Sunday, December 19, 2004

Book Review

Book I'm reading now (not a law book, since I'm done with exams!!!): Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God. Quote:

"There is nothing shameful about being a butcher. Or a street sweeper, a rickshaw-puller, a woman who scoops cow dung off the street with her bare hands. At least, there had been no shame until now. If a person's station in life is predestined it can bring no dishonor. But if one controls one's own fate, poverty becomes a mark of failure...
India is a poor country, and fate is a comforting doctrine. It lets bent-backed rice farmers and bent-backed garbage pickers maintain their dignity.... in the Hindu view, a man is not a failure for quietly doing the job he was born to do. In fact, he could be no greater success."

This is very logical; if our fate is predetermined, and the gods have decided that we should be street-sweepers, then there is no shame in it, and we can be perfectly happy as street-sweepers and not long to be rich businesspeople with money and good medical care and nice clothes. But does it really work like that? Isn't it human nature to want more than what we have? If we could be content with what we have, how would society progress? If we decided that god had meant for us to live on Earth, and that we should be content with that, then we would never have sent men to the moon.

I like the quote; it is really a nice thought. But I don't think it's true. It's also something that annoys me about religion; every time something really crappy and stupid and unfair happens, someone pops up and tries to explain how it's all part of god's plan and so we shouldn't mind that life sucks because god had a reason for it. They're wrong. Sometimes life just sucks and there's no good reason for it.


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