Is Conviction a Foe or Ally of Truth?

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies. – Friedrich Nietzsche

This week I am following an ongoing Korean drama series entitled Criminal Minds which mind you features one of my favorite Korean actors, Lee Joon-Gi.

This drama  focuses on a group of highly-trained profilers in the fictional National Crime Investigation (NCI) team who tries to profile and track down criminals to solve cases.

When we say profiling, by the way, it means “the recording and analysis of a person’s psychological and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in identifying a subgroup of people.” (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/profiling)

Anyway, while watching it, the above-stated quote came up and sparked my interest and imagination.

So, our topic today is about conviction.  What does conviction mean?

Conviction means a strong belief or opinion or the feeling of being sure that what you believe or say is true.

If conviction is such, how then it becomes a dangerous foe of truth rather than an ally?

Let us site an easy example how this line of thinking must have come about.

For example, in common household products we use, detergent powder for one, let’s say I have been using this one product for several years and strongly believe that this product is the best ever product by far. Even when surveys or vast promotions occur, since I firmly believe that the product I have been using is the best, I probably will insist on what I believe and deny whatever evidence other people will present.

On that example, you can probably see where and when conviction can become a threat to what is true. Can you picture out how much more dangerous can it be if on a larger scale?

A person who firmly believes he is not doing a grave mistake despite of it being morally wrong will continue to commit the same mistake over and over again despite the fact or truth that it is wrong, for he had convinced himself he has abide by his own beliefs.

This must be how those committing crimes from petty theft to plunder have convinced themselves to do what they do so as not to buckle down at the prick of their conscience.

That is when conviction becomes the truth’s foe rather than an ally. That is, when we let ourselves be blinded by our wrong beliefs to the point of denying the truth despite of it glaring at us like the sun at midnoon hour.

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