Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sometimes people are so stupid I can't believe it.

A friend sent me 2 news clippings yesterday. One was about a call to release 80 women from jail in Malawi - their crime? Witchcraft.

(Now let's get one thing straight. People may play at witchcraft, and believe in witchcraft. But it doesn't actually work. It's on the same level as seeing fairies at the bottom of the garden.  If you believe in witchcraft, then I have news for you - you are gullible and apparently incapable of applying critical thinking to what you are told.  My advice? Go read Carl Sagan's "The Demon-haunted World" and then come back and argue with me if you still believe in mumbo-jumbo.
I am fond of saying that I write fantasy: I don't believe in it. It's called entertainment, yanno?)

There have been cases in Malaysia where people have been murdered by "witches" (we call them bomoh here) - but always they have been killed by, well, more conventional methods. Like an axe. More often, people are murdered by others trying to remove the "black magic" that has "bewitched" the innocent. You know, like beating them to death, which happened in a recent case.

Unfortunately you sometimes - no, often - get idiots who should know better believing in this stuff, like this "doctor" who has evidently never seen a skilled magician before. He is right about one thing though, the power of the mind to aid healing. But I believe this latter is explicable by science, not mumbo jumbo. (And why does he marvel at broken bones mending without traction? Nobody touched my broken collar bone. It has mended. Monkeys routinely break bones in their life in the wild, and many of them heal without the aid of a doctor and live to a ripe old age.)

Anyway, why am I getting all het up over this?

Because of the second article my friend sent me. In this it is suggested, by a couple of gullible people who can't apply critical thinking to what they are told, that Malaysia should draft laws to ensure that those who practise black magic and cause harm or death be prosecuted like offenders under criminal law. (My comment: even though magic doesn't actually work, yanno...) Unfortunately, the people who made the suggestion are not without influence.

What might the end result be? Innocent people going to jail for crimes that never happened. Like, apparently, in Malawi.

I am hoping Malaysia has more sense. 

But sometimes I despair - that ghastly book "The Secret" by an Australian con artist successful writer was a best seller here.

7 comments:

Cat Sparks said...

'The Secret' would have to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard of, yet people I know -- smart, educated people -- recommended it to me as something that might be worthwhile when it first came out. Stuff like that really makes me angry.

pattyjansen said...

OMG that book looks horrible. I mean - I'm all for a bit of positive thinking for as far as it can influence your destiny in enthusiams, drive and persistence, but this... is just utter rubbish. Isn't it sad that people are so desperate that they feel a need to believe it?

glenda larke said...

Try reading it, Patty. I read a couple of pages, and almost turfed it across the bookshop. Luckily I didn't, because I might have had to buy it...

And the thought of a cent of my money going to such a load of crap...

jennyblackford said...

The thing that makes me angriest about stuff like The Secret is the thinking that if you ASK the universe, and EXPECT good things, somehow that makes you DESERVING of a reward - the "abundance nonsense. It's beyond me why this personified "universe" should want to reward selfish, entitled white people while it ignores the horror of, eg, the thousands of children who die each year of typhoid/cholera/plain old E coli because there's no clean, safe water available. You ask the entitled white people that and they start with stuff like "maybe they did something bad in a past life". I could throttle them with my bare hands.

Aria said...

I haven't read any of The Secret but I've seen the general premise and it's very similar to one I saw in a 'be happy' book I got given once. That one I did turf across the room.

The universe doesn't care about your whims people. No matter how hard you think about them. The only way to get what you want is to do the things necessary to achieve that goal. Not wishing.

Crisetta said...

Unfortunately reason rarely wins over emotion - if people want to be superstitious and fearful, they will find something to blame. As for "the Secret"! consumerist nonsense.

Jo said...

Not heard of The Secret before. One wonders why people are so gullible. Not just about black magic either, but "if its in the paper (or on TV) it must be true". I learned that lesson a long time ago when I was involved in a reported incident and what was in the paper had nothing to do with what happened. People like to cling to ideas of Black Magic (or white) as a way to explain things in life they don't understand.