15th June 2012

“If you believe everything you read, you'd better not read.”

Japanese Proverb

7 Responses to “15th June 2012”

  1. reetBob Says:

    Doubt everything, especially that which confirms your own prejudices.

  2. Jeff Says:


    Doubt is a useful conscious tool that has proved itself throughout human history, but it goes against the way in which the brain which supports conscious thought is hard wired. Think about our hominid ancestors walking through the tall grass in the African savanna, hearing a rustle to their right. Which gives them a greater chance of survival, a brain wired to believe that rustle is a lion stalking, or one wired to doubt it? I think the answer is self-evident.

    Herein lies the problem: conscious thought is both work, and, for minute to minute living, very slow. People, even those who are best at it, only consciously think a small percentage of their waking life. Think about the act of driving. It is a trained activity, NOT a conscious one. You’re thinking about where you’re going, how you’re planning your route to the destination, should you pass the car ahead, etc, but NOT about how to guide the car down the road, the corrections of the steering wheel which keeps the car centered in the lane (more or less for some of us), the adjustments of the accelerator to maintain distance to the car ahead, and the thousand other minor things which keep you from hitting another car. You are doing them unconsciously, because if you think about them, you can’t get the job done!

    When you realize that conscious thought is not a normal state, it becomes clear why belief is such a powerful influence upon human beings – it’s easier (and for many things more accurate) than thinking it through. Hate to say it, but it’s going to be a while before human beings figure out how dangerous it can be when applied to the wrong data set (AKA, the God delusion).

  3. reetBob Says:

    Jeff, I happen to agree, but I’m talking about the realm of opinions.

    I just wish some people would question their own opinions a bit more

  4. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    That proverb reminds me of the bible saying, ‘if your eye offends you pluck it out’.

  5. Xhim Says:

    Thanks, guys, great comments.
    I have no problem applauding both today’s quotes and the commentary. Thanks for tolerating me here. It really does help me examine things that I might otherwise simply take for granted.

  6. TIGERLILY Says:

    I am new to this site and have just stumbled upon your messages – great stimulting start to a rainy bleak Saturday morning.
    I’ll be back.

  7. Jeff Says:


    It doesn’t matter whether it is subject is opinions, lions, driving or anything else – the underlying brain isn’t wired for doubt, it’s wired to believe it’s preconceptions, and anything less will get you killed in altogether too many situations.