Why Are We So Gullible?

2012-09-03 17:10

Having read the many different articles and cartoons following the Marikana massacre, the role of religious leaders and faith healers caught my attention. It made me realise how vulnerable and blindly trusting followers of religion, cults and tradition and culture can become, especially when faced with a crisis.

In the absence of binding ethics and a professional code of practice in the religious sector, disciples and members of religious groups and traditions should ask critical questions and be able to distinguish between the truth and false presentations by opportunists, fakes and other self seeking individuals.

Unlike other disciplines or field of activity like the South African Council of Educators (SACE) for educators, Law society for Lawyers, Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for Doctors, just to name a few, the religious sector does not have one and therefore religious practitioners can get away with any number of misdemeanours and exploitations.

In every religious tradition there are some charlatans preying on its naive adherents. Unfortunately, when worries, difficulties and catastrophes, the Markana uprising being one example and on another plane a court case or life threatening disease another example, it is then that these blind followers lose every sense of logic and reason, thus making them fair game for these so called religious bigots.

Similarly, not so long ago we read about the cold blooded murder of Johan Lotter and his wife Magdelena, in their Westville home near Durban, because some delusional individual claims to be the third son of God. Murder is still a crime; it does not matter if it’s satanic, cult, religious or otherwise related.

Unfortunately due to greed for material possession and instant self-gratification and individual greed I find new forms of worship, cult and other practises springing up.

The younger generation often want things done in new styles and instantly and unscrupulous and egoistic individuals are trapping them into believing that they can make them reach God or their spiritual and material goals.

To this end, may I ask why our youth are so angry, aggressive, destructive and gullible? Is our education system failing them? Are our Schools sufficiently preparing them to meet the challenges of life after School?

Children are our hope and our future and we have to educate them correctly in order to bring about the necessary changes needed so badly in our Country. The inequalities and imbalances in education, health care, salaries and living conditions can only be addressed through learning and conscientisation. Our youth need to be educated in social justice issues like the different forms of violence, oppression, discrimination, prejudices and biases.

In today’s materialistic world, spiritual and moral degeneration have greatly intensified in our communities. Cults and other practices are outcomes of this weakened moral code of society. No conscientious person can remain indifferent to communities and young people being misled by such iniquitous movements, groups and individuals.

It is important that we as human beings, endowed with the greatest Divine gift of reason and choice, use these for the benefit and upliftment of ourselves, as individuals and communities.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

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