Keep it Complex

cabalamat makes some excellent points:

Any dogma that gets any followers is likely to be (a) simple and (b) emotionality satisfying, at least to some people. In fact any belief system must be simpler than reality, since reality is vast and probably not fully comprehensible to the human mind anyway.

Of course, that statement doesn’t apply universally (paradox?).  But he does give some good examples:

What’s the cure for this? Simply to realise that any simple, pat, belief system isn’t going to be the whole truth, even if it does have good points. Put simply, no belief system about how the human world works is entirely correct, or is any widely-held belief system likely to be entirely nonsense. For example:

Religion: God may not exist, but nevertheless it is still bad for people to murder or steal from each other.

Free markets: are an efficient way of allocating scarce resources, under many circumstances, but they are not the solution to all human-organisation problems.

Medicine: some medicines have genuinely harmed patients, but most do good, and by spreading panic about vaccines etc one is almost certainly doing more harm than good.

Technology: most technology leads to humans living longer, more fulfilled lives; but some technologies have lead to a diminution of human happiness (e.g. telemarketers and spammers)

From which we can extrapolate the general idea that its often better to look at the reality represented by a simplified abstraction, and address the complexities that result.  Good food for thought.

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