Universal Paradoxes

The paradoxes of human belief systems that contradict the essential characteristics for Life to exist are included in the list of major universal, collective paradoxes below, nonetheless they are so pervasive and crucial that they merit  deeper examination:


The paradoxes every single culture shares, every civilization, every religion, every society, every philosophical concept or group since the beginning of human civilization:


All individual, personal paradoxes have their roots in the universal belief system contradictions but we are under the illusion that only we, just ourselves among all people, carry them despite constant exposure to evidence to the contrary in all our friends, family and anyone we get to spend enough time with to see beyond the social facade and persona. Like the universal paradoxes with which we are intertwined they provide constant suffering, fear, shame and guilt and engage us in endless rationales both to support them and, through a miracle of further contradiction, to forget them in the various ways that humans try to alleviate the distress caused by cognitive dissonance.
Quoting Wikipedia again,
Cognitive dissonance theory is founded on the assumption that individuals seek consistency between their expectations and their reality. Because of this, people engage in a process called dissonance reduction to bring their cognitions and actions in line with one another. This creation of uniformity allows for a lessening of psychological tension and distress. According to Festinger, dissonance reduction can be achieved in four ways. In an example case where a person has adopted the attitude that they will no longer eat high fat food, but is eating a high-fat doughnut, the four methods of reduction would be:

  1. Change behavior or cognition (“I will not eat any more of this doughnut”)
  2. Justify behavior or cognition by changing the conflicting cognition (“I’m allowed to cheat every once in a while”)
  3. Justify behavior or cognition by adding new cognitions (“I’ll spend 30 extra minutes at the gym to work this off”)
  4. Ignore or deny any information that conflicts with existing beliefs (“This doughnut is not high fat”)”

Let us take a look at some of the most common personal paradoxes that plague each and every one of us in various individual twists and a wide variety of versions:

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