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Goodbye Jesus

The Bluegrass Skeptic

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In Search of Certainty



Occams Razor for psych - Meme Guy


As an atheist, one of the key issues I had with religious belief was the idea for whatever we don't understand or have answers for, we can insert God. Also known as God of the Gaps thinking. I've had several religious friends over the years make it clear that they are still saying "I don't know" but they have confidence that God has things handled and that is good enough. No, you are not saying I don't know. You are still acting with some level of presumed certainty. This kind of thinking leaves us vulnerable to compartmentalized thought and cognitive dissonance. This kind of thinking makes it unacceptable to say, "I don't know." Not being able to say "I don't know" hampers finding solutions to very real issues.


Funny enough, we suffer from our own "god of the gaps" thinking in many circles outside of religion, as well. Conspiracy theory is a glaring example of this reasoning that has shown itself time and time again throughout the centuries among our most illuminated peers out there. God of the gaps thinking is a method to express the frustration of our more primitive emotional self that can't handle not having certainty. This process heavily affects our supposedly logical thinking. Like it or not, we are emotional beings, and this isn't a detriment by any means, or we'd likely not have survived all the challenges our ancestors faced. Finding the balance in the application of our emotional self is vital.


A point I would like to try and make with this bit of discussion is how our desire for certainty can go so far as to alienate and endanger others for the sake of helping our logical brain satisfy our emotional survival instincts. Take for example the divisiveness about masking in public to minimize further spreading of COVID by those who are asymptomatic.

Masking is the new hotbed of debate. And it's a fierce arena that even I have taken a few swings. One side argues it's all about precaution and safety, while the other says it's the promotion of fear and baseless science. Both sides present the same argument though, which is highly ironic in my view, but nonetheless: Masking is good or Masking is bad because----health authorities don't know for sure how much effect it will have on COVID since transmission of the disease is still being sorted out. We know some of how it works, but not all of it. There isn't 100% certainty, and this makes some suspicious. The ONLY study that is recognized and used by the medical community regarding the efficacy of masking is here: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.0c03252 And by the way, it doesn't bring any certainty to the game for either side.


Now, before you fire off in the comments below with certainty about masking, whether by your emotional side or what you believe is just your logical, understand I support masking. The reality is the study shows it helps to prevent some spread to others. I don't care if it's only a 20% reduction in spread; that is still worth it to me. So, ease your response, and keep reading. Also, read the study, because many of your cloth masks are absolute shit and you don't know it. It's a simple fix.


My point is the certainty that data gives us, and how in our efforts to get that much-needed certainty, we drive away others. So, what happens when we already have suspicions against authority, to begin with? We see the economic impact the response to this virus has taken. For some, the logical response is that health authorities don't know what the hell they are doing and now we have gone over the edge and ruined ourselves. For others, safer than sorry outweighs the longterm economical ramifications because what good is a country if it is unable to get control of a virus? The economy will tank anyway.


My point of view is that there are two sides to the debate on the world's response to COVID. One side can accept that this disease, while not completely new, has features to it we haven't dealt with before when it comes to transmission and illness. This side accepts that we have a lack of certainty on how to treat it, and we will have to go through a lot of trial and error to get it right but is willing to err on the side of caution at any cost. This side finds it offensive to not consider the well-being of others when deciding to not wear a mask and shares copious amounts of government and health org data to justify wearing one at all costs. For maskers, trusting these authorities to determine care makes logical sense since they are the only ones with the resources to study and determine treatment. Maskers are suspicious of organizations claiming authority that are not generally supported by authoritative sources and tear apart treatment information that directly contradicts organizations with a history of successful outcomes.


Those who are against masking typically can't accept that this disease is anything new or as bad as claimed. Anti-maskers can't accept the uncertainty of how to treat it, or that we should be subjected to trial and error to figure it out. There is distrust towards larger organizational authorities because of the fluidity of the COVID pandemic and information on how to deal with the disease. Some on this side believe that nature should take its course based on past understandings of how similar diseases work. This side feels it is wrong to determine the personal freedom of others in the name of preventing a disease that health officials don't have certainty about. Some believe it's purposeful overreach into their lives to take away personal freedom. It's an almost a my body, my choice argument. Anti-maskers are keenly aware of the current impact on the economy, the overall health of the public due to being locked down and fear, and their emotional side can't justify the actions of authoritative organizations that adjust information constantly. So, they look elsewhere for what they believe is a consistent certainty on what the situation is and how to deal with it. This group wants a final answer on the COVID pandemic and doesn't accept not knowing. The majority of supporting resources they use involve discredited or partially true assumptions from outlier groups that go against the norm and who claim are victims of government censorship, bullying, and threats.


So, let's talk about these latter groups of marginalized authorities aka "woke" scientists who peddle alternative theories. I hate to break it to you, but these folks are snake-oil salesmen playing on your uncertainty even more sinister than your government health offices.


Conspiracy theories have an agenda that has nothing to do with public safety. Many times, conspiracy theories purposely breed mistrust to help undermine authority because history has shown that too much power leads to abuse. This sounds noble, doesn't it? Unfortunately, they also want a piece of that power pie to have enough weight in public and political circles to get money. Counter-culturism, anti-government philosophy, anti-intellectualism, and religion are all politically motivated and operate this way. Behind every plandemic or NWO documentary, you will find a think-tank that is funding it so that they can get more money to influence (lobby) government. What you believe to be a revolution in thinking that gives a solution to the gap in certainty you can't fill, is 9 times out of 10, a political hack job selling you cherry-picked information out of context. Anti-Masking is a prime example of this.


When we have the answer we need served to us on a neat little plate without having to do any true scientific research, it isn't being lazy. We naturally want a leader to trust, but we have personal standards, and sometimes we prefer to choose a leader that aligns with our beliefs more than reality. When you choose an outlier group, a revolutionary group even, often their resources do come from the very government agencies we don't trust. These groups will even, at the same time, accuse government resources of being bought out, and we don't realize this paradox because we either don't check their data, don't have enough knowledge about the subject to verify the data, or don't have anyone else we can trust in that field to verify that data. This situation is a signal that it's time to step back and think: What the fuck am I thinking?


Plandemic used CDC data, WHO data, governmental data--but they cherry-picked it to manipulate your understanding by lack of appropriate context. If you don't know what cherry-picking is, let me give you an example. Imagine you are eating a hotdog at a restaurant, and the waitress asks if you want some ketchup. You say, "No, I don't like ketchup on my hotdogs." The waitress then says to everyone else in the diner that you don't like ketchup, and she then proceeds to tell them about how ketchup isn't healthy, that tomatoes are a carcinogen, that other diners who ate ketchup eventually got obese and had heart attacks, and so on.


Well, it's not true you don't like ketchup. You just don't like ketchup with hotdogs. That waitress took your statement, cherry-picked it, and then pushed her own agenda. That is exactly what a lot of these faux documentaries do. But why did your waitress push this agenda? This question..the WHY behind the motivation is critical. Turns out, there's a mustard representative that has offered her a huge kickback for supporting their view that mustard is better on a hotdog than ketchup. BUT, she just thinks it's about the health effects of ketchup and she is thrilled someone finally supports her view. The mustard company doesn't tell her it's really just about selling more of their products. The people she is sharing her information with already had an underlying doubt about whether they LIKED ketchup or not, and now she just gave them even more reason to decide they didn't. We see this practiced on the political level in health, science, and even the food market every day.


Now, I'm sure you're ready to counter my thoughts here, and please, again, stay your urge to type. Because, yes, the government does this to us too about a lot of things. When it comes to funding, influencing elections, and accepting standards of healthcare, we get manipulated a lot. We get manipulated by our favorite clothing brands, too. Our trusted news sources? Oh, you best believe it. My question is this: Is it all sinister intentions? Of course not. This is where we have to accept we aren't as advanced as a species as you would like to believe. Companies and governments have to make money to operate, have to have some level of compliance to be successful for whatever initiative (good or bad) that is being proposed. We are a herd of beasts influenced by the well-being of our families and communities. Just like when trying to herd chickens into a pen to get away from a nearby coyote, we too have to be controlled. Many times for our own good. This is where our need for certainty comes into play. Either we stay outside of the coop and face the threat we know minimal information about in smaller numbers with the wrong tools and solutions, and or we join the rest and work together in a bit more controlled environment and try to find some answers.


We have this amazing disconnect between our individuality and our being a part of a hive. We are and always will be part of a hive. This is not an insult or a display of weakness. Our country wouldn't be what it is today if we operated solely as individuals all the time. I promise you that the liberty you fiercely claim to have wouldn't exist as you know it if we decided to operate independently of one another. We know how shitty we are as individuals, and we certainly wouldn't get everything done if we operated alone. I understand that some say that rogues helped to create change, but many of these so-called rogues weren't rogues though. They actively participated in society as a whole. The outliers like Mikovitz haven't accomplished fuck all because they have been dishonest to get ahead. They peddle their mustard while peddling fear. You don't need to fear your government, you need to be aware of what tyranny actually looks like and decide, is this really a sinister plot to control the masses further or is it the horrifying reality that we don't have the certainty necessary to treat COVID effectively? Is it a mix of both? Which is more likely?


A conspiracy to control the masses that involves literally BILLIONS of people to pull it off? Or a disease we don't have the capabilities to quickly get control of because we aren't advanced enough of in science and medicine to deal with it effectively? Which is more likely? Occam's Razor is heavily at play here, and you need to apply this to your reasoning. Are you looking up the sources for your information through outlets that you can be sure isn't pushing an agenda that has nothing to do with your concern? Stacking data, especially information that is not scientifically accurate and isn't corrected for those inaccuracies, is a huge flag you have a bad source and need to re-evaluate your standards for certainty.


If a scientist claims that ketchup causes heart attacks and is proven false, and changes his science to meet that finding, that's a good source to trust. There is a dedication to providing accurate information. When a scientist won't change their findings based on the new evidence and insist they are still right, you don't have a good source to trust. Christ, the bible says if you have two animals fuck in front of a stick painted with stripes that the offspring will come out striped. Science has proven this false. Would you still believe the Bible's claim for that subject? I would hope not. The same goes for Plandemic. Some information is cherry-picked to then justify a finding. That isn't how science works.


You can claim Fauci has more authority than any world leader and personally drummed her out of her field. What's more likely? Fauci has the authority and influence of a world leader, has millions of scientists under his control, and they all conspired against her? Now Bill Gates is on to her trying to undermine his 5G chip implanting vaccination program that is funded by the NWO with millions of operatives worldwide.


Or, she got greedy and thought she could use her reputation alone to push fraudulent work?


What is more likely? The work she did is still available. All she had to do was go back, do her work over again and resubmit. She didn't do that. Instead, she found another way to make money and now gets paid by anti-vaxx firms. And yes, there's an actual money trail for that, and she states she's anti-vaxx on her personally controlled bio page. This is all easily found with any search platform, and you can view her own personal work for yourself. So, there you go.


My point is, when we have uncertainty coupled with frustration, whether about government control or the healthcare industry, we lean towards what makes our emotional self - our instinctive self - feel secure. Our logical self then tries to rationalize it. We fill that gap of uncertainty because IT FEELS GOOD. This is our survival instinct at our most basic. I don't mean feels good like "let's go have beers and celebrate", I mean feels good as in gaining security and understanding how the world is operating around us.


I don't know if you realize this, but the universe isn't predictable, and we barely understand our planet. With the age of information we are in, maybe step back and realize it isn't an age of information at all, but simply an age of communication. I would challenge that the 21st century is leading us to better understand how we reason, and so far, I'm very scared. I don't know what it takes for us to learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I don't know what it will take for us to embrace uncertainty and accept that there are many things out of our control. We're new to the earth's ecosystem. Keep that in perspective. For the billions of years our planet has been here, we've existed for less than 4 million of them. Think how long we lived in caves, used leeches to bleed out demons, and believed the earth was flat. Think how recently we understood the earth is round, that disease isn't a fairy tale beast in our blood, and that the universe is expanding. We have a very steep learning curve, and as infants in this terrarium, we call home, we still barely understand how our bodies work and respond to mutations in our environment through toxins and disease.


There are no sacred cows. Be skeptical, but don't make decisions blindly. I see the increase in suicides, people suffering heart attacks, and avoiding treatment out of the ironic fear of contracting COVID. Should we have been locked down this long? No. Could we trust each other to do the right thing? Probably not. There are too many blindsides to know with 100% certainty the right action to take, but at least we have resources that are willing to adapt with new findings and admit when something isn't working. To not be willing to adjust is biblical suicide. Relying on organizations peddling false information to justify your personal bias and actions is reckless too. We are better than this.

We are in a catch 22 situation that will have long-term outcomes we can't even predict. There is only one certainty in this scenario: Hindsight is always 2020.

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