Thursday, October 9, 2008

certainly wrong

"the brain has provided us with a wide variety of subjective feelings of reward ranging from hunches, gut feelings, intuitions, suspicions that we are on the right track to a profound sense of certainty and utter conviction. And yes, these feelings are qualitatively as powerful as those involved in sex and gambling. One need only look at the self-satisfied smugness of a "know it all" to suspect that the feeling of certainty can approach the power of addiction."

"In short, please run, do not walk, to the nearest exit when you hear so-called leaders being certain of any particular policy. Only in the absence of certainty can we have open-mindedness, mental flexibility and willingness to contemplate alternative ideas."
Indeed, the oh so admired quality of certainty bespeaks of a rather less cherished one: ignorance. Just as those dependent on chemicals derive pleasure from a source both dangerous and rarely sustainable; those who are slaves to self-righteousness wallow in a destructive and debilitating bliss.

The mental warping from the intoxicating effects of unwavering dogmatism prevent the lucid evaluation of any position; indeed, the requirements of feeding such an obsession demand a reckless disregard for reality, even at the cost of integrity and happiness.

When leaders crow about their ability to "stay the course", they boast of an inability to think objectively, or reason coherently. Such esteemed madness may be acceptable for the zealots of the faith; but for the rest of the population, it is simply a fanaticism unworthy of public office.

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