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One of the most constant characteristics of beliefs is their intolerance. The stronger the belief, the greater its intolerance. Men dominated by a certitude cannot tolerate those who do not accept it.
Gustave Le Bon Opinions And Beliefs
Do you believe it? My opinion is that this may be true.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 18th, 2005 02:20 pm (UTC)
Well my friend, you have hit the nail on the head for something that I have been struggling with over on my blog. It is that idea of "certaintude" in that I know I am X Y or Z, and no one knows more about X Y or Z than I do. I am right, I am confortable, I have achived my conformity and comfort in what I know. I do not seek new horizions or concepts because of my "certaintude".

I have heard the phrase "people with minds so open nothing stays in, and people with minds so closed nothing new gets in". Don't remember who or where I heard that from.

If we are dealing with a population, any population either work, home, social, political, or other organizational construct, we have to wonder then how we can incorporate new ideas, new concepts, and new ways of doing things when that "certaintude" is all that really exists. Are we really ready to open our minds enough to look at something new objectively or do we see the threat of the new against the back drop of where we are emotionally and mentally.

I think that is something that many people struggle with, if not acknowledged as a stuggle. We seek consistancy and conformity in a world that resists and in many ways rejects the concept of consistancy and conformity.

Good Morning, just a though.
Sep. 18th, 2005 03:05 pm (UTC)
There are people who are absolutely convinced of their own rightness. They are so convinced, in fact, that if, at the conclusion of a discussion, you still disagree with them, they are convinced that you did not understand them, or you would, of course, agree.

This mindset is not limited to religious zealots, or the 'easily lead'. The person who illustrated the most negative aspects of certitude to me was a friend from mine who is a theoretical physisict in Bern. Go figure.

We had many a disagreement over the years. It took me a while to get him to stop talking down to me because I was a woman. My ex and he used to get into long, drawn-out arguments--two highly intelligent, Jesuit-trained minds clashing--and while David would agree to disagree, Christian would not. The best thing about Christian was when David and I would argue and he would step into that 'certitude' mode, I would tell him "Yes, Christian, whatever you say, Christian, of course you are right as always, Christian" and he would stop and reevaluate his position in the discussion.

As soon as someone puts enough conviction into a Truth to BELIEVE it, he closes himself off to other Truths. He stops asking, seeking, questing. He becomes complacent and lazy. in fact, I think that the power of belief or faith is not that you can can move mountains, but that you are so convinced you CAN, that it becomes unnecessary to try to do it yourself.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )