Sunday, 25 February 2007

Inferiority

Photo: Scylla's last batch of pups

My partner, Warren, said something which lead me to the title of this blog post a couple of days ago.

He was talking about a friend of his, and expressed shock that the man had been a member of the Transvaal Rally Team in his younger days.

I wondered aloud why he was shocked-I mean, that's hardly equivalent to being Nelson Mandela or the Pope or someone, is it?
I guess Warren was just amazed that someone close to him was, in even a small way, a kind of celebrity.

What the hell is it with us South Africans and celebrities?

A host of a minor, not-very-good television magazine show becomes a VIP for gossake.We're starstruck and no mistake-even to manufacturing our own stars.

I have very little truck with cults of personality, and this probably just reflects my somewhat bolshy attitude toward authority.
But even I have caught myself - more in the past but still occasionally now when I'm not watching - making the assumption that such-and-such a person is more intelligent, has better spirituality or a better outlook on life than me-is in fact a better person than I am.

This is really a lot of rot.

Surely, we all have our competencies, core or otherwise. Some of us have way more experience in certain fields than others and should be listened to with a degree of respect.
But the idea that the ubiquitous somebody in charge will be keeping the world on its tracks, so to speak, is utterly false and surprisingly common.

Most of us think we could do a better job in some respects than our elected leaders, for example.
But most of us are still happy to either correct them from the sidelines or look for somebody else to be in charge.

The feeling that somewhere, somebody or some bodies know what the hell they're doing is a fallacy which probably has a Latin name and can be found in one of those online glossary of terms that Atheists like to keep and refer to in debate, but I'm choosing to call it the God Fallacy. After all, the Great Psycho in the Sky must know what's going on-He's omniscient, isn't He?

This fallacy gets filtered down to our regard for our fellow humans. Some are closer to God in their knowledge and understanding, after all.

Aren't they?

Actually, no.

I have a cognitive level which is greater, higher,better than that of 95% of humans.There is no way that most of the authority figures I am used to relying on-government, doctors of philosophy,medical scientists,cosmologists - have a greater potential grasp on things than I do.Some of them have just been practising longer, and some of them are better at dissembling about the quality of what it is they know.

In the end, this is one of the prime reasons I'm a NeoPagan of sorts today.
I don't know it all.But then, neither does anybody else.

We're in this together, and that's all good.