JACOB PEENIKAPARAMBIL – Highly literate Kerala was shocked to hear on February 7 that a mother killed her six-year-old son as a “sacrifice for God”. According to media reports, a woman named Shahida from Poolakkad in Palakkad district of Kerala reported the murder to the police and reportedly told the police that she offered her son as a sacrifice to God.
The media reported another horrific incident last month in which a couple in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district killed their two daughters, hoping that they would return within hours due to spiritual power.
It is a paradox that many so-called educated people with undergraduates, post-graduation and even doctorates become highly superstitious and engage in acts of terror that are unimaginable. Naturally, a question comes to our mind that why people are becoming more and more superstitious due to unprecedented scientific and technological progress. There can be various reasons for blind faith and scientific progress to co-exist.
Defective understanding of education as obtaining degrees and qualifications is one of the reasons. According to Swami Vivekananda, education has three goals, character building, strong will power and expansion of intelligence. For Swami Vivekananda, the expansion of intelligence is to develop critical thinking or scientific temperament. Article 51A of the Indian Constitution which deals with fundamental duties, it is the duty of every citizen to develop a scientific temperament. It is the scientific temper that helps develop the spirit of humanism, inquiry and reform.
To welcome and encourage questions in scientific temperament or critical thinking, to provide logical explanations on observational phenomena, to provide principles with a reliance on personality as free, to determine actions consistent with observable results, even if the person does so There are various aspects like giving logical explanation to do. Action and keep the doors open for further inquiries and inquiries. A person with critical thinking will never blindly follow anyone or any ideology or belief.
According to Jawaharlal Nehru, scientific temperament “refuses to accept anything without trial and trial, the ability to alter previous findings in the face of new evidence and reliance on the observed fact and not premeditated theories”. Lack of scientific temperament or critical thinking is the most important reason for increasing superstition among people. Events such as offering man as a sacrifice to God reflect our failure to develop critical thinking in our country as the people demanded by the Constitution.
If education focuses on promoting spirituality which is universal and common to all religions, and the spread of blind faith can be effectively prevented by creating scientific temperament or critical thinking in people.