Monday, August 15, 2011

Heresy is the Best Policy: Why The World Needs Heretics (Part 2 of 2)

The world needs heretics. If every philosopher, every writer or every artist agrees with what’s generally accepted, society will never progress. If no one dares to be a heretic, there will be no improvement for humanity. The most obvious example is in science: If every scientist simply accepts the established paradigms, no research will take place. So why call yourself a scientist if you do not seek to improve, augment or even challenge the accepted paradigms? Similar questions could be asked for other vocations: Why call yourself a philosopher if all you do is simply swallow and restate the prevailing philosophies? Why call yourself a writer if your main goal is just to appease the powers that be or to elicit a positive reviews? And why call yourself an artist if you are afraid of offending the sensibilities of the public?

Any proper PhD is a PhD is heresy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Heresy is the Best Policy: The Value of Heresy (Part 1 of 2)

The great Clarence Darrow once said, “To think is to differ.” This truth implies that those who cannot disagree cannot think. Independent thinking is the only kind of thinking there is; to unquestioningly embrace opinions handed down ex cathedra is to abdicate one’s sacred right to think.
More importantly, the fact that thinking is differing implies that those who do not tolerate dissenting opinions do not tolerate thought. If disagreeing against orthodoxy is turned into a wrongdoing then the act of thinking is effectively criminalized. To require a group of people to think in the same way and to have the same opinion on important matters is to stifle their right to think, it is to make intellectual zombies out of them. No matter how intelligent a person is, this intelligence will mean nothing if he will allow himself to be the slave of a hive mind.
We can therefore restate Darrow’s words in the following manner: To think is to be a heretic.
This is perhaps why Roman Catholics who are for the RH Bill are effectively branded by the CBCP as heretics. Apparently, using one’s brain automatically excludes one from the Communion of Saints, if the bishops are to be believed. Perhaps this is also why Filipino secularists are heretics. In a country where the violation of church-state separation is “standard practice”, only those who think on their own manage to see the Catholic clergy’s practices for what they really are – acts of corruption, greed and abuse of undeserved power.
The said facts force upon us the following conclusion: Heresy is the best policy. I therefore urge everyone who values truth to be heretics! In other words, think! After all, everyone worthy of some consideration was a heretic. Only heretics change the world; without heretics, human history would be a never ending Dark Age.
Clarence Darrow. What that fierce face is saying: "I want YOU to be a heretic!"

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Love as a Candle-bearer

If you don’t have anything bad to say about a person, then you don’t have anything to say about him at all. To know a person is to know him in his worst.
More importantly, you cannot say you love a person until you have seen what is most wretched and ugly in him.
Therefore, to those who love, do not be blind to what is repulsive and despicable in the one you love. They say love is blind; I say love sees everything. And love wants to see everything because to love a person is to love totally. There is no other kind of love.
And to those who wish to be loved, do not hide from your potential lover what is most repugnant in you. A person cannot love you until you have shown him all the skeletons in your closet. If someone shuns you because of what is worst in you, then that person does not deserve what is best in you.
But then they also say love is accepting a person for who she is. Again, this is not true. What is love for if it does not make you a better person? It is a worthless love that does not turn your worst weakness into your greatest strength.
So the next time the candle-bearer that is Love knocks at the door of your skeleton-filled closet, do not bother tidying it up and welcome Love at once! It is, after all, Love’s sacred duty to go to the darkest recess of a one’s heart and flood it with some light.
Love, like Friendship, can strengthen and empower you in ways you can seldom fathom. 

About the Blogger

My photo
Quezon City, Philippines
Pecier Carpena Decierdo is a male specimen of the primate species homo sapiens. According to Pecier, one of his main goals in life is the justification of his species’ name. Close proximity to his most preferred carbon based life form, Rose Anne, causes Pecier’s brain to become saturated with phenylalanine, and being with the said Rose Anne is also known to bring about attacks of involuntary spasms called “laughter” in Pecier. Aside from Rose Anne, the subjects “philosophy”, “science” and “literature” are some of the other things that fire up his libido. He has so far survived twenty-two roundtrips aboard his home planet and he has no intentions of quitting soon.

Venerable Verses

The cloud-clapp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,

And like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind: we are stuff

As dreams are made on; and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep.

-William Shakespeare, The Tempest-

Comment Box

  ©Physics, philosophy and phantasmagoria. Template by Dicas Blogger.