19 August, 2006
New Lights 2 is a little different from New Lights-1... in the sense that the issue I wish to speak about is a little more important and murkier. I don't even know where I stand on some points. Still, I'll try and think about the issue in a way opposite to which I normally do.
Whatever lights we have, the need
Is for more of the same breed
We want new insights,
And far fewer fights
Enlightenment of our thought and deed.
About New Lights-1 (and I've renamed it that)
I wish to make some clarifications: I was just giving the example of intelligence. I could just as well have considered cheerful girls, or something. I have to make some unnrealistic categorisations... but the main point is in the two partners "clicking". I just wanted to say that shallowness in looks isn't the only shallow thing men show.
About the astrology post: Do look at the links. They clarify a lot of things. Also, read my psuedoscience post here. :-)
Too Much Freedom?
This post is about the Danish Cartoons Controversy. I support the complete freedom of speech, but I think the other side has a point too. A VERY informative page with excellent links and references is the wikipedia article about it.
Crazy Dane, Crazy Dane,
What are you doing?
I have no restrain
So I am cartooning.
Protesting Muslim, Dear boy
What thoughts are churning?
Not thoughts, only riots
And flags are burning.
A Danish newspaper published satirical 12 cartoons in 2005 about Islam and terrorism. A huge worldwide protest ensued, with people speaking of a "clash of civilisations". But the real question is whether we should value the freedom of speech more than the effect of it upon people who are hurt by satire.
The cartoons made fun of Islam... and they generalised. All muslims aren't terrorists. And Muhammed certainly did not preach terror. Anyway, the main point I want to make is not about Islam.
Do we have the right to publish anything we want, even though we know it may hurt a community? Can't a government interfere in such matters to curtail the freedom of speech?
Those who have read, learnt and understood western ideologies (like me, when not looking for new lights ;-) ) hold that freedom of speech is the about as high and holy one can get in human rights. But what when a race, community, or religion is affected and hurt by this very right? Clearly, we need to demarcate the what is valid and what is blasphemy when this happens.
But there are doubts that some communities may grow ultra-sensitive and any protest will easily curtail our fundamental right. That is a valid argument. But insensitivity to a community's sentiments will only make matters worse. Ultimately, we must let society decide. The cartoons caused a rise in the anti-West sentiments inthe Middle-East. This leads to a divide between two "civilisations", and helps extremists.
Instead of Satire, we must use our rights to ensure that the "East" and "West" come together, and trust each other. I'm talking to both Muslims and Westerners. Speak up, make your voice of freedom, trust and peace be heard. Let us not distrust each other.
P.S. The Middle wasn't all that nice in it's protests either. 130 people died, flags were burnts, and there were calls for assasinations of the cartoonists. Peace is right, violence, murder, disrespect to any national flag, is wrong.
The post ended with an unrealistic-seeming Utopia-like statement. I hope it is not too unrealistic, and the East and West trust each other in the near future.