IF I SEEK US
Imminent FulfillmentImmortality,  Safety, Empowerment, Equality, KnowledgeUnity, Society

Should not intelligent, reasonable men of good will be able to agree on all things that matter?

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to
  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
Site Sections, Subject List, Article Synopses and other features

Introduction Material
Introduction Articles
Word Definitions
Human Condition

Christianity Material
Bible/Canon Issues
Christendom Analyzed

Jesus Material
Jesus' Teachings
Aspects of Jesus
5 Gospels Canon

Philosophy Material
Academic Education
Paradigm Material
Philosophers of Note
Philosophical Issues
Philosophy Metaphysics
Psychological Issues
Religious Miscellaneous
Sociological Material
Theological Basics
Theological Issues
Theological Misc

Theological Skeptical

Cosmology, Creation,
Geophysical Material

Cosmology Material
Creation Issues
Geophysical Material

Reconstruction &
Mythology Material
Archeology-Material
Chronology Revision
Golden Age Themes
History Revision
Language-Development
Misc Ancient Myth Material
Modern Mythology Material
Psycho-Catastrophe Articles
Saturn-Jupiter Material
Symbol Development
Venus-Mars Material
1994 Velikovsky Symposium

Miscellaneous Material
Book Critiques Links
Misc Biology Links
Misc Issues/Conclusions
Poetry & Fun Material
PDF Download Files
Lecture & Video Links
Site Features Links
Spiritual Products online store

Not only do two wrongs not make a right, but what is
even worse is that they are often only the beginning
steps on the pathway to tragedy.
- Site author

To say, "I don't know" may be honest.
To say, "I can't know" may be stupid.
- Site author

Self-Deception
Updated: 01/09/2021

If you flatter yourself that you are an intellectually responsible seeker of the truth, consider this:

In 1669, The distinguished English physicist, Robert Hooke, made a wonderful discovery. He obtained the long-sought  proof of the Copernican heliocentric theory of the solar system by demonstrating stellar parallax–a perceived difference in [the] position of a star due to the Earth's motion around the Sun. One of the first to use a telescope for this purpose, Hooke observed the star Gamma Draconis and soon reported to the Royal Society that he had found what he was looking for; The star had a parallax of almost [30] seconds of arc. Here, at last, was impeccable experimental proof of the Copernican theory.

This heartening triumph of empirical science was only momentarily dashed when the Frenchman, Jean Picard, announced he had observed the star Alpha Lyrae by the same method but had failed to find any parallax at all. A few years later, England's first Astronomer Royal, the brilliant observer, John Flamsteed, reported that the Pole Star had a parallax of at least [40] seconds.

Hooke and Flamsteed, outstanding scientists of their day, are leading lights in the history of science. But they fell victim to an effect that, to this day, has continued to trap...scientists in its treacherous coils. It is the phenomenon of experimenter expectancy, or, seeing what you want to see. There is, indeed, a stellar parallax, but, because of the vast distances of all stars from Earth, the parallax is extremely small–about [1] second of arc. It cannot be detected by the relatively crude telescopes used by Hooke and Flamsteed.

Self-deception is a problem of pervasive importance in science. The most rigorous training in objective observations is often a feeble defense against the desire to obtain a particular result. Time and again, an experimenter's expectation of what he will see has shaped the data he recorded to the detriment of the truth. This unconscious shaping of results can come about in numerous, subtle ways. Nor is it a phenomenon that affects only individuals. Sometimes a whole community of researchers falls prey to a common delusion...

Expectancy leads to self-deception, and self-deception leads to the propensity to be deceived by others. - Broad, William, and Wade, Nicholas, "Self-deception and Gullibility," Betrayers of the Truth (New York,1982), pp. 107-108.

Although I have unshakeable belief in my own reasoning ability, I find that I cannot accept it as either perfect or complete, and cannot and do not get comfortable with the outcome until I have affirmation/confirmation(?) from some other person that is capable and that I trust. I have made too many careless mistakes in the past to think this cautious approach to be foolish. This applies to ALL areas of intellectual activity in ALL of the realms, be they philosophical, theological, or relating to physical theory. Of course there are always varying degrees of conviction, and I do not abandon my positions for any other reason than rigorous logic and reason that shows them to be false or incomplete. And I can hold my convictions in the face of ALL other minds claiming they are wrong, until they engage with me to reason together, and we come to a mutual better understanding. I am actually eager to do this, because I have faith that the truth is always good and valuable, and more so than my own temporary ego gratification.

The world is a noisy and confusing place, where thousands of voices using dozens of well-tested approaches and ploys are appealing to our ego problems, misguided self-interest and angst, claiming they have the truth and that we should travel down their path. If a person wakes up at some point and begins to challenge what they have been programmed to believe, that is a traumatic enough experience, fraught with resistance from church and society, family and friends. On top of that, they have all this noise, confusion, and all these voices to contend with. But as if that is not enough, now we know it gets worse! There is this ever-present tendency for the above described self-deception. It seem like seeking the truth is not for the weak or faint-hearted!

What to do? Maybe this is where really sincere prayer starts.

Home   Site Sections   Article Map   Contact   Store   Contributions   Survey