I listen to lots of lectures, discussions, and debates, in which individuals vehemently argue their positions, based mostly on presuppositions and various logical fallacies. Some of them make an entire career out of latching onto one or two fallacies, making themselves millionaires through speeches, appearances, books, DVDs, movies, etc. Some of them will even go so far as to extrapolate more data based on these same logical fallacies, and found museums, universities, and political movements in order to secure more wealth and power.
When shown mountains of evidence to the contrary, or confronted with the logical errors in their statements, they become highly defensive, refusing to listen, often becoming violent, or threatening those who showed them the evidence with unspeakable eternal tortures.
I was going to make of list of the most common logical fallacies (such as “begging the question” or “argument from ignorance”) and show examples. However, that is dry and boring, so, instead, I am going to use the exact same arguments they use to prove that:
“I am Legend” is a true story.
In 1954, Richard Burton Matheson had a vision of the future, and wrote it down to warn the world. In his dream, he saw the story of Robert Neville, an ordinary man who would discover the cure for the vampiris bacillus, and therefore save the human race from extinction. He died at the hands of those he was trying to save.
How do I know it is true? Well, as some people argue, “I have this book”. I can touch it, feel it, and know in my heart that its words are true. If you would just open your heart, and believe it, you would feel the same. There are untold millions of copies of the book, translated into various languages, which is additional proof that it is true.
Unlike the texts these others argue about, written by anonymous authors at unknown dates, I can name the one and only author and even know the exact dates of writing and publishing. The great man only died a couple years ago, so one could have gone to him for verification. There is no argument over which chapters of the book to include or exclude; all is concise, and the original manuscript can be reviewed to find any textual errors; no need to argue over “original translation errors.”
Also, the book does not suffer from the third person omniscient narrator that these other texts do, where the reader learns things that the “authors” could never have known. Everything in “I am Legend” is from Neville’s perspective only, and there are no other scenes or events he would not have personally known about. More truth proof.
I contacted Doubleday Books, and they assured me that, had they known what events would transpire, they would never have listed the book as fiction; it would have been listed as a religious text.
The book mentions real locations (Los Angeles, California) and mentions real technology (cars, searchlights, stakes, etc.), again proving its validity. Matheson’s widow and children can even take you to the exact house mentioned on Cimarron Street. No need for archeologists to stretch credulity or to build/rename locations to prove its claims. It predicts wars and plagues, again as proof.
Scores of authors have written about the book, and many more have been inspired by its words to create their tales, but all of these are fiction. Three movies based on it have emerged, one just a few years before the plague, but too late for its warning to be heeded. This sheer volume of commentary is additional proof of its validity.
The book contains many many examples of Neville’s fears, addictions, and failures. This is additional proof, as no author would ever include such embarrassing events if the book was mere fiction.
But wait a minute, you say, I was alive in 1975. I don’t remember any vampire plague lasting three years? What happened to the millions of deaths? There are anachronisms, such as a 1950s station wagon being still sold in the 1970s. And there are no mentions of it anywhere in the recorded history of that time. To which I respond; lack of contemporary, external sources is iron clad proof that the events of the book occurred. You could say that rival groups or the authorities tried to cover up the truth, but we can use the population of the earth today to extrapolate that the book is true, as many do with the Noah’s ark story. The wave of “end of the world books” starting in the 1970s and the pop culture obsession with vampires and zombies are a race memory of the events that occurred.
Forty years after these terrible events, I can now, for the first time, record this knowledge that has been imparted to me by divine revelation. After Neville’s death, the New Men searched his home, discovering his diary and notes on the cure. Ruth filled in the details not covered in the diary, and they used the cure to save themselves. Robert Neville, a simple factory worker and family man, gave his life so that mankind could be saved from its own follies.
Future generations, untainted by personal knowledge of the 1970s, will be able to follow the values of Nevillism; self-control, self reliance, love of family, abstinence from vice, and the never ending quest for new knowledge. Any other source of these ideals that came before “I am Legend” were simply placed there by the devil to confuse the truth. And beware the heresies of the Robertonians (who believe that Robert Neville was an ethereal being, and did not truly suffer the physical and mental pain of the book) or the Bobites (who claim that Neville did not die at the end, but was lifted up to heaven before his death).
And don’t forget Pascal’s Wager; it is better to live your life by the ideals of Nevillism and be wrong, than to not believe and suffer the consequences if you are wrong.