Hubris VS Intelligence

I can acknowledge my faults. I’ve made claims without the support of thorough and meticulous research. Thank God for libraries but unfortunately, knowledge monopolists stow away our researchers’ work for profit. Databases, such as JSTOR, guard these bits of information as if they’re weapons, as if they can degrade truth itself and reduce it to a commodity. By examining my own writing with an unbiased, critical eye, I’ve discovered that, in the age of hyperbole and moral disintegration, truth seeking presents a daunting challenge. This is why we each have our own path. You cannot take my word as unadulterated, absolute truth, and I cannot believe your every word unquestioningly, without analysis, without inspection, without suspicion, and without deliberation. We must leave our minds as open as our lungs are to the air. We’re all grappling with incomplete information and we cannot, while we sleep, register every bit of existing knowledge in our neural database. However, hubris, like a reassuring whisper, tells us otherwise. Hubris is a conniving, deceiving phenomenon.

Hubris can convince us that we can do without sleep and that we can do without depth. Why should anyone not drift aimlessly throughout if he or she believes there’s nothing left to learn? Thankfully, at times, someone may tether us down. However, let’s not waste time netting every egotistical megalomaniac as if we’re catching impudent fireflies trying to rival the sun. Let their egos float them toward disaster but hope they learn the lesson before they reach the fate of Icarus. They need to learn just as we learn: with our own experience. We’re foolish if we take in anything we read like dollop of medicine or view anybody we see as an agent of truth or a vehicle for prophetic wisdom. Anything you read here is either poorly supported, partially supported with facts, or purely conjecture. The purpose of these writings is to stimulate thought, catalog ideas, and methodically gravitate toward truth.

Sifting through unvalidated, misleading information constitutes our journey toward truth. I’m not an evangelist, a cult leader, a prophet, nor do I want mindless, comatosed followers incapable of independent thought. Nevertheless, I will stress ambiguity, and I will stress it again. We don’t have to decide to believe either way on a particular issue today, tomorrow, or the next day. The canon of indisputable and factual knowledge is terribly incomplete as the facts we once thought we knew are consistently being reviewed, revised, and built upon. I’m not entirely confident that claims I’ve made on this site are correct. I can always be wrong, but I still can be right. In the meantime, I’ll be collecting enough evidence as I can, shattering any nonsensical bias I’m holding onto, and remain open to new ideas and new perspectives. Seeking truth will inevitably fail if the quest to be right trumps reason and if our exponentially expanding egos twist logic.

Thought must be clear. Pensive but patient, calm but vigilant, our minds must be. Be militant with our views and we sling ourselves further and further from truth. Self-proclaimed guardians of truth unleash a chaotic hysteria when using violence to defend their point of view. Such persons never knew the truth intimately. If we need everyone to agree with us, we’ve foolishly made it our goal to feel important and linked that artificial feeling of importance with our self-esteem. But who is important? The ones who show us the good. Can they be wrong? Absolutely. Self-deception is the ghoul hiding in the crevices of our minds. Self-deception waits to pounce and leverage our pride against us. Vanity tells us we’re nothing if we aren’t kings, and we’re useless if we’re not saviors. Vanity deludes us into self-loathing when we lose and self-aggrandizing when we win. Let this ghoul be. Let’s tame our minds.

Let the voice of reason reverberate down the corridors of consciousness. Reactionary responses reinforce the discord in the world and the enmity between us. Our need to be right possibly originates from unmonitored emotion. Emotional, sweeping generalizations and fallacies of composition do not prove anything but the seething anger that’s rupturing and dissolving our hearts. Many messages sent over the internet are wrought with not only racist indignation but feigning victimhood, baiting sympathy, and deceiving others with the sole intent to derail communication and to provoke a reaction. While this behavior may be fun, the sheer volume of these messages leads me to believe that society is ill and that most people are unhappy. We open the valve of our pent up frustration. This volatile communication helps purge the emotional burden our society thrusts upon us. We each feel violated by some outside force beyond our control. We each want justice, and we’re all suffering. Communicating as if we’re prophets and screeching, “Heresy!” toward anything opposed to our sermon gives us this little respite we desperately need.

Our society runs on division and hostility. Therefore, our feelings are valid. Civilization, lead by the most powerful people, made sure that money supplanted God and goodness. These powerful people succeeded in that respect, and as society forces us to worship the new god, money, or else be doomed to poverty. We feel too weak and vulnerable when we’re poor, don’t we? I imagine the rich hate the same feeling. Power grabs among the rich and powerful leave countless dead bodies in their wake – and for what, to control gold, oil, drugs, water, land, food, and be gods among men and declare that might is right and the rest of us are just too stupid to realize it? F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his short story, “The Rich Boy”:

Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.

I agree, but the rest of us are not innocent. Our lack of humility and our deluded refusal to be wrong fuels this imploding machine we call modern civilization. Why are we such hypocrites in that we teach our children to share and to be kind, when we kill in order to take and take in order to kill? We feed the emotional and societal chaos with our quest to be right. We reinforce enmity between us with our quest to feel important. We can impudently fly too close to the sun, or we can plant our feet firmly into the ground and admit that we can be wrong.