The trouble with the world is not that men are too suspicious, but that they tend to be too confiding. -- HL Mencken
The above picture was taken on 38th Street in Indianapolis this morning. My immediate thoughts were about teaching my daughters to avoid such nonsense. "Some people believe history holds a special meaning. They believe in divine intervention. They believe they are the chosen people. They believe in the inevitable revolution ... etc, etc ... avoid these people," I will say to them.
I want my daughters to understand the consequence of being wrong. I want them to understand that central to the psychology of certainty is the need for absolute truth at any cost. I want them to understand that people would much rather lie - often unaware - than acknowledge they don't know what they're talking about. Finally, I want them to understand that the universe may not entitle them to a sense of well-being.
But most importantly I want them to understand that people will make stuff up to control them, that other people will start to believe these fairy tales, and that well intentioned people will often repeat these falsities as assumptions. I'm convinced ignorance is strength, and the law has no interest in truth.