Oxford Languages defines gullibility as “a tendency to be easily persuaded that something is real or true.” Meanwhile, Credulity is defined as “a person’s willingness or ability to believe that something is true, especially on minimal or uncertain evidence.” Now, credulity and gullibility are not a unique trait common to the average American alone. As far back as recorded history is documented, gullibility and credulity have nearly defined the human experience. If you ascribe to the Genesis origin of mankind, Eve listened to a talking snake and with minimal or uncertain evidence, took a bite of the apple. Specifically, she told the snake that God said, “you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” To which the snake countered, “you will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Now, what Eve says next is not recorded, but I assume it was something along the lines of “Roll Tide!” To which I’m sure the snake countered with, “Really, I just told you that you won’t die when your God said you would and now you’re like, give me some apple? Don’t want to see a pie chart or some evidence.” To which Eve replied, “Come here Adam, you gotta taste this apple.” To which the serpent replied, “This was too easy, it must be a trap. It can’t be this easy to dupe humans.” I like to call it humanity’s first meme as the serpent offered nothing more than a picture of an Apple and the text, “you won’t die.” That’s all it took for humanity to fall and so we find ourselves today with that same gullibility and credulity being as big a threat now as it was back in the garden.
The American Republic Will Fall When Credulity Reigns Supreme
Don’t believe the Bible all you want, but let us not pretend that it is not an insightful depiction of humanity from early history. Whether it was the fall of man, Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of soup, or Joseph being thrown down a well, the entire early history of the Bible is credulity in action. People believing things on little or insufficient evidence and don’t tell me that you own observation of humanity has showed you anything different in modernity. Humans are crazy gullible and I hate to break it to you, but you are human. So am I. So is your favorite source of truth on the interwebz.
Autocratic nations like China or Russia care not about the credulity of it’s population because it’s population has very little say in the great matters of the day. Meanwhile, Theocracies like those in the Middle East depend on credulity so that when they say, “God wills that little girls don’t go to school” they are not pressed too hard about the matter. Meanwhile, a Republic depends on a skeptical population that holds dear the value of truth. Even if the population were fascinatingly plagued with credulity, there exist the hope that an honest man or woman or two would make their way into government and use their discerning minds for the greater good.
Americans Above All Must Admit We Can Be Deceived
You are not different than any other human, populations, or civilization to be deceived throughout all human history. I not that is hard to admit as you see the world through the lens of your own worldview, but in the cosmos you are not that unique to all of humanity. What is unique, at least as far as I can tell, is the American experiment. It is most certainly an experiment as our 200 plus years of existence doesn’t quite pass muster as galactic truth. This experiment is dependent upon a population that can either; A: Discern the truth or at least value truth; or B: Not spread falsehood to the masses.
I think we’ll all concede as evidenced by the fact that you all found a blog called Unprecedented Mediocrity on the internet and bothered to click a link that option B is no longer an option. Pandora’s Box of misinformation has been opened via Social Media and we cannot reign it back in without destroying the foundation of freedom of information itself. That’s right, you signed up for Facebook thinking it was all about cute cat memes, but you’ve opened the door to the downfall of our Republic itself. To be fair, there were some pretty awesome cat memes in the early years of FB.
I’m a pragmatist, which means that we are all in on option A. We are either society that will pause and pursue truth over dank memes or we will be a society studied by the future inhabitants of planet Earth to learn from our failure. Unfortunately, also because I’m a pragmatist, I realize option A is unlikely with but small to slim margin of success. Thankfully, because I am also a pragmatist and I realize the only alternative to options A or B is to adopt a society more like China or Russia, I’m willing to die on the hill that is option A. America, this Republic will not survive in the age of social media if we do not become lovers of truth and pause long enough to question the latest self affirming dank meme.
Either Pursue Truth or GTF Out Of The Way Of Those Who Do
In the above paragraphs, I appealed to your intellect, now I’m just going to tell you to GTF out of the way if you have no desire to pursue that truth. If you are so intellectually weak minded that you are tossed to and fro by the latest meme, STFU and stop sharing stuff on social media. Said another way, if you are too stupid to realize how stupid humans can be, I’m going to need you to sit out of this next fight and make no mistake, this next fight is coming. Like Thanos, I suppose it was inevitable. Dread it. Run from it, but it arrives all the same.
We live in an age where access to multiple equivalents to the Library of Alexandria and every great collection of truth in human history is at our fingertips. You can literally pursue truth while sitting on the toilet, which is what I assume most of you are doing while reading this article. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to pause and think before you share or tweet, then GTF out of the way of those who can. Stop sharing stuff if you have not given the first consideration as to its inherent truth or even its possible feasibility. Please pursue truth, no matter what it may cost you.
The Bible also says that, “when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as I child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” As a childish nation in our young 200 plus years of existence, we did indeed speak, understand, and think as a child. My fellow Americans, we must now put away childish things. We live in an adult era of humanity where our greatest adversaries can prey upon our human credulity with a tweet. We live in an era where existential threats like China exist and American supremacy is no longer a forgone conclusion.
We live in an era, a small sliver of human history where all posterity is watching us to decide if such a Republic of ours was ever possible given the existence of human credulity. Put away childish things, and pursue truth. If you can’t find that ability within you, then please from the bottom of my heart, STFU and step aside for those who can. Our Republic just might depend on it. Debate the truth and argue the truth all you want, but please just acknowledge that truth exists and it is essential to our Republic. I’ll leave you with a quote I’ve used routinely since founding this blog from Winston Churchill. “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” Pursue truth my friends, no matter how unsettling it is, pursue truth like America depends on it.