Balancing on the Head of a Pin … February 10, 2014

Is a little belief in magic okay? What about voodoo? Is a little belief okay?

Prayer. Isn’t prayer the same as voodoo, only more arrogant? Since it has been proven that prayer is as efficacious as chance isn’t it on level with the witch doctor, the voodoo believer, the chanting medicine man? Prayer expects a god to change his plans in accordance with your wishes. Isn’t that arrogant?

Is it okay for someone to be out of his/her mind just a little? If out of their minds a little what is to stop them from proceeding to a lot? Can you ever be sure of such a person, that is, whether or not they have the potential or are totally out of their mind? 

Should you look upon such a person with pity? They have accepted belief that is in all respects very much like the beliefs that led to virgin sacrifice, stoning, bigotry, war, and misery. They have been infected with an affliction similar to a viral one, much like the viruses that infect computer programs. This program overrides their logic centers and causes them to believe falsehoods that have no basis in evidence or reality. Should you respect someone who has these beliefs simply because they are from all appearances , mentally ill?

Isn’t giving such a person, who has accepted a belief without evidence and without reason, respect, the same as providing encouragement? I think it is. If after their arguments have been proven empty and foundationless, perhaps even, stupid, and they continue to believe, isn’t it time to tell them they are also just plain stupid, as stupid as their beliefs?

Then again… the willfully stupid, are they just sick? Are they ignorant? Are they helpless? IQs vary. Some people are able to grasp concepts of a much deeper complexity. I have been told that I am above average intellectually, can grasp new concepts quicker than average. My reading comprehension has been above level, so they tell me. Still, I have difficulty above a certain level of complexity. Quantum mechanics is above my mental abilities, I dutifully admit. Since IQs vary so greatly there certainly must be those who are terminally ignorant. There’s nothing you can say or do that will convince them that there isn’t an all-powerful sky-daddy up there watching every single detail of everybody’s life. No amount of reason or evidence will be sufficient to eradicate a belief within these hapless people that something which they so want to believe in, isn’t so. That’s what it boils down to. They cannot accept simple belief does not make something so. They are for all intents prisoners of their belief, and they do not possess within themselves, nor can they be provided the tools, to free themselves. Do you have to give these people respect? The best I could offer would be of a patronizing nature. Treating them like they are children is the only avenue, even though, being adults, they can be potentially very dangerous. When they tell you “You’re going to hell” they really mean it. When they tell you “you’re why America is being punished with all these calamities”, you should be aware. When they finally decide to put an end to you, is it too late? How do you live a peaceful coexistence with what are potential homicidal maniacs?

So what is it? Is a little bit of an infection okay so long as they do not degrade further? Can it be trusted that a small viral infection will not proceed to a full-blown disease? Do you treat them respectfully? Do you treat them as being mentally ill? Are you able to treat someone respectfully who asserts that you are not only going to hell and will suffer pain and anguish for eternity, but that you are the cause of miseries to which you have no connection whatsoever?

I think every single infection, however mild, has the potential of becoming a full blown disease. Unlike real viruses, weak ones do not inoculate you from acquiring the actual malady. The only remedy is education. Yet for some, even this will not serve as an antidote to the poison which they have willfully ingested.

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