A major blind spot with regards to our existence is the realization of the existence of our belief systems, their structures, implied foundations, and their impact upon our lives. The majority of people tend to dither around life, mostly unconscious of the irrationality and bad results in our society that results from blind faith in things that really don’t deserve our commitment. Our belief systems are the conceptual structures that define our relationship with reality, and when they are based on erroneous assumptions and logic, they lead to results that are less than optimal (at best), and results that destroy people’s initiative, health, freedom, and their very lives (at worst).
For a more rigorous consideration of the relationship between paradigms and their impact upon our lives, I would suggest that you read a book that is one of the best on the subject,entitled The Paradigm Conspiracy: Why Our Social Systems Violate Human Potential–and How We Can Change Them. In lieu of that, you can get more great information on this topic from this link.
In short, we have basically been conditioned to accept various beliefs and attitudes as truth. This is how human society operates. A belief structure is a necessary part of how humans relate to our existence. The problem comes when we become attached to our beliefs and the ways that we think even when the errors in the belief structure begin to have negative consequences and results on individuals and on society.
Because of the erroneous beliefs, we get stuck in addictions to processes. I believe that we become stuck in behavioral process loops that end up leading to physical and substance addictions. The workaholic, the obsessive-compulsive, the drug addict, the shopaholic, etc., all would appear to stem from some sort of underlying problem inside of the belief system. A behavioral loop is akin to the hamster on the running wheel. He thinks that by running faster on it, he’ll get somewhere. It’s very easy for us to see the error in the belief system of the hamster, but much tougher for us to see the errors in our own belief systems.
In relationship to scientists, they all operate from mental models (paradigms) that shape everything that they think, observe and report. The essence of their perception is shapes by the internal structure of their beliefs and concepts held. The unfortunate thing about the paradigm (belief structure) is that over time, it becomes invisible to the person who holds it. Instead of reality being the criteria upon which concepts, facts and truth is evaluated, the paradigm is what becomes supreme, all at the expense of the truth.
What happens when the scientists encounter problems that they cannot solve? What happens when they cannot make accurate predictions with the present paradigm? Instead of revamping and improving, or changing to a better paradigm, historically they have always chosen to rabidly defend the present paradigm. And the independent thinker who has moved on to a better paradigm encounters punishments, professional ostracism, ridicule and a general excommunication from all of the mainstream professional societies and organizations.
The above situation is exactly the state of affairs in the cancer industry, and also in many other areas of human endeavor. We wonder why we have these persistent problems, and attack them with more and more resources, utilizing the same strategies that have never worked, are not working now, and have no hope of working in the future. It is all because we will not identify, analyze and evaluate our belief structures honestly. We are too committed to protecting our dysfunctional paradigms, as a society. Comfort is more important than progress.