By Nury Vittachi
Herds of people are flocking to churches and temples, scientists report. Faith groups can expect a 50 per cent jump in growth rates thanks to the financial crisis, New Scientist says.
Why is this happening? Because the rabble seek comfort in irrational beliefs, the magazine indicates.
Ow! Hey, scientists, listen up: the statistics may be right but your conclusion is definitely wrong. People in the banking community are giving each other cash bonuses for screwing up the world economy -– is that rational? I don’t think so.
How about checking out places where people find fulfillment in non-materialistic ways? That’s not irrational: it’s logical in these troubled times.
But there's one thing in the magazine's editorial that I do agree with. "Many psychologists now see irrationality as the default state of the human mind," it says.
At last, scientists have caught up with the rest of us. Life is strange, bizarre and irrational, and human thought-processes even more so.
The fact is, life IS full of questions, big and small.
Here are some common ones that are pondered over in Internet forums, or listed in my notebook:
Is there a God?
Why do men have nipples?
Which came first, the egg or the bacon?
When police arrest a mime, are they still obliged to tell him that he has the right to remain silent?
When it rains, why don't sheep shrink?
When sign makers go on strike, is anything written on their signs?
Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
Why do they sterilize needles used for lethal injections?
So many questions, so little time. I asked regular contributors to identify the metaphysical "mysteries of life" that most puzzled them. The things that puzzled readers were not big questions of existence, but mundane puzzles that crop up in everyday activities. I divided them by age and sex.
The top three great metaphysical mysteries of adult male life:
1. Instead of you, there's a fat, balding guy in the mirror.
2. Somehow your bones turn into accurate weather-forecasting devices.
3. Once you get your head together, your body falls apart.
The top three great metaphysical mysteries of adult female life:
1. A one kilo box of chocolates can make a woman gain two kilos.
2. Every bathroom scale ever made is inaccurate.
3. You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks two sizes.
The top three great metaphysical mysteries of young male life:
1. Most of the questions women ask have NO RIGHT ANSWERS.
2. You can keep vomiting long after you think you have finished.
3. Girls want you to pursue them, but as soon as you seriously get into the whole stalking business, they call the police.
The top three great metaphysical mysteries of young female life:
1. Ex-boyfriends are like attacks of toe fungus, they just keep coming back.
2. Although you know that nothing new will have materialized you keep returning to the refrigerator.
3. Even guys who have no fear of bungee jumping or watching horror movies are terrified of making a phone call.
Okay, so I'll admit that the great mysteries of life that most puzzle readers aren't really that deep.
But if any church or temple has the answer to them, drop me a note. I don't mind the fact that my left tibia forecasts rain, but I'm anxious to get that fat, bald guy out of my mirror.