Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Beyond Belief

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Beyond Belief

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Beyond belief

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An editorial from the Prince George Citizen, published April :

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rolled up his sleeves during an interview last week.

Canadian scientists were outraged.

Not only did he have the tell-tale marks of cupping of his arms, he was pleased to talk to the interviewer about it.

U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps and various other swimmers at last summer's Olympics had odd dark circles on parts of their body, produced by a suction cup. The idea is that these machine-produced hickies pull blood to the surface and help with various physical ailments.

Like most homeopathic remedies, there's no scientific evidence to show cupping works, hence the outrage from the scientific community. After all, how can the prime minister say he supports the work of scientists and then subscribe to a health regime that has no scientific basis?

Both Trudeau's actions and the reaction of many Canadian scientists speaks to the status of belief in modern culture. Beliefs are personal and whether they are scientific, religious or political in nature, the stronger those beliefs, the more personal they are.

Unfortuately, belief has become increasingly black and white, wrong or right, with us or against us. Finally, belief is increasingly used as a crutch to reject contradictory facts, as if the very act of believing is licence to be close-minded and diminish truth.

Take Christy Clark, for example.

She is unfairly getting pasted online for her response to a woman who bluntly informed her that she would never vote for her. Clark's response was as quick and dismissive but it wasn't wrong. She has the right to turn away from any voter, any time she wants.

John Horgan was also confronted by a voter this week and his response - blunt and confrontational - was as correct and appropriate as Clark's.

What Clark said to reporters afterward, however, is what deserves condemnation.

"She says she didn't vote for me last time and she's never voted Liberal and she never will, and she's not going to vote for me again," Clark said.

The problem is that's not what Linda Higgins said.

What she did say - and the video proves it - was "I would never vote for you. …

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