Image-Quotes of Indian Freethinkers.
Great idea!
I'm doing the Javed aktar spirituality quote next, and Geetha's quote later. Can we find high res pics of javed aktar *standing* ?
was reading this article again after sunil mentioned it over at ophelia benson's blog. I think the last paragraph is especially well written and captures the essence of nirmukta. posterizing.
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Gora quotes from the autobiography 'We become Atheists'

Quote:...The concept of god was useful in three ways. Firstly, it provided a ready answer to every question in the form of god's creation and god's will. Secondly, it supplied a sanction for moral conduct in the form of hope of heaven and fear of hell. Thirdly, it could be molded conveniently for any theme of fine arts. A large volume of song, dance, painting and sculpture was produced in the name of god. In spite of its usefulness, the concept of god was a falsehood. Like every falsehood, it corrupted mankind by importing superstition and fanaticism into the belief in god. I concluded that though god was a useful falsehood, it should be discarded as every other falsehood in order to promote truthful life and real social harmony.

Quote:It is a common view that theism, and its opposite atheism also, are concerned with philosophical questions, personal discipline and social conduct, and have little to do with political and economic affairs. That was the case in primitive times when political and economic systems had not developed significantly and religious faith dominated the life of the people. In the modern age, things have changed considerably. Emphasis has shifted to economic and political affairs. The old view is out-moded. To be a real way of life, atheism should concern itself with all aspects of life and especially with economic and political systems because political authority and state law control and regulate social relations more than religious faith does in the modern age.

A historical aside: Gora, besides his political activism, seems also to have been a debunker conducting demonstrations of the sort Abraham Kovoor, a contemporary of Gora, was more famous for. Quoting from the same autobiography:

Quote:As I was a student of science with some wide reading of different branches of knowledge and as I had leisure and held a job which placed me decently above want, I indulged in discussions against superstitions, and accompanied them with demonstrations of simple scientific experiments. For instance, turmeric with slaked lime turns red. When lemon juice or tamarind paste is added to the red substance, it turns yellow again. The truth is turmeric responds to acid and alkali media. Ignorant of the chemical nature of the reaction, mendicants shroud it in a religious garb and present it as a miracle. Similarly, eclipses are not explained in a scientific way, but are associated with superstitious practices in the name of miracles. Miracles thrive where ignorance prevails.
Satyendra Nath Bose:

Quote:"But coming to think of it, do we really believe in what our forefathers had said? For instance, we claim that out feeling of equality for all living things is part of our tradition, yet at the same time defend our caste system as the great solution of the world's problems. There are many who are of this view, inlcuding well-known philosophers who will explain the issue very well. While they generally advocate the four varnas, they are indifferent to the various kinds of spectra that can be produced now which is a modern phenomenon. We are very proud of our Golden Age but we feel reluctant to talk about backward peoples who lived in this very country at that time and the way we treated them. Still, sometimes the truths get exposed. Take the case of non-Aryan Shamnuk during the reign of Rama. The poor fellow had a tough time in Rama-rajya. He wanted to wanted to acquire through rigorous prayer the same things that the Aryans had made use of to develop themselves. As a result, apparently there was a great drought in the land of Aryans, and they decided that such a man should not be allowed to live. Therefore he was sentenced to death, even in the reign of the good king Rama."

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