Morality: God gifted or an evolutionary tool?

Theists claim that morality comes from God alone. And that without Gods morals, there is nothing stopping us from stooping to absolute decadence and chaos. It is kind of sad that one has to explain that being ‘moral’ out of fear of a God is a lot more scary thought, than that of an individual choosing to be ‘moral’ of their own volition, without needing to be threatened with dire consequences.

But what does ‘morality’ mean? Is morality entirely subjective? Or is their some underlying objective cause that shapes our sense of morality.

Kindness, compassion, caring for the young, looking after the injured etc are simply tools that ensure maximum chances of survival of a species

As far as I could think, it appears ‘morality’, or our perception of what is ‘ethical’ or not is simply an extension of our survival instinct. Primitive aspects of morality can be seen practiced by moderate to highly intelligent animals also. Kindness, compassion, caring for the young, looking after the injured etc are simply tools that ensure maximum chances of survival of a species. So perhaps the objective cause shaping our perception of morality is – whatever fulfills chances of optimal survival and helps achieve a higher standard of living.

Morality is an extension of our survival instinct

There appears to be a directly proportionate relation of morality with intelligence. And our perception of morality must have evolved like the other aspects of our civilization, language, architecture etc. The nuance and complexity of this ‘morality’ varying from region to region, culture to culture, and community to community.

While subjective morality varies from individual to individual, depending on the majoritarian view, the concept of a cultural morality must have evolved. The basic moral sense of an individual is influenced by their immediate needs, authority and position of influence they hold. One considered that immoral, which they didn’t want to be done to them. So killing, stealing had to be the first immoral acts. But as said, the moral sense was influenced by the power of authority, there were probably sections of society they were okay with keeping out-of-bounds of the moral code, people whom they didn’t consider equal. (This is also reflected in the tenets of most early religions). These moral or ethical codes was written into law and the  sense of morality imposed by higher authority on the entire community. That is how the system of law and order probably came to be.

In today’s modern-day and age, those primitive notions of morality, as recorded in religious books and backdated constitutions are now obsolete. And sticking to them is regressive. Our sense of morality has to evolve like other aspects to continue serving the prime objective – optimal survival and higher standard of living. We have come quite far in bringing the marginalized sections of the society into the folds of a commonly beneficial sense of morality. Though we haven’t achieved the prime objective yet.

My personal subjective moral code is that all people should be free to do whatever they choose as long as it isn’t violating the personal liberty or fundamental right of any other human.

P.S: I have used the word ‘morality’ very loosely and interchangeably with ‘ethics’ and ’empathy’. The above is simply my personal opinion and I don’t claim them as facts. Please give your own opinions and perception of what morality is and it’s use if any in our society.

The Wedding Bed…

first_night_special_1_1

She sat there, decked in red and gold, the scent of Jasmine in every fold.

Her knees drawn up to her chin, she hugged them tight to hold back in

Sobs of fear and a whimper of loss,

For the future unseen and of a past untold.

A bed covered in silk n petals of rose,

Of that she had many dreams of course.

Yet as sure as she was sitting on the bed,

those dreams she wished she never had.

If only it were easier to hate,

For harsh is truth as cruel is fate.

He walked in the room and saw her there,

his bride they said was a girl so dear.

He looked in her eyes and saw the pain,

the one he felt were the one and same.

His heart bore heavy with fear and loss,

For the future unseen and of a past untold.

They saw in each, broken pieces of a mirror,

Shattered by love like an unspoken horror.

If only it were easier to hate,

For harsh is truth and cruel is fate.

An unspoken moment passed within,

An understanding reached without words between.

He grabbed a pillow, passed by her,

His bed he made a little far.

She lied down on silken covers,

A weight lifted from her shoulders.

At least in each other they found,

a companion to pick the broken pieces around.

The Wedding Bed, was not their choice,

A gift it was from those who refused to hear their voice.

If only it were easier to hate,

For harsh is truth as cruel is fate.

A Successful Marriage…


He sat beside the window and watched the scenery blurring away, his brown eyes staring past the window but his mind elsewhere. He kept thinking about the same thing over and over again. A day before leaving home his parents called him to the drawing room to talk. It was odd, they usually were quite frank and straightforward with him so this need for a ‘counsel’ both mystified and scared him. He was dreading that he had perhaps overestimated his parents acceptance of his sexuality and this was some kind of ‘intervention’. Maybe they would ask him to consider therapy. He felt heartbroken and expecting the worst he had obliged to their ‘meeting’. What he learnt there did break his heart, but not in any way he had been expecting.

***

Two days ago in Alex’s drawing room….

“Son, we need to talk to you about something very important. Promise me that you will listen with an open mind.”
So they were actually thinking of some kind of therapy. Alex couldnt help feeling hurt and betrayed. Just days ago they both said they loved him for who he was and now they do this.
” I promise mom.”
He tried not to let any feelings seep into his words.
Pranita and Digvijay looked at each other and steeled themselves for the plunge.
” Alex, son, what we want to tell you is something about our marriage. We feel that you have a right to know and understand. I think you are old enough.”

“Wh…what is it dad? What are you talking about?”
Alex was scared. He had no idea what this was all about. They couldnt be getting a divorce. No way. They were the fucking best parents! They were the perfect couple! They NEVER got into fights. They loved each other!
Digvijay looked at Pranita, she understood and continued.
” You see Alex, when we were married our marriage was arranged by our parents. We did not meet each other until a month before our wedding. We did not have a romantic whirlwind love story with a happy ending. Our story started with our marriage.”
“So….are you guys saying that you want to go seperate ways to find someone else and fall in love?!!” The stupidity of the idea baffled Alex.
He looked at their faces, they both looked shocked.
” What the… We are not getting divorced! What gave you the idea!” Digvijay blustered.
Now Alex felt stupid ” Holding a counsel and talking about your marriage what am i supposed to think?”
Pranita pacified him ” No darling we are not getting divorced. We shall come to the point but we dont want to be blunt with you. You see, before we got married I was shown your fathers photo, he was handsome and I was young. I had been brought up to be a good daughter and housewife. My parents had chosen a good looking groom for me. I trusted their decision and was happy. One day your father came to our house and asked to meet me in private. He said he had something important to talk to me. You see, your father was already in love with someone else.”
Alex turned towards his dad, and raised an eyebrow.
Digvijay cleared his throat and cast his eyes down ” Yes i was. When I was a medical student, in college, I had fallen in love. We loved each other, and our relationship had grown very strong in these five years of college and I could not imagine my life without him by my side. So when my parents told me they had a bride for me…”
“Him?….Dad you are….were…are…” he couldnt bring himself to say it.
Digvijay looked at his son with a pained expression
“I am gay. I am sorry to put you through this painful conversation. But that is not the only thing we had to tell you. It would have been easier for all of us to not have this conversation, but it would not have been right.”
Pranita quickly picked up the conversation ” Your dad was in love with a man, and his parents had chosen a bride for him. Now focus on the story and listen carefully” she scolded Alex. He was glad to not have to look at his dad right now.
” There was no way he could bring himself to tell his family that he was in love with a boy. So he came to me to ask me to call off the wedding. I had never heard of such a thing before and i was as disgusted as i was shocked. I started crying and he tried to console me.”
” It was awkward as hell. She finally ran into her room crying and I was scolded for making her cry. But she did not call off the wedding.”
” I could not bring myself to tell my parents about this. And i could not think of any excuse to break the wedding. Moreover if the marriage did break, my family would have to bear the brunt. People would talk about us and it would be harder for me to find a suitable match.”
” When I realized that this wedding could not be stopped, I decided to run away with ‘him’. I was still in college then. We had planned to run away from the hostel but one day before our due day, ‘he’ left silently without even meeting me. He left a letter for me and wrote that I should get married to the girl and lead a normal life. That he loved me but it was an impossible dream to be together. I never heard from him since.”
Alex looked up at his dad. He could hear the pain in his voice and saw it in his eyes.
” After that I just didnt care anymore. I let things happen and just carried on. I tried to numb all my feelings.”
Pranita wiped away a tear and sniffed.
” After that, we were married and everybody celebrated, but of course not us. After the wedding, we went on living like a nornal couple in front of everyone. But when we were alone it was only awkward silences. I kept busy doing house chores and helping my mother-in-law. And your father buried himself in his studies. But I could see him broken inside. Though I couldnt understand his love for another man, I could see he was in pain and felt sorry for him. I even found the letter ‘he’ wrote to your dad. I cried to sleep that night and I realized how much they loved each other and how heart broken your father was. I tried to be nicer to him and take care of him. I could not be his lover but I tried to be his friend.”
They looked at each other and smiled. Alex looked at them and he realized that despite what their story was, they were in love at this moment.
” Your mother is the most selfless woman in the world. Here she was, a newly wedded bride of a gay man who wouldnt look at her. And she was still sympathising with me. I was sinking in my own sorrow but when I looked at her and realised just how strong and kind hearted she was. I felt guilty for putting her in this situation. I tried to make amends by bringing small gifts and helping her in house work. Slowly we got to be good friends, we talked about everything. From my bofyriend to her love for dance. Then I graduated and became a doctor and we shifted to the city. I started my practise and your mom took up dance classes. We stayed together, a married couple, though really we were just two live-in friends. We helped each other overcome our fears, face our demons and most importantly happiness. Divorce was discussed but we decided to stick together and give a shot at making our friendship a real marriage and you came into our lives.”
” With your arrival we became a real family, two parents and a child. We have been mostly celibate our whole married life and we have not cheated on each other ever. You meant everything to us and still do. We felt blessed to have you. And we will always be your parents and we shall always remain a family.” His mother clutched his hands and kissed his forehead.
His father looked at them and smiled
” Son, when you came out to us, truthfully I was scared. But your mother was glad and she took it as a second chance for us to make things right. By giving you freedom to choose your own life partner. And it was your courage that gave us the courage to tell you the truth. You need to realize that our marriage was succesful only because both of us are good people and sacrificed a lot to stay together. Marriages like ours have a one in a million chances of surviving. Your mother and I are good friends and she is a good mother. I hope i can call myself a good father. And we have a good and brave son. This is what makes us a family, son. So be very careful when choosing who you share your life with. And be a good man first.”

Alex did not have any words to say. He just hugged them together and cried.

How the Supreme Court of India failed 30 million Indians

‘I was deeply sadenned by the verdict…’ Watch the live interview of the former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court who had held Sec377, his reaction on the SC’s recent judgement

On 11 December 2013, the Supreme Court of India declared the ruling of the lower High Court of Delhi invalid and reinstated Sec 377, which the lower court had declared unconstitutional as it violated the fundamental right of all LGBT people.
Sec 377 basically criminalizes all sexual acts ‘against order of nature’ i.e all penile-oral and penile-anal sex. Offenders can be arrested and sentenced to a term of 10 years.

The High Court’s decision was challenged on the grounds of protecting morality and Indian culture against ‘western influence’. Ironically this law was introduced by the British during their 200 year Colonial rule of India to protect their women and children from ‘Oriental vices’. Their conservative mindset was shocked by the rich and open sexual culture of India that was evident from all the erotic temple sculptures and the ancient and worlds most popular sex manual the ‘Kamasutra’. While this archaic law was repealed in Britain itself in 1967, India it seems is still unable to shake off its Colonial past.

The biased judgement of the two judges of the Supreme Court is wrong on a lot of accounts. The following points explore the reasoning given behind the judgement:

1) A ‘miniscule portion’ of the population has fundamental rights too. The argument that the law affects only few people does not excuse the court of failing to defend the rights of those few.

2)Only 200 people have been convicted under SEC377. So only 200 people had their rights violated by the system responsible for ensuring justice. And this is negligible because its not the duty of the court to dispense justice to 200 people?

3) Only 200 people may have been convicted under SEC377 but this law has been used by police to extort thousands of LGBT individuals. Is it not the duty of the court to remove a law that allows the exploitation of innocent public?

4)Public morality cannot be the basis of determining the Constitutional validity of any law. If so there would be no need of a court, public vote should be used to decide every trial. The court failed its duty in passing the buck to the Parliament

5) The argument that SEC377 does not criminalize any community, just some acts is redundant. All leading psychiatric and medical associations has already discredited the theory that homosexuality is a disease or that sexual orientation can be changed. The current president of the World Psychiatric Association, Dr. Dinesh Bhugra is Indian and gay himself. So by criminalizing sexual acts that are inherent for carnal intercourse for homosexual people the court is forcing them to choose a life of celibacy or be jailed.

1 new Notification*- I am Gay…

Today on Janmashthami, birthday of the God of Love ‘Krishna’, i fasted and prayed to the Lord to give me the courage and the will to do the right thing. And right now sitting on my computer i think i need to share this with all and any who are concerned or care that i am Gay. I hope i’m doing the right thing, not by being gay but by coming out like this i mean. I do not choose to be gay, i just choose to live a life where i’m free to love….”

That’s how i decided to come out to everyone as Gay. Yup! I did it…. I just blabbed it out on Facebook! And am i Glad! I know that after my declaration a few days back, my roommate, friends and batch-mates are having to take a lot of flak and taunting on my account. I’m truly and genuinely sorry for that. And i’m grateful to all those who have supported me and stood by me. Even the smallest acts of goodwill mean a lot because i know the courage it takes to associate with me. Many have said that it was not the right time to come out, that i should have waited a few more years, became something, had an income, left India. Everyone agrees on one thing that this was the worst time to come out. But i beg to differ, i can’t shake off the responsibility of tomorrow by avoiding it today. Whether i come out now or two years back, the fact won’t change that i’m a gay boy brought up by straight parents, with straight siblings, have straight friends and best friends, studys in college with straight classmates, lives in the boys hostel with a straight roommate (also my best friend). People who associated with me would have never known what a gay looks like, or lives like. I choose to come out now, in the worst possible times just to show that it’s ok to know a gay person, to make friends with him, to be his roommate. I’m not a pervert, i’ve never taken advantage of anyone, never will. Nothing will change about me that has been in the past two years. Your behaviour towards me would have remained the same it was the past two years had i not been honest with you. But i would still have been what i’m. I’m not proud of it but neither am i ashamed of it because there is nothing i can do about it.