Who was the first person to convince others that a fiction story was true?

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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13 December 2019 09:18
 

1.  Who was the first person to make up a story and convince others it was true?  Did it start with the proverbial big fish that got away?

2.  Who was the first person to be killed for refusing to believe that a fiction story was true?

3.  When did humans begin to gain status for believing fiction stories were true?  When, in human evolution, did pragmatists become pariahs for refusing to believe that fiction stories are true?

4.  Examples of status gained for ‘knowing’ that a fiction story is true:  (This one posted by Brother Mario on this forum):

Posted: 12 December 2019 06:42 -  Forum Name:  Brother Mario

When I was getting my Professional Writing degree at UMass, Dartmouth, I was in a Rhetorical Theory class surrounded by secularists.

Two girls, who were Catholics but not practicing and completely identifying with secularists, began telling the class about the Immaculate Conception as the conception of Jesus. When they finished I raised my hand and explained to the class that the Immaculate Conception was Mary’s conception by her elderly and saintly parents Joachim and Anne, and one of just two ex cathedra (from the chair) pronouncements of a pope, with the other being the bodily Assumption of Mary into the presence of God. I further explained that these papal pronouncements were made in response to the Protestant attacks on Mariology, so they were not only rare but strategically made.

These girls laughed at me and the whole class thought I was making it all up. The professor looked at the girls and said something like, “This is something you can correct him with the most basic rhetorical research.” The girls nodded and the class went on as if they were right and I was wrong.

The next week I watched the girls walk into class and ostensibly ignore me. Since this was a Rhetorical Theory class and we were learning how to write arguments correctly, I expected that quite a few of the students and even the professor looked up the Immaculate Conception. And maybe they even discovered how Bernadette of Lourdes, four years after this ex cathedra pronouncement, in one of her miraculous visitations of Mary asked Mary her name. And Bernadette described Mary’s answer: “With her arms down, she raised her eyes to heaven and then, folding her hands over her breast she said, ‘I am the Immaculate Conception’”. And maybe they even discovered how the Immaculate Conception is a theology spanning many centuries and based upon the purity of Mary as a gift from God in preparation of her becoming the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven.

Maybe these secularists studying rhetorical theory did discovered that I knew what I was talking about and that the Immaculate Conception was a very significant Christian doctrine at the highest level of theological debate and historical revelation.

But they weren’t going to admit it.

Human beings find it very difficult, if not impossible, to admit that they are ignorant of many things.  -  Brother Mario

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Immaculate-Conception-Roman-Catholicism

A thousand years after this story was concocted, what would be your fate in Europe if you told others it wasn’t true?

Here’s an example of how a fiction story can be instilled in 15 million people within a period of 200 years.  The adherents send their children around the world to convince others that the story is true.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism

What if you stop believing this fiction story?

Brigham Young, a president of the LDS Church, taught that members who openly disagree with church leaders are cursed or condemned and that those who reject Mormon doctrine or authority outright are “apostate”. An early Mormon epistle teaches that apostates have “fallen into the snares of the evil one.”

 

[ Edited: 13 December 2019 11:10 by unsmoked]
 
 
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13 December 2019 12:58
 

People have been telling stories forever.  Good storytellers tell convincing tales.  This is just a human phenom, not related specifically to religion.

 
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13 December 2019 18:39
 
EN - 13 December 2019 12:58 PM

People have been telling stories forever.  Good storytellers tell convincing tales.  This is just a human phenom, not related specifically to religion.

Notice in the OP that I said it may have started with the proverbial big fish that got away.  75,000 years ago, a fisherman who was a good storyteller might have had some props, like a broken spear, to help convince his listeners that his encounter with a giant fish really happened.

Young children usually have ‘faith’ that the stories their parents tell them are real.  If a father tells his children that the government is going to attack their home and they need to stockpile guns and food and make a bunker - the children will probably believe him.  For an example of this, read Tara Westover’s book - ‘EDUCATED’.

Does Trump believe his own fiction stories?  Does he believe that climate change, caused by burning fossil fuel, is a Chinese hoax?  What percentage of his 63 million supporters believe his fiction stories?  If he had the authority, would he order his fiction stories to be taught in public schools?  If he had the authority, would new history books say the crowd at his inauguration was the biggest in U.S. history? 

Who had the authority to include all those fiction stories in the Bible?  (I keep forgetting that God wrote the Bible and he has carte blanche to write fiction stories).

 

 

 
 
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13 December 2019 20:20
 

Early story tellers tried to make sense of the world.  They saw things, and weaved a story using those “data points”, if I am permitted to use that phrase. The stories that resonated endured.  There you go.

 
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13 December 2019 22:15
 

Yuval Noah Harari believes that storytelling is what made human cooperation beyond the 50 people sized group possible: cooperation with a complete stranger goes much easier if you both believe the same BS.

 
 
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13 December 2019 23:09
 
EN - 13 December 2019 08:20 PM

Early story tellers tried to make sense of the world.  They saw things, and weaved a story using those “data points”, if I am permitted to use that phrase. The stories that resonated endured.  There you go.

Resonance is about people’s little fee-fees. While I recognize these are powerful features of human behavior, it’s not really very impressive any more to point out that people have fee-fees. When people feel something, reflect on it, and write some poetry, some of that adds a little beauty to the world, and that is, as Paul Simon wrote, worth something when you think about it, that is worth some money. To extend the metaphor, we have architects, and we have construction workers. Each have their place. This is all taking off, AFAIK, from something BM wrote using his usual limitless supply of drywall, and if it leads somewhere besides platitudes about “big fish”, let us praise some deathless poetry.

 
 
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14 December 2019 08:52
 
Traces Elk - 13 December 2019 11:09 PM
EN - 13 December 2019 08:20 PM

Early story tellers tried to make sense of the world.  They saw things, and weaved a story using those “data points”, if I am permitted to use that phrase. The stories that resonated endured.  There you go.

Resonance is about people’s little fee-fees. While I recognize these are powerful features of human behavior, it’s not really very impressive any more to point out that people have fee-fees. When people feel something, reflect on it, and write some poetry, some of that adds a little beauty to the world, and that is, as Paul Simon wrote, worth something when you think about it, that is worth some money. To extend the metaphor, we have architects, and we have construction workers. Each have their place. This is all taking off, AFAIK, from something BM wrote using his usual limitless supply of drywall, and if it leads somewhere besides platitudes about “big fish”, let us praise some deathless poetry.

The question was why people believe in these stories, even though they may be fictional.  At the beginning, it was not nefarious - people were trying to make sense of the world and myths were powerful uniting and explanatory forces.  Then the best story tellers became elders and wise men and shamans, and then realized, as Paul Simon did, that their talent could make money or give some other form of social advantage.  Then it’s just a matter of market share.  Christianity was number 1 on the Best Sellers list, but then Islam challenged it.  The transition from “story” to “no story” is going to be a tough sell.

 
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14 December 2019 09:29
 

What about point #2 in the OP?  Who was the first person to be killed for refusing to believe that a fiction story was true? 

Listeners can scoff with impunity at a fisherman who tells them a story about the big one that got away.  A four-year-old can scoff at her mother who’s trying to extend belief in Santa one more year.  On the other hand, what about the fate of a slave who was helping to move a 2.5 ton stone onto the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza when he told a fellow worker that Khufu (Cheops) was just going to turn to dust like every other living thing when he died?  What if this sacrilege got around, and other slaves started muttering about how stupid their labor was.  What happens when the overseer finds out who started the rumor?

Was it BM who once told us that his life wouldn’t be worth living if the Catholic stories weren’t true?  Fortunately he’s safe because God told him they are true.

[ Edited: 14 December 2019 09:40 by unsmoked]
 
 
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14 December 2019 14:07
 

The first person to be killed for not believing was some impertinent teenager who questioned the elder’s authority, thus upsetting the tribal order and well-being.

 
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14 December 2019 23:43
 
EN - 14 December 2019 02:07 PM

The first person to be killed for not believing was some impertinent teenager who questioned the elder’s authority, thus upsetting the tribal order and well-being.

You mean Eve?

 
 
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15 December 2019 10:40
 
EN - 14 December 2019 08:52 AM

. . . The question was why people believe in these stories, even though they may be fictional. . . .  The transition from “story” to “no story” is going to be a tough sell.

“It is very easy to fool people but very difficult to convince them they have been fooled.”  -  Mark Twain

 

 
 
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15 December 2019 14:48
 
Twissel - 14 December 2019 11:43 PM
EN - 14 December 2019 02:07 PM

The first person to be killed for not believing was some impertinent teenager who questioned the elder’s authority, thus upsetting the tribal order and well-being.

You mean Eve?

It’s a nice story, but I don’t take it literally.

 
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15 December 2019 19:34
 

What were the fiction stories that George Washington thought were true?

One that was important for his income was that white people had the right to own black people.  He believed he had the right to buy and sell enslaved people at auction, and to have them work 12 hours a day on his farm without pay.

Washington undoubtedly first heard this story from his parents and other relatives, and believed it.  The story told to him was that black people were inferior to white people.  He understood that the economy of the 13 colonies, and then the economy of the U.S. depended on slave labor.  Because of this, Washington and his white countrymen came up with many reasons why this fiction story was true.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/slavery/ethics/justifications.shtml

Attempts to justify slavery  (attempts to prove that the story that white people are superior to black people is true) 

Virtually everyone agrees that slavery is inhumane and degrading and wrong, but since for much of history many people defended it, it’s important to demonstrate why it’s wrong.

A number of arguments have been put forward to try and justify slavery. None of them would find much favour today, but at various times in history many people found some of these arguments entirely reasonable.  [see list of arguments in this article]

The Missing Pieces of America’s Education  https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/08/28/historians-slavery-myths/?arc404=true

Slavery’s horror included family separation, despite the portrayal in some history textbooks.  In the spring of 1859 at a horse racetrack outside Savannah, Ga., more than 400 enslaved people were auctioned off in the largest sale in U.S. history. They came from Maj. Pierce Butler’s plantations and had spent all of their lives enslaved under one family. Two and three generations deep, the men, women and children were to be sold in family units, but that did not happen. According to one account, “the man and wife might be sold to the pine woods of North Carolina, their brothers and sisters be scattered through the cotton fields of Alabama and the rice swamps of Louisiana, while the parents might be left on the old plantation to wear out their weary lives in heavy grief, and lay their heads in far-off graves, over which their children might never weep.”

This tells us that when parts of history are left out, history itself becomes a fiction story.  Most high school graduates probably think that Mai Lai was an isolated U.S. war crime during the Vietnam War - meaning their text was a fiction story.  https://www.amazon.com/Kill-Anything-That-Moves-American-ebook/dp/B008FPSTOQ

Based on classified documents and first-person interviews, a startling history of the American war on Vietnamese civilians

Americans have long been taught that events such as the notorious My Lai massacre were isolated incidents in the Vietnam War, carried out by “a few bad apples.” But as award-winning journalist and historian Nick Turse demonstrates in this groundbreaking investigation, violence against Vietnamese noncombatants was not at all exceptional during the conflict. Rather, it was pervasive and systematic, the predictable consequence of orders to “kill anything that moves.”

Drawing on more than a decade of research in secret Pentagon files and extensive interviews with American veterans and Vietnamese survivors, Turse reveals for the first time how official policies resulted in millions of innocent civilians killed and wounded. In shocking detail, he lays out the workings of a military machine that made crimes in almost every major American combat unit all but inevitable. Kill Anything That Moves takes us from archives filled with Washington’s long-suppressed war crime investigations to the rural Vietnamese hamlets that bore the brunt of the war; from boot camps where young American soldiers learned to hate all Vietnamese to bloodthirsty campaigns like Operation Speedy Express, in which a general obsessed with body counts led soldiers to commit what one participant called “a My Lai a month.”

Thousands of Vietnam books later, Kill Anything That Moves, devastating and definitive, finally brings us face-to-face with the truth of a war that haunts Americans to this day.

 

 

 

 
 
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17 December 2019 11:41
 

https://www.govtech.com/education/Washington-States-Universities-Plan-to-Fight-Deepfakes.html

(TNS) — If you were under any illusion that online hooey peaked with the 2016 election, brace yourself for the era of “deepfakes” — fabricated videos so realistic they can put words in the mouths of politicians or anyone else that they never said.

As the 2020 election approaches, a new University of Washington initiative aims to combat the wave of increasingly sophisticated digital counterfeiting and misinformation coursing through social media and give the public tools to sort fact from fakery.

The Center for an Informed Public (CIP) has been seeded with $5 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, part of a $50 million round of grants awarded this year to 11 U.S. universities and research institutions to study how technology is transforming democracy.

The mission is to use the new research to help everyone vulnerable to being fooled by online manipulation — whether it’s schoolkids unsure about which news sites are trustworthy or baby boomers uncritically sharing fraudulent news stories on Facebook.

Last 3 paragraphs in this article:

Similarly, misinformation has made it harder for the U.S. to combat climate change, which scientists predict will wreak havoc in the coming decades unless big cuts are made in greenhouse-gas emissions. Emma Spiro, an assistant professor in the Information School and another CIP researcher, said there is already talk of collaboration with the UW’s EarthLab research institute to address climate knowledge.

Pinkleton, the WSU dean, said he’s realistic about hostility from some quarters toward academics, journalists and others who trade in factual information. “There are some people who frankly don’t want to know the truth. Those people, I am not sure we are ever going to reach,” he said.

But Pinkelton said quality information is not partisan and people of all political persuasions should be concerned with the breakdown in shared facts. “The reality is truth benefits us all. Whether you are conservative or liberal is unimportant,” he said.

Who is among the last to convince others that a fiction story is true?

https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/dr-patrick-michaels-on-the-truth-about-global-warming.  Most of the 63 million who voted for Trump believe this fiction.  Their gullibility will have a devastating impact on the lives of our grandchildren.

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Brick Bungalow
 
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04 January 2020 19:51
 

Do you mean the first false story or the first lie?

If it’s the latter I’d bet it was to score sexual favors.

 
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06 January 2020 12:14
 
Brick Bungalow - 04 January 2020 07:51 PM

Do you mean the first false story or the first lie?

If it’s the latter I’d bet it was to score sexual favors.

You’re probably right.  That one about making everything in 6 days probably came much later.

Judge:  6 days?  Is that what you told the prophets?

God:  OK.  14 billion years.