September 15, 2012

You Are Going to Be Offended. Now, Grow Up and Deal With It Without Resorting to Violence!

With technology news travels faster and there are many more ways for ideas, events, and whatever else to spread everywhere. It's getting increasingly impossible to remain in isolation any more. Guess what? The world is not made to please us all the time! All the religious fanatics, the ultranationalists, and whomever has a oversensitive disposition should take a deep breath and deal with this fact: they are going to be offended!  

Not all ideas are good or make any contribution except to waste our time and energy, but so it's the deep-entrenched belief that certain revealed knowledge should be unassailable. It is through free exchange, trading, and thinking that we have advanced in the face of the reactionaries who are more comfortable with repetition, ignorance, and mental isolation.

The US ambassador to Libya and others were killed because some idiot in the US, plus idiots in the Middle East showed a video defaming the prophet Mohamed. Same story with the Danish cartoons several years ago. Along the line of the Biblical moral value of punishing someone for the sins of someone else, innocent people are injured, tortured, and killed. Mohamed, Jesus, Apollo, Odin, Buddha, etc, must be happy when the mortals kill each other defending the true prophet's reputation. Otherwise the heavens should have another clear and universally-accessed message of which version is correct and whether the killings should stop.
 A Matter of Confidence
People who have confidence and are mature don't need to use violence to defend their beliefs when offended. We, men, while growing up forming an identity were very sensitive to, say, having our masculinity challenged. Most of us remember getting into fights because someone said something to our face. Most of us adults don't do this anymore, because we are confident, don't need to prove something through violence, and our identity is not invalidated by some idiot's remarks. Right? Yes!

Freedom of expression includes the free circulation of ideas, good and bad, without the fear of punishment. Societies who have experimented with tolerance and free exchange have been more successful, creative, and happier. Ancient Athens gave a lot to western civilization, and not only, while the playwrights made fun of the gods, while the scientists were discovering the world without having to please the secular and religious authorities. 

It's a safer, more rewarding, more practical & beneficial to our lives that we seek to understand the world instead the mind of God. Since the latter has given contradictory messages to different peoples throughout the continents and through millennia, while he is not willing to speak to all of us without intermediaries, in a clear indisputable way, let's just say we can live with offending each other. 

Yes, it would take maturity, confidence, and a rational mind to stop behaving like primitive primates, but we can make a better world for all of us. Unfortunately, keeping humans in a primitive state maintains servility--of body and most importantly of spirit. Who benefits from this? Who benefits when ignorance rules? Who benefits when people live in fear?  I know who is least served by such conditions: the poor, the middle class, the oppressed. 

I understand that once an idea, a practice, or a belief system is raised to the level of identity, amendments are hard to come by. But, we should promote the rational mind instead of the irrational, the prejudicial, and the uneducated. A better world depends on this. 

I'm Offended! Richard Dawkins is Disrespecting Zeus!

We are not advancing our collective civilization the more we stoke the fears and the worst primal instincts of people. We are not advancing if we are forced to respect--under the threat of the death penalty--the attributes of man-made gods who, according to the holly books, are jealous, vindictive, megalomaniac, capricious, dictatorial, genocidal, ethnic cleansers, and insecure when challenged by other gods or humans lacking faith.

Let's just all agree that we're all going to hell--that's what religions say about the other religions--but in the meanwhile we can make it a better world by respecting each other and a person's right to free expression. Ideas don't need rights, people do!


 This is all we've got, and we've been wasting our little spec of time fighting each other about whose illusions are more correct...

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