The Absence of Fear Will Inevitably Lead to Chaos
A good friend of mine passed me a disturbing article today. It tells the story of a vaccine which has been developed that fights sexually transmitted virus which may cause cancer. The disturbing part is not the vaccine itself. The advancement of the sciences of health are almost always good news. The disturbing part is opposition that a program to adopt and distribute the vaccine is receiving. There are numerous arguments some of which I agree with.
Some argue that the tests on the vaccine are not 100% complete. Better understanding of the potential side effects are necessary in order to make a qualified decision on it. They have my moral support on this matter. Others argue that the cost of the treatment is far too high for developing nations. Being a native of one such nation, at 360 American dollars a treatment, I wholeheartedly agree. I would even dare add that even within the United States, under certain situations it would pose some difficulty as well.
All this is well and good, until I got to the part of the article which says: “Some conservative groups complain that by cutting the risk of catching a sexually-transmitted disease, the vaccine would encourage sexual activity in young girls.”. At first I thought I had misread the sentence. I rolled my eyes over it again. Nope. Still there. Then I got angry and started shouting at my poor innocent monitor, who looked back at me with a confused glance. “Why the hell are these people doing this?!”, “They prefer those girls to get sick, spread disease and collectively die?!”, “The moral of the story is more important than saving lives?!” were some of the quick things that came to mind.
After I calmed down, I remembered another organization which functions in very similar fashion: the catholic church. They have an almost identical doctrine. Well, come to think of it, they probably invented it. As a kid, when my mother forced me to go to church. I was less interested in it than I am today. I remember clearly that they did not emphasize the need to become a man of good, or a personal relationship with God, or respect to your brothers and sisters on this earth, or peace with once self. Nope, all of that played second fiddle to the primary slogan: “You gotta do what I say, or you’ll burn in hell”. It’s not for the good of society, or your family, or the people around you. You are in a fight to save yourself, and you are losing the battle! Repent now or face eternal damnation!
Now, keep in mind I was a only a kid. The closest thing to eternal damnation that my feeble mind was able to grasp was getting my behind whupped by my father. I had no idea what these people were talking about. And yet instead of cultivating customs and ideas, simple at first and then progressing over time, that would make me a better man for my immediate society as well as society at large, they just attempted (and failed) to cultivate fear into my “soul”.
What is the relation? Different subject, same approach. Sex is a bad thing! Never mind how we all came to be on this earth. It’s evil! You should never ever ever do it! it’s how Eve got Adam kicked out of the eternal garden (yes my friends, it all goes back to the catholic church again). It’s why people suffer, it’s why you should be punished, and above all in this case, it’s the source of STD’s. Cultivating knowledge amongst the teens so they are aware of the potential dangers and know how to protect themselves? Nah! Explaining what an STD is and how to recognize symptoms in themselves and others? Over rated! Telling them the simple truth: Sex per se is not a bad thing, you just have to do it under the right circumstances? Hell no! Grip their hearts with fear. That’s the fool proof plan!
Ummm… has anyone checked how the rate of teenage mothers is doing? Or the increase in the transmission of STD’s among young people? How about the use of anti-conceptives early and often? Yeah… is it me or are things just getting worse? But since humans naturally fear change, these “conservatives” prefer to continue their outdated ways instead of evolving with the times and feeding this generation the knowledge they really need. Sad thing is that the people with the power to make a difference are paying attention to them and hesitating.
You can’t save the world if you can’t save yourself first. Please my brother and sister. I beg of you. Never let the shadow of ignorance cloud the light of knowledge. It will not shed any positive results in your life or the ones of your immediate surroundings. Never has, never will.