What do MH370 and COVID-19 have in common? No prayers answered.
[Okay. Pardon the click-baiting title. I just couldn’t resist. From now on, it won’t be much on the airliner. More on the frontliners.]
We prayed for the recovery of each of them respectively. Hoping from something more potent and benevolent beyond the limitations of us puny humans. But I’m not writing this to belittle the power of prayer. The video was made during early lockdowns in my despair towards those who believe in a caring god but refusing to take care themselves from getting or preventing infections. They insisted on congregating and going about their communal religious rituals as per normal somehow believing that with their show of faith they will overcome. Even a governmental minister refused to acknowledge the potency of the virus citing that his community has prayer!
Now. Almost a year later. The Song Remains The Same.
In the year of perfect vision
Chiroptera bred a new contagion
Regal with a deadly crown
Reign with rising body count
Who amongst us have less infection
Recovering with rapid succession
None I see. None I hear.
None I read. None I fear
Surely we prayed in fearful fervour
Sought Protection. Grace. And Favour
None I see. None I hear
None I read. None I fear
Prayers prove to be defective
No answers came. No relief
Anecdotes fraught deceptive
All our gods ineffective
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But now I read there comes a vaccine
That doesn’t work like penicillin
It doesn’t need to use the virus
Like it doesn’t need your fervent prayers
I don’t believe prayers were answered
It’s been too long. Too many hurt
Lasting solutions that always work
Are consequences of human effort
Critical thinking. Can’t say when that began to happen in my life. If the endgame to critical thinking is truth then I guess it’s always been there. Even when I was devout in religiosity I was more eager in asking for truths rather than abundance, a good life, to be heaven bound, a hot wife, or a Jaguar XJ 220 (I just love the body. Even better looking than the body of a hot wife methinks).
As a kid I would get told off for questioning the truths that older folks transmit to me. It’s only by the threat of imminent brute force that I would concede and try my darnedest to show that I receive. All the while muttering under my breath in inner dialogue, “How is this right?”.
However. Before I go any further, I should clarify where I’m coming from with this. Almost everyone I’ve met would profess to critical thinking. But never seem to display much of it in conversation, be they casual or formal discourses. And of those whom I have gotten to share their notion of it, it’s simply about thinking things through and not taking things for granted. But why do so much untruths or weak truths still spew forth? I had to investigate.
Best I start with examples. Let’s say I ask out loud why would we need to wear masks during this pandemic. These are replies I would get:
- I look to the government to look out for me.
- They mandate masks.
- Wearing masks works
A weak argument. The premises are based on emotions and sentiments. It’s the weakest kind of structure to hold up the conclusion. Not the strongest reason for wearing masks.
- Medical personnel learn about infections and diseases.
- They wear masks.
- Wearing mask works.
A better argument. These premises could be true. But the medics offer general health care and would still rely on specifics from epidemiologists. Of which most of them are not. The argument is ampliative. Probable. But no guarantee.
- The virus spreads through respiratory droplets.
- Masks shields them from spreading.
- Wearing mask works
Solid! These premises guarantees the conclusion best. A deductive argument. I will wear masks.
So with a strong preference for deductive based truths, I take my thoughts to the masses. And get my arse whipped left, right and centre.
The thing is, folks like their truths coated with feelings. Never mind if it’s weak truths or even untruths. As long as it satiates their emotions, it’s all good. I believe this is where confirmation bias is borne.
I can dig that. I went through turbulent times before I could come to terms that certain truths I held dear all my life turn out to be complete bollocks. I did my due diligence; I read the literature, researched the resources, looked for discussions, debates and discourses, and took a stand on all sides. Studied fallacies to sniff and snuff them out so I won’t fall in for falsehoods. And constantly do a reality check with the empirical outcome of every argument. And with that I’m better for it. For having eliminated what I believe is called limiting beliefs
Just because you don’t want it to happen, never meant that it won’t. And when it happens, there’s the heart wrenching pain of realising why you never wanted it to happen. That’s as much as I can say about losing a parent.
My mother tugs me through the snow
Her strides are long and I’m just slow
Her hurried pace she’s hard to hold
But her words are warm despite the cold
Once indoors she gets the heater glowing
And sits by the window to see my father coming
On the carpet I’ll run my toy truck
But soon I’ll have to wake up
From seeing myself by her feet
To be weeping in my sleep