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Professions of an Ontophile

The beliefs of an unbeliever.



"Lies wouldn't exist but for believers"

If someone tells a lie, and there's nobody around to hear it, does it make a false impression?

If someone tells a lie, and no one believes it, is the teller actually lying?

Usually lies are believed to be true because they're not recognized as lies. Yet sometimes we suspect a lie, but choose to believe it anyway. Then there's the lies we tell ourselves to avoid a discomforting truth. In all cases, to be effective, a lie must be believed. In short, belief enables lying.

Though difficult to admit, typically we rank our beliefs ahead of reality as a clever way of insisting we know what's real. "If I believe it, it has to be real." The firmer the belief, the harder we pretend that we know better than reality. And if we decide to believe something because someone else said it's true, we're nonetheless attempting to supplant truth with belief—now on behalf of a would-be liar. "If 'we' (the plural form of 'I') believe it, than it must be true." And we can uphold this psychogenic tautology until of course reality comes along and proves the belief is empty of the truth—or counter to it. Left holding a worthless belief, it's easier to scapegoat some liar that sold it to us than admit to a bad cognitive investment. But a mind that consistently looks to reality instead of belief for the truth isn't such an eager lie enabler.

As we favor reality over belief, we aren't so easily deceived, and our lives will go better. Reality, which never lies, guarantees it.

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