the world through rainbow eyes

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Objectively Unreasonable

Somewhere down the line I noticed that I had been making a lot of my political opinions and beliefs out of the broadcloth of “well this sounds right and it should be right…” I believed, somehow, that what should be is what is.  A just world fallacy that did not take into account all the loose ends that fails to address.

I know when that wall started to crumble for me. I had just got finished reading  The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo and had been parsing the Stanford prison experiment, the Milgram experiment, the Asch conformity experiments and a few other behavioral psychology experiments when I heard Alan Greenspan –

“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,…”

Cracks starting forming in my wall of carefully built ideology. Things clicked together. I started to notice that no matter how much an idea might make perfect sense people were not math problems. People were more nuanced in their reasoning, and finally in the action based on that reasoning.

So it followed that people, groups, businesses, institutions, and finally countries would also act in ways that were not necessarily logical by basic objective reasoning. People aren’t objective.

This can be great. We can do things that defy reason like pledging to get a man on the moon within the decade when we simply do not have the technology. Or it can be devastating. We can turn neighbor on neighbor  and rape, maim and commit genocide.

Neither of those is objectively reasonable. Both of these happened, and a plethora of other unreasonable acts. Humankind is not reasonable. We are predictable, though. Look at history, study it closely. See the bits in their wider context, and you can start to see a way to guide us toward our better selves, if such a thing is possible.

Perhaps that’s just my logical brain trying to make sense of the chaos.