Bunkers and Debunkers

by on Thursday, 08 March 2007 Comments

This fable is about Bunkers and Debunkers.

Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of Bunkers and Debunkers. They exist only in this fable. Bunkers are people who believe and promote what they believe. Debunkers don’t believe and discredit what Bunkers believe. Debunkers are usually Bunkers of other beliefs.

People love to label people.

They like to sort others into opposite categories. Some classifications are more or less universally accepted, like male or female, dead or alive. Some dichotomies depend upon where one is standing, like up or down, right or left, front or back. Most dichotomies are quite relative and open to discussion, like young or old, short or tall, right or wrong, good or bad, smart or stupid, sane or insane.

There needs to be some accepted upon dividing point or standard. Everyone has a different set of standards. People with the similar standards tend to group together. They usually form a united front against these with different standards. Sometimes those at one end are sworn enemies of those at the other end and do everything in their power to convert or annihilate them.

Beliefs and disbeliefs are controvertible subjects that divide people.

Some people are willing to believe anything. Others refuse to believe anything. Some people believe so much they are not fazed by denial. Others change their beliefs with every new thing they hear.

Put another way, the world is full of Bunkers and Debunkers.

Debunkers are all those who according to the English dictionary try to discredit all the beliefs of others which they believe are unfounded.

Bunkers according to this fable (but not according to the English dictionary) are all those whose beliefs are being challenged and are defending their beliefs.

There are also many kinds of Bunkers and Debunkers.

Let’s begin with the Bunkers:
True Believers believe strongly in what they believe.
There are two kinds of True Believers.
Balanced True Believers are not afraid to dialogue with others and respect the beliefs of others.
Fanatical True Believers refuse to listen to those who think differently and relate to those who think differently as sworn enemies.
Circumstantial Believers only believe because their parents or friends or associates do.
Wishy-washy Believers change what they believe every time someone tells them something different.
Non-Believers believe they have yet to hear anything that will convince them to believe.

There are also many kinds of Debunkers:

Annihilators are sworn enemies of a belief and will do anything to discredit and eliminate it.
Doubters are forever questioning what they believe, but are afraid to renounce it.
Skeptics don’t believe anything.
Indifferents don’t believe any belief is worth fighting for or caring about.

Camp Followers swarm in the wake of Bunkers and Debunkers.

Onlookers just hang around out of curiosity or look for some excitement, but don’t want to join in.
Reporters are eager to take pictures and write articles that will satisfy their editors and justify their salaries.
Profiteers are eager to exploit the situation by selling goods or services to either side or both sides.

Now we are ready for our story.

Once upon a time, a crop circle design was discovered in a wheat field.

During the night a huge geometrical design had been trampled out in the middle of a farmer’s wheat fields, ruining a lot of valuable grain. The news quickly spread. Soon there were people saying that it was a sign produced by aliens from another planet.

Almost at once the farm was crowded with people.

The True Believer Bunkers were there in force. The Balanced Believers were overjoyed, eagerly examining the design site for proof that it had been done by aliens.
The Fanatical Believers were triumphant, confidently proclaiming they already had proof it could not have been done by mere earthlings.
The Debunkers were also there in force. The Annihilators were already proclaiming it had been done by humans.
The Skeptics promised to reproduce it themselves.
The Onlookers had plenty to satisfy their curiosity.
The Reporters had plenty to report.
The farmer was irate. He condemned the ones who had ruined his field and demanded compensation and punishment from all the unwanted visitors who polluted his farm and further ruined his crops.

A week later:

The Skeptics reproduced the same design overnight in another field.
The Debunkers claimed that proved the first design had been a hoax.
The Camp Followers lost interest and went away.
The True Believers said that didn’t prove aliens didn’t do it first.
The owner of the field had the Skeptics arrested for trespassing and destruction of property.
All was quiet for several months.

Then one night in another field a new design appeared.

This one was very different from all the others. It was many times larger and more complex and mathematically precise than any design that had ever appeared anywhere else in the whole world.

Not only that, The grain had not been trampled down. Where the plants had been were beautiful mats that had been woven in complex designs using the stalks of all the uprooted plants.

The news caused a sensation. The whole world was astounded.

The True Believers were ecstatic.
The Debunkers still said there had to be a natural explanation.
The Skeptics could not reproduce the design.
The Reporters had a heyday.
Growing numbers of Onlookers were prey for the Profiteers.
The farmer was getting rich charging visitors for guided tours.

In the months that followed:

The Scientific Community couldn’t find any natural explanation.
More and more people were becoming Believers.
The Debunkers declared that it would take more than just a fancy design to make them believe. In fact, it would almost have to be a miracle.

Six months later, the miracle happened.

Suddenly overnight, he latest amazing design and the mats that were still impressing the world disappeared without a trace. All the empty spaces where the design had been carved out were once again full of waving stalks of grain.

The farmer woke to find his field back to its original condition.
The Bunkers believed their belief in non-earthy intervention was proven beyond a doubt. Most of the world began scanning the heavens hoping to witness the next visitation.
Only a few diehard Debunkers still insisted it was a hoax.

God up in heaven looked down on the world.

He wouldn’t tell anyone how the feat had been done or by whom. He just smiled with amusement upon the predictable and unpredictable behavior of mankind.

There are lessons hidden here.

No matter what happens, there will always be those
who say it didn’t.
If you don’t want to believe,
you can always find a reason for not believing.
If you want to believe,
you are in danger of believing without question
anything you want to hear.

Doubters and skeptics there will always be.

A person with no convictions
is a rudderless ship
on a meaningless sea.
It is better to be honestly wrong
than dishonestly right.
Only a person who wants to be right
and not ashamed to be proven wrong
is not afraid to face the truth.

 

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