Saturday, 04 December 2021

Beware threat of misguided beliefs

ONE of the horrors we’re seeing in the news from Afghanistan is the treatment of women, which at heart arises from completely misguided beliefs.

Even in the West, misguided beliefs are driving anti-vax movements, especially in southern US states. This is leading to a return to overwhelmed hospitals and high covid death rates as the delta variant spreads.

Sadly, we do all have a propensity to believe things without reflection, without applying the rigor of critical thought or the gaining of knowledge, and so where the beliefs are misguided they are not likely to change.

As a member of Henley’s Sceptics and Believers Discussion Group, I attempt to at least swim against that tide and to subject my beliefs about the world to rational scrutiny.

I have done that regarding the climate emergency and joined tje Extinction Rebellion actions in London in 2019.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report confirms that XR were right to be sounding the alarm.

The emergency is so much worse than is commonly believed and action by our Government and others around the world must be vastly stronger than anything seen thus far.

In a democracy, governments can’t take the bold action required unless they know that voters are behind them and are driving them on and so, in turn, we the voters need to educate ourselves on the reality behind the emergency. Let’s allow the rational and scrutinised science provided by the IPCC to change our beliefs.

Let’s not just assume that “it’ll be all right somehow” or “there’s nothing we can do” that our human nature might be telling us. Let’s get accurate beliefs on the climate emergency and let them propel us to action.

I was shocked to hear from a man of about 30 that I met at the weekend. He has informed himself deeply on the climate emergency and has decided not to have children due to it. Occasionally it takes courage to expose ourselves to the truth, let’s not be afraid to face it.

In Henley and surrounding area, our doctors and surgery staff have delivered the highest covid vaccination rates in the country, which is a tremendous achievement.

In part that’s been due to our accurate beliefs on vaccinations. I would imagine, too, that our understanding of women in society is a good deal less misogynist in Henley than the Taliban’s.

Let’s get our beliefs on the climate emergency in line with the science. It will be uncomfortable for many but all our futures depend on it.

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