Belief and Reality - Truth or Consequences
By Don Bennett,
The sun revolves
around the Earth. If I said that to you, and I was serious, you'd
think I was nuts. But if I said it at an earlier point in human
history, you'd have replied, "So tell me something I don't
know!" Yes, there was a time when everyone believed the Earth
was the center of the Universe. But I'm willing to bet that when
most people thought the sun spun around the Earth, it didn't,
even though everyone believed it did.
So what does
this mean today? It means that what you know to be true, may not
be so. It means that one's beliefs may not have anything to do
with reality. How does this affect your life? If someone mentions
to you that something you're doing is harmful to your health,
but you believe otherwise, you may be basing your belief on misinformation,
or worse, on disinformation (knowingly false information that
is purposely made public). And when it comes to health information,
there's plenty of both.
Take it from
someone who's been seeking truths for over 45 years; there's a
lot you know, that just ain't so. When I was in my teens, I discovered
that when I asked an adult a question that warranted a yes or
no answer, I got definite yes's and definite no's to the same
question (and hardly any I don't know's by the way). Imagine asking
someone if the sun revolved around the Earth or the Earth revolved
around the sun, and you got an answer of yes to both questions.
And everyone answering you seemed so sure of their belief, so
confident in their certainty, and could even tell you why
they were right, and why the other person was wrong. As a little
kid, you'd be confused. As an adult who knew the truth about our
solar system, you'd realize that human beings are the only animal
on the planet capable of believing in something that isn't true.
Only humans have the ability to dismiss, out-of-hand, compelling
evidence that challenges their beliefs. For many people, choosing
to reject reality, where it concerns their health, will subject
them to disease, unnecessary suffering, and premature death.
to choose is a double-edged sword; it can work for you, or against
you. Regarding belief, you have a few choices. You can believe:
everyone else believes
2. What people and/or industries want you to believe
3. What you'd rather believe
4. Reality / the truth (they're the same)
do you think is in your best interest? Which one is in industry's
best interest? Which one would most other people like you
If you love
dairy products for example (cheese, milk, ice cream, etc.), and
someone presented you with evidence that dairy products are not
only not good for your bones, but are actually a cause of osteoporosis
and cancer, which of the above four choices would dictate your
reaction? Would you dismiss the info without a second thought
because you didn't like what you were hearing?
depends on what's most important to you. If your health is higher
on your sub-conscious list of priorities than self-indulgent-pleasure-seeking-behavior,
then you'll look into it, and you'll try to make decisions that
are in your best interest health-wise. If however, self-indulgent-pleasure-seeking-behavior
is more important to you than your health, then you'll likely
utter those magic words that protect you from internal conflict:
"I don't believe it" and you'll continue to feel good
about doing something that, in reality, is harming you.
that make items that are harmful to your health depend upon our
ability to dis-believe the truth about the damaging effects of
their products. They give billions of dollars to the media for
advertising, and to politicians for support (protection), so that
truthful information that would have a negative effect on sales
is either kept from you or discredited. They do their very best
to influence your beliefs so that you are not just a customer,
but a loyal supporter who will defend their products by telling
anyone who brings you truthful information about the products'
dangers that you don't believe a word of it. Every time someone
refuses to believe what is true about, say, dairy products for
example, the dairy industry sits back with a big grin on its face,
delighted that their best-kept secrets are safe from the public,
and pleased that these people are unwittingly helping to support
their deceptive practices as both a consumer and defender of their
you tell a lie big enough, and keep repeating it, people will
eventually come to believe it." Joseph Goebbels
the consequences of living in a fantasy world regarding your health?
Cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, arthritis, asthma, diabetes,
osteoporosis, lessened quality-of-life and premature death. Yes,
I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating because there's
way too much of it, and most of it is avoidable because it's caused
by mistaken beliefs.
some strong sentiments from Michael Crichton, author of The
beings rarely think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable.
For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what
they are told, and become upset if they are exposed to a differing
viewpoint. The characteristic human trait is not awareness
but conformity. Other animals fight for territory or food;
but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight over
W. K. Clifford, if a person, holding a belief which he was taught
in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes
away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids
the reading of books and avoids the company of those who call
into question or discuss it, and regards as sacrilegious those
questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it,
the life of that person will not be as glorious as it could have
Have as glorious
a life as possible! Think not with the thoughts of others, but
with your own. Truthful information plus an understanding of that
information is when knowledge is power. Don't dismiss what
disturbs you to hear. Investigate. Set off the "Independent
Thought" alarms at corporate offices around the globe. Reality
will do right by you, but only if you believe it.
tip is to learn as a researcher and not as a student. Students
rarely question what they learn. Oh, they may ask questions of
clarification, but they will generally not question what they
are taught or question their teacher. Researchers however question
everything as a matter of course.
embrace the conflicting information! It's actually a good thing
to come across it, because somewhere within all that conflicting
info is the truth, so it's an opportunity to see if you've been
following correct or incorrect info.
I've not found a program that has 100% correct info, a multi-source
approach to education, filled with conflicting info is best if
it's the truth that you seek. So have many sources of information,
not one singular teacher/guru/program.
THE HIGH FAT DIET VS THE HIGH CARB DIET DEPARTMENT
What Do We Base Our Beliefs On?
By Don Bennett,
let's define "belief"...
is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to
be the case with or without there being empirical evidence
to prove that something is the case with factual certainty."
I were to ask you, "Do you believe there is other intelligent
life in the Universe?" what would you base your answer on?
Since there's no way to know the answer with 100% certainty, you
have a few options...
Base your answer on what you'd like to believe.
B) Base your answer on statistical probability taking into account
what it took for life on this planet to appear, and the availability
of the building blocks of life elsewhere in the Universe, and
the likely number of "life-friendly" planets in the
"Goldilocks Zone" (refers to the habitable zone around
a star where the temperature is just right not too hot
and not too cold for liquid water to exist on a planet).
we can generalize that you can believe something based on science
and the scientific evidence, or on how you feel about the
it comes to the question of whether or not there is any intelligent
life elsewhere in the Universe, your answer has no bearing on
your health outcome. But what about the questions that do?
"Are humans designed to run primarily on carbs
an objective question, and unlike the "life in the Universe"
question, this one should have an answer. After all, we
have a lot of tools in our toolbox to figure this one out (empirical
evidence, comparative anatomy, physiology, biology, logical rational
critical thinking skills, the scientific method, a desire for
the truth though the heavens may fall). And it's not like we're
living 100,000 years ago... it's the 21st Century. And yet, there
are people who consider themselves Health Educators who will say
something like this...
diets, which are generally lumped together by critics, have
gotten a lot of bad press. While experts have generally recognized
their effectiveness for weight loss, very low carb diets that
result in ketosis (like Atkins) have been criticized on health
grounds. The problem with these criticisms? Theyre based
on diets that allow for 20 grams or less of carbohydrates
a day. While I believe we are not meant to run primarily on
carbohydrate energy, I do believe we depend on the nutrients
offered by low carb vegetables and even some low glycemic
Mark Sisson of marksdailyapple.com
me repeat that in case you missed it, "...I believe we
are not meant to run primarily on carbohydrate energy..."
Yes, Mr. Sisson believes that humans are meant to run on fat.
I would think that this issue is one where we can base our belief
on empirical evidence, comparative anatomy, physiology, biology,
logical rational critical thinking skills, and on the scientific
method, and when we do, it is crystal clear that humans
like all other anthropoid primates are meant to
run primarily on carbs simple carbs like from fruit, not
the complex carbs found in grain products. In fact, this is not
a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact! And although everyone
is entitled to their own opinions, everyone is not
entitled to their own facts, and just because the current President
of the United States appears to feel that he is entitled to his
own facts does not mean that it's now okay for all of us to label
anything we prefer to believe as an "alternate fact".
written extensively about why some people choose to believe what
they prefer to believe rather than what is true and what squares
with reality, and why people employ confirmation bias to only
consider info that supports what they want to believe while dismissing
out-of-hand anything that calls into question what they believe.
So if a person loves eating a high fat diet, and they do not have
their health as their #1 priority, and instead have self-indulgent-pleasure-seeking-behavior
as their #1 priority, and they are not wise enough to realize
that investing in their future health is a prudent thing to do,
they may believe in statements like the above. And they may also
try and discredit, deride, and insult anyone who offers contradictory
And if someone, like Mr. Sisson, holds themselves out as a "Health
Educator", and tries defending their position with pseudo
science, junk science, and loaded studies, they are not qualified
to be calling themselves a Health Educator IMO. And worse, if
they know the truth, but also know that they'll
be more popular and make more money if they promote the less healthy
high fat diet, my wish is that these miscreants are immediately
transported to another planet... one that is not in the
Goldilocks Zone because they are violating the oath that all Health
Educators take; "First, do no harm."
there are other reasons people can believe something that doesn't
square with reality, like their morality. Take for example this
"Are soy products healthy or not?"
is also an objective question, and a definitive answer should
be possible (and is). But when a question like this is posted
to a Facebook vegan group, and someone like myself comments with
a, "On balance, they are not, and here's why..." reply,
my post is deleted (in fact the entire thread was deleted). Was
this because my reply was fraught with inaccurate and misleading
info? No. It was most likely deleted because if the admin are
vegan mainly for the moral and ethical reasons surrounding animal
agriculture, they will want as many people as possible to go vegan
for the sake of the animals, and being able to eat soy-based foods
like hotdogs, hamburgers, milk, cheese, ice cream, pizza, etc,
will enable more people to adopt a vegan diet, so no negative
comments about soy will be tolerated. And some ethical vegans
resonate with the pro soy info and will not consider the negative
aspects of soy. And the huge soy industry is happy to provide
tons of pro-soy info, even though it is filled with inaccuracies
if you base your soy beliefs on what you prefer to believe,
and you're a vegan advocate, in reality you're caring about the
non-human animals and not caring about the human ones (because
soy is not good for humans' health and wellbeing).
But a staunch vegan once told me, "I love animals, and I
dislike humans, so I'm fine misrepresenting soy products."
I asked him, "Do you eat soy products?" 'No'
was his answer. Human nature... what are you gonna do.