulting economic effects are matters to be considered in the time, space, energy and material venue even though money itself is an abstract or imaginary concept. By using scientific procedures of data collection and testing, the scientific ideal of measurement, prediction, and repeatability can become an attainable goal.

Consider the matter of inflation. Inflation has been a constant since the founding of the Federal Reserve as can be determined by data published by the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve Chairman of the Board of Governors, Alan Greenspan, continuously verbigerates anti-inflation rhetorical dogma. He pretends and appears to believe that he is fighting inflation by monetary policy. The result has been inflation, not only in his tenure; but also, during the tenure of every Chairman since the inception of the Federal Reserve. Alan Greenspan fits the definition of a true believer. He continues to believe in his monetary policy after 84 years of failed Fed inflation-fighting policy.

Greenspan mumbles a few words and the stock market shakes. Greenspan demonstrates the folly of believing in authoritarian gurus as surely as Jim Jones.

Thousands of gurus are spouting diverse imagined solutions to human problems in diverse imagined venues. Imagined venues are often called spiritual. If there are solutions to social problems exacerbated by monetary policy and resulting economic chaos, they can only be found in the proper venue. The only venue that matters is the here and now venue of time, space, matter, and energy where data can be collected, measured, and evaluated, informed policy instituted and revised as needed, and solutions obtained.

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