Lying About Lying

Source: Yahoo

Truth is a virtue. Always speak the truth.

So they tell us. Speak the truth at all times, no matter what the consequences. Our elementary and secondary schools are full of instructions to be truthful.

However, the children fresh out of the truthful schools find a different world waiting for them on the outside, and let me say, even inside those schools. Instead of a shock, it becomes a perpetual problem of cognitive dissonance to deal with.

What children and adults eventually find out is that people want to hear lies, not the truth. And the greater a person’s ability to lie confidently, the higher their probability of advancing in life and career, not to mention relationships.

You can easily observe that people who lie confidently can achieve great things in life. See all those political and religious leaders for an example. Oh sorry, I mean, they really are truthful people.

But considering that trend, why fool ourselves by teaching, rather preaching, about speaking truth all the time? Why not cut the nonsensical political correctness and teach our children a skill they can actually use later in life?

We should teach our children to lie confidently in school.

We should also teach them that while they can value truth as much as they want to, people want to hear lies. And if they violate this golden rule, it could result in grave consequences.

Don’t believe me? Try it.

They could even pay with their lives for violating this golden principle.

Let’s stop lying about lying maybe. Only joking.

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Take Morality Out

Artist: Eugene Delacroix (Source: lib-art.com)

The world seems to be exploding all over the place. There simply seems to be no rest, there always is news about something terrible from one remote corner of the globe and there is always something horrible happening in the other. Manmade bad news, I mean, to be precise.

But it was a different world altogether that you were told about, wasn’t it?

It was a different society that you were about to become a part of. It was a different set of values that your parents taught you and it was a completely different code of ethics and morality that you were supposed to follow at the end of the day.

However, what you find happening is completely different. As if there are different worlds existing within the only one that we know of holding life. As if there are different moral standards existing in them.

But that’s true. There are different worlds existing within the only one that we know of.

There are different, several moral standards existing in all of them. With serious consequences.

It all becomes a shock, incomprehensible, wickedness, evil, war, violence, crime, sin, murder, rape, genocide.

Everything seems to fall apart. It seems as if all that you have ever been told was a lie. And that is a fact. A fact of our world.

A world in which several different worlds exist, with several different moral standards.

A lot of things that are told to us about this world, and about this life, are nothing but blatant lies. All things you read in elementary school, all the imaginary ideals, all the myths of the ages and why you should try replicating their clearly senseless, idiotic and pointless impossible heroics, and how you are expected to behave when the other person clearly does not.

It has all been an effort to make human beings a civilized being out of what they really are and will always remain. Animals with destructive instincts and intellect to worsen the destruction and complicate their evolution. Tamed less unsuccessfully by some than others.

Well, even if it sounds most outrageous and ridiculous to you, try doing that. Take morality out of the equation for a moment and you will find that everything would seem to fit in place. You know, the missing piece of the puzzle.

There is no need to care for your neighbor. There is no need to care for people in the remote corners of the world, or even on the streets of your city.

No need to be bothered about genocide and mass murder of a different race, or even your own, as long as you are safe, surviving and thriving. Do not blink an eye on lust-starved men raping a defenseless woman, turn after turn, waiting. There is even no need to cry about the starving children of Africa. Let them starve. It will shorten their misery.

Besides, this explains a lot of other things. Explains why there is so much war, killing and violence around the world. Explains why there is rape, abuse and torture.

Explains why there are religion and politics, which are supposedly there to bring moral justice to the society and actually end up worsening everything.

Why not? They are but merely evolutionary tools. Why not?

Just take morality out for a moment and everything falls into place.

Everything becomes simple, that man is an intelligent animal which would get just about anything it wants by using just about any way possible. It’s just plain and simple.

If there is only one loaf of bread left in the whole world, what do you expect a hungry animal would do to react to it? And how would you expect it to respond to its fellow creatures or to any other creature which is about to pounce on the solitary produce of grain?

How would you react?

Well, probably you would have shared. Probably not.

I took morality out and a lot of things were better to understand.

A lot of things started making perfectly good sense.

Don’t listen to the lies your parents and schools tell you… too closely.

Source: © 1968 MGM/Stanley Kubrick

The Politically Religious

In the English language, the adjective “religious” is used to mean in one of its contexts, to quote Merriam Webster as one of the many possible sources, for being scrupulously and conscientiously faithful, or fervent or zealous.

Well, perhaps the expression “doing or following something religiously” is used because the religious adhere to faith without much reasoning. Similar is the case with some people in the political sphere, who may or may not have anything to do with religious political parties or a religion even (clarifying just because I used the term “religious” in the post, and also to exaggerate the fact that they are perfectly smart folks), but who would adhere to their political parties so religiously that they would even justify the obviously wrong actions that their parties have been resorting to.

And this happens in the case of almost all the political parties around the world, no one singled out. And let me be clear again, it is actions, or say even statements, and not ideology that is being discussed here.

They would justify actions that any sane man would question and would object to, just because of their affiliation with a party. I guess it would not be incorrect if I take the liberty to call them “The Politically Religious”.

They are either not sincere to their countries or humanity, or are more sincere to their political parties than their countries or humanity, which is perfectly fine and rather admirable, and the only way this behavior would make sense, well to me at least.

In either case, their principle, if there is one, is beyond my understanding.

In the end, to quote Mark Twain:

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government (party?) when it deserves it.

Though the last refuge of a scoundrel…

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NOTE: If you have been offended by this post, then let me clarify the fact that if you do criticize your political party for all its nonsense, then this post is not talking about you. If you are feeling offended anyway,  then you may or may not even know that what nonsense your political party is or has been up to, and I am glad that I successfully offended you. Nothing personal though and I support your freedom to uphold your opinion. If you know that you have been at it and have not been offended, then you are fit to become a politician, if you are not one already. I have been as general and discreet in my manner of putting forth my argument as possible. You will find your specific examples when you come across them and will not have to work as hard for finding them as you would have for reading these lines. However, my sincere apologies and respects to the genuinely religious folks, that is, only if you disapprove of suicide-bombers and preaching.

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Faiz’s Word – Dare to Speak the Truth

One of my very good friends, Ahmad Jamal Saeed, who lives in Lahore, the city of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, is a great fan of this revolutionary poet. He shared this link earlier, which is probably his greatest tribute to the people who dare to speak the truth against tyranny and are tried for it.

A tribute to people like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Faiz Ahmed Faiz himself. And yes, to the late Governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer too, who recited his uncle’s revolutionary verse in a press conference about the Blasphemy Law before he was murdered.

To all the Soldiers of Truth.

Update: A very good translation found at Aligarians.com

Let’s go today to the bazaar in chains

The tearful eye, the noisy spirit, are not enough.

The accusaion of the hidden love is not enough.

Let’s go today to the bazaar in chains.

Let’s go with hands waving, intoxicated, dancing.

Let’s go with dust on our heads, blood on our sleeves,

Let’s go to the city our love lives in

Everyone is watching

The city’s ruler, the general populace

The unhappy morning,

The day with no purpose

The arrow of accusation

The stone of abuse

Who else beside us is their intimate friend?

Who now in our beloved’s city is still pure?

Who now is worthy of the executioner’s hand?

Pick up the burden of the heart, let us go heartbroken ones.

We are the ones who have to be murdered again, my friends

When in Doubt, Choose Humanity: On the International Human Rights Day 2010

This is not a political post.

Only non-partisan, objective observations with a Humanitarian viewpoint.

December 10, 2010 is the International Human Rights Day.

 

There are a few things about Pakistan that I like on this day.

  • We have more freedom of speech now than ever before, and more than most countries around the world.
  • A completely independent media to report human rights violations.
  • Although dubbed a radical and an extremist country, there have been moderate and liberal regimes running the country for quite some time now. But due to the political and controversial nature of this factor, let’s drop this one.
  • Someone like Asma Jehangir, who talks about Human Rights, is elected the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association. Without being political, it is an encouraging sign that a human rights activist wins a poll. This clearly shows that people are actually progressive, although projected otherwise.
  • The courage and initiative of Sherry Rehman for proposing amendments in the blasphemy laws.
  • The Supreme Court, whether you like it or not, for taking stand against the corruption in the country, and a lot of other important issues.
  • The government officials taking stand against the death sentence of Asia Bibi, who has been accused of committing blasphemy.
  • Anything else that you can think of and is not in the list.

There are some problems about Pakistan that are still not resolved.

  • The need of a secular constitution.
  • The blasphemy laws.
  • The standard of living of the masses.
  • No intervention from the government in controlling the prices of basic necessities.
  • Basic education, let alone quality humanitarian education, to most of the country.
  • Better health facilities to rural areas and smaller cities.
  • The standard of life in Southern Punjab.
  • The standard of life in Interior Punjab
  • The standard of life in Interior Sindh
  • The standard of life in Balochistan.
  • The standard of life in the FATA.
  • The standard of life in rural areas in general.
  • The law and order situation in Karachi.
  • The unchecked rule of fuedals and political
  • The safety and security of the so-called Minorities in Pakistan.
  • The flood victims still struggling to survive.
  • The flood victims still looking for the promised aid.
  • Lack of tolerance and general humanitarian education.
  • Cutting funds for education.
  • Anything else that I am missing and that you know of.

And finally, that the Government of Pakistan does not look interested at all to make progress in most of these issues, particularly ensuring the access of quality humanitarian education in most parts of the country.

Maybe first they could start with offering them better food and clean drinking water.

But of course, it is not a priority at all.

 

Now, About the World Including Pakistan

There is only one observation I want to make about the Governments of the World.

Not even a single country of the world is really bothered about the violations of Human Rights taking place anywhere around the world. If they really were, they would do something about it.

The Governments of the World are also guilty of not believing in democracy and in “One Nation, One Vote” and accepting an institution like the United Nations Security Council, which, to me, is against the very spirit of the UN.

 

Easy to criticize others of the human rights violations in their countries, but you are guilty of forsaking humanity, when you don’t recognize the human rights violations taking place in your own.

And offering stupid excuses like Patriotism and Nationalism.

Albert Einstein once said:

“Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.”

How true.

He didn’t say that because he didn’t love his country, but because he knew what it could lead to.

If you take my advice:

When in doubt, choose humanity.

 

P. S. Post dedicated to all the people around the world working to help humanity and to improve the living standards of people. You help the world live on.

Mark Twain on the Damned Human Race

I have a guest author on my blog today. On the occasion of his 175th birthday, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or who we know as Mark Twain.

What you are about to read is one of my favorite pieces of literature ever produced, the essay “The Damned Human Race”. All credits to Mark Twain for writing this and since this blog is titled “The Truth Journal”, it does not get truer than having this essay featured on it.

I read it during my graduation classes and I fell in love with Twain’s work. I dedicate this post to Mark Twain and my favorite teacher Nasimullah Khattak.

Since it is classical literature, there is no harm at all in putting the essay up on a blog and allowing people to read it for free, especially when it is the Truth.

 

The Damned Human Race

by: Mark Twain

I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the “lower animals” (so-called), and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. For it obliges me to renounce my allegiance to the Darwinian theory of the Ascent of Man from the Lower Animals; since it now seems plain to me that that theory ought to be vacated in favor of a new and truer one, this new and truer one to be named the Descent of Man from the Higher Animals.

In proceeding toward this unpleasant conclusion I have not guessed or speculated or conjectured, but have used what is commonly called the scientific method. That is to say, I have subjected every postulate that presented itself to the crucial test of actual experiment, and have adopted it or rejected it according to the result. Thus I verified and established each step of my course in its turn before advancing to the next. These experiments were made in the London Zoological Gardens, and covered many months of painstaking and fatiguing work. …

Some of my experiments were quite curious. In the course of my reading I had come across a case where, many years ago, some hunters on our Great Plains organized a buffalo hunt for the entertainment of an English earl — that, and to provide some fresh meat for his larder. They had charming sport. They killed seventy-two of those great animals; and ate part of one of them and left the seventy-one to rot. In order to determine the difference between an anaconda and an earl — if any — I caused seven young calves to be turned into the anaconda’s cage. The grateful reptile immediately crushed one of them and swallowed it, then lay back satisfied. It showed no further interest in the calves, and no disposition to harm them. I tried this experiment with other anacondas; always with the same result. The fact stood proven that the difference between an earl and an anaconda is that the earl is cruel and the anaconda isn’t; and that the earl wantonly destroys what he has no use for, but the anaconda doesn’t. This seemed to suggest that the anaconda was not descended from the earl. It also seemed to suggest that the earl was descended from the anaconda and had lost a good deal in the transition.

I was aware that many men who have accumulated more millions of money than they can ever use have shown a rabid hunger for more, and have not scrupled to cheat the ignorant and the helpless out of their poor servings in order to partially appease that appetite. I furnished a hundred different kinds of wild and tame animals the opportunity to accumulate vast stores of food, but none of them would do it. The squirrels and bees and certain birds made accumulations, but stopped when they had gathered a winter’s supply, and could not be persuaded to add to it either honestly or by chicane. In order to bolster up a tottering reputation the ant pretended to store up supplies, but I was not deceived. I know the ant. These experiments convinced me that there is this difference between man and the higher animals: He is avaricious and miserly; they are not.

In the course of my experiments I convinced myself that among the animals man is the only one that harbors insults and injuries, broods over them, waits till a chance offers, then takes revenge. The passion of revenge is unknown to the higher animals. …

Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity — these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing; they are not ashamed. Man, with his soiled mind, covers himself. He will not even enter a drawing room with his breast and back naked, so alive are he and his mates to indecent suggestion. Man is “The Animal that Laughs.” But so does the monkey, as Mr. Darwin pointed out; and so does the Australian bird that is called the laughing jackass. No — Man is the Animal that Blushes. He is the only one that does it — or has occasion to. …

The higher animals engage in individual fights, but never in organized masses. Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and with calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out, as the Hessians did in our Revolution and as the boyish Prince Napoleon did in the Zulu war, and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.

Man is the only animal that robs his helpless fellow of his country takes possession of it and drives him out of it or destroys him. Man has done this in all the ages. There is not an acre of ground on the globe that is in possession of its rightful owner, or that has not been taken away from owner after owner, cycle after cycle, by force and bloodshed.

Man is the only Slave. And he is the only animal who enslaves. He has always been a slave in one form or another, and has always held other slaves in bondage under him in one way or another. In our day he is always some man’s slave for wages, and does that man’s work; and this slave has other slaves under him for minor wages, and they do his work. The higher animals are the only ones who exclusively do their own work and provide their own living.

Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man” — with his mouth.

Man is the Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion — several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself, and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven. He was at it in the time of the Caesars, he was at it in Mahomet’s time, he was at it in the time of the Inquisition, he was at it in France a couple of centuries, he was at it in England in Mary’s day, he has been at it ever since he first saw the light, he is at it today in Crete — as per the telegrams quoted above — he will be at it somewhere else tomorrow. The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out, in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste.

Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal. Note his history, as sketched above. It seems plain to me that whatever he is he is not a reasoning animal. His record is the fantastic record of a maniac. I consider that the strongest count against his intelligence is the fact that with that record back of him he blandly sets himself up as the head animal of the lot: Whereas by his own standards he is the bottom one.

In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which the other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.

Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh — not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.

One is obliged to concede that in true loftiness of character, Man cannot claim to approach even the meanest of the Higher Animals. It is plain that he is constitutionally incapable of approaching that altitude; that he is constitutionally afflicted with a Defect which must make such approach forever impossible, for it is manifest that this defect is permanent in him, indestructible, ineradicable.

I find this Defect to be the Moral Sense. He is the only animal that has it. It is the secret of his degradation. It is the quality which enables him to do wrong. It has no other office. It is incapable of performing any other function. It could never have been intended to perform any other. Without it, man could do no wrong. He would rise at once to the level of the Higher Animals.

Since the Moral Sense has but the one office, the one capacity — to enable man to do wrong — it is plainly without value to him. It is as valueless to him as is disease. In fact, it manifestly is a disease. Rabies is bad, but it is not so bad as this disease. Rabies enables a man to do a thing which he could not do when in a healthy state: kill his neighbor with a poisonous bite. No one is the better man for having rabies. The Moral Sense enables a man to do wrong. It enables him to do wrong in a thousand ways. Rabies is an innocent disease, compared to the Moral Sense. No one, then, can be the better man for having the Moral Sense. What, now, do we find the Primal Curse to have been? Plainly what it was in the beginning: the infliction upon man of the Moral Sense; the ability to distinguish good from evil; and with it, necessarily, the ability to do evil; for there can be no evil act without the presence of consciousness of it in the doer of it.

And so I find that we have descended and degenerated, from some far ancestor — some microscopic atom wandering at its pleasure between the mighty horizons of a drop of water perchance — insect by insect, animal by animal, reptile by reptile, down the long highway of smirchless innocence, till we have reached the bottom stage of development — namable as the Human Being. Below us – nothing. …

 

The Iqbal Day Post: Pakistan Need to Revisit Iqbal for Inspiration

On this day, November 9, in 1877, Allama Muhammad Iqbal was born. His works had great impact on whoever they reached, particularly the Muslim community of India. Like the undying words of a Philosopher-Poet, his legacy lives on.

The Poet of the East and the Sage of the Nation.

We are good at bestowing titles, but never following what the Great Sage would say.

While Pakistan is in a state of shambles thanks to a morally corrupt mechanism of government and disenchanted masses with a lack of direction, it will not take more than a minute to get everything fixed.

Not more than a minute to find direction, not more than a minute if the intentions were right.

Adversity is not misfortune. It is in fact, the best of the teachers and trainers.

In the words of Nietzsche, What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

However, snap out of false pride, megalomania and blind patriotism. If you need to build a strong fortress, then build on the foundation of honesty, truth and if there is any such thing, justice.

Maybe this is what you need to fly higher, the resistance of a strong gust of wind.

Only struggling will keep you afloat, keep you from drowning.

 

The Words of Iqbal.

طالب علم

خدا تجھے کسی طوفاں سے آشنا کر دے

کہ تیرے بحر کی موجوں میں اضطراب نہی

تجھے کتاب سے ممکن نہیں فراغ کہ تو

کتاب خواں ہے مگر صاحب کتاب نہیں

To the Student

May God Offer Thee a Storm to Fight

A Challenge for the Ship of Thy Effort

Have Ye Time to Ponder, O Reader of the Book

That Ye Read Without Learning

We know everything we need to know.

Do we want to act is the question?

You could keep on sleeping though.

I hope I never wake up after I fall asleep.

Therefore, today

If only for a moment

Revisit Iqbal.