June 22, 2013

Irrationality, ghosts and gods

Thousands of workers at a garment factory in Bangladesh stopped working and rioted earlier this week, demanding that a ghost be removed from their building. The problem began when a female worker said she felt sick and attributed her condition to "an attack by a ghost" inside a toilet in the women's washroom.
According to news reports, more than 3,000 frightened workers at a plant in the city of Gazipur protested, with dozens of them vandalizing the factory before police used tear gas to quell the riot. 
Whereas American ghosts aren't typically thought of as spending a lot of time in the bathroom, in the Middle East and Asia, the idea of a ghost or spirit haunting a toilet is not uncommon. For example, genies and other spirits are said to dwell in many places, including toilets and sewers, and Japanese folklore tells of Hanako-san, a spirit that resides in women's bathrooms.
So, does belief in gods have something to do with all this irrationality? Why, yes it does!
The belief in ghosts is widespread among the largely Muslim Bangladeshi population, and it is not uncommon for accidents and illnesses to be blamed on evil spirits.
There are no gods, there are no ghosts. But there are a lot of ignorant people. Funny thing, though. If you just wipe the idea of gods out of your minds, all the demons, ghosts and witches disappear too. Imagine that! I wonder if there's a connection. Nah.

No comments: