Circular Arguments and Philosophical Gargling

Last couple of days, I was in this circular, not so productive argument on a post shared by a friend. Usually I try to not post anything on someone else’s post. More ofter than not, I have nothing good to say.
I ignore or hide things that begs me to respond and more ofter than not, I prefer to unfollow the person and walk away. Well, thats not the case when some fellow heathen makes a post and the comment section becomes a playground for people to come and state nonsense.

In 2016, we do not have any excuse for wilful ignorance. Information and knowledge is all around us. More than ever in the history of this world, we can verify, comprehend and judge things after our own experimentation and understanding. It is an amazing age to be in when we split what we thought as the smallest into still smaller and looked up and saw further and more further.

We look up and see galaxies merging, in fact we live in a galaxy which is merging with another. We read graphs that are about 10 cm long and create entire history of two blackholes got merged. We discover, we cure, we learn. We have machines running on or around most of the planets in our star system. Objects made by us have almost left our star system, entering into the “Interstellar space”.

INTER-fucking-STELLAR, do you even comprehend it? Thats between stars. We are greeting the universe. A planet is greeting the universe.

“Hello from the Children of Planet Earth”.

A golden disk on Voyager I has greetings from our planet, in 55 languages, and whale. In Bengali, the recording is: “Greetings from a human being of Planet Earth”
and in Hindi it is ” Greetings from the inhabitants of this world”.

Do you see your religion there? Do you see your country there? No. Any human being who transcended the perspective of smallness, can see one world. A world full of OUR people.

Looking at the world from above was a privilege, it still IS. But now, you do not have to be an astronaut to see the world from above, you do not need to travel towards the outer reaches of our solar system to see the “pale blue dot”. The pale blue dot that encompasses everyone we know, every god we know, everyone who ever lived.

Our perspective has changed, from being a few ants on an ant hill, unable to see beyond a small stone, we became space faring animals who can both look down into the world as a whole and look up at the entire universe as an ever expanding avenue of knowledge. When religions talk about a world that is just 6000 years old we are looking at light that has travelled for billions of years hitting our eyes from long dead stars. We see them, we can study them, we learn.

We are asking questions at a rate that we never saw before. Every day brings for excitement about what are we going to learn today! What will Curiosity dig up, or Juno take a picture of.

So, back to what I was talking about before getting side-tracked, I was in a discussion that went so far away from what was posted. While it didn’t teach me anything new about anything, it showcased how wilfully unwilling are people when it comes to utilising resources that can find them answers. The veritable contempt when talking about “Google”. As a species we are here because of our curiosity, because of our thirst to learn and understand.

When people say ” A book written 2000 or 1400 years ago” gave me answers to all the questions I had, the only thing that goes through my mind is : Your questions are that old.

Those are the questions which we asked then, and in our ignorance, the answers were asserted to an invisible entity called god. The go to answer for anything we do not know.

When we progressed, we took away things from “actions of god” to “this is how it happens”. Volcanoes were no longer pissed off Minotaurs. And how the tides work ( except for Bill O’Reilly, everyone knows how that happens ) and that Poseidon had nothing to do with it. There was no god who sent down lightning. As you can see, progress REALLY means, “Taking things away from god”. Nothing got added to the list of “god does it”. ( Except may be a few placebo cures ).

Historically inaccurate, scientifically non-sensible and totally inhumane, those religious holybooks have survived just because people grew up to cherry pick what they want from it. “How to treat your slave” is no longer valid, but ” How to discriminate against other human beings ” is still in full force. It became books that reinforces your own internal wiring.

You want to use the holybooks to start Crusades and Jihads? Yup. Go for it. You want to use them to live peacefully and happily ? Yup. Go for it. You want to be nice to people and be kind? Yup. Go for it.

Cherry picking the holybook can get everyone find things that they want. ( Lord of the Rings doesn’t claim to be holy, but it can do all these too. 🙂 )

Paraphrasing Hitchens, religion was necessary at the infancy of human civilisation. A tool that controlled people and got them to work together. But just like diapers are not required for a healthy adult, we have evolved out of religion.

If we have shit leaking out, even now it is better to cover it up with your diapers.

Learn.