Thursday, August 03, 2006

To live for, to die for

Time for some more mental masturbation. This is probably one of the most unorganized posts I've written in a long time, and is purely a log of some of my random thoughts. I apologize for any incoherent and obvious thoughts, platitudes and banalities you might encounter in the post.

I am talking to one of the guys and he seems a little peeved with what he termed an Israeli overreaction. I tell him I don't know about that and that I knew a significant portion of people back home wondering why India couldn't be more like Israel. He then wonders aloud about what will happen to the world next. A tad too facetiously, I remark that nothing much except we'd all kill each other. He wonders who will win. I reiterate, we will ALL kill each other, we will all die. I then make a comment that he seems to agree to; even if we had no religion, no oil, we would still find something to live for and something to die for, something to kill for.

What is it that we would live for, die for and kill for, if, say, religion as we know it did not exist? If there was no oil to fight over? If wealth was evenly distributed?

The answer lies in the fact that some of the worst genocides in the history of mankind have been initiated by or have occured in the guise of organized religion. But what is organized religion at the germinal level? It is just an idea. And as long as we have ideas, we will continue to have something to live for, to die for, to kill for. And as I recently commented on Gandhi on Anshul's blog, the greater or nobler an idea seems, the more fascist it makes its progenitor, a fact history attests to. It brings about varying degrees of intolerance to other ideas or methods towards the same greater goal. Then what happens when the world is filled with this vast melange of ideas and ideals? Is it equivalent to a philosophical and idealogical "anarchy" (probably not the right term to use, because I definitely do not mean a lack of Government, but am struggling to find the best fit)? Maybe. But is that bad? Maybe not, because, unlike in fascism triggered by organized religion this vast melange of ideas ensures that no ONE fascist voice is strong enough to drown out the others. So one of two things happen:

a) The world gets by a with a huge volume of diverse ideas, necessitating tolerance as a key feature of society.

b) The more likely one, judging from historical evidence, unfortunately, is that "lack of religion" will reveal itself to be an unstable state, one that cannot survive for long. So we end up with like-minded people with similar ideas gravitating towards each other, giving strength to fascism and repeating the whole cycle of death and destruction again.

So, at the base level, IMHO, the human race will show time and again that it is only ideas that are worth living for, worth dying for and worth killing for.

As V remarked,"There. Did you think to kill me? There's no flesh or blood within this cloak to kill. There's only an idea; and ideas are bullet-proof."