What I Believe and Why

After 70+ years, I’ve developed a lot of ways of sorting out what I believe from what I don’t. Long before social media and mobile phones there was the scientific method, which I adhere to. Concepts like “Preponderance of the Evidence” and Avoid Conspiracy Theories and Trust Multiple Sources and Trust Experience and Peer Review come to mind.

Some would say that the world is a horrible state and would blame it on certain key actors or concepts. I am reminded that through out my entire life the world has been in a horrible state. Many of the Actors and Concepts have not really changed. For example, Capitalism has always been very unfair and while one can argue that it is “more unfair” recently and increasingly so, I fail to see a clear alternative. While it is also clear that Regulation does not work because the powerful are adept at either preventing or mitigating it to their own ends. I would put this in the column of a Continuing Struggle not a sign of a looming disaster. This would seem to have been looming for the past 200 years or so.

But there have been some successes. I am reminded of a few decades at the beginning of the 20th century when “Gangsters” were a thing and they no longer are a thing. And when “Robber Barons” were a thing, and they no longer are. And when Communism was a thing, and it no longer is. While Fascism continues to be a thing, I see a long chain of over coming bad political ideas, and so I am hopeful.

Regarding the current worldwide disease. I am old enough to have taken at least one of the vaccines against Polio. I just looked it up. In 1980, smallpox was declared eradicated throughout the world. And while I take the claims of the Medical Establishment with some skepticism at every turn, in general, I expect that the scientific method and peer review will sort closer to the truth than not.

I recall sitting in class when we heard that a President had been assassinated. And I was present for the passage of a voting rights bill and the turmoil that preceded and followed it. While we seem to keep finding folks that want to reverse that precedent in nefarious ways, I have hope that clearer minds will prevail.

I have watched while a recent president of the United States tried to overturn a free and fair election and take control to continue his reign. While I am exasperated at the slow pace of bringing these folks to justice for their crimes, I am hopeful that justice will prevail, eventually. Lots of small fry are facing justice, but the leaders of this insurrection have yet to feel the hand of the law.

Recently war has broken out in Europe. This is not the first time, but it is the first time that this has happened with the clear eye of world wide internet, instant video and mobile phones looking at the matter. I recall a Missile Crisis in my youth, and a war in the Baltic States and a War in Iraq to name the most predominant examples. Now there is a nameless leader whose name starts with “P”, and who in my opinion is close to a madman, but before him there was a leader with a name starting with “K” who had similar aspirations. I see cool heads dealing with this crisis, lead by the US, and taken up by leaders all over the world. I hope this fails and the country’s sovereignty and boundaries can be restored. I look forward to the end of the reign of “P”.

So what do I believe?

  • I believe that Horse Dewormer is not a suitable medicine to treat the current pandemic disease. If you would like a summary search for “Youtube Rebecca Watson Dewormer” in google and watch the video. I put similar “cures” in the same category.
  • I do not believe that the current crisis in capitalism is fundamentally any worse than things have occasionally been over the last 200 years. I am hopeful that we will find a way though. I don’t think that civilization will collapse because of this.
  • I am hopeful that the current political troubles regarding insurrection, voter suppression and gerrymandering will eventually be conquered in favor of fair voting and a stable democracy. At least as stable as it has been in the past.
  • I do not believe that “P”s war is justified. It seems clear to me that “P” is a bad actor, and has been for a long time.
  • I do not believe that “Mass Media” is to blame for anything. I do see bad actors in this space. It seems clear that some media outlets are self inconsistent and hypocritical. An outlet that continually promotes not doing something to it’s followers while requiring all members of the organization to do exactly that thing comes to mind. But many outlets are fair and thorough and have apologized for being wrong on occasion. I tend to follow those outlets.
  • I think we are each responsible for sorting out what to believe from all the evidence presented and that we are responsible for being willing to change our minds when new facts are presented. But also that new fact candidates or theories should be widely agreed and peer reviewed. This all may be more challenging now with social media and mobile phones, but it’s the same problem we have always had. That’s one of life’s challenges.

I don’t mind disagreeing with folks on some of these subjects, but I do not come to these conclusions lightly. If you don’t agree with most of these points, then I’m not in the mood to argue about it.