Vaccines, Tribalism, Goals, and Rosaries

More links today. I’ll eventually have to do another post about pets, as I bought two black gerbils, our mouse died, my boyfriend bought three more mice, and one of them had seven babies. So now we have 17 pets, at least until one dies unless he decides to sell or give away one of the babies. Baby mice are adorable and I would just keep them all.

If you are at all skeptical about vaccines, or even if you aren’t, I encourage you to watch this documentary on PBS. The link allows you to actually watch the video, at least for now. I was quite impressed with it, and I think we should now market vaccines as a form of ancient medicine, because they are. That might go over better with the alternative medicine crowd.

Next is an opinion piece on tribalism. I think the defining quote of the article, upon which the entire post expands, is this: “And if our team is going to win, they imagine, then their team can’t.”

Third is a life hack: don’t talk about your goals because keeping quiet helps you achieve them. This rings true to my experience, as I am always less willing to work on a story idea after I’ve told someone about it. It’s a terrible habit for someone in my position.

Finally, this article illustrates a problem with some forms of religion: lack of falsifiability. That article is a list of 15 promises from Mary to those who pray the rosary faithfully and devoutly. When I stumbled upon that link while doing some cleaning in my bookmarks (so much left to do!), my first thought was that I might be able to turn that into an experiment, see if I actually receive those promises if I pray the rosary. Of the 15, only 3 (numbers 6, 11, and 12) might be verifiable before death. I’ll quote those for reference, but only the promises and not the explanations.

6. Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of Eternal Life.

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.

12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

“Conquered by misfortune” is vague enough that dying of poverty from getting cancer might not count, as long as the person praying the rosary remained faithful. “Aided in their necessities” is carefully qualified in the explanation by “neither excess nor luxury”, so naturally if you are still alive, this promise is being kept. Number 11 seems the most promising, but naturally it has this qualification: “Of course, all requests are subject to God’s Most Perfect Will. God will always grant our request if it is beneficial for our soul, and Our Lady will only intercede for us when our request is good for our salvation.” Pray the rosary for the conversion of your atheist child? Well, that’s not beneficial to one of the souls involved, even though atheists are most likely to go to Hell and be tormented forever, so Mary won’t intercede for that request!

It makes me rather sick.

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