Can information be inherently deceitful? If it can then we must actively be on guard to protect ourselves from natural lies. If it cannot then humans are the source and cause of misunderstandings, falsehoods, and intentional altering of truth.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasures.” “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”"Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them." This would also mean that un-beauty or ugliness does not exist naturally. Whatever exists to be simply is. It is not until a self-aware organism can reflect upon them do they become anything else but themselves. The old question about a tree falling in the woods with no person around to hear it and then asking if it makes a sound seems to be backwards. The question is ego-centric because it means to say that reality is absent without an observer, but the reality seems just the opposite.
An observer mutates or morphs reality into other things than the thing is. Sounds, being vibrations in air molecules, are interpreted by different minds to mean or be different things. Sometimes those things are what the sound really is and sometimes those things are grossly distorted from their original source. While it is understandable to think that beauty exists for the sake of an observer, it does not reflect well with what really is. We look like the only possible observers in existence. Could it be any different?
Is there a difference between an ant’s perception of a raindrop and a human’s? Is the raindrop itself any different because the observer is different? It does not appear that way. A raindrop is a raindrop is a raindrop. We may give additional meaning to a raindrop but it does not change the reality of the raindrop’s existence. If we possess any advantage over the ant, the fish, the bird, or fellow primate, it is to store information outside of our inherited genetics. This is also our biggest disadvantage as anything a human can think of or do can be stored.
Is racism what causes an ape to kill another primate it has never encountered before? Is a particular regional belief responsible for a raccoon not sharing its abundant food supply? It seems quite clear that we humans are the best and worst that life on earth has at its disposal. We should not become overly anxious at this dilemma, however, for any creature to possess the abundance of external genetic information that we do will likely find itself in the same dilemmas we are currently challenged with.
How do we sail closer to the horizon of hope while avoiding the pitfalls of persecution? It is not an easy journey by any stretch of the imagination, but it is one we must take. Indeed it is one we are all already on. Many of us see ships lost at sea while their sailors see quite the opposite. We cannot all be sailing to improved horizons but we can all be sailing away from them.
How do we sailors of salvation, each with our own version of what really is, steer each other to better courses of compassion and mutual understanding? The moment we name our course, our ship, our reasons for sailing in the first place, is the moment others begin to assess, judge, criticize, and reject. For some, the prejudgment comes the moment the colors of the sailing ship’s flag are visible.
What can we do to ensure better opportunities for sharing our voyages without crashing into one another or forever sailing away from each other? Or does our own tribal survival depend so heavily on quickly perceiving an enemy vessel, real or imagined? A false positive is commonly preferred to a false negative, especially in terms of an ignored threat to life, but what of the others? Are there ways to bypass instinctual survival skills so an opportunity of better understanding is not lost?
For now let us ask which is more reliable-Our instincts or those other things not found in our shared genetic code?