19 Mar The True Nature of Reality: Invalid Education – Part 30

Invalid Education

The opposite of valid information is invalid or wrong information. While nobody sets out to accomplish their life’s goals by purposely making bad decisions or being willfully blind to accurate information, there are many reasons why some people shun knowledge that does not line up with their personal beliefs.

People often avoid new information because they believe their current beliefs are complete, and thus view any change to them as moving away from the truth. In fact, they see little need for change and may consider progress as an error that delineates from their core beliefs. These types of information systems are often referred to as “closed systems” because they cling tightly to their current understanding of the world. They believe the ultimate truth forms the foundation of their beliefs and lies beyond human comprehension. They feel no need to understand anything new and consider any contradictions to their current ideas as either false information or tests of faith.

“People often resist knowledge that does not line up with their personal beliefs.”

Many different types of organizations use Invalid Education as the primary method of structuring their thoughts. They can be religious or even cultish in nature, but these systems have little to do with religion or spirituality. Any organization can structure their values and beliefs around these systems. Some groups possess attributes of both Valid and Invalid Educational systems, and may even change from one to the other as the focus of their organization changes. You may see many attributes of an invalid information producing system in your school, workplace, or activity groups. They may also be a part of something larger like a cultural belief, tradition, or religion.

During this journaling exercise, contemplate the major characteristics of a thought system that promotes invalid education and prevents the discovery of new information. These features are indicators of educational systems which are likely to produce inaccurate or outdated information.

Invalid Systems Produce Invalid Information

An invalid system:

  • Forms a closed loop. It points to itself as the source of Ultimate Reality and forbids new ideas. It resists change, often attacking the characters of the people who express new ideas when the valid information cannot be proven false by other means.
  • Promotes its own ideas, while punishing or shaming any resistance to them.
  • Often repeats itself, giving more of the same information. Rather than providing valid reasons to refuse new ideas, it will claim itself as a complete package of truth.
  • Assigns a person or group as conduits to truth. Individuals in the system can only access truth through these selected few.
  • Resists change over time and then uses its historical standing as proof of its relevance.
  • Provides improvements or marks of progress which are vague or immeasurable. Development is highly subject to the interpretation of those in charge.
  • Provides benefits to those in charge of validating, proselytizing, and presenting invalid information, while those who are not in power must pay a cost or suffer some loss, often presented as a worthy sacrifice. It provides intangible rewards for supporters and shames, ridicules, or forcibly punishes those who do not comply.
  • Resists and attempts to prevent individual thought and personal empowerment, often labeling them as bad or evil.
  • Does not teach people to do the right things for the right reasons, but conditions them to do what the system wants by giving rewards or issuing punishments.
  • Shames evidence as elementary, unnecessary, and uses any request of it as proof of a lack of faith or understanding. It promotes faith over reason to circumvent inconsistencies in logic. Rather than argue against criticism, it makes critique wrong or evil. It often presents questioning the current system as the ultimate wrong to prevent logic and reason from overthrowing the system. It rewards blind faith as the highest act of morality and moral progress.
  • Assigns a specific conduit that is under the full control of the system’s propagators. This conduit discredits dissenters, free thinkers, or valid information that contradicts the system by taking away their voice.
  • Criticizes the beliefs of outside groups. It resists the ideas of outside sources that could compel dissent or cause doubt.
  • Uses the continuum of random events to the benefit of the system by claiming positive random events as proof of correct beliefs while rationalizing away adverse random events.

 

Exercises:

Suppose you are speaking with a person who believes the world is flat. How would you convince them that the world is round? Write down your argument.

Suppose you are speaking with a person who is trying to convince you that Bigfoot is real, but cannot be found because he is an alien related to Chewbacca from Star Wars. What argument would you present to refute their claim?

Many people strongly oppose any idea that contradicts their beliefs. Why do people defend their beliefs so strongly? What is one belief you defend vigorously?

Many people agree that all things will always change, and yet, humans seem to dislike instability. Why do changes in routines or new ways of doing things provoke resistance from some people? What is the benefit of resisting a new idea and clinging to an established belief?

People trust logic and reason to protect their lives everyday, yet even these tools are cast aside if they refute or attempt to disprove a person’s beliefs. How do you decide when to rely on reason and when to rely on faith?

Many cultures around the world have a theistic belief system in which one or more gods have omnipotent and omniscient dominion over human beings. Not including your own belief system, write why you think people who hold different religious views adhere to those systems?

Many people in the world report they believe their religion because they have personally felt and experienced the power of their beliefs. Why do people (outside your belief system) think their ideas are correct when the views are mutually exclusive, that is, not all of the belief systems can be true.

Write about a work experience that involved a management style that was a closed system of thought. How did it make you feel? How did this closed way of thinking affect the company?

How can you promote open systems and how can you discourage closed systems around you while being respectful and maintaining influence?

Michael Ken
writingblade@yahoo.com