I’ve just been inspired by reading some Dostoevsky:
Above all, don’t like to yourself.
The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie – comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him or without him.
And so, loses all respect for himself and for others.
And, having no respect, he ceases to love.
If you listen to your own lies – sooner or later, you won’t be able to discern the truth. You will be living according to what’s false instead – so you’ll be getting into all sorts of arguments because you believe in nonsense.
And believing in lies – people will lose respect their for you too. They’ll no longer trust your opinion nor your judgement – because you can’t be convinced of the truth. Because what you will tell them will be wrong – and if they act, based on false information or falsehoods or lies – not only will they be acting based on wrong views – they could be paying the price
Imagine a doctor misdiagnoses something because he based his decision on false or wrong information – the patient will be diagnosed wrong – and consequently, they will be given the wrong treatment! Now obviously, you can go back to that doctor to tell them that the treatment isn’t working – so they can re-assess your signs and symptoms – but if they insist that their wrong diagnosis is correct and it’s all in your head – you will continue to suffer or even have the disease worsen until you are treated correctly.
Falling for propaganda that the news and media feed us everyday can be like this too. People place the value their political ideologies over the truth – so they refuse to acknowledge the truth when presented with objective evidence of it. And so, they end up attacking other people because of the falsehoods and lies that they’ve fallen for – fervently believing those false beliefs and opinions are the truth.
Hence why it’s important to always look for primary sources – to get the truth straight from the source. Get the primary source evidence, the bare bones data within full context – before 2nd hand and 3rd hand opinions that some writer or some reporter or some author or some book or some website has added their 2 cents to it. This way, there’s no debate.
It happens with religions too – people believe the propaganda of their own religion or their own sect of a religion – refusing to acknowledge the objective evidence of the truth.
These days, science is the new religion – so people who think they’re scientific say, “Oh, science says this and this and this…” Ok, which study said this? Let’s have a look at the study in detail to see if it’s legitimate and whether there were any flaws in the study’s design, methods or interpretation of the results. Was it a randomized controlled trial? Was it a double blind study? Or is this just your opinion using the word “science” as a false front? Is it just the currently held “opinion” of mainstream scientists but not of the evidence itself?
You see, people think that science is the be all and end all. But they fail to realize that science is not static – it is dynamic. Science progresses by questioning itself.
Hence why how you are treated now for a certain disease – will be not be the same way a doctor treats you for the same disease in 10, 20 or 30 years time – as new advancements in scientific knowledge and medicines and technology progresses.
That’s why in the precept against false speech – it’s not just “Not lying” – there’s also an element of not uttering what is false – so there’s an element of also trying to find the truth to it too.