When engaged in conversations with people I will often hear justifying statements that work through polarization. One of the most popular ones comes from religious Christians with the line, “If part of the bible is wrong then whole thing is wrong.” People will often make the simple observation that things have opposites and therefore they jump to the conclusion that the whole world works that way. It is a very simple way of thinking and in the majority of cases it does not apply.
When defining the world we have a whole range of adjectives that reflect the gradient nature of life like good, amazing, best, horrible, average, awful, and worst are all examples of words we use to define things. The simple act of telling someone how a movie was usually involves some form of non-binary grade. Yet still people persist to point out opposites like they occur often but when you put things into perspective, opposites happen the least. So why the persistence? Binary thinking is a great way to make rapid choices. When survival depends on an instant, you have to choose left or right. As our society has evolved binary thinking is not only becoming less useful, it is also becoming dangerous.
Let’s take for instance the Big Bang. When we look out into our universe we see that everything is moving away from a singular point and so it only makes sense that the entire universe came from that point, correct? However there is one major problem with this theory and that is that it is based on a limited observation. Hundreds of years ago we looked around ourselves and said, “Everything is flat and therefore the planet must be flat.” We’re now doing the exact same thing with space. This comes back to binary thinking; making assumptions and assertions based on our immediate simple observations.
The world doesn’t function in binary even though we would like it to. Let’s face it if everything was either 1 or 0 the world would make more sense. The reality is though that the options aren’t only good or evil, black or white, day or night, and everything or nothing.