WE MAKE UP STUFF, SKIP THINKING STEPS, AND THEN...
1. The "believing human brain" makes stuff up (there's an evolutionary reason why it does)
2. And then we believe it as truth (also for an evolutionary reason).
3. And then it "skips steps", to take shortcuts (also for an evolutionary reason).
Yes, in certain things, this way of processing (in a "non-thinking" way) works to our benefit, BUT...
"FAIRY TALES" DO NOT ALWAYS SERVE US WELL...
...BUT often it works to our detriment - where it really matters!
For important stuff in life that doesn't fit caveman days, we must however not believe what is made up nor skip the steps to arrive at what to believe in and how to utilize it in our lives.
We cannot make good decisions nor manage our lives well based on bad facts and "non-thinking" (defaulting to primitive brain automaticity).
Don't fall into these traps! Recognize them. Then correct the key beliefs (facts) that matter to what is true, using the higher brain in the process. Then use reasoning to decide what to do and how to use the corrected means to what you want in life.
Then turn many of those over to the automatic system that is effortless, but always using the higher brain as needed. (Your freed up attention units will allow you to do that effectively!)
Believing in ghosts, mysterious powers, magic, and false threats will disappear from your life - and your life will become much, much richer and much, much happier (without all that crap mucking up the works!).
Then come back to this page to read more and follow the sequence.
(See the learning/implementation program, in the text below.)
BUT, WE DID EVOLVE WITH A SOLUTION TO THE POLLUTION
Well, we, fortunately evolved to have a higher brain, called a cortex, to note what seemed to produce undesirable outcomes and then go in to correct the situation.
The problem is that we fail to use the evolutionary addition, so we don't note that there is a problem and then find what is causing the problem and then devise the solution.
Now, is that dumb or is that dumb? not produce the results we wants which often mislead us in life and get in the way of our happiness and effectiveness.
The bottomline is: If we don't intervene, we'll be operating on "stupid" mode.
AND IT'S EASY TO DO - AND VERY STAISFYING IN TERMS OF RESULTS!
It's not "hard" to use your higher brain, though many of us have "made up" a story that it is
We simply devise (or find one) a procedure to detect "thinking errors" and then we insert what is actually true and not "made up" - we eliminate what doesn't work to produce the results and feelings we want in life. We use logic. We gather facts, that we verify. This is one of the key basic skills that make life work better - called Critical Thinking.
It's your choice. Develop this and use it ...or let "undesired outcomes" and "bad feelings" continue, needlessly. (We CAN solve these, but if we don't take responsibility for doing so, we are left with being a victim of the erroneous thinking - yikes! The hard truth about this is that we all do this to some extent! It shows up in being overweight, having high blood pressure, poor blood sugar regulation, being unhealthy, being stressed, and/or being unhappy. Not good! I recommend using your higher brain instead!)
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT - THE LEARNING/IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAM
Learn the initial overview summary of how the whole mechanical body/brain system works. (Later, we'll return to do it in more depth, but for now go on to the next step.)
Learn what thinking errors are and how to correct them. (So simple, but most people put it off or don't do it right!)
Learn what stupid solutions are and what smart solutions to use instead!!! (The solution to living a better life, d'ya think!?!)
Continuing...see program link, below.
Read this quick summary, although it may be a bit of a "review" of what you've already read, then follow the "what's next" steps at the end.
QUICKIE SUMMARY OVERVIEW
1. We seek to explain everything, seeking certainty, so we "invent" explanations,
even gods or mysterious forces.
2. These are "made-up", prone to being wrong, yet we believe they are "the truth".
3. When we get undesired results, we fail to question and correct these "thinking errors" - and then we keep operating based on them.
4. We conclude first, then we selectively seek evidence to support the conclusion and reject or don't even see and/or discount anything contradictory.
5. Our mind identifies patterns, trying to predict (to protect us). It does
so primitively and is often wrong. (Intuition, for example, is often wrong, but many erroneously believe that it is always correct.)
6. We give "agency" to inanimate or imaginary things - where we think they have
a will and intentions ('the universe wants me to succeed', my "inner child"...).
A. A major mistake is to give agency, attributed will and intention, to the
mechanical mind!!!! The mechanical mind is strictly mechanical, yet we
assume it has alot more powers and intelligence than it does - it is relatively
dumb compared to the higher brain.
Going along with the primitive believing brain, and not intervening, can and will be harmful, as in any case where we are operating on an erroneous basis.
You must understand how this works if you want to live a better life.
A few comments and emphases
Our erroneous beliefs result from thinking errors, where we overgeneralize or we make conclusions that are totally irrational and non-factual. We fail to use our "critical thinking" (i.e., just plain logic).
We even "make up" beings (gods, personas, mysterious forces) that we talk to and believe have "agency" (will and thinking and intention on their own), whereas they actually do not. (We often give "human" qualities and thinking ability to inanimate objects, such as the universe, or made up objects, such as our "inner child" or "dark shadow" or even "our ego", which are all strictly fiction!!!!)
And we explain the unexplainable or unknowable with "wrong cause" conclusions, which are often based on the magical or mystical, but very, very false!
We make up beliefs that are not true and then we believe they are true. We make up that the "other side" is evil or bad (look at our last election!). And then we stick to our beliefs, ignoring facts to the contrary ("selective evidence") - essentially making us "ignorant non-thinkers", i.e. "stupid", a failure to use one's brain.
If you want to live at the highest level in life, you've go to use your higher brain's ability to use logic and distinguish what is fact or not (or what should be checked out), always being aware that your belief or conclusion could be wrong.
Ignore this caution at the risk of having a lower quality life and alot less happiness and life effectiveness. What else can I say? This is a mandatory fundamental for happiness!!!!!
Old notes before revision:
Almost everyone recognizes the idea that we see through "filters", but most people don't seem to apply that to themselves. But, if you want to live a great life, you simply must learn to tell the difference between B.S. and facts, between altered or misbelieved "facts" and real facts. The more you do this, the more sane you'll be.
Shermer, op. cit., refers to "confirmation bias, or the tendency to seek and find confirmatory evidence in support of already existing beliefs and ignore or reinterpret disconfirming evidence."
Read in Shermer's book about "self-justification bias", "attribution bias" (where we misassign cause to something largely coincidental or co-related), "sunk cost bias" (where we want to avoid recognizing losses by not selling a losing stock, while freely selling off winners), "status quo bias" (the tendency to opt for whatever it is we are used to), "endowment effect" (tendency to value more what we own more than what we do not own [or have]), "framing effects" (a positive frame focuses on gain, not loss), "anchoring bias" (when we lack an objective standard we pick what is at hand), "intentional blindness bias" (where our focus is intended at one objective, we will actually not even see a gorilla walk through the picture), and last but not least "not seeing our own tendency to have blind spots"
THE BASIC IDEA BEHIND ALL THIS STUFF ABOUT BELIEFS/STORIES
The basic idea here is not at all complex. Use the scientific method to decide if something is true and to not believe in what you make up as if it were a fact instead of a "made-up".
Be sure you use critical thinking or you'll keep repeating your thinking and belief errors and keep on getting results you don't want.