Who are you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?

I love this line! It comes from the 1991 movie An American Tale: Feivel Goes West, the sequel to the classic American immigrant story told through the eyes of mice.

For those that have never seen it, the plot of this movie begins when a cat manages to convince a whole bunch of mice at turn of the 20th century New York that out west, cats get along with mice in this sort of eutopia. He sells them tickets out west to a town he controls, with the end goal of a sudden and violent mouse exocution event, and a resulting gluttonous cat buffet.

The entire plot comes to a head when thousands of mice, positioned in “bleachers”, suddenly realize that they are actually seated on a giant mouse trap, thanks to an accidental and early reveal of the smashing mechanism. The cat leader, noticing that his soon-to-be meal all recognize their precarious position and anger, blurts out “Who are you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?”

My conclusion could be that mice are smarter than most Americans, except, well, it was a cartoon. But I keep going back to this lesson over and over. There are real lessons that we can learn, because the story may be a cartoon, but with some relatively small changes in details could be a real story.

Lesson #1. People want to be fooled.

If you don’t believe me, just look at the history of the world. Every religion is just lots of people being fooled. (Except YOUR religion, of course. That is is the correct religion and you are definitely not being fooled, whichever one it is…) Every cult is populated by people wanting to be fooled. Everyone that supported a political candidate that turned out to be a brutal dictator. Everyone that married the stripper they met 36 hours earlier at an all-night coke party. Everyone that thought “trickle down economics” was good for the middle and lower class. Everyone that thinks the moon landings are fake. None of these things make sense, but they feed some need of the people, a need to think they know more despite what is in front of their own eyes. A need to feel smart without having to do the hard work of learning.

Lying assholes (preachers) have been telling people to be super prepared because the end of the world is upon us! For thousands of years. Any minute! Be ready! Who you gonna believe? Preacherman or your own eyes?

Lesson #2. Don’t trust people that won’t let you check things out yourself.

I added this specifically because we do require advice from experts all the time, and I don’t want to discourage the use of experts when thinking. However, actual experts will tell you the same thing. Check it out yourself. Ask an insurance agent, surgeon, pilot, or mechanic why they made a recommendation and they will walk you through the symptoms, which you are free to check out yourself. They will describe possible issues, which you are free to check out yourself. And they will explain why they arrived at their conclusion, which you are fee to check out yourself. You may not have their skill to personally do the task, but they are more than happy to let you satisfy your curiosity.

Religion is specifically designed, and the liars (preachers) specifically make excuses about why you can’t check things out for yourself. They will tell you prayer is powerful, meaning it will effect positive change in the world. Yet every study ever, even by religious institutions, very clearly shows prayer has no effect. The places in the US, and indeed any free country in the world where religiosity is high, are shittier places to live than the less religious places. But who are you gonna believe? The preacher or your own eyes?

Lesson #3. Yes, people will absolutely trust a lying con man over their own eyes.

Once again, look at history. Let’s look at a very recent event. On Jan 6th, 2021, thousands of supporters of former US President Cheat O’Lini literally cheered his words, then walked over to the capitol and put his specific words into action, attempting to kill or incapacitate congresspersons and disrupt constitutionally required proceedings with the goal of re-instating the man that sent them on this traitorious riot. That is what happened. We all know this, because it played out in front of our eyes. Any other explanation of what happened that day just adds lies and bullshit.

Look at the words of the cuckold Senator from Texas. His claim is that all the Trump supporters that showed up with body armor, zip ties, tear gas, clubs, pipe bombs, cached guns and ammo, and the materials needed to construct a fully functioning hangmans stand were all there to just peacefully voice their concerns, but in mere seconds were convinced to become terrorists and enemies of the United States and violent cop beaters merely by some plainclothes FBI agent that whispered in their ear for 2 seconds. Who are you gonna believe? Cancun Cruz or your own eyes?

Do you know what has not gone out of existence? Churches that made predictions that failed to come true. From the 7th Day Adventists to the Westboro Baptist Church, any objective review of the church is that they are false prophets and/or cons. But they still extist, with membership.

Lesson #4. Gullibility can get you killed.

Much like the mice on a giant mouse trap, being gullible is not merely a problem of looking stupid in front of friends and family. Being gullible can hurt you financially, or even get you killed. No better example of that exists today than the Covid-19 pandemic. Every country on earth recognizes this disease as a problem. Nearly every country on earth has enacted measures to try and keep people alive. Every organization of medical professionals in the world recognizes the threat of the disease. Every health organization, department, committee, group, or hospital in the world recognizes the threat of this disease. Every statistic from every organization gathering statistics from all facets of life all over the world all conclude that this disease is a threat. And by now, I’m pretty sure we all know at least one person that died of Covid-19.

A former police officer in Washington state, one Robert LaMay, refused to get vaccinated, despite Covid-19 being the leading cop killer for 2 years running. His reason, which will suprise none of my regular readers, was a stupid and illogical smattering of words including such standbys as Jesus, prayer, his loyalty to former President Darth Tax Evader, economic systems he doesn’t understand, and god’s plan. He was the hero of FOX Noise, with Laura Ingraham interviewing him as a hero of the stupid people movement. Only 3 months later, he is dead of Covid-19. He believed the con man over his own eyes.

Conclusions:

The term “drinking the kool-aid” is literally a cautionary tale about the fatal effects of gullibility. And yet, every day people go around believing not what is clearly true, but instead on what sounds like a special secret they have been given. Jesus is the way. Agolf Twittler is secretly still President and will run again with a dead guy. The end is near. You have a soul. Being bad will sentence you to hell. The bible is against abortion. The earth is flat. Gravity is fake. Covid is fake. Hillary Clinton is a lizard person. Alien sperm causes sin.

It’s not a trick question. The answer is just as obvious as the results. Who are you going to believe? The con artists or your own eyes?

The Spartan Atheist

23 thoughts on “Who are you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?

  1. Excellent Post!! 👍👏👏👏❗ Agreed with every word.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As I’ve grown up I’ve very much appreciated lesson 2. If you’re too lazy to think for yourself then you must deal with potential bad consequences for doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know everyone’s experience is different, but as a young adult in a leadership role, I had to learn to be able to determine wise advice from bullshit. Solid life lessons.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. This is one of the reason why many leaders of religious groups – certainly Catholics – are never encouraged to read the Bible. Furthermore, it’s the reason why it gets doled out in spoonfuls, very superficial bites, so they can be “taught” what the passage means and how it applies to them. Whether it does or not is immaterial, they’re NEVER going to look it up and decide for themselves which is just pathetic to me. I often ask people how they can invest so much of the “faith” in something they seem to know so little about; sometimes almost nothing! If I had a dollar for every “devout” Catholic that had no idea of what transubstantiation was or that it was absolutely sacrosanct within their faith I’d have at least of bunch of dollars….they never even heard of it.
      We all know what happened when Luther delved into the Bible; not exactly the response I would have expected but everything changed…..

      Liked by 4 people

      1. It’s something I observed in all denominations of Christianity. Ironically, my deconversion would begin when I wanted to read all the Bible myself with open eyes.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi, SA, loved the post however that line comes from a Marx Brothers movie, from the late thirties I believe. Groucho uses it! Great line though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know why I care, but I do. When you believe in the God who created everything, and aqree to give Him back the right to your lfe, He changes you.
    He changed me.
    He teaches me.
    I love Him.
    He loves me.

    In fact, He loves you, too.

    If you seek Him with your whole heart, you will find Him.

    Like

    1. Yep, everyone else is being fooled by the wrong denomination or religion except you, Randy. You believe in the right one, whichever that is.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Correct. Me and several million others.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, you and several hundred others. The rest of the nearly 8 billion people are wrong.

        Like

      3. Maybe. I know that I used to be dead to spiritual things, then I was born again ( given spiritual life) and everything changed.

        Like

      4. Yes, you and everyone else that is being fooled. All had life-changing events that are misinterpreted as being divine, but have totally natural explanations.

        Except you, of course.

        Like

      5. If there is no spiritual world, of course you are right. But if there is a world of the spirit and you cannot perceive it, perhaps Jesus told the truth…” Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot sed the kingdom of God.”
        I know there are many so called Christians who are just like everyone else.
        That doesn’t mean that the born again thing isn’t real.
        It just may not be as common as done would like you to think.
        It is a narrow way, that few find.
        But, it can be found.

        That way can change one’s life.

        You can’t refute something you don’t understand, can you?

        Like

      6. Randy, you have either missed my point entirely, or you are proving my point perfectly.

        Right in front of your eyes is the question why you believe followers other 29,999 denominations of Christianity are fooling themselves, but you believe your version is right.

        You can either look at this thing right in front of your eyes, or you can ignore it and go back to your self-delusion.

        Like

      7. I guess the ultimate questions are
        ” How do I find the truth? Who can I believe? Who do I trust?”

        Liked by 3 people

      8. Yes, you are asking the right questions, Randy. Really ask those questions. Don’t make excuses when you find out something you don’t like. Accept reality. Accept what is right in front of your eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Randy, everything you talk about/believe comes from the bible … or from teachings in church school … or from a PAID (by you) preacher. None of it can be verified. It’s ALL based on your PERSONAL acceptance of things that were written over two thousand years ago.

        You say “you can’t refute something you can’t understand.” That may be true in some areas, but certainly not when it comes to religion.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I’m not talking about religion, Nan, I am talking about a changed life.
        I know where you are coming from now.
        I was there.
        Didn’t care about Jesus, God, the Bible.
        Now, I do. 44 years of finding more and more that I can trust.
        I didn’t come because of a paid preacher.
        Something came to me that I wasn’t looking for.
        He is Real.
        No matter what you say.

        Like

      11. Yes, but …

        Your knowledge of “him” had to come from somewhere. You might have had some airy-fairy experience … but without some sort of religious knowledge, it would have meant nothing. You HAD to associate it with “him” (“He is Real”) — and this association came from religious teachings.

        Liked by 2 people

      12. You can convince yourself of anything Randy, anything. There is one thing humanity is not short on and that’s self delusion. Like the Heaven’s Gate people that believed there was an alien mother ship coming to take them away to live in another body. Many of them were quite intelligent actually, computer engineers, web developers, etc. bought this nonsense hook, line and sinker. And there’s much, much more. Look at Mormons, for instance. Millions – MILLIONS – of people actually believe that Joseph Smith met with an angel that dictated a book to him.
        You can convince yourself of anything you want to believe. You’re not the first or last.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. It’s all in your imagination, Randy. Anyone can say things like that, and I did believe all that nonsense for a very long time until I started looking for god myself. As with many atheists, I started with the Bible and it was all downhill from there. Within 10 years or so I was no longer a believer.

      Liked by 3 people

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