And what you believe in, if it doesn’t exist, can’t hurt you either. Well...
We all have faith in things we can’t prove. I’m not trying to be existential (though, admittedly, it is a bit) . Some of believe in God, angels, a resurrected savior and Heaven (I do). Others put their faith in seemingly more reliable things like science and chocolate (again, so do I). But, not to get too existential, but we place our faith in science just as much in other things as well. Bare with me here, let me explain. We say that the moon is...well, a moon. That it orbits our planet, and is the way it is, and all that. How do we KNOW that? You and I (unless you’re an astronaut who has been there), haven’t even been there. So, we take it on faith that people have actually have gone there. We see the photos, we believe the people that tell us. Why? Because they seem like good people, the photos look real, and a Mythbusters and Cracked have have covered why a conspiracy not only isn’t true, but doesn’t make any freekin’ sense.
Let’s take an easier one, Hawaii. Have you ever been to Hawaii? I have, and it’s beautiful. You should go sometime. But how do YOU know I’ve been there? I can TELL you that I have, I could tell you the stories about how I went snorkling with my family, chased down sea turtles (not supposed to do that) and saw some cool stuff. I could tell you how I ate octopus soup there and it was both weird and awesome at the same time (very chewy). But I could just be lying. I might never have been there. All the photos I show you could all be faked. Hell, Hawaii could just be a huge conspiracy in order to have shows like Magnum P.I. and Hawaii 5.0. (but seriously, if you’ve never been, you should).
You might be asking...what the hell is Nate talking about? Well, I’m talking about having a belief in something that isn’t true...does it hurt us? Does believing in something so profoundly that simply does NOT exist...hurt us?
This isn’t a small questions...it’s one of those META questions that philosophers and people in saunas talk about...usually old naked guys in the sauna talking about...well, no, they usually talk about sports, but still, you get the idea.
Some athiests would argue that having a faith in a higher power harms us by having a hope in something that won’t ever amount to anything. But I think most poeple would agree as long as we ALSO believe in things that we can prove, like medicine, science, etc... then we’re ok. As long as we bring our kids to the doctor, and have them fix us, then we’re good.
On that note, there are, however, some christians who don’t believe in going to the doctor. This, arguably, is a kind of faith that IS harmful. When people are sick, they need a doctor. No, they don’t always get better, and yes, prayer can help and sometimes sick people get better without doctors and sometimes prayer is a part of that. But let’s move away from this example.
Let’s pick an easier one. WWMDs. Ready, FIGHT! Now, I’m not trying to make a huge political statement, but I can if you want me to. I’m just simply saying that because a few people believed that Iraq had nukes, the United States went to war, and people died. That’s all I’m saying. Because of this belief, thousands of Americans, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s were killed. However, this isn’t an existential questions like “what are WWMDs” or “Do bombs even exist at all.” So, it’s somewhat understandable that a few people thought that it might have been a good idea to go check it out.
Let’s make this whole article a lot less serious and get right down to the stupid level. How many of you watch the show on the History Channel called Ancient Aliens, or MonsterQuest or UFO Hunters or Decoding the Past
(yes, all of these are on the history channel). Here’s a fun link by Cracked breaking them down.
These shows take a very loose definition of “history” and “fact” and make shows about them. And...hey, they MUST be true, right? They’re on the HISTORY channel!
But Animal Planet is way different, right? It’s just animals Animals are fact, and they just...are there Cuddly one’s, big one’s with teeth, cuddly one’s with teeth (I’m looking at you racoons...)
Well...remember that show a while back looking for a REALLY big shark, on Shark Week? Like, a prehistoric shark, called a Megalodon, a show, presented as fact as if it were a documentary. Remember that? Here, refresh your memory.
But no one died from a non-existent shark. There IS however, a small possibility that it might increase people's fears of sharks, and therefor kill more sharks like the book and the movie Jaws did, but I digress.
Ok, let’s get down to brass tacks. Or, rather, the show Finding Bigfoot.
What does Big Foot have to do about all of this?
Well, you might have heard that three people went out to hunt our forest dwelling invisible friend...with guns...and someone got shot. Here, read about it, I’ll wait.
Now, it is entirely possible that “No, man, we were just hunting for Bigfoot and not at all doing anything illegal with our guns” is...just made up and not at all true. One of the men was a convicted felon and wasn’t supposed to have a gun. Everyone seems to be ok, and so is Bigfoot.
But here’s the question, IF BigFoot is the reason they went into the woods is true, then I simply ask this. What part of our media and these shows have to play in this? I’m not asking if they have any legal responsibility. Obviously the people who make these shows have no effect on peoples stupidity when using firearms. But what about morally, or ethically?
If you have a channel called History, or Discovery, Animal Planet, shouldn't it just be about fact and not...stuff that just simply doesn’t exist?
One of my favorite shows is Mythbusters, which is actually ON Discovery. Perhaps they can do a show on the myth on whether or not Bigfoot is a legit excuse for shooting someone accidentally.
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