Super Powers

Super Villians

Super VillianYesterday I spoke about the apparently natural human desire for Super Powers be they psychic, religious, or comic book. Today I’m going to talk about how our desire for Super Heroes inevitably leads to Super villains. We want people, or ourselves, to have super powers for use for good but those that claim such powers almost always end up using them for selfish purposes that take advantage of others.

It’s fairly easy to disprove someone who claims they can fly or turn invisible so outside of the realm of magicians there aren’t that many super villains of the comic book type littering history but even then there are some examples. Mostly it is people who insanely thought they had super powers and used that as an excuse to tyrannize other people. What comes immediately to mind here is the supposed practitioners of magic. Be they witches, voodoo priests, or African witch doctors. These people take money from desperate, hopeful people in order to fulfill their wish of love, vengeance, murder, etc.

The problem here is that desperate people are being used and abused in a fraudulent manner. practitioners of many alternative medicines are taking money from people with the promise of a cure when none is forthcoming. This is truly despicable. Today, in the United States, fake doctors inject their patients with cement with the promise of better looks. Awful, criminal, hideous. I’m not even talking about aromatherapy or a host of other alternative medicinal practices that have no evidence of efficacy.

The much more common super villain we see is associated with psychic powers. It is generally the same concept in that they purport to help someone but in actuality simply take their money and provide no useful service. Often times the lies told by the psychic do further damage because the victim believes the lies and acts accordingly. The police even believe the lies and arrest innocent people.

Finally, the most common super villain we find is the one who claims religious inspiration. I’m not talking about Jesus and Muhammad but people who use religion to defraud true believers. This problem is immense because when it comes to religion people have a tendency to use faith-based thinking instead of critical thinking. I’ve spoken of these subjects at length in the past but a quick recap never hurts.

A faith-based thinker believes something to be true without evidence whereas a critical thinker examines evidence to make a decision. Faith based thinking is particularly prone to religious fraud because they so desperately want something to be true.

The personal story I have is a woman who was getting a patent for her invention. I happen to know a patent attorney (when’s the next lake house party, Clyde?) and the general costs of such a process. When this woman told me what she was paying for her patent I immediately informed her that perhaps she should use a different patent company. She replied that they were “a good, Christian” company. I knew there was no hope of changing her mind at that point. She was defrauded for tens of thousands of dollars.

There is an important lesson to be learned here. In order for a Super Villain to take advantage of us we must be willing participants who have abandoned our critical thinking skills. No confidence game works without the participation of the victim.

When someone tells you they can do something “Super” then immediately be on alert. The odds are strong they want something from you. Your money, your job, your wife, or who knows what else.

Keep your critical thinking cap firmly in place and don’t let a Super Villain hurt you or anyone you know.

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Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist