Sorry! We have switched off our brains

(Muhammad Usman, )

Recently I have decided that I would not talk rationally with my fellow Pakistani’s. I would not frustrate on irrational and illogical things they tell me. I would seriously discuss Ghosts, black magic, Bangali Baba’s, paranormal activities, Extra-terrestrials, miraculous healings, men flying or disappearing, animal talking, Zionist/ illuminati conspiracies and global agendas, Urdu Columnistand state narrative about everything. Perhaps you are mockingly smiling at me. But let me make this very clear that this is not some spontaneous outburst. This decision is the outcome of years of observation and analysis of Pakistani people. My conclusion is that we as a nation have switched off our brains and decided to live in a fool’s heaven.Till date we are happy about our decision. We have no patience for people telling us scientific and rational things. We want to hear and believe crispy, emotional, dogmatic, and charismatic things. Logic, science, and rationality are too dry, boring and cumbersome.

My conviction was increased when I attended the conference on “Ghosts and Black Magic”. It was held in a prestigious modern university in Islamabad. The hall was jam packed with young students of different fields. Everyone listened enthusiastically to the utternonsense of a speaker claiming to be an expert on the subject. He didn’t give a single logical and scientific argument in support of his claims. But no one in the audience objects to it, rather there was an excitement. I was wondering whether it’s a dream or reality. How could such a conference held in a Science and TechnologyUniversity. But Pakistani never failed to surprise me.

On another occasion a PHD spent whole two hours explaining to me the deep illuminati conspiracies behind major geopolitical events. He presented his case with strong conviction but without a single logical or rational argument. All of his arguments were based on propaganda literature, movies and documentaries. All my efforts to logically deconstruct his narrative were useless. And after the victory of Donald trump another foreign educated person told me how this was foretold by an astrologer. This irrational pattern seeking on the face of facts was incomprehensible to me. Every other person educated or not was addicted to irrational thinking. So I started closely studying people and their behavior.

Biggest reason for our irrational thinking is not the lack of education. It’s the absence of emphasis on critical and logical thinking in education and society. Our society is based on ancient stories, myths and parables. Fact finding, reasoning, deduction and induction are never taught or encouraged. Conformity to the past practices is considered the highest intellectual achievement. Dissent and transgression from established norms and narrative is severely condemned. Our state and religious authorities need mindless people who would fall willingly to anything coming from authority. That’s why questioning and creativity is never encouraged. It is feared that open minded people would demand more democratic and civil rights. They would not be exploited in the name of tradition and religion.

Book reading, learning science, philosophy, history and literature is usually discouraged. Because books encourage people to question things and find answers. That’s why you would hear a lot about the harmful consequences of book reading in our society. People would tell stories how someone had lost the right path after reading books. They would propose that we should ask authorities in every field for answers.With absence of critical facility to distinguish right from wrong, logical from illogical, science from pseudoscience, and possible from impossible, our people fill their heads with garbage and rubbish. The more garbage anyone knows the more informed and educated he feels. The criteria for being educated is knowing /believing the garbage and telling the garbage with seriousness. No wonder why our problems are not solved.

After countless debates with all kind of people I started feeling that I am arguing with stones. The famous Urdu poet Jon Elia rightly described my feeling
Meri Sab Baaten be Asar he Raheen
Naqs Hey kuch merey bayan main kya
(All of my arguments were useless
Is there some fault with my communication style?)

So instead of wasting my energies on correcting people thinking, I started to accept and enjoy this situation. So if you are rational Pakistani wanted to change the society I would humbly request that Sorry! We have switched our brains.

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