Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Strange Behavior

"There's people who will believe anything."
Bad grammar aside, that phrase kickstarted a bit of percolation in my head.  

It was a statement left in the comments section of a mainstream news article regarding alien life.  The upshot of the reader's thoughts, if I am inferring correctly, is that UFOs, aliens, cryptids...they're all stories for the gullible.  For those incapable or unwilling to exercise critical thought.  Sure, there are whackadoodles in said movements of research.  Any collective of humans is going to have at least a few in its number who are zealots, ignorant, or cursed with mental afflictions.  I would argue, however, that passionate interest in something like UFOs is really a rather harmless activity.  Well, unless you take it to a Heaven's Gate extreme.

That made me wonder.  What are "crazy things" that people believe that actually end up doing more harm than good?  I'm not talking about the big things, like racism or other forms of intolerance, but more the sorts of beliefs that one could write off with "it's my opinion" when there is no "just" about it.  The opinions people hold help to shape the reality in which we live.

Off the top of my head, here are a few crazy notions I think are out there:

-Your political party, whichever one, has the market cornered on truth, morality, and good ideas.

-Our political leaders, no matter their party affiliation, are really altruistic patriots who care nothing more than for our well being.

-If you cut taxes for the rich, they will spend the extra cash on creating jobs.

-If you're poor in America, it's your own fault.

-Poor people don't pay taxes.

-There are jobs out there, but all the unemployed just don't want to work.

-There was an Adam, there was an Eve, they both rode around on dinosaurs, and our school systems should teach it in science class.

-Environmental regulations for corporations are un-American and end up costing jobs.

-Why worry about the future when we can make money right now?

-Global warming is a liberal myth.

-There is no problem that can't be solved by throwing money at it.

-Gay unions make a joke out of marriage.

-Gun owners are deranged and dangerous (or bitter).

-If someone is black and has a foreign sounding name, then they couldn't have been born a US citizen.

-The Founding Fathers of America were all Christian, therefore we are a Christian nation.

Wow.  In light of all those, little green men might be the least crazy notion.

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