In Brief—With apologies to P.T. Barnum (sorta), the author points out how humans will believe what they want to believe despite solid evidence that they are wrong, whether it’s politics, religion or science.
“There’s a sucker born every minute.” (falsely attributed to P.T. Barnum)—
You can dress it up and put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. You can grind up the leftovers of a slaughtered pig and make baloney, but it’s still baloney. Similarly, a politician’s slick lies, a preacher’s promises of salvation and surcease from pain or a demonstrator’s belief that a fertilized egg denotes pregnancy is baloney. Believing does not make it a fact. Those who accept this baloney are dupes.
A naked majorette can march down Main Street ahead of a sixty-piece band and a huge float carrying large signs and banners proclaiming reality, but all the crowd will notice is the naked majorette. I can write dozens of pieces giving enough facts and evidence to choke an elephant, but like that crowd and the majorette, people will believe what they want to believe, see what they want to see. I might as well be shouting into a rain barrel.
My blog pieces on the FIB Theory illustrating how fear, ignorance (NOT stupidity) and brainwashing are the basis of belief might as well be written in a foreign language. Most readers will nevertheless believe what they want to believe.
Governments, ISIS, the Taliban, Boko Haram and other extremist groups recruit cannon fodder who may experience patriotic feelings but are still dupes. I can hear the cries of outrage from here, so what follows will explain how these people are dupes.
What is a dupe? A dupe is defined as one who is deceived, gulled, misled or fooled. Such a person may be sincere but s/he is blinded by some form of belief. Government propaganda or religious convictions can easily lead someone to become a dupe. The deceiver plays on a person’s belief, needs or fears. No matter the motivation, the person is not using his/her brain to decide whether it’s a lie or not. That person is being duped.
America pumps out propaganda that is slavishly reported by the mainstream media telling us how our society and our very existence is threatened, what we should believe, how we should act. The films America produces, its TV, the fashion world all contribute their fair share to the all-inclusive propaganda designed to dupe us.
Similarly, extremists throughout the world inflame the devout with the belief that death and destruction will result in victory for their group. Many believers accept this and sign on the dotted line. Frightened civilians are subjugated or killed by the extremists in the belief that these acts of violence assure that their side will win. Belief is the key. They are dupes.
The Israeli government believes that expanding into Palestinian land and that killing the oppressed and angry Palestinians will assure peace. Trampling free expression, they falsely shout “anti-Semitism” intended to destroy the BDS movement because it threatens their policy. Many Israelis and politicians believe these lies. Belief is the key. The Israelis who believe this and those in other countries who support the Israeli government’s lies are dupes.
Former football player Pat Tillman and all those who bought the government’s line may be patriotic, but they are dupes. Those who believe that military service will put bread on the table while ignoring the risk of death or injury are dupes. They hold the belief that they are serving their nation. In fact, they are serving the rich investors who profit from war. They are dupes.
Somebody with a degree in geology tells us that climate change is a fraud. Some preachers tell the faithful that a fertilized egg denotes pregnancy. Both are peddling lies. A corporation assures one and all that dynamiting the tops off mountains for the coal beneath or that injecting chemicals into the earth to extract the oil are telling lies in order to assure their profits. These are dangerous lies that condemn all inhabitants of Earth to destruction. Anybody who accepts this claptrap is a dupe.
A politician who takes part in obstructing rational progress toward the future is acting in his/her own self-interest or adhering to pure partisanship instead of acting in behalf of the nation. Voters who accept this behavior are dupes.
A voter who hasn’t the faintest idea what the party platform sets forth, what his/her representative votes for or stands for and merely votes for the party is not using his/her independent brain. This voter is a dupe and probably stupid, i.e., willfully ignorant.
Religious believers who listen to and believe so-called holy men, priests, preachers, rabbis or imams and repeat the traditional prayers are not using their independent brains. They are dupes.
Are we all dupes to believe without question what we are told, what we read or hear? Are we failing to use our rational minds to logically question what’s done in our behalf? Are we dupes?