What’s “Wrong” With Most People?
What is wrong with most people is that they do not want to be, do not like to be, and oftentimes cannot accept when they are wrong about something. Most people love to be right, but in many situations being right takes being wrong over and over again. Many people personalize and mischaracterize being wrong into an attack on their intelligence. This is because "the truth by its very nature wages war on lies and deception." - Mark Passio
This ego identification with the falsehood causes an inability to accept being wrong about it. This is at the root of peoples dogmatic religious belief in that which does not exist and never has, and that which is not happening and never has. In addition this causes people to not accept or "believe" that which does or has existed, or not to accept or believe that which has happened or is happening.
“There are two ways to be fooled: one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” - Soren Kierkegaard
That dogmatic religious belief is tied to perceptions, assumptions, worldviews and axioms-(a statement or proposition which is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true.) that inevitably lead to behaviors that lead to completely unnecessary suffering in the world for ourselves and others. Anyone who professes to care about truth vs lies, candor vs deception, should absolutely adore being wrong as it yields more ways to be right. Being wrong is a huge step toward affirming through negating.
Being wrong is not simply the opposite of being right, it is the polar opposite of being right. Being wrong is the lowest degree of being right and being right is the highest degree of being wrong. If intelligence is simply pattern recognition then being intelligent of how intelligence works has a great deal to do with accepting that you will be wrong from time to time and more importantly you will be wrong about extremely important things from time to time. In this way we can see how nurturing our ability to accept being wrong is the key to finding our way. This method of inquiry is called "apophatic inquiry" or affirmation through negation. Discovering what something is or was by familiarizing ourselves with all that it is not or was not is a very useful way to discover truth. Being wrong is part of the natural process of the scientific method. Many hypotheses are ultimately proven false. Refusing to accept information and truth simply because you were tricked into believing something or thought about it incorrectly will never make the truth of the matter void or invalid.
The great honor of humanity is for every capable human being to be able to use the scientific method to discover truth and its many variables and various practical applications. The dishonor of humanity is to willfully remain ignorant to the truth when it is adequately presented. Being wrong is not a defamation of character. Refusing to correct oneself is the foundation of unintelligence, the ultimate wrong and the most profound personal and social shame. Accepting that you are wrong should be a very liberating experience. It should humble you, it should shock you. It should be similar to seeing something in the distance and moving closer to see it, being convinced that it's one thing, and then realizing that it's something totally different. There should not be the sensation of inferiority or stupidity. It is only stupid to insist on being wrong.
What does one gain from willfully denying truth as what it is? How does the wrong benefit those who experience cognitive dissonance when faced with the certain realization that they are wrong? What allegiances, obligations, or afflictions does one have with the content of that which is empirically false? As an example, hypothetically if a flat earth believer went into space and saw that the earth was a spherical cap; parallel to that the same scenario reversed with a person who believes the earth is "round" ultimately seeing it is "flat". Would either of these people on average be able to readily accept the magnitude of how vastly wrong they have been and have propagated to others oftentimes in heated debates and arguments. Why do people have an emotional attachment to their perceptions of what they perceive to be correct or incorrect?
The anti-idea that all opinions are equal to the truth is by its very nature logically fallacious. What makes someone intelligent is their ability to recognize complex patterns in relation to the incoming data they receive. What makes someone wise is their ability to use that very same pattern recognition software to do a diagnostic of their own pattern recognition software. In short the enlightened are masters of checking themselves.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such a time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie" - The Big Lie allegedly attributed to Adolf Hitler.
If this quote has any truth or validity to it (which it does) it is because most people despise being wrong. Since those same people are not likely to do any investigation (especially pre-internet), when the components of the truth are presented they will disregard the relevance of these components and variables. Ultimately those with unchecked egos will resist and resent being wrong. This is because they have invested a great deal of energy, contemplation, emotion, decision making, and more into their own identity based on absolutely nothing. If they admit without accepting that too many components and aspects of their lives are utterly contradictory and empirically false, then they will have to experience an involuntary ego death which for many is just as dreadful as them actually physically dying.
Most lies, deceptions, falsehoods, incorrect axioms, propagandized principles etc. for that matter (because they affect us all) are the direct consequences of certain individuals, institutions, groups, organizations, societies, and so-called leaders with deliberate actions to use their knowledge to gain a differential advantage over one another and over their perceived subordinates. These are the agencies and faculties of Supremacy. For this reason, willingly and willfully accepting and perpetuating false information causes harm to others and makes it an issue of Morality. We are free to believe what we want even if it is not empirically true precisely because that belief does not harm someone or violate their property. Once that belief manifests into actions that violate the rights of man, the belief is rendered invalid, illegitimate and void. Being wrong because you really mean it does not trump the calm, callous, casual truth of Reality and Morality.