Yes. That good intent is what allows us to justify even the most malicious of behaviors. Few people are actively engaged in evil because they believe it is evil. We all think we are doing what is right or good, or at the very least, are able to convince ourselves of that notion. As Ben Franklin said in his Autobiography (Chapter 4),
So convenient a thing is it to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.
The good intent within each of our innate tendencies is the foothold that allows us to do that.
Yes, that is a good way to put it. I said “perceives” to place it in another category of “knowing.” There are things we know intellectually, but haven’t fully integrated into our understanding. But what we need here is something beyond the intellect, an almost primal awareness of this basic fact about reality.
Yes, I have. It’s a very concerning reflection on the dangers these unchecked tribal tendencies can have, though the problems it discusses have been happening in our society for some time. People are more and more trapped in information bubbles created by television, newspapers, and even real life social networks.
It is very frightening, not just the current state of the world, but what is yet to come if people don’t take action. Our delusions grow mechanically. If we do nothing to stop them, they expand on their own. Only conscious effort, introspection, and the ability to question our own assumptions about ourselves and the world can turn back the tide of ignorance that gradually encroaches on our minds. Time and experience alone do not do this if we do not pay enough attention to our experiences to learn from them.
Pain is a good teacher in this regard. It can teach us even when we do not put in the effort to teach ourselves. (Personally, I think this is why our loving God created Hell…) But although I recognize its value, as I described above, I do not like pain, for myself or others. And circumstances that portend the necessity for a great deal of pain in the future do not bring me joy…
Yes, that sounds about right. Just a difference in terminology.
When I think of the “conscience,” I think of the knowledge of the “Spirit-informed Self” being integrated as part of its awareness. I attribute the aspects of its misperception, such as projecting a dualistic mindset onto the world, to the delusion that surrounds the conscience, and colors or obscures its perception. But one could just as easily define it as you have.