When you get right down to it, belief in anything is a choice. We choose to believe in God. We choose to believe the pilot knows how to fly a plane when we get on. We choose to believe the engineers built a sturdy bridge before we drive over it. We choose to believe our teachers, our government, our doctors. It’s a decision we make, whether we realize it or not. You can also refer to it as trust that what someone is telling you is the truth.
My observation over the years is that many people believe those they shouldn’t for a few reasons.
The first reason is that it never occurs to them to question.
There are certain things we grow up believing and accept as the truth. It may or may not be. Part of the maturation process is questioning those beliefs. It’s a phase called individuation…when an adolescent starts to realize that many of their beliefs are the same as their parents and they start to question them. It can be a tough phase for parents as kids start to challenge, to question, to try on different beliefs and personas to be their own person. It can even be rather hilarious to see kids look exactly like their peers thinking they are their own persons finally. What’s really happening is they are attempting to differentiate from you, their parents. The irony that they look like everyone else in the crowd eludes them. They just need to become their own individuals and know that what they believe is their choice and not their parents’.
How parents navigate this phase can have a big impact on the outcome. If parents become deeply offended or frightened by this budding individualism, they may try to clamp down harder to force their beliefs and the children tend to become more rebellious in their attempt to individuate. If, on the other hand, they take it more calmly and allow some exploration and self-expression, the process goes much more smoothly and the kids tend to return to the values and faith in which they were raised.
Another reason people believe what they do is that they want to.
As with young children, simple explanations for things are comforting and give people a sense of safety and security in the world. Questioning everything can lead to fatigue, anxiety and depression.
Then there are those who want to believe in something. It can be because of a strong desire, like wanting to be married, so they choose to believe and trust someone, despite evidence they should proceed with caution. Their desire to believe that love conquers all overrides reason and they choose to believe something or someone they should have questioned.
Then there’s fear…
One of the biggest reasons, especially today, that people believe what they do is out of fear. We’ve been through an extraordinarily consistent campaign of fear due to the pandemic. Constant focus on death counts, cases, restrictions and “safety measures” such as mask wearing, social distancing and experimental vaccines, has made many so terrified (or perhaps terrorized is the better word) that they anxiously believe whatever the “experts”, the government or the media say, and will jump through every hoop set up by them to regain some sense of safety. The problem is much of what we’ve been told has changed considerably over the last year. Believing “the science” is actually believing the scientists’ shifting opinions. There is actually very little real science, and by that, I mean clinical trials and replicatable studies, showing any demonstrable effectiveness of social distancing, mask wearing or lockdowns. Even in the face of the lack of evidence, many still cling to these measures as letting go of them leaves them feeling helpless and afraid. It’s been an ingenious (or shall I say, evil genius) ploy.
Whether it’s the strong desire to fit in, to believe in the good intentions of those imposing these restrictions upon us, to “protect others” or the terrifying fear that compels people to comply as in a hostage situation, with so much at stake, it is imperative that we start to realize that many of those who are imposing these restrictions, or offering their changing opinions, may not be worthy of our trust and belief.
Having worked with those in situations of domestic abuse, I see many similarities in what is going on today. Abusers use fear as a tool of compliance, along with guilt and false responsibility. Fear becomes so all-consuming that believing and complying with the abuser offers a hope of freedom and relief. Right and wrong are so twisted and manipulated that the victims can’t tell anymore which is which.
Think about how many young women facing unplanned pregnancies are manipulated by fear and guilt to choose abortion. Very rarely is such a woman not pressured to abort. Their courageous desire to choose life is twisted and manipulated to seem selfish—it’s an unfair burden to your parents, you’re ruining your boyfriend’s life, you’re being selfish to want to have a child that will have a terrible life.
Today we’re told to wear a mask as a sign of respect and care for others- with absolutely no evidence proving masks work to stop the spread of COVID or any other disease. In fact, surgical mask boxes specifically say they do not stop the spread of any virus. A virus is simply too small. Virtually anything covering our faces will suffice for compliance—with no testing of each medium for effectiveness and just a general assumption it will work. It’s all-in theory.
We’ve been told to get an experimental vaccine, at first to protect ourselves from contracting the virus, but now we’re told we need it to protect others…which is illogical on its face. The vaccine, if it does what vaccines are supposed to do, is designed to protect the one who gets it from those who may carry the disease. To try to force others to get it to protect you, who have already received it, simply makes no sense. But few are questioning that.
My point is this…take time to think about why you believe what you do. Question things. Be discerning. Demand facts, and actual studies, not opinions.
Then look at your own emotional state and motivations. Are you so terrified that you’ll do practically anything you’re told to feel safe again? Are you so tired of being locked up that you’ll do anything you’re told to be given your freedom again? If so, back up. Good decisions are based on facts, logic and reason, never fear.
Remember, as with an abusive spouse, freedom will never be bestowed upon you by those who have manipulated it away from you. It’s up to you to take it back.
Before you believe anyone or any thing, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this person or organization of trustworthy character?
- Have they been consistent or is their advice shifting frequently?
- Are there actual scientific studies (i.e. Double blind, replicatable, with large enough samples) backing up what they say?
- How are they profiting from their recommendations?
- Are they following their own edicts or do the same rules not apply to them?
- What are their stated goals and agendas?
- Do they reverence and protect all human life from conception to natural death?
- Are they respectful of your freedom?
This last one is key. God always respects our free will. Every healthy relationship, whether it’s with a spouse, a friend, a doctor or the government, must always respect human freedom and dignity. Whenever force, fear or coercion are involved, that’s a sign of abuse.
Many people like Bill Gates and others, who have championed these draconian measures and are now advocating global vaccination have a stated agenda to reduce the world’s population by two thirds. His actions and track record in Africa should be of grave concern.
Too many see human beings as disposable…like those that sign laws allowing abortion until the moment of natural birth. Too many see the elderly and infirm as a financial burden and as expendable…think of how many tens of thousands of vulnerable elderly people in nursing homes died because of deliberate policies that forced COVID positive patients into those facilities…all while guilting the rest of us to lock down at home to “protect grandma”.
My point is this…things are not always as they seem or as we may want to believe they are. We tend to project our own values and intentions onto others and may too easily trust others who have bad intentions. In the end we choose what we believe and need to apply prudence carefully as we do.
Remember, God gave you logic and reason for a reason. Use it.