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Reason is not Destroyer                                                 9 Nov. 1998

By Pavel Kollar

It seems that the choice offered today is between nothing and something. Nothging can be interpreted as 'unimportant wagging of ideas that can amuse the brain but cannot harm anybody' and something as 'seriously important, deserving sacrifices to be kept'. The choice between the two calls valuation and the result of decison is value. And this happened also in remote past when the value of the faith was set so high that sacrificing reason and sentencing it to death was felt as best satisfaction of church's need for primacy and exclusitivity in the field of moulding of soul.

Today, the same authority who sentenced the reason to death in the past recognizes that the victim was in reality not so wrong and is even proposing it for refreshing and revitalization of the old religion. In communists' terminolgy this called "rehabilitation"(sometimes post-humously) of victim or "spreading of ash over own head"(something as asking forgiveness) by the authority. One can argue this is the way of learning immanent to human beings. Trial-and-error. But were those who were sentenced in accord with "rule" all victims of slowly learning process of authorities or of something else?

I think preaching of original texts without interpretation, condemning the different viewpoints and calling for blind loyalty on mass meetings cannot be called neither learning nor communication but much more as a monopolization and colonization of souls of individuals and creating negative attitudes against those who has different oppinions. The question by learning is 'how does it function?'. By indoctrination there is no question at all, one have only to follow. Possible the word 'nihilism', that is used today to demonizy some Japan guru's is wrong on the place because they can preach 'nothing' as highest value but they in reality offer 'something' in the form that their authority is a heavy thing. But this is not learning. And the same is offered today: authority instaead of learning, the difference being only in magnitude.

And here is the proof that this is only an authority: if science will stay out of moral controll it will become "the potential destroyer of the world". So, Galileo is respoinsible for Hirosima. It is true that Galileo created the tool but he has not used it. The one who used it calls aouthority, equally whether backed by Bible(Old or New), Koran or Communists' manifesto. Galileo was only a poor servant of the authority because this was the condition for his survival. Then possible the truth is that Biblical rules and the modern tecnology are the most dangerous combination. Have Ayatollah Homeiny had atom bomb a decade before(all other conditions given) would he had hesitated to throw it?

The appel is on scientists and philosophers to be believer. They are already. All people are believer. Belief is set down genetically or by God or Liberty, or .. But what authorities cannot understand is that the beliefs can have different content. There are great beliefs and many small ones that are institutionalized but how many are there that are not institutionalized. Isn't it time to Galileo to create own rules and own 'church' ? Possibly this will accelerate the learning process.

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                           ©Copyright 1998 Pavel Kollar