Monday, September 22, 2014

How not to be ignorant about the world

According to studies most people are ignorant about the world because of personal bias, outdated facts, and media bias. It seems that on many topics the media supplying the facts are most ignorant of all.

The major misconceptions that people have are that things are getting worse, inequality between the rich and poor is increasing, the rich come first and then social uplift, and that what the media tells us to fear because those things are dangerous give us a skewed and inaccurate view of the world.

It turns out that the opposite of our misconceptions are more likely to be accurate. Most things tend to improve, most things move to the middle not to the extremes, social uplift comes first before enhancements for the rich, and most of the things that the media focuses on because they are sensational are not as dangerous as other things the media doesn't, or rarely, mentions at all.

The problem is that skewed facts and people's intuition (common sense) is often wrong because causality is attributed when there is merely correlation, and causality and correlation are two different things.

It is important for us to ask experts, "What are your most important facts that the public doesn't know?"

Stupid people think they know when they really don't. Their hubris and arrogance often create problems for the community and public. This kind of ignorance might be considered a new form of sin where the community is negatively impacted by stupidity. Unitarian Universalists are a people of faith who believe in skepticism and who encourage the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Amen. May it continue to be so.

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