This is an attempt to bring into discussions, currently underway, the arguments hitherto not considered or not voiced in the open because there is a general sense of fear of offending the masses, my aim is to discuss those issues that need better elucidation and to bring back the discussion to the basic premises when one is engaged in discussion/debate concerning freedom of speech and expression, and freedom of thought and conscience.
There have been attempts made by lawyers and judiciary to address this issue, progress has been made, albeit slowly and painfully, I am not discounting this fact.
With regards to freedom of thought and speech one must begin the discussion with the sound understanding of the human history, evolution, our place in the cosmos.
The fundamental flaw in understanding freedom is a failure to acknowledge where we come from and how we come about. The discussion always starts without taking into account the natural process of birth, and evolutionary history.
To illustrate my point, I would like to quote Professor Richard Dawkins from “Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder”. “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.” I would highly recommend you to watch this beautiful 4-minute video of the same on Youtube here https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=B94EtOOaoOM
Contemplate this sentence for a few days to understand the gravity of the matter and the extremely unlikely fact of our lives, now that we are here, let us for a moment reflect on that fact, did we choose to be born, importantly, did we choose to be born in a particular geography, di we choose who our parents should be, did we choose what language our mothers and fathers spoke? The simple answer to all these questions is a resounding no.
Now let us consider the history and evolution briefly, human beings have been around since 2,00,000 years in this planet, for much of our existence we did not have a coherent language and we did not have the know how to record what we experienced, the process of civilization is predicated on scientific breakthroughs of one kind or the other, humanity made great leaps because of cooking their food, cooked food meant we had to spend less energy in digesting what we ate that resulted in a surplus of energy which was utilised by the brains for thinking, this is why we are intelligent. The next ground-breaking advances were primarily because of agriculture, domestication, and then group formations, the social structures that slowly emerged had a powerful evolutionary advantage in the form of safety of young, distribution of labour, strengthening of altruism, also increased in group – out group distinction and rivalry among different groups. Somewhere along the line we also stupidly started believing in supernatural entities because we could not explain thunder, flowing water, volcanos, rain, lightening etc., This however is a significant step because that was the first attempt by human beings at understanding the surrounding which we found ourselves in.
Because of the advantage large groups provided, we gradually built civilisations and developed scripts for our languages, the advent of the scripts meant an explosion of transmission of ideas from one generation to the next and also from one civilisation to the other. Large civilisations also brought in the necessity to form social structures and need for keeping, the ones that took unfair advantage of the society, in check, so that society as a whole can be peaceful and prosper.
That is where we must start our question of individual, because till this point, individual had no restrictions, it is because of the social structures that we imposed restrictions on some of our freedoms for greater good, the people make a compromise with their freedoms so as to be happy and lead a life of considerable comfort afforded by being a part of the society.
However, with such social structure, the inherent problem of power vested by the people in few individuals to safeguard the society at large started to erode those freedoms not forgone too, the freedom of speech is one such freedom which was never willingly compromised by the individuals but the rulers gradually eroded that and we have the recorded history as a testament to the atrocities committed because of this erosion.
With this background, one must understand the importance of freedom of speech as a guardian against fascism, oligarchy, and dictatorship.
We had no choice in where we were born, nor did we choose our parents or the language, so it becomes imperative to question our loyalties to narrowly defined notions of states and nations particularly blind following of the people who espouse those narrow definitions of nations, language, ideology etc., At the same time, since we find ourselves in a social structure that should enable us to grow to our full potential but fails miserably primarily because of the greed and fascistic thugs that try to erode our freedoms, we must constantly make efforts to better the society we live in, that is our social and moral responsibility.
Recall the opening lines of “Unweaving the Rainbow”, this is the only chance we get to live a life, we must live a meaningful life, a considered life, a person who is not reflective is no better than a tree that stands for a thousand years without much change.
It is you and me in our ordinariness that need to fight the forces that try to divide us, it is our responsibility to bear the burden of protecting freedom of speech and expression against all those that try to take it away from us. Without that fundamental freedom, our societies will not be conducive to humanity.
So it is up to you and me to fight the current attack by the BJP/RSS and Narendra Modi and his thugs.
Rise India and fight for your the most basic and fundamental right, the right to be able to think, the right to be able to speak without the fear of oppression and persecution.
I am Dr Yogesh D, currently a postgraduate in Anatomy, I studied medicine to help the society, and eventually realised the larger social evils that are at the root of the misery of millions, hence decided to pursue a field where I can educate many young people so that the roots of misery, particularly religion and superstition can be eradicated slowly but permanently. I also intend to pursue a PhD in genetics and neurosciences so that I can do research that will help us understand ourselves better.
As long as you have your morality based in scriptures that tell you that you are doing the gods’ work and the god is on your side, you will never see the end of wars.
The whole problem of Palestine was created by the Zionist christians who wanted to bring back their messiah by placing the ravaged bunch of jews in the most disputed of the lands.
The holy books are not so holy when you actually read them, jesus (whose existence is not historically confirmed) supposed to have said,”Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35″For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW;”
The quran is completely a war manual, 63% of it tells the “true believer” to wage war against the infidel wherever they see the unbelievers. And claims to be the last and perfect word of a god. Absolute in every nature, totalitarian.
The whole gita is a war manual that pushes a human being that refused to fight his own kin, to not worry about the consequences of his actions and go ahead and slaughter every single one them.. The methods supposedly used by krishna are mockery, deception, encouragement threat of punishment..
This makes one with a skeptical brain wonder, what the fuck is wrong with human species, why do they fall in love with the such books more than others that tell you not to kill other human beings?, there is plenty of good literature that is way better than these works of fiction, yet the kinds of works that get into the human brains like viruses are the ones that demand violence and war.
If you analyse the spread of information among the human species, you will notice the most striking feature among the sets of ideas that persist and replicate successfully and get transmitted across generations, it is that these memes end up in pools of synergistic memes (bits of information, just like genes), individually these memes might not survive the test of times because the natural selection does not select the memes that would cause the extinction of the species (altruism — sacrificing ones’ life to save another’s would not be beneficial to the individuals that have this gene that makes them altruistic and would eliminate all those individuals very quickly, probably within one generation, but altruism works perfectly well in conjunction with other synergistic genes that make other individuals reciprocally altruistic, thus establishing a mutual cohabitation that benefits the entire group of individuals, thus making them a very successful in maintaining and increasing their numbers)… The memes also work in a similar way.
Disclaimer– This is my own understanding and my own writing, there is plenty of evidence for what I have written, you may like to read, “The God Delusion”. “The Selfish Gene”, “Ancestors Tale” — All by Prof Richard Dawkins (an evolutionary biologist). “Evolution -3rd edition by Douglas J. Futuyma” — Dr. Yogesh D
The most compelling argument for “No god” is, history, paleontology, archaeology and biology.
If you study history carefully and understand archaeology, add evolution to that knowledge, you can not believe in something supernatural.. What I mean by this is…. In the history books we read how the civilizations came and went and along with the civilizations the gods of those civilizations have vanished, and this has been going on over and over again, new gods are invented and killed off, now keep this in mind and consider evolution of varied life forms on the planet, as far as you can see, no other animal worships or believes in any god, so why do humans believe in such supernatural things? it is because of the crucial differentiating factor between humans and other living beings, the crucial differentiating thing is how the brain works, the propensity or the capacity to form complex theories about the surroundings and to assign causality to events…
This particular characteristic is very useful for survival, so natural selection kicks in and selects individuals who form reasonable theories about their surroundings that help in their survival… The human brain goes on discovering more and more, and explains some things that are easy to understand, and then there are events that happen in his/her surroundings that s/he can not explain, he can’t find any causal relationship with anything else that is around, since the brain is getting good at forming theories, it starts making theories about the difficult events, (the human brain would rather have a conspiracy theory to no theory at all, that is how evolution has crafted our brains).
This is the reason humans invent gods, which again was a slow and gradual process, and this is the reason why you see gods or thunder, rain, light earthquakes and rivers and mountains in all civilizations and tribes, each inventing their own versions and giving these phenomenon a name in their own language… Then all this process goes into hyper drive when the communication between individuals becomes more understandable due to developing language…
Now comes the part of evidence to support this theory, and the evidence is in archaeology and paleontology, and evolutionary biology. So, if you combine all these disciplines you will see that gods were man made so you don’t need to believe in those folklore anymore because science can explain the unexplained phenomena, certainly there are some things we still have no clue about, but we don’t need to substitute god for the unknown because there is no need for it, as our history should make it clear. This is why I say there is no way any supernatural entity exists.
For the sake of those interested I want to make a very small correction to your notion of evolution.
First thing, all living organisms have evolved to the same degree.. It’s characteristics are determined by the usefulness of the characteristic that living organism has.. If there is no rate limiting characteristic to an evolutionary change, it might get preserved over generations due to various interacting factors or it might get lost at some point, the rate limiting ones are the ones that matter in evolution mostly, because, for example, if an evolutionary change means that the organism with that trait lives longer and produces many offsprings, then that will eliminate most of the species which do not carry that genotype, hence it is rate limiting.. others which do not have such rate limiting effect will have no effect on continuation of species, and such will be just evolutionary byproducts, which might be very useful, like language in humans… but that is not a very good rate limiting factor..
And for your information, many animals do have some sort of communicating powers, we just don’t understand their language all the time, we do understand some very faintly, but not all,
And one more important thing is, speciation occurs because of accumulated genetic changes, and these genetic changes are dependent on environmental factors, exposure to radiation, genetic replication and such factors, and contrary to popular belief among theists, it is not just a random and chance occurrence.. and these genetic changes happen differently in different geographic, environmental conditions, that is why we see certain marsupials specific to certain areas and so on.. so based on these changes and evolution by natural selection, we get equally evolved species at any given point in time, but we erroneously favor certain particular characteristics that make us human as the yardsticks to measure evolution. That in my opinion is not correct. Just because we love some things about ourselves like overt reasoning and language does not make us superior to any other living organisms.
My best example would be compare yourselves to HIV, it is highly successful at replicating itself and continuing its progeny and it is ruthless at it, but it does not have any language or thought process, which does not matter to it at all.. not even remotely, it is highly evolved to sustain its replication cycle, there is no need for it acquire language.
I hope this is sufficient.
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