Don't Believe Everything You See

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Welcome again to Mid-Week Meditations, Lifehacker’s weekly dip into the pool of stoic knowledge, and a information to utilizing its waters to mirror on and enhance your life.

This week’s choice comes from Diogenes Laërtius, a biographer of the good Greek philosophers. He references a quote from Heraclitus about how we are able to’t all the time belief our personal senses:

“Heraclitus referred to as self-deception an terrible illness and eyesight a mendacity sense.”

Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, 9.7

What It Means

We all endure from the mind’s means to trick us into believing issues that aren’t true. Our personal eyesight, the sense that guides us as we transfer in regards to the world and permits us to assemble data, can’t even be trusted. To depend on your senses alone is a pricey mistake.

What to Take From It

Now greater than ever, seeing shouldn’t be the one requirement for believing. In a world of faux information, retouched pictures, digital particular results, and highly effective individuals pulling hidden strings, we owe it to ourselves to let cause dominate our ideas and beliefs as an alternative of our senses. After all, seeing water within the distance doesn’t imply it’s not a mirage, listening to voices in an attic doesn’t imply it’s haunted by ghosts, and watching a performer levitate a taking part in card doesn’t imply magic is actual.

This isn’t to say it is best to by no means belief your senses—they’re properly fitted to serving to you keep away from hazard—it simply means we shouldn’t leap to conclusions primarily based on what we see or hear. Give your self time to course of new data, concentrate on the mental biases that alter your perception each day, do your personal analysis, and assemble beliefs that match throughout the constraints of identified actuality. Self-deception, as Laërtius places it, is an enemy of data.

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