Critical thinking is best antidote
Gideon Lasco wrote an interesting piece in his Sept. 28 column on Filipino gullibility, citing as one example the recent gathering of thousands at the UP Los Baños Freedom Park to collect their promised share of the Marcos loot, but not before they shelled out P30 each for a pamphlet that extolled the virtues of late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. Other examples of gullibility cited were the pyramid scams, and false and misleading testimonials and advertisements for medicines that do not work (notice how the annotator rushes through, like an express train, that part where the manufacturer disclaims any therapeutic value of their product like they don’t want you to hear it?). Don’t forget the rush of get-rich-quick scams.
To be fair, however, Lasco stated that the malady affects citizens of other countries as well.
One example of gullibility that Lasco failed to mention, however, is the myth of religion and the gullibility of millions of believers.
Hypocrites hide behind the cloak of religion: Imelda Marcos on her knees in Quiapo church as if saying ‘I believe in god, hence I am not guilty of stealing’; Manny Pacquiao, in a recent incident with a couple of ladies in social media suggesting improper behavior, saying it was done with no malice (His proof? “I fear God.”); John Paul Solano, the principal suspect in the death of hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo, clutching a large crucifix hanging from his neck, purposely holding it up for all to see while he was being interviewed on television. So, those who believe cannot be evil? What does that make of the doubters?
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, our ancestors worshipped the sun, moon, stars, earth, trees and rivers; things that gave them light, nourishment and life. The tragedy occurred when Spanish priests and conquistadores came to our islands and introduced Christianity with their yarn of an invisible man living in the sky who loves you but if you do not love him back, off you go to hell. Don’t forget the priests, too, who came with their DNA!
Lasco is right: critical thinking remains the best-known antidote for gullibility.
ROBERT ALVAREZ HYNDMAN, firstname.lastname@example.org
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