20090112

Credulity and its costs

Why do people turn to magic? I can somehow understand grasping at straws in desperation, but some people seem to turn to hocus-pocus first instead of consulting trained physicians. Hell, it would be better to not seek treatment at all rather than turning to magic. The Star on Sunday had a news article titled "Bomoh rapists at large". While I agree that these horrible men are taking advantage of women who are physically and possibly mentally ill, and should be punished, something needs to be said about a 21st century society that enables these unscrupulous men to rape credulous women in front of their families. Consider an example in the article:
... the parents of a 15-year-old student watched as a bomoh molested the girl during a ritual at their house.

In case it wasn't sufficiently clear,  the girl was molested under her parents' watchful eyes. Well, at least I'm assuming they were watchful since 15-year old girls are usually not left alone without supervision with strange men no matter their qualifications. And was the girl cured? Probably not. Now not only is she still sick, she's also traumatized. A two-for-one deal. I guess we should be grateful that she isn't dead yet.

I feel as if belief in superstitious nonsense is so entrenched in our national psyche that it seems nearly impossible to root out – I still remember talking in hushed voices about ghosts with friends at school. What we need is education. And I don't mean the "go-to-school" kind of education. People need to learn to think rationally and critically about everything. Nothing is too sacred to be questioned and questioned brutally. Ideas that are not supported by reality must be discarded.

If these women had rationally considered their situation, it would be obvious that consulting experts who practice actual medicine would be better than men who claim they receive help and advice from their invisible friends. I will admit it can be hard to think properly when you're sick, but that's where family and friends come in. It's when the whole bunch of them are credulous nuts that cases like these happen.

4 comments:

Atik said...

Well, some experts who practice actual medicine did that as well. Terrible huh.

haris said...

True, but at least when real doctors go bad, we actually know who they are and they are probably easier to track down and be barred from practising medicine ever again. Bomohs usually operate under pseudonyms and probably come and go as their please.

Atik said...

True. Oh my god. you have beard now??

haris said...

Usually I cut everything off at the beginning of the year. This year I think I want to see how it would look like if I go 2 straight years without :p

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