Let’s doubt!Zsuzsanna Horváth
2016. november 16., 08:29 >> 2016. november 16., 09:29
We are born gullible. We adamantly believe in something until we are tricked really bad. Usually we always learn from our own mistakes, no use for others to talk some sense into us, to tell us their experiences, until we see it with our own eyes, we are sure, that whatever we do, must succeed. Be that a washing powder ad, the anti-wrinckles cream of our neigbor, diet plan, food supplement – especially if followed and preceded by photos, – or the alternative medicine offered by the Internet, which instantly cures cancer.
Illustration by András Ótos
Speaking of Internet, a wonderful invention of our time, no doubt about it. Whatever we’re looking for, Google will know. The problem is, that most finds are not legitimate, but everyone accepts them without any second thoughts. Mostly, we search after medical solutions, as we don’t have time to wait at the doctors office, or are too ashamed of our problem, and won’t even ask for advice in the pharmacy. Fear not, social networks have all the answers. Most deal with the cure for cancer, which isn’t surprising, as it’s mostly deadly, radiotherapy is painful, has serious side effects, and in the end, no-one guarantees that it will work. So, we find solace in the thought that there are other successful solutions. The most popular presently are: Vitamin C, sweet wormwood, baking soda, ginger and honey, petroleum, sea cucumber, collodial gold, curcuma, origano, cayenne paprika and garlic, and the influence of positive thoughts (we also have a video presentation for the latter). There are naturally websites which promote and encourage a change of lifestyle, for us to leave our unhealthy habits, eat healthily and exercise regularly in nature, but we don’t really want to take that advice, they take time to have any effect, and we need results immediately, as we’re running a race against time. A lot believe in the garbage they read, and try it out, hoping to find the cure, nothing else has worked so far.
That’s how we are with other things too. Here’s the question of oil and fat. Since their appearance at the beginning of the 70s, refined cooking oils pushed out pig fat, proclaiming it a public enemy at the end of the 80s. Then it got rehabilitated after a couple of decades, and the feared substance is once more an every day ingredient. Meat is again being cooked in good old fat, which may not please animal rights activists, but environmentalists are the more happier, as cooking oils went down the drain in gallons on weekends.
Or: why is joghurt with additives better than the plain one? No-one knows, but we buy that, as everybody says that Bifidus Essensis (probiotic bacterial strains) are good for us. Generally, all “light” things are better than our traditional meal plan.
But why do we believe these, seemingly scientific things? Scientists have conducted research on this theme, and it so happens that ignorance is the base of gullibility. We are bombarded with so much information daily, that we’re unable to process it. It’s easier to accept things as they are, than to research on the topic.
Gullibility is fuelled by fear as well. The fear of the mysterious future has chased people to wizards, shamans and fortune tellers, who have always made a good living out of them. Fear of death makes us try things which are untested, hoping that it will bring the cure nonetheless.
Gullibility is also influenced by what we learned at home, how our parents educated us. Parents who believe in intuition, alternative medicine and spiritual healing, are more likely to have children who will believe in the same things, than to deduct conclusions from real time events and experiences.
Fortunately, gullability has a cure, and it’s not even expensive: the only thing we need to do is ask oursleves the question, when we come across any kind of information on the Internet, “from where and how did this information get on the World Wide Web? Does it have any proof enforced background?” We must constantly work on ourselves, strive to be better in everything each day, and not be mislead by cons and honey-mouthed ads.
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