Monday, February 2, 2009

The American Cargo Cult?

Check out this random webpage I found on the Principles of the American Cargo Cult. It's an interesting list of blatant misconceptions that are common in America. I guess like a cargo cult ritual, you have to go outside your own culture to see how wrong it is? Actually, I'm not sure about the title.

As the author describes it:
"I wrote these principles after reflecting on the content of contemporary newspapers and broadcast media and why that content disquieted me. I saw that I was not disturbed so much by what was written or said as I was by what is not. The tacit assumptions underlying most popular content reflect a worldview that is orthogonal to reality in many ways. . . .
I call this worldview the American Cargo Cult, after the real New Guinea cargo cults that arose after the second world war. . . I really do think that most Americans believe these things at a deep level, and that these misbeliefs constantly underlie bad arguments in public debate."

Some of these might sound familiar to those who debate apologists:

"Certainty is strength, doubt is weakness"

"All interconnection is apparent"

"There will be justice"

This list is obviously incomplete. What about "there is no such thing as a coincidence" or "only mysterious things can have beauty"?

1 comment:

Steve said...

Interesting site listing some of our unconscious assumptions. Interesting, because you realize how unfounded they are when you bring them out into the light.

I noted: "there will be justice", that is, "Bad people get punished.
You, however, will be forgiven."