Glittering Lies and Ugly Truths

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that people are easily deceived and difficult to enlighten. We are surrounded by this reality yet are mostly blind to it. People fall into traps every day and no one is immune. Not only are we constantly deceived but there is not a one among us who can deny it. This is the normal state of affairs when it comes to human beings. Our lives and our children’s lives are profoundly negatively affected by this truth.

The primary means a scammer uses to deceive us is by telling us a lie that we want to believe. It may be so attractive that we want it to be true to the point of warping our underlying sense of disbelief. The effective cheat will use this propensity against us. They know that we have this weak spot in us and they use it like a wedge to separate us from whatever they seek to gain. We willingly bite the bait like a fish a lure.

Reality is, more often than not, unattractive. In our ignorance we hope that reality is not true and so we disbelieve it. This is the reason enlightenment is so hard for us to grasp. True enlightenment is not soft or attractive it is hard and repulsive. We want to have goods without working for them, we want to be enlightened without embracing the spiny truth, we want respect without giving it and we want fame without consequence. This is the other side of the coin of how easily we can be deceived

Mankind has grown powerful by the scientific method yet we eschew it’s use in matters of humanity. We instead turn to false hopes given to us by scammers and con artists. We are deceived not by others as much as by ourselves. It is not the con artist that fools us, he only facilitates the process, we fool ourselves. We fail to use the scientific method when we weigh good and bad. Yet if we applied the scientific method we would quickly discern the truth and we would laugh in the liar’s face.

The scientific method uses trial and error, applies the law of reproducibility and disregards the possibility of magic, having anything to do with the outcome of a certain chemical reaction or physical process. When we apply the scientific method to our investigations of the world around us… we are enlightened. Our material welfare has been greatly enhanced by this method, which has uses other than exploring the world we live in, however.

Economics, social interactions, governmental processes, and law, are a few of the things we should be applying the scientific method to… but never do. We hate to look at the reality of the world when it comes to our personal lives and decisions. Take law for example, we never look at the logical outcome of a law, we only look at the behavior we seek to curtail when it is passed. As a result, we are constantly bombarded with unintended consequences, which require more laws to rectify, which have more unintended consequences… and so on. Leading to the overgrowing of our garden by the kudzu vine of law.

Economics is another area of human existence we fear the use of the scientific method. We have empirical evidence of what works, and what leads to human suffering, yet we usually choose the path to want and need. Moreover, it is those that claim to be scientifically minded, who espouse the means to poverty instead of the means to societal wealth. As I have shown, it is not out of evil that we do this, it is because we believe what we want to believe… and disbelieve that which we want to disbelieve. In the case of economics it is a result of what we mischaracterize as a sense of moral outrage and indignation, that we must allow freedom for those who have merit, to become wealthy, and thus we all gain a measure of wealth. It is more attractive to believe, against all historical and empirical evidence, that we can simply proclaim the poor into a state of wealth. Even though history shows us the misery and human suffering this results in… every time it is tried.

Attractive lies are more believable than ugly truth. Until we understand this fact we are doomed to visit want, misery and need on those we love most.


John Pepin

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