Monday, July 22, 2024


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Being Secular in today’s time:

One of the problems with the English language is words change meaning based on how people use them. Sometimes very quickly and in one’s lifetime multiple time over, in every book I had read literally, meant literal – exactly, not exaggeratedly but people started using literally as hyperbole, I literally died when she told me that so that now the meaning of literally is, literally and figuratively. This is an overused example but not a bad one to establish the base.

The problem starts when we assign morality to word and then the meaning of words change, it is going to leave a lot of people very confused and spare no way to actually have a real conversation because now connotation with the word no longer matches the meaning of the word. So what in turn happens is, we end up changing our moral barometer and thinking that new meaning of the word is bad and that should be shunned and it should not happen.

Let’s take secularism, for instance, now this word has not changed meaning in all parts of India but at least in India, it has, and not for good because it has taken away the ability to have a conversation on it.

Being Secular originally meant not having anything to do with religion. So it made sense for country and country’s constitution to be secular, so to say they do not derive their laws from religious dogmas. It was not usually applied to people but only countries and organization. However, now it’s being applied to individual and if one were to just extend the logic to individual it should be that for an individual to be secular he should not have anything to do with religion. That would basically make any secular individual as an atheist or at least not practicing in any religion. But since the large majority of people in India and in most are countries are religious, that would make a lot of people nonsecular and that falls on the bad side of the moral graph. So very sneakily definition of secularism seems to have gone from nothing to do with religion to respect all religions equally.

On the face of it, it sounds sort of ok. But it’s not, firstly, it seems almost like an inherent contradiction. If I am a religious person and follow one particular religion, I, by, the very definition of religion text think your God is not true or lesser than my God so I cannot respect it the same as mine, I can only claim to. So then any religious person claiming to be secular is just kind of encouraged to lie about his position.

Now you may say, there are few religions like Hinduism and maybe Buddhism which are very open can actually respect other religions so they may actually be secular. But that just means that I respect your religion but not same as mine because other religion would have in them saying that all other God except ours and all other religion except our is wrong so then you cannot respect them without disrespecting your religion. If the religions themselves diss on each other and do not respect we cannot go about respecting them without inherent contradiction.

That covers religious people, so maybe the only way to respect all religions equally is to be an atheist but then if I am an atheist I don’t think any religion is true and my respect for them should be tending towards 0, so then the only way to respect all religions would be to not respect any of them at all, which I don’t think matches current perception also.

Leaving aside the fact that it doesn’t make any sense and it would virtually make everyone nonsecular, it’s just morally wrong. As Sam Harris often says, that if a religion asked that every third boy should be sacrificed and killed we cannot cannot say that’s a good thing and we should not respect that religion. Now the problem if, everyone has agreed that to be secular is morally good, and by a new definition of secular, we would need to support this morally reprehensible act to be secular. So people end up supporting morally bad things to be labeled morally good. So the definition of secular respecting and treating all religions equally is absolute nonsense.

For now, I’ll stick with the old definition of secular, of not having anything to do with religion, by that definition am I a secular, no? Because I do go to temples some of my actions are dictated by religion.  Does that make me a morally bad person, I don’t think so? I am not saying I am fundamentally good and not bad, but that fact alone should not put me on the wrong side of the moral line.

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