Saturday, January 02, 2010

Freedom of expression

How much of it we really need?

Kurt Westergaard, the Danish illustrator widely regarded (in West at least) as a defender of free expression, is again in news; some religious fundamentalists have managed to broke into his heavily fortified house. For centuries, critics have been expressing their thoughts freely on the matters concerning arts in general. People start making political caricatures even in Russia-a country where very life is seemingly under the control of beaurocracy. Yet religion remains something so sensitive to millions of dogmatic followers.What makes it immune to any forms of criticism and scrutiny?

Years of living in India-a country that boasts as secular with national holidays reserved for almost all religions in earth (Christianity, Hinduism, Islamism, Sikh, Buddism, Parsi...and so on), and in Japan where majority have no religious affiliations and has no national holidays reserved for religious holy-days; I honestly believe that religion is the stupidest invention mankind has ever made and it is for the bunch of ignorant idiots who cant think with integrity. Would you need the fallacy of i-am-right-others-are-wrong sorta preaching to denigrate the society morally? Let me quote from the founders of two major religions of our time and you will know what is meant:

Jesus Christ, talking to Jews about their God, in John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” This is one of several chapters in the Christian Bible that can give a scriptural foundation to Christian anti-Semitism. The first part of John 8, the story of “whoever is without sin cast the first stone”, was not in the original version, but was added centuries later. The original John 8 is a debate between Jesus and some Jews. In brief, Jesus calls the Jews who disbelieve him sons of the Devil, the Jews try to stone him, and Jesus runs away and hides.

Muhammad, quoted in Hadith of Bukhari, Vol 1 Book 8 Hadith 427: “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets.” This quote is attributed to Muhammad on his death-bed as a warning to Muslims not to copy this practice of the Jews and Christians. It is one of several passages in the Koran and in Hadith that can give a scriptural foundation to Islamic anti-Semitism, including the assertion in Sura 5:60 that Allah cursed Jews and turned some of them into apes and swine.

Just consider how many murders, riots and terror bouts we can avoid just by turning into irreligious? How efficiently, industriously and creatively we can harness our mental and physical resources (yeah, go to Japan and see how efficient a society they really are) if there were no such thing called religion? Religions have no ears to listen to, no room for self improvement and that is their biggest problem.

I discovered it way back in 2004 that a religious faith, with a name having a religious tag is the first thing I should trash if my purpose of living is to be a good individual at the same time, have a deep sense of humility. Happily irreligious, I am a profound libertarian and I'll always be.

1 comment:

Marlon said...

Hi friend, It's my first time to read your blogs. I appreciate how unreserved you are in expressing your thoughts. I still have to read your other posts, though, so I can have a fuller picture of your worldviews. In our few meetings I felt you are a nice person to be with. I want to know you more so would you mind if I ask you to elaborate what you mean by calling yourself a "profond libertarian"? I am interested to know how far you take the principle of liberty in terms of what you would consider to be "wrong" and "good". I assume you have certain parameters for "wrong" and "good" because you criticize and uphold ideas. Could you consider posting your views along this line? Thanks Flex.