• Hacksaw
    1 month ago

    I prefer “things which aren’t objectively true that we act as if they are true”. The first line of the Wikipedia article on ideology uses the same definition more beautiful phrased “An ideology is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially those held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which “practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones””

    A good example of an almost universal ideological belief is that “killing is wrong/bad”. It’s not objectively true, we kill animals, we kill in wars, we euthanize people in medicine. But we act as if it’s true none the less in our day to day lives because no one wants to live in a society where killing is generally acceptable, for obvious reasons.

    That being said, I don’t see anything wrong with what you’re saying in a vacuum. I just feel like as soon as you place a naive person in society they begin to interact with and adopt aspects of various ideologies without “deep thought”, sometimes even subconsciously.

    The beauty culture is a good example of where people will adopt definitions of beauty that are ideological (beautiful people are good, ugly people are bad/dangerous) without conscious effort or deep thought. Then they will act everyday as if they believe in it.

    The people who watch Fox news hold complex ideological beliefs, mostly subconsciously. It becomes apparent when you ask them to explain their beliefs that they didn’t adopt these ideologies based on deep thought, but will fight fiercely to defend them.

    I think that these people’s behaviours are driven by ideology even though they themselves weren’t the one that did the deep thinking.

    Honestly there are good arguments that in complex systems even basic cognitive functions can and will create ideology. An example is birds in a cage with a button that when pressed gives them food. If you disconnect the button then give them food randomly, they’re likely to start creating complex dances and rituals based on what they think was responsible for activating the food dispenser. This in a lot of ways mirrors primitive religious behaviour which are certainly ideology.

    Perhaps you have another word you prefer to use for deeply held beliefs that affect our behavior but are attained through means other than deep thought?