If I told you what I believed to be Truth, would you believe me?
Do your religious beliefs align with mine? How about your political views? Economic philosophy?
I find it ironic that as the internet has proliferated and penetrated society, instead of a 'marketplace of ideas' fostering healthy debate and pushing us towards a greater knowledge of what is likely true, we attack the merit of people instead of the merit of their ideas.
Likewise, unfortunately, people tend to identify themselves based on their beliefs and take personal offense at anyone who disagrees.
There are tribes for every debate. And each side hurls stones at the other side's people instead of their ideas. A few examples come to mind:
Democrat vs. Republican.
Keynesian vs. Austrian.
Fiat Currency vs. Hard Currency.
Value investing vs. Growth Investing.
God vs. No God.
No person wakes up with the intent to be a bad person. I truly believe that. Barring mental health issues, people tend to want to live their life in a coherent manner - meaning, they want to live congruent lives according to what they truly believe to be right and good.
The problem is, right and good are different for each tribe.
I do not want to believe, as Nietzsche said, that there are no facts, only interpretations. I refuse to believe this because it breaks down into relativistic beliefs - your 'truth' vs. my 'truth'.
But it certainly feels that way during times like these in America.
So how do you seek and find Truth? Here are a few principles that I have learned from others:
1. Groups search for consensus, individuals search for truth.
2. Strong ideas, loosely held. You do not have to be defined by your ideas, because they can be changed based on better logic, evidence, and understanding.
3. Do the work required to hold an opinion: Be able to articulate the other side's position better than the opposition can.
4. Explore the road less traveled.
These principles have worked for me in many areas of life.
What principles have worked for you?