Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Bright Dream

I have a dream, that one day, we no longer sacrifice life on earth for the promise of eternal life in the hereafter, thereby devaluing life in this world and provide bad reasons for morality. For whom is more moral, the man aiding fellow human beings in fear of eternal damnation, or the man aiding out of genuine compassion? The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. Irrational beliefs divorce morality from common decency, the consideration of pleasure and pain, and justify means to an end. No human shall be used as a means to an end, especially children. Belief in heaven and hell leads to indoctrination of children, for no punishment on earth can be worse than eternal torture. And so infidels have always been seen as servants of the Devil, guiding children to apostasy.

I have a dream, that one day, no more children be indoctrinated in the superstition of their caretakers. The principle of parental rights be destroyed, and the right of every human to be the lord of their own destiny defended. Children are not the property of their parents, but distinct beings with their own needs and wants. To label a child with the ideology of their parents is no less than psychological abuse. Children are too young to take a rational stand on the big philosophical questions of cosmos and morality or to understand the behavioral consequences of adhering to them. Let them learn about different ideologies, presented objectively in an environment of questioning and skepticism, so that when they are old enough they can make up their own mind which to follow.

I have a dream, that one day, we no longer seek reward and protection from some superhuman behind the clouds, but live for the benefit of our fellowmen, to make those we love happy and shield them from the sorrows of life, making the universe a little brighter and more meaningful. How many wonderful people could we know if we sought them out, who are worth loving merely for the fact that we wished there were more of them in the world, and the fact that they give us a reason to live? Too many have blindly accepted religion because they found no love and no meaning elsewhere. No one should need adopt irrational beliefs to feel valued and loved.

I have a dream, that one day, we no longer crown faith, reward credulity, and follow blindly in the steps of authority. Religious authorities treat their followers as children and declare the deployment of reason upon evidence a deadly sin. No wonder that when questions of religion are concerned, people are guilty of every possible sort of intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy. Faith is the most overrated of all proposed virtues, so we should develop our brains by educating ourselves and our fellowmen. Every child has a right to education, and we should fight to protect that right in every corner of the world. Children should learn about the value of critical thinking and truth through scientific education, so that they do not fell prey to irrational ideologies and superstitious beliefs. Let them follow the light of reason!

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