Those who make decisions on our behalf, those who enforce those decisions and those who report them to us:
They are all institutions whose existences are based on beliefs they do not accept
any dissension from.
Government – we are legitimate and all of our actions are legitimate
Churches – our dogma is correct and you will be punished in the next life if you disobey
The military – our wars are justified and you are not patriotic if you say otherwise
The media – what we say is true, we hide nothing important and if you disagree, you are a nut.
The institutions control public discussion by labeling thoughts that would harm their existence. The following questions will never be answered by any of these pillars:
Government – What is national security and what types of information are really hidden to the public for this reason?
Churches – Can you prove that the leader of your religion really existed?
The military – How many soldiers would you recruit if you told them the truth about why we were sending them to war?
The media – How often are you pressured into dropping stories and who pressures you?
To get these questions answered, we need another actor to join the debate. Many fear the institutions and their enormous power and do not ask why our society functions as it does.
But we need the questions answered.
Almost every debate, whether about something like guns (especially in light of recent reported shootings in the national news) or butter (like the perpetual debate of how much money to devote to the military) starts off with at least one of the false beliefs stated above. In short, the debate gets it wrong IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Be a part of a public that reasonably questions what we hear. Disregard those who state beliefs but do not back them up or who refuse to answer your questions. This is how we collectively will get these questions answered. Then we can discuss the details.