We humans have been building “civilization” faster than our brains can adapt to our growing “understanding” of the world around us.
I used quotation marks around the word civilization because I have a specific meaning in mind: the state of technology and culture as it exists today in any one part of the world. I did the same for understanding; here I mean the degree of understanding of the world around us, which may or may not be complete and in total agreement with nature.
So, at any stage in our advancement of civilization, from cave dwelling on to modern cities, we’ve tried to understand the world around us and the universe beyond that world. We’ve tried to learn how everything came to be and our place in the grand scheme of things. We’ve created laws, traditions, political systems, and religions to control the way we live our lives.
However, we’ve done all this with slightly souped-up chimpanzee brains. Along the way, we invented language(s), stupidly evolving more than 500 of them, when one common language might work a great deal better. This shows a lack of planning and coordination. Another defect of language is that we haven’t learned how to eliminate ambiguity, which further confuses us.
Evidence that our brains aren’t quite up to the challenge of modern civilization is that we have allowed ourselves to believe the unbelievable. In short, we are gullible. One of the main defects of our species is that once we decide on an opinion, it becomes impervious to change that new information might influence. We stop thinking. We do this because thinking is work. We often don’t even think about an issue in the first place; instead, we accept the thinking of others, thus saving a lot of work. It’s easier to do that.
Some examples of our gullibility, and once gulled into an opinion, our resistance to change. We’ll look at: political orientation; religious belief; laws and government; traditions; economy; and science theories. All these are fertile and profitable fields in which some folks may be perpetrating hoaxes on the rest of us.
Political orientation: If you’re a liberal, try changing the mind of a conservative. Can’t be done, no matter how clever and true your arguments. Likewise, if you’re conservative, try arguing with a liberal. Your facts bounce off him; you can’t penetrate the impervious armor he’s built around his political beliefs.
Religious belief: There’s a big, really powerful, invisible guy in the sky who created everything and manages everything. He inspired a very ambiguous book of stories and sayings (written hundreds of years ago by iron age people) that tells us (with lots of suitable interpretation from professionals) how we should live our lives, and what we should do to get into Heaven and avoid Hell. That book is known as the Bible/Koran/Talmud and anyone who doesn’t believe it exactly as I do should be killed.
Does that sum it up? Here’s an interesting website that contains arguments about what a big hoax religion is: Postive atheism. I know I’m tired of Muslim terrorism. What if the terrorists figured out that the 69 (or whatever) virgins don’t really exist, or what could be worse, they exist but they’re all clones of Hilary Clinton?
The above displays my skepticism, but I respect the beliefs of others. Faith is OK and not to be disparaged, but please don’t kill me because I don’t share yours. Life is tough enough without faith that we can see our loved ones again in the afterlife, and that there isn’t some divine plan to all this. Christian teachings make better people; I wish I could say that about some Muslims. Historically, Christians have been as bad as modern day Muslims, however. It’s horrible that any human could kill another simply because he or she has a different belief.
Laws and government: We have instituted government to protect us from each other and to devise laws so we’ll know how to live. We didn’t plan very well, because we have two general theories as to how government should work, and they conflict. According to one theory, Big Government should function as a mini-God, taking care of everyone (regardless of how much they work) and controlling everyone. The other says that individuals should be responsible to do the right thing, should work hard, and should be free to do so. Thus we divide into factions and fight endlessly.
Laws are passed by whichever faction is on top at the time.
I list government as a hoax because they always lie to us to persuade us to support them. They rarely follow through on their promises.
When one government goes to war against another we citizens are often gulled into thinking we should give our lives to support ours.
Traditions: We are bound by traditions, which we must accept from birth. Examples are marriage, respect for elders, the idea that we should never restrict birth or force a woman to bear a child after she becomes pregnant, the idea that we should not discriminate against other races, sexes, etc. Most of these are good, but Liberals are always trying to modify them. Traditions aren’t hoaxes in themselves but we get gulled a lot by those who want to change them.
Economy: There are those who believe that Big Government can completely master an economy and make it work exactly as they dictate. That’s a hoax.
Science Theories: Science is a very mixed bag. Some of it is undeniable. Some asks us to believe the unbelievable or impossible or at least highly implausible, and is therefore likely to be a hoax. Some is probably deliberate hoax.
People who aren’t professional scientists are asked to believe some really strange things. The professional scientists earn a living by thinking up bizarre theories and the only folks who can really understand it are other professionals in their fields.
Special relativity: We are told that nothing can travel faster than light, that objects become heavier and grow longer as they approach the speed of light, and that time slows down in a spaceship that approaches the speed of light. But, there are cogent arguments that this is BS. Questionable physics.
Big Bang. All the matter in the entire universe was once smaller than the head of a pin, but then Bang! It all began to grow into what we have today? Further, space is expanding at light speed (Never mind that we don’t have a definition of what space is.)
See the Questionable physics website.
Quantum physics. This contains a lot of unprovable assertions that challenge belief, such as a particle and its anti-particle constantly pop in and out of existence, apparently for the sole reason of making the equations work. Another is the idea of entangled pairs of particles, such as electrons. No matter how far they get separated, they’ll always have the same spin.
There are other equally unbelievable and/or unprovable assertions in physics. The fact remains that no physicist knows what an electron is, or what a proton is, or how photons can be produced in infinite numbers, or exactly how any two particles attract or repel each other.
Climate change. This has all the trappings of a hoax, although it may not be. Certainly the climate changes all the time, that isn’t the question. The question is, is man causing it, and are we heading for a disaster? There are many reasons to doubt that climate change is due to man’s activities. There are numerous websites you could look at to find contrary arguments, I’ll list two: Global climate scam and one that I like, Dr. Roy Spencer.
I am skeptical about many aspects of life. I admit I’ll never know the real answers, but neither will you.