Do you want to Believe?

I was reading this news article about famous hoaxes, it got me thinking about people and the desire to believe in things when logic tell us otherwise. One of my colleague's commented that "some people will believe anything" rolled her eyes and left. But to me I think anyone can believe anything, it just depends on prospective.

Now I believe in all sort of things I have no evidence for - many of which don't need hard proof.

But lets take something ordinary like emotions. We trust people have emotions and people trust us to be honest with how we feel. Anyone can say "I love you" and mean it - but how do you know?

Can we have proof of things like love or hate or fear? Yet we as people believe in other peoples emotions when the only ones we can know for sure are our own feelings. Yet we still react accordingly when someone else is sad or happy - with no proof one way or another - its just people can't help but be empathetic. In fact their is a whole profession based on simulating emotions and we pay millions of pounds to see it.

Would cinema, theatre, television and fiction exist if humans weren't able to suspend reality and for 2 hours or 5 minuets believe in the impossible... How many people don't like a good movie or drama, with no basis in fact whatsoever. Humanity has a culture of story telling that goes back as far as we do. The Iliad and the Mahābhārata for example are traced back as far as the 9th century B.C and are still read and discussed today.

You could argue that we know all that stuff is made up and even though we watch and read we never really buy in and that is true to an extent. But I'm sure anyone who's cried after watching a film, felt that pang of tension as the protagonist closes in on the killer or regretted finishing book too quickly can see my point. Its not that we do believe its that we want to.

Where is all my babbling going? You see my colleges comment annoyed me. Its easy to look down from our lofty perches on those who have been duped by one thing or another. We all think that we would not ahve been taken in but aren't we all guilty of falling for something at some point. Perhaps people are taken in by hoaxes not because they are gullible but because we as human being have a desire to believe in all the possibilities the universe has to offer, rather then straight forward facts, even its its just for a moment. Prehaps we should believe nothing but I for one would find life rahter boring that way...

Comments

  1. Interesting subject and well written post about it.

    I also think the life would be poor if we rejects believes. Another good point is that believes has a lot to do with our perception and therefore is very subjective.

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  2. Life without belief, is a hopeless life.

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  3. You should know, your are one of my favourite bloggers that I do read frequently. My English is too childish (lack of words and "brilliance") to comment in what I feel should be what you deserve.
    This post and this pharagraph:

    But lets take something more ordinary like emotions. We trust people have emotions and people trust us to be honest with how we feel. Anyone can say "I love you" and mean it - but how do you know?
    That's the imperative Question. How do know?
    To day it's very common that single people fill in a sheet on a dating site, and if they fing a Match: Voila? Not at all.
    Everyone can easily lie when filling in a "scheme". But not after blogging for a couple of years.
    I and my wife have several really sincere blogger friends - met also in "blood and flesh and eyes to eyes". Over borders. And Continents.

    btw.
    By the way, I have nominated you for an Award. I'm not the blogger that do that very often, but at this occasion, you were among the choosen.
    http://toraamusic.blogspot.com

    You know why?
    Simply because your wise thoughts should be known by more people around

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  4. Rennyba - Thank you and you make an interesting point - isn't everything subjective though....

    Gucci- I agree entirely

    Toraa- All the compliments, I'm flattered and blushing. Thank you very much. Not sure about being wise - just random thoughts that must be exorcised.

    Your right about blogging though. I think its a meduim where people are soemtimes more themselves then in real life...or more the people they want to be...

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  5. One of the best conceived (but admittedly poorly executed - dodgy hair) characters in X-Men is Gladiator.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladiator_(Kallark)

    His superman-like powers come from his super self-belief, which is also his greatest vulnerablilty. As soon as you break his self belief he has nothing.

    I really do believe in self belief. It does sound a bit corny, but it's amazing what you can achieve when you believe you can achieve it.....

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  6. ah a very interesting post :) i know where you are coming from and the other commenters have already put forward some great examples :)

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  7. I think we can almost prove the existence of real feelings by looking at what happens when people lack things like empathy or compassion. I think of famous sociopaths (at least famous here in the U.S.) like Charles Manson or Ted Bundy. They're what happens when basic human decency is missing. Or I suppose Hitler would be a better example. It's chilling to think that some people are just born without the basic building blocks of human feeling, but it happens.

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  8. Only folks like your colleague would survive in my type of work environment. We tend to question everything, and I mean everything. The inmates are always trying to crack our hard exteriors so they can manipulate us.

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  9. Perhaps people are taken in by hoaxes not because they are gullible but because we as human being have a desire to believe in all the possibilities the universe has to offer, rather then straight forward facts, even its its just for a moment.

    That's an interesting way of putting it. I believe in all sorts of things I have no proof for, but I don't often get taken in by hoaxes - I think you have to be a bit gullible to believe some of the stories that do the rounds by email, for example.

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  10. This utterly courageuos:
    Anyone can say "I love you" and mean it - but how do you know?

    If you really test that "phrashe" - we both know we have undressed some people - I say more.

    Love - what is that?
    Passion - in love with - respect - sex - like you - van live with ---- etc etc

    ReplyDelete

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