T Nation

Good People Doing Evil

We all recognize the value in knowing things that are true. That’s why we go to school, ask questions, read the newspapers, and investigate things we don’t understand. It is clear that knowledge is valuable.

But suppose we think we know something bu we are wrong? How often do we believe things that aren’t true? While we are frequently concerned about what we don’t know, we may forget to be concerned about things we think we know that are actually false. How serious can it be when people believe things that aren’t really true?

Consider World War II. The Nazis believed they were a superior race that was entitled to rule the world. They were wrong. If they had not had this wrong belief, they would not have caused the deaths of huge numbers of people, both in battle and in death camps. No doubt some who supported the Nazis were simply malicious individuals. But the great majority undoubtedly believed that their cause was just. Without the support of these “good” people - people raising families, people working for a living, but people who believed something terribly false - the Nazis would never have risen to power. One of the ugliest periods of human history would simply not have happened. People believing something that wasn’t true had a terrible price.

http://www.truthpizza.org/evilgood.htm

[quote]ssn0 wrote:
We all recognize the value in knowing things that are true. That’s why we go to school, ask questions, read the newspapers, and investigate things we don’t understand. It is clear that knowledge is valuable.

But suppose we think we know something bu we are wrong? How often do we believe things that aren’t true? While we are frequently concerned about what we don’t know, we may forget to be concerned about things we think we know that are actually false. How serious can it be when people believe things that aren’t really true?

This can be referred to as conventional wisdom or common knowledge or common sense. All of which are the primary reasons that this country is the way that it is. These tell us that:

*vaccines are necessary
*fat is bad for us
*cholesterol is bad for us
*politicians are really good people deep down(not saying they’re all shit)
*squats are bad for your ‘insert body part here’
*print, radio and t.v. news are the best sources of information
*complexity explained simplistically is beneficial for educating the ignorant
*obesity is a genetic issue
*cancer is a genetic issue
*m.s. is a genetic issue
*autism is a genetic issue
*a.d.h.d. is a genetic issue
*depression is a genetic issue
*diabetes is a genetic issue
*parkinson’s is a genetic issue
*dementia is a genetic issue
*auto immune disorders are genetic issues (goddamn we have some pretty shitty genes!)
*gas and bloating are due to a lack of mylanta or tums
*machines are safer than free weights (look at how many dumb fucks hurt themselves every year on machines…do it)
*Exxon, BP, Shell, etc. give a shit about the environment
*the fda has a rigorous and independent system that makes sure everything that they approve is safe and necessary
*the patriot act is saving us from the terrorists
*to flatten your stomach, crunch like a porn star
*mercury is bad…except when in your teeth
*pasteurization makes dairy safer with little effects to its quality
*deadlifts are bad for your back
*calories are more important than nutrients
*headaches are a normal part of life
*arthritis is a lack of boniva or calcium pills
*purified water is the best water available
*bacteria and virus’ make us sick
*global warming is sensationalized by the media
*radio stations are usually live
*fluoride is ok to drink

Christ, I could go all night with these ‘pearls.’

[quote]ssn0 wrote:
We all recognize the value in knowing things that are true. That’s why we go to school, ask questions, read the newspapers, and investigate things we don’t understand. It is clear that knowledge is valuable.

But suppose we think we know something bu we are wrong? How often do we believe things that aren’t true? While we are frequently concerned about what we don’t know, we may forget to be concerned about things we think we know that are actually false. How serious can it be when people believe things that aren’t really true?

Consider World War II. The Nazis believed they were a superior race that was entitled to rule the world. They were wrong. If they had not had this wrong belief, they would not have caused the deaths of huge numbers of people, both in battle and in death camps. No doubt some who supported the Nazis were simply malicious individuals. But the great majority undoubtedly believed that their cause was just. Without the support of these “good” people - people raising families, people working for a living, but people who believed something terribly false - the Nazis would never have risen to power. One of the ugliest periods of human history would simply not have happened. People believing something that wasn’t true had a terrible price.

http://www.truthpizza.org/evilgood.htm[/quote]

It has to do with man’s subjugate or be subjugated “instinct”. In other words man will easily often give up their autonomy to an authoritorial entity. Also, if not held liable to authority will most likely subjugate (some of) its citizens i.e dictatorship.

The Milgram experiment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment) and the Stanford Experiment are good illustrations of this psychological phenomenon. Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

So in essence