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I’ve personally never been to Paris. I’ve seen pictures. I’ve heard stories. I’ve had french cuisine, but I’ve never actually gotten on a plane and flown to Paris and experienced it for myself. So I don’t believe that Paris exists. All I have is other people’s word that it’s real. For all I know, it’s a fictitious world people made up and went to extravagant lengths to make dupes like me believe it’s there. Paris could be like Atlantis, or Brigadoon, or Disneyland.

I’ve been to Canada. Well, Toronto. And Niagra Falls. However, I would be taking for granted that Canada really is as big as they say cuz I haven’t personally walked every square foot of it. Also I went there during the summer, so claims that it’s really cold? That could be a bunch of malarkey.

shiner_bock_texas_beerI have been to many places in Texas. Dallas. Lubbock. Abilene. Austin. Houston. Never been to San Antonio. I read about San Antonio. I’ve been told it’s a great place to visit. Never been. For all I know, it’s not really there. One could argue that I believe in Shiner Texas, cuz I really like Shinerboch beer. Maybe Shiner is an imaginary world people pretend is real where great beer is brewed, but Shinerboch is actually made here in Dallas and people just tell me it’s from Shiner.

I lost my virginity in Louisiana, but I never actually saw much of either Louisiana or my virginity. I was a little preoccupied at the time. So maybe they don’t exist. I’m pretty sure she existed, but I’d be hard pressed to prove it to anyone else. Last I heard she moved to Alaska, which is another place I don’t believe in.

I have been to many states in the United States, but I have not been to all of them. So how do I know there are fifty states? Maybe the flag is just an elaborate prank? I’ve been to Toledo, Ohio. I’ve been to Sandusky (Cedar Point was awesome) but not Dayton (or King’s Island which I’ve been told was there). I’ve never been to Cleveland. Maybe Cleveland is made up. How would I know?

So I know Dallas exists because I live here. And I know Detroit Michigan exists cuz I lived there for several years in my childhood. Although, I haven’t been back in awhile. For all I know, it became a ghost town after I left. Now, here’s a fact that makes some people very uncomfortable when I point this out. Even though I know Dallas exists, and I have reason to believe Detroit exists, I don’t believe in these places. I don’t have faith that they are there. I just know that they are, because I have evidence that is sufficient enough for me to accept.

397pxParisFranceLet’s get back to Paris. How could I prove to myself that Paris is real? Well, there’s a lot of evidence that it exists right here on the Internet. People have traveled there, like people from Canada. You can find it for yourself on Google maps. There’s also so many photographs of the Eiffel Tower it boggles the mind, especially if you try to imagine that they were all photoshopped, or painted, or otherwise faked prior to the invention of Photoshop. Of course, Paris France has it’s own Wikipedia page, but so does Atlantis. You can’t believe everything you read.

I could opt to just believe in Paris France, and all these other places that people claim exist. That would be so much easier. I wouldn’t have to do any research. I wouldn’t have to think. I could just listen to what others tell me and pretend what they say is true, whether it is or not. That’s what most people do. I could put my faith in what complete strangers say about Paris. It’s not like I’m ever going to visit the place anyway. The existence of Paris has no bearing on my day to day life. Entire months if not years have probably gone by where I wasn’t even reminded that the place exists. So I can imagine it’s real and leave it at that, but is that truth? Just accepting what other people say without questioning it? What if they’re all lying?

There comes a point about every person place or thing that we encounter in our subjective perception of reality, where we must formulate the right questions and ascertain the answers, and prior to the discovery of those actions, we must reserve judgment. However, this doesn’t mean believing something exists if there’s not suitable evidence to support the possibility.

What’s more likely, in the case of Paris? That it’s a global conspiracy designed to dupe me into believing in a city that isn’t there, or that the city actually is there and there’s no conspiracy at all? If there was inconsistent evidence, that would be one thing. If there were factions of people who could provide legitimate evidence that Paris isn’t real, then I could listen to those people and examine their findings. So far as I know, no one among humanity is claiming Paris to be nonexistent. Everyone pretty much accepts that it’s there. And there’s endless documentation that not only is Paris France real but it’s a vibrant community with millions of people and it’s got a rich history and a tourist trade that makes many happy every year, and the food is to die for. Wine, women, and song. What more could anyone ask for, in a city?

I could be wrong, so I don’t believe in Paris. However, there’s ample evidence to suggest it’s a real place, so I accept that it is. That works. The idea that Paris isn’t real is kinda silly, and doesn’t work in practice, but that doesn’t mean I have to believe in it, like it’s Peter Pan’s Never Never Land. Does that make sense to you?

We each and every one of us do this with everything in our lives. Some people still believe in Bigfoot but I’ve looked extensively at the available evidence and in that case I can say conspiracy is a valid possibility. Those who claimed to have seen Bigfoot couldn’t provide sufficient evidence. They always had excuses when others tried to confirm their claims. Hoaxes were perpetrated on the topic. That’s documented. We currently have extensive satellite imaging and GPS. Extensive searches have turned up nothing. I’m open to new evidence if it every comes forth, but I don’t believe in Bigfoot, and I live my life day to day as if there’s no such thing.

The evidence for Paris France is not like Bigfoot. There’s more evidence that the place is real than there is that it’s not. So I operate under the acceptance of this place as a real city. I’m open to new evidence that would prove otherwise, but I’m relatively certain I’m not being duped into believing in a city that isn’t there; especially since I’m not using faith to make this determination. I’m simply using common sense.

If I wanted to, I could get on a plane right now and go to Paris, and no one would come up with excuses claiming that an entire city is closed for the time being and I can’t visit it. There’s no historical evidence that some people can go to Paris but other people can’t. It’s there for anyone should they choose to explore. I can’t afford to go to Paris, but if I could, I’d probably still not go, cuz then I’d have to pick a different city to use as an example and write this silly blog post all over again from scratch.

I’ve been told there’s a place called Paris, Texas, but I don’t believe it…