False security blankets

"Will you all stop copying and just listen! Copying only gives you a false sense of security!" said my economics lecturer. Blame it on my junior college's policy on not distributing any photocopied notes. Lecturers would slide one transparency after another across the screen. If I ever put down my pen to take a sip of water, I wouldn't be able to copy everything.

Some people learn better by copying, but many of us certainly didn't. We didn't understand what we were copying but copied in the hope that we might be able to understand it when we read what we copied when we got home. We also feared that if we didn't finish copying, we might miss out some important points and have gaps in our understanding.

But the lecturer was right. Copying only gave us a false sense of security. Having our notes in all its completeness wasn't going to help us pass or let alone ace our examinations.

Throughout our lives, we are constantly being challenged by many false security blankets, such as complete lecture notes, paper qualifications, the laws deter potential offenders, the notion that God will take care of us, men giving women security, etc.

Paper qualifications are just paper qualifications.
Penalties in the penal code only punish the offenders and bring them to justice. Although we are told that they serve as deterrents, we all know that they don't work on the mentally unsound. That's why we call it the justice system, not crime prevention.
God helps those who help themselves.
"Many a woman has married in the belief that her husband will give her the security she needs, only to find that he gives her the security of a prison."- Dorothy Row in her book Why We Lie.

It's time to give up those false security blankets - just like Linus in Peanuts should have given up his drooly security blanket a long time ago.

You think am I disillusioned? Being disillusioned is better than believing that the illusion is real.


Anonymous said...

For egs God and Religion! Are these considered false security blankets?

False or not, I consider these necessary for us (or most of us) mortal humans!

So let it not be said that false security blankets of whatever nature are unnecessary. Its only detrimental when one is blind to all other possibilities and over-depend or over-rely on these false blankets without using some common sense.

silli cat

Anonymous said...

Totally agreed.

I once read a short article on how people visting a foreign land will start taking photographs the minute they set foot on it. They are so busy doing it they never had the chance to fully experience the place, the sights, smells and sounds.

Their memories of the place are confined to the pictures and will fade in time. But if they had taken time to remember what the felt at that moment, I'm sure their memories would have been alot more powerful.

I reckon that is also a type of false security blanket?

Dave C

Yu-Kym said...

silli cat, people who think that God will somehow help them to do well in their career, studies or take care of their health and relationships are fooling themselves. For such people, God and religion are detrimental for them! Belief in certain religions require people to believe blindly, ignoring all use of common sense.

Dave, I agree that's a false security blanket too!

David said...


You take security blankets for quite the ride.

I agree that notes for a university student might be a source of false security when the student does not understand or know how knowledge is applied.

Your mentioning of laws not being a deterrent to mentally ill people is an ill-mentioned application of where the law works. Mentally ill lawbreakers are the exception to the rules.

There is truth when marriage is concerned. People who marry alcholics, drug addicted partners or abusive partners thinking that they can change their partner are not only clinging to a false security blanket, but also are delussional.

About God and Religion silli cat/

Cases of miracles are well documented and beyond the ability of science to answer.

That is why they are called miracles.


If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world
can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made
for another world.

-- C. S. Lewis

Anonymous said...


If not for God or religion, I would have been all jittery jelly eg before and during sits for major examinations. I am a non-believer but hypocritically I prayed to the all mighty before the exams to seek support. But without this almighty's "false security blanket", I would not have been able to go through the required studies and sit in the exam hall calm and collected each time!

Ridiculous as it seems to you (and me too lol) with my reliance on this so called security blanket, how can this false blanket be detrimental to me when I know for a fact that without it I would be worse off in my mental state?

Before I travel, I pray to the Goddess of Mercy too to bless my trip. It again gives me the assurance and the calmness to "falsely" lol believe that things will go well without any major disasters. After my trip, I thank Her. lol So far she has never failed to protect me.

The fact that praying makes me feel this good, how can it be detrimental even if I know it is a false blanket?

silli cat

Yu-Kym said...

silli cat, but you had the common sense to study for your exams and take safety precautions when travelling, don't you? Prayer and the sense that God is taking care of you only help to calm your mind (there are other ways to do that) to behave in an appropriate manner. But when people think that prayer has more power than that, it will only harm them.

David, I agree with your point about marrying alcoholics.

Anonymous said...

Of coz Yu-Kym, if one doesnt put in the effort, there is really nothing to be said for such foolishness and stupigdity!

But where is it for certain in this world that with all the effort and precaution one takes, things will work out well?

That is why although I do not have a religion nor actually believe there is such a thing as an almighty omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omni-everything being, I still sometimes pray to provide me that security blanket. It may be false and deluding but where is it detrimental to me if it provides me with that sense of assurance and security to go about my tasks without worry.

Only the very very strong would pooh pooh this. But how many of us are? Very very few.

When you smell Frangipani or rotten something, or you feel a presense...you might not pray because you are strong. But if that something actually presents itself and its evil, and nothing in this logical and physical world can help you, I'm not too sure you will not turn to the supernatural and appeal for divine protection.

When one's love one hovers close to death, many times touch and go in the Critically Ill Ward for days on end, I wonder if the pressure, worry and sorrow will eat into one so much that even a prayer to the almighty will not give one some relief! Even if its a false security blanket!

Yes when people think prayer has more power to do miracles and do nothing else to facilitate matters coming to a desired end, then I agree it will only harm them. But this conclusion is quite obvious.

What is not quite obvious is the beneficial effects of false security blanket to the average person. Illusion or delusion, one needs all the help we can get when one is in deep deep trouble. lol

silli cat

Yu-Kym said...

Religion has ostracised people, ruined relationships, brought oppression and death, caused parents not to believe their children who say they'd been molested by religious leaders, etc. Religion has been a comfort for some, terrified people into doing good, made people devote their lives to help others, etc. In the larger scheme of things, is the illusion of religion really good for mankind? I can't conclude that it is.

David said...


We part ways here. True much evil has been done in the name of religion. However the perpetrators of such actions are fakes.

Far greater evil and harms has been carried by those who have no belief in relgion. Millions were murdered by Stalin, Mao, Pol-Pot, and others in the name of the state or political belief system.

U.N. peacekeepers have been frequently caught and accused of raping the women they were sent to protect.

There is no perfect system, and people are at root of truly evil acts, fortunatley while a few carry horrilbe acts noticed by the entire world.

The large majority of people live side by side without any desire to hurt ones neighbour.


I often wonder if my knowledge about God has not become my
greatest stumbling block to my knowledge of God.

-- Henri Nouwen

Anonymous said...

Yes Yu-Kym,

Religion has its detractors, I for one. But to be objective, I must also credit religion for the beneficial effects of its "false security blankets".

silli cat

David said...


You stated; "But when people think that prayer has more power than that, it will only harm them."

This is unsettling accept that we know Yu-Kym is a former Catholic and from this appears to show some anomosity.

Prayer do not control people, God does not control people. Most if not all Christian's believe that on of God's greatest gifts to human kind is our free will and God leaving it to the individual to choose between good and evil choices in life.

Prayer is the means of opening and developing a dialoque with our Creator.

[edit] First person mental prayerMental prayer is a form of prayer whereby one loves God through dialogue with him, meditating on his words, and contemplating him. It is a time of silence focused on God and one's relationship with him. It is distinguished from vocal prayers which use set prayers, although mental prayer can proceed by using vocal prayers in order to improve dialogue with God.

Prayer comes in many forms.

Even something as simple as a request for help by simply praying - "Lord please help me."

Prayer comes in other forms;

Mental prayer is recommended in the Catholic Church as a source of spiritual strength and according to Saint Alphonsus Liguori "all saints have become saints by mental prayer".

Second person prayer;
Prayer has been used to provide a sense of hope, perseverance and strength to others, knowing that they are being prayed for. In this case, the person performing the prayer notifies the beneficiary that the prayer is taking place. For instance, Pope Pius XII said of the Venerable Gabriele Allegra’s attempt to translate the Bible to Chinese:

“Tell this young priest that he has my special blessing and that I will pray for him every day. He will meet with many difficulties, but let him not lose courage. Nothing is impossible for him who prays, wills and studies. I shall not live to see this work completed, but I shall pray for him in heaven”.

It took Gabriele Allegra 40 years to complete the translation of the Bible (given two wars and a revolution while he was in China), but he finished it a few years before he died in Hong Kong.

Prayer has to be more than mere recitation of words, or mechanical prayer. Real praying comes from the heart and soul of the individual.

Prayer is often wronged when people claim, wrongly so, that what they pray for did no occur.

Praying is a two way dialogue, and often when one prays for something, just like a child is not granted everything a child wants from parents, the Lord will anwser us No!

Yu-Kym, I can only surmise your Religous education was incomplete.

Statements like the one quoted at the opening of this comment reveal gaps in you knowledge about the Catholic Church.

I wish you well and only ask that your due diligence is carried out before writing rash statements.


Human salvation demands the divine disclosure of truths surpassing reason.

Thomas Aquinas

Yu-Kym said...

David, I read what you wrote and that's consistent with what I was taught.
My belief now: prayer can have a calming and motivational effect - but it's just mental.
Prayer a not a dialogue with anyone but yourself.
A person who prays more often doesn't have more graces or advantages than other, but he may appear more calm and do the right thing because of mental serenity.