We Hold These Truths To Be Most Likely Mistaken

I miss the days when I knew everything. Why, seems like it wasn't but a few years ago that I had it all figured out: country music was bad; logical inquiry was good; organized religion was a trap, and so on and so forth.

I think at some point I've turned out to be at least partially wrong about darn near everything.

Flashback: 1994. I'm listening to a cassette in my friend's Honda Prelude. "Hey," I"m thinking to myself. "Not too bad. I could see this kind of music really catching on, if only a few more people knew about it... Hootie and the Blowfish, eh? They're pretty cool."

And did you know I caught myself trimming hedges this weekend? I wasn't listening to Brooks & Dunn on the headphones or anything, but still.

And the other day, there I am, out on the lake, sailing in grand zig-zags across the sparkling water, with a Frat Boy. I hate fraternity people! Or at least, I thought I did. Matt's an alright guy in my book - he did ram a television and all - and I had never realized he was a former participant in the Greek system. Now that I do know this, what am I gonna do: change my mind about liking him?

No: I just realize that, yet again, I was wrong.

Back in college they taught us about Pyrrhonian Skepticism, which holds that the truth about reality is basically inaccessible to us, so we should "suspend assent" to any dogmatic viewpoints. To phrase this simplistically, "I've been mistaken before, and I don't want to be mistaken again, so I'm not making up my mind either way, anymore. From now on I'm only declaring how I feel about things, not what their true natures are."

At the time it sounded kind of ridiculous. Now, though, I'm not so sure...


Thomas said...

Be wrong for your woman, bro. Do us all a favor and don't tell her 'you feel like you love her.' :)

Colin said...

Well, I suppose there are some things you can be sure about...

Luke said...

Great post.

We live in a society that treasures knowledge and trashes intuition. Seems to me like we are creatures that need a healthy balance of both. Too much "knowing" causes us to kill one another. Too much "feeling" keeps us in New Orleans during one of the worst hurricanes on record, despite what those who "know" said.

I am interested in the natural human propensity toward extremism. At its core, there seems to be a real connection to our selfishness. And yet, time and time again, extremism only plays out to destroy us. Obviously, we are either not learning this lesson... or feel it is worth the price.

When this hurricane finally blows over, it will be the trees that have fallen. Though bent, the grass will remain.