Hello, dear reader. Let me first point out that I am no denier to your existence. I know you read my blog postings. I have not seen you read my blog with my own eyes, but I know and believe you exist. So yes, I’m not what you’d call a denier. On the other hand, there are those of us humans who make a living (literally, in some cases) out of being a denier of everything and anything. The most obvious of these deniers is the recently departed clown from the American White House. You could have slapped Trump’s face with a dead fish, and he would still have denied the existence of the fish.
It occurred to me the other day that deniers come in many forms. We have climate deniers, holocaust deniers, birth deniers (better known at the time as birthers) science deniers, and more recently vaccine and covid-19 deniers. It seems if it has a name, it can be denied. René Descartes, once famously said, “Cogito ergo sum” which means I think, therefore I am. Bear that in mind, the main thrust of this piece is the word think. Descartes is also quoted as saying, “If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” So, on the face of it, Descartes, a famous French philosopher and one of the classiest humans to ever to have lived, may have been a denier. But then he is also quoted as saying “It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.” And one of my all-time favourites “Doubt is the origin of wisdom.”
To doubt something or someone is fine. You should never give those in power or those who are classed as influencers an open cheque book and leave them to fill it in. It’s good to doubt, to question, to listen to someone or something but not simply believe it. Doubt is good. But you must also be prepared to investigate, delve deeply, into a subject to try and understand what is going on. To doubt every scientific proof of something like climate change or the holocaust or covid without investigation and understanding is not only crazy, but it also flies in the face of logic. It does not make sense and to those of us who live in the real world, it makes deniers look like fools or charlatans.
We all experience denial some of the time, but usually get over it, accept the truth, and get on with our lives. But there seems to be a new class of humans who make denial an ism to apply to anything they don’t like or agree with. Denialism is a classic form of psychosis. There have been many deniers throughout history, and I doubt it will get any better. Social media has given deniers a platform to spout their rubbish and like the sheep some of us are, people latch on, agree, and follow. It gives credence to some crazy ideas. One of my favourites is flat-earthers. Those people who believe that the world is flat and not a globe. What makes me smile is the number of these people who fly round the globe to attend flat-earth conventions. Fly round the globe? There’s a clue in there if you care to delve deeply. It’s fine not to accept anything at face value, but you must also be prepared to face up to something that is an obvious lie.
Little white lies are one thing. We all use them sometimes, to save face or save someone else from embarrassment. But to flat-out deny a scientific fact is, well, a denial of reality. I’ve concluded that a denier of truth is simply someone who cannot be bothered to search out the truth and simply repeats something someone else said, because it’s easier. In other words, a denier is a lazy person who cannot be bothered to seek out the truth.
I’ll leave you, dear reader, with a final thought from my friend René Descartes.
Think about it. Is a denier someone too lazy to search for the truth? “If you want to develop your mind, you should think more, not repeat.” – René Descartes
Copyright © Tom Kane 2021
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