Thursday, April 01, 2021

The fallacy of dichotomy

 True or false, yes or no, right or wrong. It is useful to simplify the world into dichotomies. I am only a human, and making the world simpler helps me to make choices and get by. 

But the world is actually very, very complex - more complex than I am able to understand, no matter how hard I try. So I rely on dichotomies, or other finite categorization schemes, to make my way. 

But I have to remember, the world is actually closer to continuous than discrete, closer to a process than a state. And, if I really think about it, even the most fundamental truths, that I believe are true, only have a probability of being true. There is a chance that anything I beieve to be true is actually false (or indeterminate). 

When I imagine that everything that I know is possibly wrong, it is easier for me to listen to other points of view. And I am more likely to understand my own limitations and misconceptions.

This is the fallacy of dichotomy. This is the value of humility, of being humble. And the cost of pride and righteousness.

No comments:

Post a Comment