All sorts of people believe all sorts of things. Some are true and some are not. Why do people believe in things that aren’t true? A recent article on the ABC has pointed out that there are many people in the country who believe in things like ghosts and aliens. That in itself is relatively harmless, but there are some beliefs that could be (and are) harmful, so why do people still believe in them? Or what can we do to ensure that these beliefs aren’t passed on?
According to the writer, Andrew P. Street, the reason so many peculiar ideas get airtime is because of a desire to appear unbiased. As Mr Street comments, “There’s a difference between showing multiple sides of an issue and elevating nonsense as though it’s a valuable viewpoint — because publicising outlandish claims in the name of balance has a body count.” There is possibly a bit more to that as many editors want to include news that will attract people. The more sensational the story is, the more people will want to buy the paper, or tune in to the channel. Like many things, economic factors may be the main driving force here.
However, Christians are equally guilty of believing all kinds of things too. Some less helpful and edifying than others. If you are on social media, you may have friends or associates who have posted articles which are questionable.
We often believe something if it comes from a reliable source. Christians for example, claim the Bible is reliable as many historians, archaeologists, philosophers, scholars, and academics have studied the book and suggest it is important and worthy of study. If you have heard or seen some post on social media that you know is false, perhaps it would be helpful to point them to the truth. There are a few websites (like Snopes) that address urban legends and other contemporary myths. By not doing anything to curb error, you are actually doing something. We can sin both by commission as well as omission.