There are plenty of things people believe blindly without much evidence. You could consider these people lazy for not gathering enough information to make an informed decision. You could consider these people illogical for jumping to a conclusion immediately. You could consider them stubborn for not listening to contradictory facts. But this conviction to things you believe in can be extremely valuable. What are a couple things I blindly believe and logical reasoning won’t change my belief any time soon?
This is an area I have been thinking about a lot recently. I started a for-profit company in a space where many non-profits are trying to make an impact. When it comes down to it I believe strongly that capitalism is the best way to improve the world. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. Of course there are certain non-profits that are necessary. But if you are providing a good or service of value to a customer that is able and willing to pay, you should collect, even if your primary aim is to help the world. Why? Because I believe it is better for everyone in the long run. I might not have the proof or even a strong argument, but it is good enough for me.
The fiction book Atlas Shrugged provides an entertaining look at the virtues of capitalism. Highly recommended.
The impact of one person
Can one person actually make an impact in a world with 7 billion people? In theory, sure. But can you or I? I have a blind faith that I can and that if everyone believed they could, the world would be a much better place (even if not everyone succeeded).
It just isn’t logical! Considering everyone has more than one problem (Jay-Z has 99 himself), there are billions upon billions of problems in the world – is it logical to believe just one person can make a dent? It doesn’t matter what your mom tells you, she is wrong, you’re not special.
“You do the little job you’re trained to do. Pull a lever. Push a button. You don’t understand any of it, and then you just die.”
“You are not important. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”
-Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
That’s one way to look at it… what a downer. But you know what? People have done it before:
Is it reasonable to believe you can make an impact? Nope, but it doesn’t matter:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
-George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists
Is it illogical? Yes, but that makes it all the more important:
Do you have any strong beliefs that you don’t care about the lack of supporting evidence or contradictory facts?
I didn’t list a bunch of things people believe blindly because I want you to think for yourself and I want to avoid offending. It’s hard to think about things you never think about, but take a look at your assumptions.
Shout out to Adamson for blogging Sapolsky’s video a few months ago as well as the Fight Club quote. The whole video is intriguing and definitely worth watching, but only the last 3 minutes are relevant to this discussion.
Shout out to Fenner for getting me thinking about this last weekend.