the majority and being right

I just had a short, interesting, but unoriginal, thought today that I wanted to share:

You often hear people say “the majority is not always correct” or exactly the opposite, that “100 million people can’t be wrong.” Both claims are used frequently in arguments, but I suddenly thought that it was interesting what both of these things meant in the background.

On the one hand, if someone claims that truth is defined by majority, then truth does not exist outside of human experience. If, on the other hand, one claims that the majority is not always correct, then that person is essentially saying that truth exists outside of human experience.

Of course, different things will fall into one category or the other (e.g. laws of nature vs. laws of governments), and so “truth” doesn’t necessarily exist purely inside or outside human experience (though many people would certainly disagree) and depends very much on the topic at hand.

But anyway, I just thought it was fun to think about what those common ideas meant on a deeper level.

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