I don’t know any better (and I also do)

First published on Medium.com on July 29, 2016.

I was introduced to this website by a university lecturer of mine. Writing articles was a part of the assignments. Even though the topics intrigue, I deleted all of my works. I did so because they were assignments. Not only they lacked any passion, they were also very badly written. They were all over the places and I pretended that I knew everything. I have a bigger issue with the latter.

The older I get, the more I am obsessed with being accurate, precise and truthful (pretentious, I know). I need to understand scientific theories and social facts which I still fail to do many times. But, nowadays, the failure makes me feel really guilty. The feeling is so great, it feels like I have doomed humanity forever.

Okay, okay. I am exaggerating. But, you cannot deny that misinformation can be harmful, even though many don’t believe it. Well, the examples are already around us. Pseudo-scientific beliefs cause health-related problems and social ignorance encourage bigotry. I believe misinformation can be either deliberate or unwitting. The former is caused by people’s greed while the latter is genuine ignorance and is actually preventable. I believe it can be prevented if we stop acting like we know everything. Okay, I know it is simplistic. But, it sounds reasonable and realistic enough. Did I just say know-it-alls are out of touch from reality? Yes, I just did.

Let me tell you something you have probably known (and also cliche): There are literally billions of us and countless other creatures on earth, a tiny planet in a solar system that has seven other planets, which is in a galaxy of billions of planets, which is in a cluster of dozens of other galaxies, which is in a supercluster of hundreds of clusters and there are millions of superclusters out there. Yet, many of us choose to be insufferable know-it-alls.

I don’t know why those creatures exist in the first. I can only make guesses like “sheltered upbringing” or “overt self-confidence”. Unless I have evidences, they should not be taken seriously. But, I still think about them simply because they feel right for me…..

….Feel right. We often use emotions to determine what is truthful and what isn’t. That is not how we should live our life. Our feelings only exist inside us. They cannot be used to measure our surroundings. However, they can measure things like our morality or, in this case, our rationality. Your hurt feeling cannot refute scientific theories that contradicts your far-too-easily debunked personal metaphysics…nor can it disprove social facts that violate your unbelievably hateful prejudices. The so-called “liars” and “ignorant ones” may know more than you do.

Oh and about that. When you know the truth, speak up! When people make dubious (and potentially harmful) claims about the others, call them out! When people spread pseudo-scientific ideas, call them out! Even people who act like they know you say false things about you, call them out! Unless safety is concerned, your silence is unjustified. I cannot comprehend how some people knowingly tolerate ignorance. The reason for this may complex. But, it feels like nailing the legs of progress to the floor. As I was writing this, I just realised calling people out is not an easy task.

Before you do, you have to ask yourself first: who is the ignorant one, me or them? Because of our biases, it is difficult to answer. But, I have my own solution. When it comes to social topics, we should rely on various sources, not take social statistics for granted and not depend on stereotypes. When it comes to science, we should rely on studies with replicable results and not on metaphysical claims. When it comes to someone’s personal life, you barely know a thing about him/her, unless he/she has shared his/her deepest thoughts and feelings with you; even then, refrain yourself from judging quickly. But, once again, I still fail those things many times.

My so-called solution is too simplistic. I don’t practice what I preach. My future articles would probably have the same ignorance I condemn for moral reasons. I am a hypocrite who has the integrity of a moral police. Then, why did I waste my readers’ time (if they even exist) with this crap? Personally, this topic always intrigues me. I am genuinely interested in humans’ exploration of truth (and our shameless rejection of it). I genuinely don’t care if my article has a clear point or an applicable solution. I won’t pretend it is of any merit. I just want to express my thought regarding this topic (regardless whether people care or not). If I am going to write more in the future, I would try making an improved version of this article.

Author: The Stammering Dunce

I write blogs. I love to act smarter than I really am and I pretend that my opinions are of any significance. Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=9674796

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