The Blog of Dabido (the Baka one). Everything in this blog is copyrighted. Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by D. Stevenson.

22 February, 2006

Believing in WHAT?

The other day, we visited my Grandmother. My uncle lent my mother a book. He was talkin about it being a true story and stuff and saying how remarkable the womens life had been (who had written the book). It was all supernatural and medium/mystic type stuff involving spirits and where aliens come from etc. Today, my came up to me and asked me to have a look ... she was sure the book was a work of fiction. I looked. It was! So my Uncle, for some reasons, had read this book thinking it was a persons Autobiography! Oh, dear! How does someone make the quantum leap from thinking that a piece of fiction, written by someone as a novel, is REAL???? I know recently a lot of people have started to beleive the 'Da Vinci Code' is real, and in the past, other books have bene past off as being real (such as 'Million Little Pieces'). Still, the Da Vinci Code has something written in the beginning claiming parts of it are real. (Which, to any discerning mind, will mean that the author has actually made stuff up as well, else he'd claim the entire novel was 100% true). Even then, there is a lot of proof that the Priory of Zion never existed historically until 1956, and was an attempt by Pierre Plantard to make a claim to the French Throne. In fact, under oath he addmitted to fabricating everything. The real problem I see though, is some people are so easily influenced that they believe anything, whether on TV or in books. Has the human race stopped thinking for itself? Now I know, in todays modern world, it is very difficult some times to tell the difference between news and propaganda; fact and fiction; truth and gossip. I am very much a sceptic at times (though some people may wonder with my religious beliefs whether I am sceptical enough). At the end of the day though, I don't read a piece of fiction (like my Uncle did), and then claim it to be true and tell people that once they read it their life will change forever. Some books do have 'life changing' qualities, whether it's a true autobiography, or a work of fiction which teaches us, or just a non-fiction work which changes our ways of thinking. However, I am very worried by the trend for people to believe things are 100% true, when they are works of fiction. If I was to write a book and include Adolph Hitler in it as an ice skating monkey or something, no matter how many times you read it, it will NOT turn Adolph into an actual ice skating monkey. Just, take care in what you chose to believe. Even in non-fiction works, you can have experts disagreeing on what actually happened or is happening. History is especially vunerable like that, as it is often written about by people who were not there, writing far removed from the time. Even when the authors were there, they still have their own bias. A good example of this is 'The Persians' by Aeschylus. He was actually at the battle of Salamis. Still, with him being Athenian, you know he has a bias towards his own City [Polis], and away from the Persians. We have enough non-sense in the world to contend with, without suddenly needing to believe in works of fiction as though they are facts. Also, sorting fact from fiction isn't getting any easier when the politicians and others are able to influence the press/media. [What did happen to freedom of the press? Somedays I wonder!] Anyway, be careful what you believe.