Thursday, August 26, 2004

Now, would I say something that wasn't true?

People seem to have an inadequate sense of when they're being lied to.

I think this is at the root of a lot of trouble these days.

From long, bitter experience, I have learned that I rate pretty high on the gullibility scale. My first impulse is to believe what I'm told. After all, if it wasn't true, why would they say it? You see my problem. That's why, in order to avoid being screwed beyond reason on a daily basis, I've had to make a deliberate effort to adopt a skeptical viewpoint. If I didn't, my natural inclination would be to uncritically accept as the truth such obvious lies as:
  • Astrology
  • Faith healing
  • Infomercials
  • Neilsen TV ratings
  • Republican ethics
... and any number of other blatant falsehoods.

Some people deeply believe in all that stuff, and lots of other things besides, but only because they don't require, or don't care about the absence of, actual evidence that they are true.

Maybe that's the problem. If we formed our beliefs based on available evidence, we'd have to throw out a lot of things we'd really prefer to believe in. And we can't have that, can we?


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