long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Levels of awareness

This post is modified from a twitter post and cross-posted at https://nomorecontention.blogspot.com/2024/03/levels-of-awareness.html

The first step toward "no more contention" is clarity. That requires a high level of awareness, that, combined with charity and understanding, eliminates the underlying causes of contention.

Levels of Awareness Level 1 They believe what their preferred sources of information say and do not sample other sources. Not aware of counter arguments. Not aware their sources are mostly narrative with manipulated, incomplete facts. Level 2 Sample material from multiple sources but believe only the sources that confirm their own biases are accurate. Think the other side is all narrative, but at least familiar with all sides of issues. Level 3 Aware that ALL sources are narrative, at least in the sense of spin, missing context, conflating assumptions and inferences with facts, etc. Also known as Gell-Mann Amnesia*. But still believe the experts in various fields are usually correct. Level 4 Understand that NONE of our experts are reliable. Some might be right, but none can be trusted without verification. The distortion of money, reputation, pride, motivated reasoning, bias confirmation, and cognitive dissonance makes no expert credible.

Level 5

Apply the FAITH model to isolate and assess Facts, Assumptions, Inferences, Theories, and finally Hypotheses. The FAITH model reveals the origin of multiple working hypotheses by clarifying the intellectual ancestry of beliefs and narratives.


*Gell-Mann Amnesia: the phenomenon of experts reading articles within their fields of expertise and finding them to be error-ridden and full of misunderstanding, but seemingly forgetting those experiences when reading articles in the same publications written on topics outside of their fields of expertise, which they believe to be credible.

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