Consistency with Ideas

Oct 11, 2013 by

One problem that our society has today is that we are not always consistent with our beliefs and ideas.  When we have a belief or idea, we try to mold it to our liking rather than following through with the idea to its fullest extent.  Three simple examples.  Freud has a belief that all thoughts originate from emotions and are merely justifications for desires and not rational thought.  This is a nice belief and all, however, let us follow through with the belief.  If all ideas are rationalizations and this is an idea, than Freud’s belief is merely a rationalization of what he desires the world to be like.  Yet, this means there is no reason to believe what he says.

A second example is the progressive belief that ideas and beliefs are merely for their time.  The idea that “all men are created equal” is a belief for its time, but has no application today.  The Constitution is a document for his time but has no place in the world today.  They do not know what we know today, so how can they have said something that would be true throughout time.  Yet, like Freud’s belief, this belief would be the end of itself.  For, this is a belief of our time, it has no place outside of today.  This implies it is not abstract truth, but merely an opinion of the day that is just as false as all other opinions.

A final example is the belief that there is no morality.  This is the most common one among people today.  Morality is not a real thing.  You can do whatever you want so long as you do not harm anyone else.  Yet, this idea seems to contradict itself.  If there is no morality, than it is not immoral to harm others.  But, if it is immoral to harm others, can we not also draw other principles from this so that an entire morality might form.  It is wrong to harm others, second hand smoke harms others, so it is wrong to smoke in public places.  It is wrong to harm others, a person’s finances are an extension of them, so stealing harms people, so it is wrong to steal.  It is wrong to harm people, a person’s information is a part of them, to lie to someone is to harm the information they have, so it is wrong to lie.  This train could go on for a long time, but the point is the same.  If you have one moral principle, others can be drawn from it.  So, if you are going to hold the view that there is no morality, then you must not put in the arbitrary belief that it is immoral to hurt others.

When we form beliefs, we must keep in mind their consequences.  If we hold a belief, we must be willing to see it done to its fullest extent, not merely to the arbitrary line in the sand that we have drawn.  For, if we draw a line in the sand, that means our belief is false.  If our belief is false, then why hold the belief at all?

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