It's Easier to Fool Someone
A few years ago, I met an interesting individual on Twitter. What I was most drawn to in building this friendship was his contrarian views.
In our society, the label of “contrarian” often has a negative connotation; but to me, I consider it a desirable and rare attribute.
Being contrarian keeps us intellectually honest because to do so we must abandon socialized thought in place of truth-based exploration and reasoning.
A lot of our conversations took place during Covid and the events that were happening at that time – so keep that in mind as you read this.
In one of our conversations, he casually shared an insight with me that I want to share with you here.
It’s easier to fool someone than convince them that they’ve been fooled.
I want to talk a little bit about this insight as I believe it has important applications. I will share his insight and my own as we break it down.
Emotion is More Powerful than Reason
One of the most difficult human attributes to conquer is that of emotion – especially in decision making.
While emotion has important applications, we must set it aside if we want to engage in proper reasoning.
This is especially true of fear. Fear has the power to control us in ways that few things can. We have all heard the phrase, “sex sells” which is no doubt true, but if you really want to control the masses use fear.
We saw this on full display during the days of Covid. How many of us did things we never would have done had the fear level not been so high?
That emotion - if not kept in check - will overpower our ability to reason. This is dangerous because in the process we surrender our beliefs and convictions.
We also give a great deal of power to others as they are able to manipulate and control us by using our emotion against us – making us vulnerable to being fooled.
Or maybe these circumstances reveal to us who we really are (but that is a thought for another day).
Why we Become Emotionally Invested
A few years ago I read a book that talked about becoming emotionally invested in decisions we have made. I don’t remember the title of the book.
In essence, this book said that once we publicly take a stance on something it is very uncommon for us to change course from that decision – in fact it is more common that we double-down.
Why? Because we become emotionally invested in our original stance. We feel like any deviation from it is weakness or a betrayal to our prior self.
The opposite is actually true. It takes emotional discipline to consider our original beliefs and tweak those convictions as truth becomes more available and apparent.
Our emotions can absolutely paralyze our growth as individuals.
The Echo Chamber
After the emotional conclusion has been reached the next phase is the echo chamber.
An echo chamber is when we place ourselves in an environment where opinions agree with our emotional conclusion.
Echo chambers are even more extreme in the other direction as well, where alternate viewpoints are eradicated by way of extreme intolerance.
I am sure you have seen this in many conversations over the past few years. Many viewpoints that were contrary to mainstream ideologies were treated with extreme discontent. You received the leper’s punishment if you dared voice it.
Surrounding ourselves with agreeing viewpoints may feel correct in nature; but in reality, it destroys our ability to reason through new information.
This lends a great deal of power to bad actors as they are given absolute power to lead the masses down whichever path they desire. Again, making us dangerously vulnerable to being fooled.
Once an individual reaches this point, it is nearly impossible to reason with them. This makes us slaves to our emotion and stifles our progress.
You Can’t Convince Them Otherwise
No amount of new data or proof will suffice for someone who has reached this extreme level of belief.
When we as humans have reached a decision with emotion, we would rather die with those convictions than admit we were wrong.
Even if we understand emotionally that this decision is incorrect; it takes a high level of discipline to abandon what is so deeply ingrained in us.
It is for this reason that you CANNOT convince someone they were wrong – even if the proof is overwhelming. Pride and emotion simply will not allow it. It’s futile.
For this reason, we are more likely to be fooled than have our red-pilled moment of awakening.
We all have a decision to make. Are we truly looking for freedom?
If we are unwilling to control our emotions, engage in honest debate, and admit when we are wrong; then we are slaves to ourselves and others.
This slavery is damnation to our progress.
Not only will it stop us dead in our tracks, but it will also spiral us into a state of entropy – a decay that is hard to recover from.
Understanding what is happening is the first step in setting emotion aside so that we can make principle and truth-based decisions.
It takes immense emotional maturity to admit when we were wrong and change course when needed – especially when our prior stance was made public.
Which are we going to choose? The outcome of our decision will result in either bondage or freedom.
I choose freedom!
Thanks to my good friend Chris for sharing his insight with me and helping me think further on this improtant truth!
Thanks for reading,
Founder of Freedom Elements