Friday, April 28, 2006

Gullible People

Gullible People: Why are we so gullible? One reason is modern man's loss of religious faith. That loss creates a vacuum ready to suck in some new form of belief. The eminent British broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge (1903 ~ 1990) had this to say on the subject, 'One of the peculiar sins of the twentieth century which we've developed to a very high level is the sin of credulity. It has been said that when human beings stop believing in God they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse: they believe in anything.'

I don't understand how this theory is supposed to work. Especially since in many religions, they ask you to believe some pretty bizarre stuff themselves. As far as modern man's loss of faith, there's a lot of clear evidence that certain segments of modern man have way too much faith, in that they are using faith too much to try to solve Real World problems. And it is an established fact that con artists love to target the religious. Because they have so much practice in believing the inexplicable.

Gullibility results from wanting to believe something that has no external evidence to support it. Look at the people who fall for the famous Nigerian Email scam. Urban Legends Reference Pages: Crime (Nigerian Scam): A wealthy foreigner who needs help moving millions of dollars from his homeland promises a hefty percentage of this fortune as a reward for assisting him. In order to fall for this one, a person needs to have two things in place: a staggering ignorance of banking laws, and a strong desire for money.

Since those two things are quite abundant, the scam keeps going. In fact, if we look at any of the spam clogging our mailboxes, we see how much of this unwanted email rests on the same foundation. The emails offer to transform our lives by slimming us down, enlarging certain body parts, and making us rich, all with very little effort on our part.

It sounds too good to be true.

Because of some people wanting so much for it to be true, we all get the spam clogging our systems. Sure, I blame the spammers. But they are just exercising capitalism, and they are going to do it as long as there are victims out there. To solve it we need to target the spring they tap from. I blame the people who fall for it.

THEY are the ones clogging our mailboxes. THEY are the ones enabling the current government to pursue worthless and dangerous policies. THEY are the ones who blunder around and mess good things up for the rest of us.

So we see that gullible people are not just dangers to themselves.

They are a problem for all of us.

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