An ultrasound image/video of what appears to be a fetus clapping hands along with the song “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” became viral since it was uploaded two days ago. The explanatory note to the video by the uploader suggested that the video was not fixed in any way. Amazingly many people who saw the video believed what the uploader said about the video; they believed the fetus was clapping hands as the mother and the doctor sang. Since I know the background story of this video (the fetus accidentally looked as if it clapped the hands, and the doctor froze the video monitor attached to the ultrasound and repeated the video segment three times to make it look as if the fetus was clapping hands as the doctor and the patient sang; the doctor did this to create a happy experience for his patient and her husband) I began to wonder how often this kind of “untruth,” whether it is innocent or not so innocent, is passed around the world as truth in our digitally interconnected world. Modernity gave privilege to our visual sense over other senses: People believed what they saw. It was very common for them to say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” However, these days, in our postmodern or post-postmodern digital world, unfortunately, we should no longer believe what we see because digital images can be easily manipulated.
“The leading fact in Belief, according to my view of it, is our Primitive Credulity. We begin by believing everything; whatever is, is true.” Bain in The Emotions and the Will quoted by William James in The Principles of Psychology
“The primitive impulse is to affirm immediately the reality of all that is conceived.” – William James in The Principles of Psychology