Are humans rational?

When we look back at history we see evidence that humanity, while much more intelligent than other species, is also so often irrational.

For centuries harmless old women, and others, were killed because of groundless accusations of witchcraft, and this still continues in parts of Africa, although the victims now tend to be children. There never have been such things as witches, but so many lost their lives because of this insanity.

Despite the founder of Christianity telling people to love one another, so many, while claiming to be Christians, massacred others of the same faith, and of others, in the name of theological differences. One struggles to understand how on earth they reconciled this insanity with their so-called beliefs in the brotherhood of man. The religious wars of the 16th Century, the Spanish Inquisition, the countless deaths during the Reformation, are all examples of where humans professed one thing, yet did another, apparently unaware of the fact that they were acting totally against the teachings of Christ. Of course, this kind of corruption of a religion of peace is also seen in those other than Christianity.

Hysterical reactions to events reoccur over the years, whether it be to natural phenomena, or even to, as happened in 1938, to Orson Wells' radio show broadcasting a fictional hoax about invasion from Mars. In the early 1950s Joe McCarthy almost overturned American democracy with his lists of those he called Communists, generating hysteria across the nation, despite the fact that he was nothing more than a political chancer, accusing innocent people of committing crimes, without proof, in order gain power for himself.

In today's America there are an enormous number of lunatics who support the conspiracy theory QAnon, a wide-ranging, completely unfounded theory that says that Donald Trump, when President, was waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media, believing that this fight will lead to a day of reckoning where prominent people such as former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be arrested and executed. The number of references to QAnon in mainstream social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube has exploded since 2017, and indications are the numbers have gone up further during the coronavirus pandemic. One outspoken QAnon supporter, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, was elected to the US Congress in November 2021. It's all bonkers, and goes to show that some people will believe anything.

Conspiracy theories have abounded in recent times. Perhaps the most pernicious is that inherited from past centuries, namely a belief that the Jewish people are the enemies of Christ, and have a worldwide organisation aimed at global domination. No rational person would believe this, but there have always been enough imbeciles who have, so that we have seen endless pogroms, followed by the greatest crime of all, the Holocaust.

In the aftermath of the Second World War large numbers of people joined so called peace groups, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, or the moronic harridans of the 'Greenham Common Women' which were based on the totally irrational belief that, if confronted by a heavily armed despotic enemy, the sensible course to follow would be to throw away one's main means of defence. Some years later, and much less pernicious, were claims that the Moon landings were faked.

Now we come to the present day, and, in addition to the lunacy of QAnon we now have those who deny the reality of a world-wide pandemic, despite the millions of deaths it has caused; those who attempt to undermine the vaccination campaign against it, putting forward the most ridiculous of reasons, one of the most absurd of all being that it is all a plot by Bill Gates to take over the world; the madness of attempting to overturn our economies in defence of a false belief that climate change is manmade; the utter idiocy concerning the so called 'trans', resulting in the leaders of one of the main political parties in the UK being quite unable to distinguish between a man and a woman (George Orwell, you should be alive at this hour!); and of course the deranged maniacs of woke, whose activities are set fair to destroy our way of life.

Looking at these insanities in more detail.

The availability of vaccines has been an absolute game changer, as the numbers succumbing to the disease have drastically reduced, while the number of people avoiding more serious illness has dropped precipitately. Yet these idiots not merely refuse to have the jabs, which is up to them, but also try by lies, and booking appointments that they have no intention of attending, actively seek to prevent others having them. In a number of cases people who declared either that Covid did not exist, or that vaccines were pointless, have since died. One wonders if they ever realised their mistake.

That morons can deny the existence of Covid 19 defies all logic. How can they explain the people dying in hospital, or enduring miserable weeks of illness. Do they think that they, or their relatives, are lying?

How much longer must we endure the disruptive, and illegal activities of Extinction Rebellion, and its associated groups, who are doing so much more damage to our country than any minor infringement for which Boris may have been responsible. Their whole campaign is based on a false premise, as examination of the historical, and geological record, shows that the climate has frequently varied in accordance with natural factors totally outside any human agency. Amounts of carbon dioxide, which at 0.04% is almost a trace gas in the atmosphere, have fluctuated quite separately from major climate changes, and indeed it increases as a result of warming temperatures preventing the oceans absorbing as much as hitherto, being a symptom, not a cause. I am old enough to remember rationing, and the insane refusal to use our own energy resources, while relying of foreign imports, means that we soon will face placing comparable restrictions on energy for domestic users. The Greens must be ignored and fracking, and new nuclear power stations brought online, while the still large oil and gas fields in our waters, plus, if necessary, the coal mines, reopened. By all means reduce our use of finite resources of fossil fuels, but on a sensible timescale, and only when true alternatives such as nuclear fusion are in place. A reasonable date would be 2070, when the latter should be ready, not 2030, which is utterly irrational.

The matter of the so called 'trans' is almost beyond parody. We now see a man, Lia Thomas, who has 'transited' to a woman, becoming the first transgender woman to win an NCAA swimming title. Anyone whom dares to question whether such people should be allowed to compete in the women's division after transitioning, is subjected to abuse, and threats for doing so. One of our sporting heroines, Sharron Davies MBE, has revealed that she has been subjected to such threats over her views on transgender women competing in women's sport, when she stated that it was unfair for such women for to be competing against normal biological females. She wrote: "I've received several threats to myself and my work because I present evidence based facts on the unfairness of male inclusion in women's sport. Which is biological sex-based decriminalisation. I will not stop bringing these actual facts into the light or be bullied into silence."

However, Labour equalities minister MP Charlotte Nichols disgracefully congratulated Lia on the achievement, saying "As a former competitive swimmer myself, indeed, I know full well how much training is required for a title like this. Anyone trying to diminish Lia Thomas' achievement because of lazy transphobia should frankly pipe down. Huge congratulations to her." That this nonsense should emanate from someone tasked with achieving equality for women is unsurprising, as Labour spokesmen and women now seem unable to distinguish between the sexes, something most normal people have no problem doing. The giants of the Labour past must be spinning in their graves. What the Chinese government describe as 'Sissy men', desperate to walk around in women's clothes, could discover that the use of incorrect pronouns is the least of their worries, given that Mr Putin is not known for his sympathies to vanishingly small sexual minorities.

Another example of this lunacy is the situation which has arisen at the Putney Tennis Club where the membership form has classed the option for 'female' as 'no longer valid'. The club stated that this was glitch, but, as one of its members says, "someone had to type in "Female (no longer valid)". Thanks to these insane assertions J K Rowling, who should be lauded as a feminist icon, is treated as a pariah for stating in effect that "Women are Women".

I find it impossible to list all the moronic ideas put forward by the followers of woke, as the number grow like Topsy. Friedrich Nietzsche said that "Under conditions of peace the warlike man attacks himself.", and in recent years, we have seen this happen, particularly in the Anglosphere. Those pathetic namby-pamby weaklings infesting our universities, whom are crying for 'safe spaces' might find that there are worse things than statues, and books, to threaten their poor little sensibilities, such as a Russian bayonet.

At a time when we are still attempting to move on from a global pandemic, and there is war on the European continent, many of our political class obsess about cake, and even, a new low, whether Angela Rayner tries to distract the Prime Minister with her feminine charms. This latter is an insult to her, but also to Boris, who is dealing with serious matters, not, as he describes it, 'sexist, misogynistic tripe'. In fact it insults both women and men, and whoever is responsible should be ejected from public life.

All the examples above show that humans are nothing like Mr Spock's Vulcans, as reason and logic are overwhelmed by primitive reactions. In his novel Podrostok the author Dostoevsky put forward the theory that, in the final analysis, human beings do not change their beliefs because of intellectual argument but because they have first become emotionally convinced of the truth of the proposition. Unfortunately this means that those of us arguing from a position dictated by rational thought, cannot debate with these people, our only hope being to overrule them

The last word should go to William Shakespeare when, in A Midsummer Night's Dream Puck says "Lord, what fools these mortals be!"