A New Home

Reality vs Belief

The culture of America is going through a strange and unpredictable period at the moment. There's a lot of tension between subgroups of our culture that's leading to growing hostility, words spoken by prominent members of our society are often being misinterpreted or taken out of context, and people are reacting more passionately to news than ever before. Current events, both political and social, are leading to an emotionally charged environment in American society and it doesn't appear that that will end anytime soon. An important question to ask, in my opinion, would be to ask why has the atmosphere so dramatically in one of the world's most powerful countries?

One could point to the fact that America recently elected a president who is dramatically different than any of his predecessors, or one could point to the fact that everyone can have a voice with the aggressive expansion of social media, or you could argue that the growing wealth inequality between the social classes is leading to cultural tension. All of those are valid arguments, but are fairly complex subjects to dive into. My explanation is a little simpler than that. I believe that there's growing tension in our society because many people have a tendency to value their personal beliefs over analyzing what they see with their own eyes.

A perfect example of this is the Flat Earth Society. Despite the fact that the Earth has been observed to be round for centuries, this enthusiastic group is determined to convince everyone that that observation is actually a farce. For that claim being as ridiculous as it is, this group is actually wide spread and has a large following. One would think that for a far-fetched group to have such devoted members, there would have to be impressive and persuading evidence to go along with their claim. That isn't the case, though. Their strongest argument is that NASA is pulling the strings behind a massive conspiracy and scientists have been lying to us for centuries. The Flat Earth Society has no actual evidence to prove that the Earth is flat, they just claim that we're all the victims of a colossal fabrication.

Now, why would people believe this? Why would they believe an outlandish claim that has absolutely no evidence or data to back it up? Because it's easy to believe it. It's entirely too easy to believe anything you want to. All that's needed to believe something is to repeatedly tell yourself that it's the truth. You could tell yourself that the grass is blue, you could tell yourself that an apple is a vegetable, you could tell yourself that the sun actually revolves around the Earth. It doesn't matter what the statement or idea is; if you tell it yourself over and over again, you'll begin to believe it. If we set our minds to it, we can create our preferred version of reality instead of observing it.

Something that's much more difficult, though, is observing and analyzing what we experience. When it comes to the Earth being round or flat debate, there's no real debate to be had. Truthfully, you don't even need to be a scientist to look for proof that the Earth is round; you can conduct your own "experiments" and there's no need for expensive lab equipment. You could look at the curved shadow that the Earth casts on the moon, you could look at the shadow sizes that objects cast on the Earth, or you could observe what you see at different elevations. My point being that it does take some form of physical or mental work to observe reality and analyze behaviors. No such effort is needed for believing in an idea. All that's needed is an accepting, and sometimes gullible, mentality.

Am I saying that no one should have beliefs or that all beliefs are ridiculous? Absolutely not. Faith and belief have paved the way for fantastic accomplishments throughout history. What I am saying is that holding true to beliefs that blatantly contradict observable reality only piles onto the already massive amount of tension in our society. It produces an unnecessary fountain of frustration. There has to come a point where we adjust our beliefs because of reality. We can't adjust reality because of our beliefs.


If you've enjoyed any of the writing on this website, don't forget to check out my newest novel, The Last Descendant: The Hidden King (click the image below)!

The Last Descendant: The Hidden King