Agree with most of that - however I believe some people are not able to think critically. It is not a matter of training or better schooling - some people simply cannot follow the argument A to B to C.
Part of it is intelligence - nature, and part of it is environment - nurture. If you are drowning, you hold on to the life raft and can't consider why it is buoyant.
If you are emotionally ill equip to handle the world in 2021, you don't make cogent arguments online or at the dinner table.
People have been around what 200,000 years? Civilization 5,000 years maybe? Electricity and running water 120 years? Modern life is pretty new, and we can't expect everyone to keep up yet.
I started the thread because I wanted to look at truth philosophically - together - the inherent good or lack there of. I try to live my ever shortening remaining days with a philosophy. This is who I am. And I wonder where truth fits into that personal philosophy. It's muddled to be sure and for many of the reasons you point out.
I want to be honest. I wonder if that is really much a of worthwhile goal.
Thank you everyone for the input - this is very enjoyable.
Humans have been around for roughly 800,000 years, maybe longer. Settled agrarian cultures with urban population concentrations have been around much less than that, only a few thousand years. What allowed H. saps. to survive and thrive, when several other hominid branches became extinct (e.g., Denisovans, Neanderthals, etc.), is not solely intelligence. Not the sort of intelligence which registers on a modern IQ test anyway. There is some evidence that Neanderthals actually had bigger brains than we have, yet we replaced them when our ancestors migrated out of Africa and met them already living in Europe and Asia. Probably what made the difference was more EQ (emotional quotient) than IQ. In other words, the ability of H. saps. to cooperate, act collectively for their common good, and to resolve conflicts of interest without killing each other. The essential emotions which form the basis of any social cohesion and cooperation, and ultimately also therefore the basis for peaceful conflict resolution (i.e., civil law and morality) are compassion and empathy. These have nothing to do with truth as such or the intellectual ability to formulate truths. They have to do with feeling someone else's pain and responding to it.
On an evolutionary scale of time, the last few thousand years of 'civilization' are a drip in the ocean. Settled agrarian urban cities grew up in India and present-day Iraq about 5,000 years ago; that represents only 0.625 % of humanity's roughly 800,000 year sojourn here. Hardly enough time for some individuals to have evolved the necessary emotional and social skills to live at peace with the 'new' settled situation, which is quite different to that of nomadic hunter-gatherers who generally do not acquire property (beyond what they can dismount and carry in order to follow migrant food supplies). Given that most 'civilized' conflicts arise over property (in the broadest sense including both movable objects and real estate), it is obvious where the shoe pinches: inequality between the haves and the have-nots, inadequate upward mobility for the have-nots, and biased mechanisms for redressing grievances.
For nomads, the issue is very much simpler than for settled peoples: nomads have no real estate, so there is nothing to inherit. All they have in terms of movable objects is what they all collectively require for immediate survival: hunting weapons, tools for making hunting weapons, and the basic implements of making shelter and preparing food. There is no survival value in one individual hoarding all the spear points or all the pots. He would doom the whole clan to starvation, himself included, if he succeeded.
Hoarding all the nails or all the oil reserves, or cornering the market on a particular vaccine or stock option, is a peculiarly civilized form of stupidity which would never occur in a nomadic form of life.
Obviously, some forms of social structure are better suited than others to high concentrations of settled populations where people are awash in property — that is, where the potential for conflict of interest is very high. Factors which militate against peaceful conflict resolution are:
1. Monotheistic religions: 'our religion is the one true religion; our god is the one true god; everyone else's is false'.
2. Nationalism: 'our way of doing things is the best/right way, and anyone who disagrees is a non-patriot (resident) or an enemy (foreigner)'.
3.Racism/xenophobia/discrimination: 'white heterosexuals are the chosen people; you will not replace us'.
Who are the most dangerous people in America right now? The people who tick all three boxes listed above: evangelical white racist homophobic patriots — the people who recently stormed the bastion of the peaceful resolution of conflict in Washington DC and revelled in putting up a gallows with which to hang the Vice President. Do you think truth or cogent argument at the dinner table is going to change those people's minds? Hardly. What they are deficient in is not only critical thinking, but also the EQ needed for conflict resolution and social cooperation. As you point out, they aren't emotionally equipped to handle civilization, with its plurality of interests and multiple layers of inequality conflict. In a word, they need to evolve beyond the 'me first! my party first! my country first! my religion first! my race first! me me me!' crapola. Why? Because cooperation is survival, exclusionism is the road to extinction.
So, what about a personal philosophy? May I suggest that you search for factors dispositive to human survival and flourishing
first, and truth only insofar as it is conducive to that.