RESCUING THE PLANET – Part 1

March 19, 2011 at 6:35 am Leave a comment

LIES WILL KILL US ALL

By RALPH DOBRIN

Excerpts from his book “How to avoid Armageddon”

Available through Amazon

Click: www.amazon.com  type: how to avoid armageddon

Even though today, anyone can conduct instant audio and visual communication with people on the other side of the world using, a cheap, pocket-sized mobile phone, we still haven’t gone very far with the basics of how to talk with each other. Many of us don’t even know how to listen properly. Much of the time when someone is talking to us, our minds are not fully focused on what is being said. We don’t always tell the truth. We often exaggerate or tell half-truths and indulge in fibbing. Also we haven’t learned how to discern falsehood, even when it is obvious, even dangerous. And we still can’t always tell right from wrong.

If we don’t learn these basics, our scientific and technological advances will prove to be disastrous for mankind and the planet as a whole, and indeed, our technological sophistication will prove to be our downfall. Fully realizing this must be the first step in rescuing the planet from ourselves, and indeed for some time now, more and more people all over the world are involved in searching for ways to reduce the damage we inflict on the environment, while striving for social justice, equality and an end to poverty, tyranny and war. (However, the goodness of these people, sometimes accompanied by naivette, can be nefariously exploited by self-serving barons of economical, political or jihadist power.)

As we mentioned earlier, success in scientific and technological endeavors demands a high level of truthfulness. Similarly, wise decision-making at all levels demands this same high level of truthfulness. In other words, truthfulness must become our most important value.

Actually the expectation of truthfulness from others – the desire that others not lie to us – is a very basic instinct. Note how indignant we become when someone lies to us. We loathe hypocrisy. Lifelong friendships are sometimes abruptly terminated on the spot if we perceive that someone has twisted or hidden the truth from us. Marriages sometimes break up because of intrigue, even when infidelity is not involved.

One reason for our resentment towards falsehood – in others – is that it indicates that we cannot trust or depend on this other person. In family and friends it hurts even more, because we sense that the trust we automatically felt because of our kinship or fraternal ties, has been betrayed and could even be the source of harm to us.

Our aversion to falsehood is probably instinctive. It’s a universal sentiment, like the disgust and revulsion caused by exposed feces. I think that our disgust with feces stems, not only from the smell and the messiness, but also from our innate knowledge that uncovered feces can be a source of disease. Similarly, an unburied corpse, whether human or animal, exudes a warning smell and also, the sight sends us a signal – watch out this is dangerous for your health! We perceive a corpse with disgust, not only because it might remind us of our own mortality, but also because instinctively we know it poses a threat to our health if not promptly disposed of. In a similar way, falsehood is perceived by all humans as a threat. It might not reach our olfactory senses, and although most of us might not be sensitive to this perniciousness when we ourselves lie, we instinctively recognize it when lied to.

This doesn’t mean that we all have to be straight-laced, stick-in-the-mud, humorless bores. We can still be our true selves. We can still joke if that’s what we like doing, or smile readily if we feel that way. We can even tell tall tales – as long people can understand that our stories are figments of the imagination, just for the purpose of amusing others.

Honesty is largely a question of upbringing. Parents teach their children norms of behavior, customs and values that can have an influence – good or bad – on their general attitudes to morals, other people and to life in general. An adult who fibs or blatantly lies or readily believes untruths, is probably not going to teach his or her children any differently.

Notice, throughout this book we have very seldom used the word “truth,” although in Chapter 4 – The root of nearly all evil, we briefly discussed its meaning. Truth is like the air we breathe. Everyone knows what air is and its indispensability for life. But very few people know much about its chemical composition, or how exactly it sustains life. Similarly, everyone knows what truth is, but only people who have studied philosophy might be able to explain exactly what is meant by this small but abstruse word. Furthermore, in the same way that air is indispensable for life, truth is really all about life. And conversely, lying is a breech against life itself.

Every object on earth has its set of truths, as we mentioned in Chapter 4. A table is incontrovertibly and truly a table. It possesses certain easily assessed truths such as size, weight, function and other properties. There are facts about the table that can be examined and lead to the revelation of more and more facts, although we would be hard pressed to know all the possible facts relating to that table. But we can be truthful about what we know, what we perceive (which might even be an illusion or misconception and we should be truthful about recognizing this too). We can be truthful about any value judgment we make regarding that table – whether, for instance the table in question is suitable for a certain purpose. Although truthfulness about this point implies that its suitability or lack thereof is merely our personal feeling or opinion and does not constitute a binding law of nature. We can be truthful about our perceptions and our feelings about things. And if we are able to express these perceptions and feelings in a clear, respectful manner, there is every chance that we will be able to convey them to anyone else who is calmly open to our opinions. Truthfulness elicits respect. And respect elicits truthfulness. The two go together as indispensable factors in the success of any joint endeavor.

This in a nutshell is the answer to solving most of humanity’s problems whether on a personal, local, national or global level. (To be continued)

To order “How to Avoid Armageddon”  click: www.amazon.com   type: how to avoid Armageddon

https://truthandsurvival.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/rescuing-the-planet-%e2%80%93-part-2/

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Entry filed under: Blogroll, dangeous lies and halftruths, How to avoid Armageddon, In order to survive, Stormier times ahead, Things not mentioned in the press. Tags: , , , , , .

The Apocalypse: who needs it? – part 2 RESCUING THE PLANET – Part 2

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