Saturday, 3 October 2009

God Of Prophecy

After incidental analysis by way of having had the subject repeatedly thrust upon me in the media over the last several years, I've come to the conclusion that I don't believe something that most people believe. This conclusion is not based on an attempt to debunk that something, nor is it the result of any subsequent debunking the debunking. I'm not an expert in any field which would qualify me to state my non-belief as fact. I can't back up claims that would disclaim what most take as a given.

And I don't care what anyone believes and am not trying to make any case here. The conclusion to which I have come, which is that I don't believe, is a determination of self-analysis more than it is the weighing of external data.

A few years ago I was asked by a friend if I'd really believed something. I had to think for a moment. I was aware of a recent documentary on the subject, which had gotten coverage and caused discussion, but had never seen it myself. My first thought, however, involved remembering a scene I had done some years earlier in Chicago while rehearsing for an improvisational theater performance:

I imagined standing in a checkout line and reading the headline of the National Enquirer aloud to myself (something about a two-headed baby, I think). My scene partner asked, "You don't actually believe that stuff, do you?" to which I, confused by the question, replied, "I have no reason not to believe it."

This got a huge laugh from our director, the then as destitute as we were, Adam McKay. That absurd and ironic contention - that one must have a reason to disbelieve something absurd - was funny.

"To be completely honest, I'm not really sure what I believe." This was the approximate answer I gave my friend regarding that something.

My sole argument now is that in life someone is always trying to convince someone else of something or another. Usually I don't give it much thought. Or maybe I do. I don't know. What I do know is that occasionally, at least, I wonder why someone would want anyone to believe this particular thing.

Often, belief is said to be important to the psyche. In that regard, so is victory for the home team.

I in no way here mean to shun science. After all, science, too, rules my thoughts and perceptions. My perception determines my belief- and disbelief. My conclusions are those in the court of my mind, not restrained by a jury of popular opinion, which asks the question, "Why would anyone want to go to so much trouble to get you to believe that?" but doesn't really want to hear the answer, so much as ridicule it.

So I certainly don't find crazy those who believe that certain something. They have no reason not to.