“The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holder’s lack of rational conviction.” – Bertrand Russel
In March, 2013 I started this blog and the very first post was created today three years ago. This blog is three! This makes me feel proud. There’s something about this blog that makes me feel like I can achieve whatever I want. I did not imagine that I would still constantly update the blog three years later at the time I started it, but I have. At that time, I felt I needed something to hold on to; something that would have my name on it and that was it. But it is different now. I fell in love with it. It has become a part of me.
I was thinking about burning. I was thinking about burning because yesterday I saw gruesome photographs of human beings burnt to death. One had his hands up and I imagined that he was pleading with his antagonist to have mercy. I hate to see those kinds of pictures: Pictures of dead people, of a drowned child whose body was washed ashore because the world failed him. Or pictures of burned human beings, their hands stuck mid-air like they are asking God for respite or asking Him to let them into heaven or begging whoever was doing the burning to be human and just… be human for Christ’s sake.
It was a sad sight.
I heard it happened on the 3rd of February and I remember that on the weekend before 3rd February, a house close to where I live got burnt and it was so sad that the house burnt down and left its former occupants shelter-less, now imagine a human being burnt. How heartless do you have to be to pour gas over a living person and burn him to death? How heartless do you have to be and where the hell do you even get the conscience to sleep at night for the rest of your life?
I have heard people say things like ‘some people do not have a conscience,’ but I disagree. We all have a conscience. It is not something that can leave one, I think of it as an organ in one’s body. But the thing about conscience is that even though it makes you feel remorse when you think you have done something wrong, it also makes you feel justified when you feel you have done something right. It is our compass and when a compass has been rigged, it could say North is South and East is West. It is the minds of these evil people that have been taken, not their consciences. I have tried to imagine extremism as a kind of different shade of belief, like, believing in something so much, you are willing to do whatever it takes to sail its idea, but even that seems rational, it is not completely absurd. But what level of extremism drives a person to burn another person to death? Salman Rushdie, in his controversial novel, The Satanic Verses, that almost got him killed, he wrote, from the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable. Maybe the real problem is not the passion but the holder of the passion. Maybe there are certain ideas that are too acidic for some people to just comprehend smoothly without thinking of it as a means of hurting people. Maybe some types of people are just better off godless after all.
*Thank you guys so much for the past three years, there is no blog without its readers!