Monday, 22 January 2007

The Power of Others

First, a bit of light relief;


The power of others

Typically, it provoked me into thinking. Thinking about the absolute power of groups. After I stopped pissing myself of course.

I really admire the old man in the first scene. I love that as he ambles down the back lane he steps aside to let the flash mob by. Keeping his laundry bag safely from the unwashed masses, he quietly lets them pass. Notice the kids at the front looking back, surprised at his non-reaction. Once they've gone he continues on his own, singular path.

I want to be him.

But I know that in my heart, I'd revert to my innate programming, turn and run with the crowd.

If enough people tell you something is true you will most probably believe it. Perhaps even if they tell you that their God exists.

I can hear all you empirical atheists baying right now; Surely we don't rely on others to tell us what to believe? We rely on evidence to inform our lives don't we? Real, tested, randomised controlled information.

Of course we do.

The truth, if there is one, is that we all rely on belief. All of the time.

The world is warming. Kindness is good. MRSA is bad. Five veg and two litres of water per day...

Unfortunately I'm not a meteorological expert. Neither am I a bio-chemist. Nonetheless, I believe the above to be true. Though the water thing may be bullshit.

We cannot test every 'fact' before we use them to inform our actions. We rely on best guess estimations. Using sources that we trust. Sorry, using sources that we believe that we should trust.

So before we get too cocky, us atheists, let's remember that we're all floating along together in the belief boat that we call life...

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