In general, we like to think we know. Uncertainty feels insecure. Rulers, priests, and politicians, either by instinct or machination, have, from the beginning of time, exploited this deep human need. “Hey, follow me! I’ll tell you what The Founders really meant and – even more importantly – what God requires of you.” (Tithe here.)
Call it Jihad. Call it Crusade. Or patriotic and devout. Defending their sacred and heartfelt beliefs, many billions of humans have died.
To die for your beliefs can be judged noble, or just daft. There is one pesky problem, though: you can be certain and be wrong! On top of that, add this fun fact: we human beings, like malamutes, feel vitalized when we’re part of a pack; the fervor helps us overlook the clarity we lack.
Can 50,000 Frenchmen all be wrong? You bet your butt! – just as their warlike Hessian neighbors may. Now, sing along with me, je vous en prie: Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles! Four legs good! Two legs bad! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! Kill Pelosi! Stop The Steal! You may have made it up, but your belief will make it real.
The fool who knows he is a fool is a wise man, they say. When vis-a-vis the universe, we are still clueless pissants, by and large, like aphids at the planetarium. This should not come as a surprise: our wisdom (as a species) is proportional to our time here on earth. When the history of this planet is presented as a 24-hour day, our species, Homo Sapiens, has been here for only four seconds or so! The designation Sapiens contains an irony, as when a toddler claims to be King Kong.
There’s a pretty good song by the folksinger Iris DeMent. It is called “Let the Mystery Be.” Religion recommends humility, reminding us of our restricted view. (See Book of Job.) Perhaps we can accept uncertainty when told to do so by authority. Just one more goofy paradox, verdad?
True, caca pasa. And rather than simply not know, a lot of humans, will accept elaborate theories – odd notions which cannot be proved – of why things are the way they are. And if you are one of those folks, you’ll note that people like yourself – who share your taste in music, lifestyle, beer and rhetoric, and wave their little flag and beat their drum – see lots of stuff around them that suggests conspiracy. Perhaps the reason they’re so vehement is that, within themselves, they all suspect what none of them is willing to admit – that all their certainty’s a crock.
Paranoia’s more exciting than the ho-hum status quo. The Communist conspiracy, the Zionist conspiracy, and Pizzagate, to name a fragrant few. Not only do these “dangers” fascinate and frighten us, they help us feel superior to those who, we imagine, scheme to tear our lifestyle down.
Entertainment is king. It’s a glorious thing. The more you feel, the more alive you feel. So, why confine your flights of fancy to the likely or banal? Why not make up some brightly-colored stuff? Why live in Sierra Vista if, by lowering your standards, you can live in Disneyland?
If my sick fictions and big lies are more exciting than the so-called facts, who’ll blame me for subscribing to such drama-laden bunk? Skip all the work of vetting facts if you enjoy the way it feels to sit in judgment of “the foe.” Our enemies are in cahoots with Satan, as you know.