One of the most important global problems that we are unable to solve, because so many remain unaware of it (and there are no formal education systems or structures whose responsibility is to make them aware of it), is the fact that we continue to deny the fact that what we disagree about are not facts but our beliefs about facts.
Our beliefs are shaped by our personalities that are made up of psychological properties that are not as universal as they should be. More specifically, our psychological properties are shaped by our individual location, nation, culture and religion, etc.
I would like to examine the fact versus belief problem.
To demonstrate the difference in perception I will use something as simple as a cloud. It’s an analogy.
Two very different individuals or groups of individuals could select a specific cloud, examine it using technology and science, agree that it is made up of water and oxygen (keeping it simple), and agree that it will move away and change its shape and merge with other clouds or dissipate on its own. The point is they can use logic to apply science and technology in order to explain its physical presence. However, what they don’t have to agree on is its shape and therefore the meaning of its shape. For example, the problem is they might not agree on what events have caused the cloud to assume the particular shape which implies that they cannot accept the difference between their minds which manifests itself as the difference in the perception of the cloud’s shape.
For example, one side might see the cloud as a butterfly, the other might see it as two dogs sitting next to each other.
Who is right and who is wrong. Whose perception is more accurate.
The answer is both of them are accurate because they come from two different systems of thought therefore it is impossible and unnecessary to try to determine the true or better or more important version.
This kind of thinking should suggest that we need to focus on our own ability to expand our own mind and exercise our own sense of empathy so that we do not feel threatened by others’ perceptions.
We must realize that we must stop using natural and artificial resources in order to transform one another’s minds, beliefs, cultures and so on. Or worse, to try to destroy one another. It is impossible for us to change one another’s true nature without destroying one another.
Different leaders responsible for different regions need to change their own people and turn them into more humane beings. Their attempts to change or destroy people who inhabit other regions, neighboring or otherwise, have been failing for thousands of years, and will continue to fail, and in the process perpetuate needless hate, fear, violence and destruction.
Our beliefs about facts is what distorts facts.
We have to learn how to accept our very different beliefs if are to advance to the stage where we can begin to share the same belief.
A belief cannot be forced by any one individual or group. A shared belief must arise as a consequence of our ability to accept one another as we are. Only when we don’t feel threatened by others’ differences, culture, etc., will we be willing to embrace it and absorb its elements thus leading to a new unifying culture and or civilization.