Similarity isn’t equal to truth

The limits to our beliefs

Having people around us believe things similar to our beliefs does not make these beliefs true or right.

By exposing ourselves to different points of view, by traveling to places where people’s beliefs are different from ours, we may realize that our beliefs are just unfounded opinions.

Being comforted in our beliefs is dangerous as it takes us away from the need to seek for the truth.

This phenomenon happens to all of us, wherever we are in the world, no matter our education or culture.

A world moving towards the Google way of thinking

The way that our modern search engines work has a deep impact on our way of perceiving the world, how we interact with each other, and our search for the truth. It is a new paradigm that isn’t older than 25 years.

By aggregating data about our preferences on previous searches, Google knows better than anyone our beliefs, what we think is true or is right.

In the next searches, Google will provide results that are conforming to these thoughts, ideas and beliefs.

Like an echo chamber, we end up comforted to find results from people who think like us.

And as everyone has the same experience, divergence and gaps grow between people’s thinking.

We are not challenged to question our thoughts. We’ll always find something or someone to confort our point of view.

This applies to any modern search engine or feeds providing results from deep learning : Google, Facebook, Amazon, Instagram… They all provide results based on preferences.

The importance of challenging our thoughts

In today’s time, it is therefore more important than ever to challenge our thoughts, and looks for opportunities to test our ideas and beliefs.

When we meet people with diverging or opposite point of view, we need to embrace the possibility that we may be wrong. That our truth is erroneous or partial.

We may confort our thoughts even further, but if we address it with care and respect, we may learn something and evolve to better thoughts.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Marc Twain

We all have different backgrounds

The fact that we all have different backgrounds comes from the fact that we were brought up with different values, cultures, social contexts, languages etc…

The truth we formed is the result of our honest analysis of the world we know.

We need to find the empathy to acknowledge the fact that we come from different places, and try to understand the reason why we think like we think or act like we act.

Failing to have such empathy leads to further isolation, and on a macro scale to social unrest, revolutions or wars.

Instead of closing doors on people that are different, we need to care to discover them, and together, go on a journey to find a common belief.

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