Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Accepting reports at face value

Forty years ago the news of two Apollo astronauts who had landed on the moon elicited an awkward response from my schoolmate, Richard. He did not believe it was possible to land humans on the moon. I was nine and he must have been roughly the same age. "They staged that and are lying to us!"

I believed that those two astronauts had actually landed in the moon; I cannot remember why I did not doubt the reports, but I just believed the reports were true. My friend, on the other hand, concluded the reports were false. At that age none of us had taken our decisions based on any evidence we had accumulated and yet we held opposing views.

I believe now that I took a position that the majority of people maintain in similar situations. The risk that the majority faces is to expose themselves to manipulation by authorities that sometimes present falsified reports to the public.

It was interesting to learn recently that Richard's doubts were shared by some Americans at the time of the moon landing. In a film documentary one of the astronauts said the news reports had quoted Americans saying they believed the entire moon landing was staged in an airport hangar somewhere in the United States.

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