Like the Force in the Star Wars Saga common sense has a good side and a dark side and sometimes it is difficult to know which is which in any given circumstance. Yes, there is common sense that our creator evidently gave us to be able to tell right from wrong. This type of common sense is what the early philosophers and even Tom Paine talked about. It is something that tells us what actions to take in certain circumstances. But there is also the dark side of common sense that is in all of us. Like so many other words “common sense” seems to have almost morphed into something else today.
Simply stated, without some serious reflection I just don’t trust my common sense or anyone else’s for that matter. Too much of what people call common sense today is really just the prejudices taught to them. In that regard I try to keep an open mind on most topics of life and just not trust my common sense.
An example of the dark side is that there are too many people around who don’t trust the “experts” but instead say they use their common sense. It happens often in areas like global warming and many other scientific matters. They say “my common sense tells me that all the global warming nonsense is just not true”. I will admit that from my life in these seventy years I have been exposed to many different things and have retained some knowledge along the way. But I am by no means an expert in any of them. As they say I know enough to be dangerous.
When I want to know more about an area of life I most often go to the experts. I will admit that often times in today’s world people claim to be experts but are really only using their common sense so to speak. So, it takes work to just discover who you should be going to for additional knowledge. But I trust someone who has studied a given circumstance for years rather than someone who claims common sense about the issue.
Yes, I seek out doctors and legal help with great diligence. But I also depend on experts in other areas. I spent 5 years in a rigorous study of a segment of the spiritual community. I sought out a the views of a variety of people who knew more about it than I do. In the end I found that the answers to my questions were with a combination of thoughts that I didn’t have going into the study.
To finish up here, I just don’t trust people who don’t trust the experts, that is the real ones,not self proclaimed, experts. When we discount real knowledge in favor of common sense we are often just closing our minds to alternate ways of looking at something. As least that is my opinion.