Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Why is the truth so important to us?

Most truths are subjective truths: we see, hear, smell or taste what we want to believe and ignore all other (eg, contradicting) sensory input. Hence, other people usually have different (subjective) truths. Why don’t we agree that nothing is true? This theory is called alethic nihilism (eg, Aeon-2022, Wiki-1, Wiki-2).

I suppose that a part of the answer is hidden in my first sentence: we believe in our (subjective) truth.

It may take us some time before we realise that a subjective truth is nothing but a perception of someone’s reality.

Usually, I’m curious into the background of someone’s subjective truth because I might learn something.

However, arguing about her/his perception is meaningless when a belief in that perception has resulted in closed-mindedness.

Over time, I’ve learned that some beliefs are not open for discussion because emotions are often stronger than logic and/or ratio.

Sometimes, stupidity will prevent a discussion. Also see my 2022 blog: Is stupidity the flipside of beliefs?

If the truth is nothing but a perception of reality then why are some perspectives deemed “better” than others?

Perhaps, the answer lies at the opposite spectrum of the truth: we hate to admit being wrong, and we love to be right. As Joss Stone argued in her 2004 song Right to Be Wrong (eg, lyrics, video):

I’ve got a right to be wrong
My mistakes will make me strong
Got a mind of my own
So just leave me alone

Excerpt of song lyrics Right to Be Wrong by Joss Stone

“A new study by PsychTests.com indicates that people who are uncomfortable acknowledging their blunders tend to be perfectionists with deep-seated self-esteem issues, and a need to be liked.” (PRWeb). Other sources: NPR-2007, NYT-2017, Inc-2018, Psych Tests-2019, and Psychology Today-2021.

Those people in the 2019 Psych Tests study share five personality characteristics:

  1. People who are uncomfortable admitting mistakes hate to feel and look weak.
  2. People who are uncomfortable admitting mistakes tend to have deep-seated insecurities.
  3. People who are uncomfortable admitting mistakes tend to have an extreme need for approval from others.
  4. People who are uncomfortable admitting mistakes tend to be perfectionists.
  5. People who are uncomfortable admitting mistakes will go on the offensive if someone points out their errors. It’s easy finding an example for those 5 traits: Donald Trump

I suppose those people share another similarity: they have “stopped” learning and have “closed” their minds. Hence, the theory of alethic nihilism (see above) may equal open-mindedness.

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

A quote from Diggers (1990) by Terry Pratchett (1948-2015)

The Truth (2005) by Anthony Hamilton
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-album+song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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