But when I say politicians lie, or members of the Supreme Court lie, or that public officials lie about other matters, the same people nod their heads and agree enthusiastically.
Why is that?
It has to do with needs. If one determines that they need something, they tend to hold on to it more tightly than something they could do without. This attitude is simple human nature.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (see picture), a person’s first set of needs are the most basic: we all need to breathe, drink water, eat food, etc. If we are dependent (or believe we are dependent) upon someone else to provide these necessities, we would not likely question that person or antagonize them. We could be saying goodbye to our lives!
Once a person achieves this first set of needs, this theory tells us, they are able to handle the next set, which is about the security of: one’s person, employment, health, etc. If one does not feel secure about themselves and about their position in society, they will not be able to move up the “ladder” of the hierarchy and make friends or feel self-confidence.
“Rocking the boat” and questioning those who provide security, such as agents of our government, jeopardizes one’s ability to become a confident and social person. It may not be the same as being deprived of water, but one who openly doubts those charged with providing security risks social suicide!
No wonder a majority of people still trust our government with the responsibility of protecting us from attack, despite overwhelming evidence that the events of 9/11 were a hoax! It is far safer to “settle” for accusing politicians of lying and cheating because there is no fear of retaliation or alienation for espousing these views.
Yes, we all understand the advantage of safety: one does not have to lift a finger.
Imagine the possibility of afterlife. This idea goes beyond one’s security on the temporary home of Planet Earth. It goes to eternal life.
Imagine a deity who records your every thought and action. Imagine your destination after life going favorably in one direction and horribly in another direction. Imagine this deity having control over which way you go.
Many of those who are willing to speak out against the actions of those charged with running our government are unwilling to speak up about certain religions that threaten eternal insecurity to those that question the deity.
There is something missing in the Maslow’s theory. Somewhere after we get our water and our food, we need to grasp the right to ask questions and to obtain answers. The idea of either trusting our leaders blindly to protect us or to face alienation is not sufficient for any of us to function in a world of deception and lies.
That’s my theory. We need choices that reflect our needs, not our fears.