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Leadership skills - How to know what to believe

There are so many conflicting opinions about every issue how can you know what to believe?

  • How do you know what is true?
  • How do you know what is false?

This question is important because can lose everything you have worked for if you

  • Believe something that is false
  • Dis believe something that is true

And you can have more of everything you want, if your judgment is sound and you can recognise

  • Truth when you see it
  • Falsehood when you hear it

Here are the primary ways that people use to determine truth
I will lay them out before you, and for each one I will ask you:
"Is this method a reliable guide to truth?"
Try to answer "yes" or "no"

1. Direct sensory experience

Direct sensory experience is what you see hear and touch, taste and smell

  • If you see it with your own eyes
  • If you hear it with your own ears

Do you trust the direct evidence of your senses?

If you can see that it is getting better, and other people tell you it is getting worse, which do you believe?

  • Your own senses?
  • Or the assertions of the others?

"Is your direct sensory experience a reliable guide to truth?"

Try to answer "yes" or "no"

2. Your powers of Reason- logic

There is an infinite number of things that are beyond your direct experience.


  • You may not have seen Australia first hand; so can you be sure it is really there?
  • Nobody has seen an electron (they are too small to be seen). But scientists and engineers know they exist and they know how to make use of them.

How much trust do you have in your powers of reasoning and logic?

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"Is this Reason and logic a reliable guide to truth?"

Try to answer "yes" or "no"

3. Majority opinion

Those who do not trust their own logic, often substitute the majority opinion.
"They say that the prices will go up, so we had better buy now."
The majority opinion is very persuasive to many people.

After all, if you say it is better to go LEFT and 99 other people say it is better to go RIGHT, they must be correct, mustn't they?
How much trust should you have in the power of "the majority opinion" to be a guide to truth?

"Is this majority opinion a reliable guide to truth?"

Try to answer "yes" or "no"

4. Gut feel- instinct

The next method of determining truth is "gut feel".

Do you ever have a clash between what your brain is telling you, and what your "gut instinct" is telling you?

Your brain says "He looks fine to me!" your gut instinct is screaming "Yes, he looks fine, but I do not trust him"

  • If there is a clash between a gut feeling and your logic, who wins?
  • And if there is a clash between a gut feeling and your logic, who SHOULD win.

"Is your gut feeling a reliable guide to truth?"

Try to answer "yes" or "no"

5. Faith

Faith is the belief in an idea even when there is no logical proof to support it.

  • Faith does not require proof in order to believe
  • Reason -Logic does require proof in order to believe

So sometimes there is a clash between what your logic is telling you and what your faith is telling you.

How much trust do you have in "faith" as a method of gaining truth?

"Is this Faith a reliable guide to truth?"

Try to answer "yes" or "no"

Your mission should you decide to accept it is:

To go through this list and ponder to what degree you ought to trust each method

  1. Direct sense experience
  2. Reason -logic
  3. Majority opinion
  4. Gut feel - instinct
  5. Faith

Then adjust your thinking accordingly.

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