“There’s one person better equipped than anyone else to make you believe pure, unadulterated BS. It’s instinctual for you to accept anything this person tells you, and you can get pretty angry if someone else tells you this person’s a BS-er.
“To see how strong this effect can be, just look at some of the popular conspiracy theories people believe. Conspiracy theorists can become so obsessed they spend years and huge amounts of money trying to prove their pet theory even after they’ve been shown conclusive evidence that it’s untrue.”
--John Grant, from his book “Debunk It!”
The above quote touches upon our tendency resist letting go of false conclusions, wrong ideas and convenient lies that for some reason we choose to believe. This includes bigoted views that have caused much suffering and evil. Perhaps nothing holds Western nations back from their potential greatness more than this. That’s because democracies fundamentally depend upon the wisdom, foresight and good will of their citizens. When they fail to work, the people and their representatives are to blame.
Ignorance is at fault, along with prejudice, brain-washing ideologies and extreme partisanship.
It is our challenge to rise above all this. Freeing ourselves from ignorance, prejudice and undue influences should always be a natural priority for human beings, whose areté as a species depends upon clear-thinking and the power of reason.
In this respect it has to do with pride. We have human-pride, which includes the satisfaction of doing the right thing, versus ego-pride, which seeks only to create self-illusions and defend mistakes.
Human-pride seeks to eradicate ignorance and fulfill responsibilities. Ego-pride circles the wagons while putting others down. The first seeks truth. The second generates what Mr. Grant describes as "BS." The first is the proper manifestation of freedom. The second a kind of slavery to one’s broken, inner image that constantly struggles to assert itself.