Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Monkey madness

No, I'm not talking about David Cameron's penchant for 'apeing' his political adversaries. (D'ya like that? Bit laboured? Ah, suit yourself)

No, I refer, of course, to India's Supreme Court's decision to review the fate of 300 monkeys captured while making a nuisance of themselves on the streets of the Delhi. The little rascals have been known to invade local government offices and nick off with official documents (they could be trained by Pakistan for all we know). The court had ordered that the monkeys be relocated to forests in central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. But the wee bastards aren't going down too well there either and there have been complaints.

Now, if like me you're thinking why don't they just shoot the simian pests, they can't. In India, or more specifically, Hinduism, it's not cool to go shooting monkeys. And it's not because they're out of season. They are held sacred by many Indians so you can't shoot, garrotte, or blow them up.

But give me strength. There is valuable public expenditure being invested in the deliberations on the fate of these simian swindlers. All in the name of religion. Religion. Goddamit, surely there are some lawyers in India thinking this is some sort of extended situational comedy sketch. Probably not. They're probably too busy raking it in.

I'm not advocating monkey murder en masse, but all this sitting about considering what to do on account of some dusty text is more than I can handle.
Alternative solutions to this problem are welcomed.


At 11:42 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said... what are you advocating?

What do you have a problem with, the fact that India is considering the fate of the monkeys or that there are people out there with religious conviction?

I take it then that any text of significant age does not hold any appeal for you, even from a historical conctext?

I take it that you are an atheist, but one of such fundamental ideals that you cannot accept that anyone can have an opinion other than your own.

I would venture that religion is not the object of hate you would undeniably make it out to be, rather you should save your ire for those who believe that they are always in the right and "doing god's work".

At 8:49 pm , Blogger Finnieston Crane said...

My problem is that otherwise sensible people are sitting around debating how best to deal with the monkeys because a religion says they shouldn't be harmed. I don't think they should be harmed, but that it takes more than a moment's consideration that they should be moved on is palpably stupid. I mean, as Peter Cook once opined, "It's not enough to keep the mind alive."

I think dusty old texts should be approached with caution and treated irreverently.

I am an atheist. I don't know what you mean by "such fundamental ideals" and how ideals apply to atheism. Nothing in the passage you've commented on points to me preventing anyone from having an opinion. I'm not keen that keen on opinions, though; I do prefer arguments. I generally reserve my opinions for what I think about the colour of a jumper, or the quality of a meal, or pop music.

And I think you've got your last point confused. Religion is the problem and the religious are a result of the problem. Wouldn't saving my ire for those who believe that they are always in the right and "doing God's work", be denying that person or persons their entitlement to an 'opinion'?


At 5:01 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Historical text could be considered by some to be books produced before 2000, the works of Newton, Oppenheimer, John Paul Sartre. I would say that historical texts are a treasure for humankind, but that they should not be held up as the limit to civilisation, society or evolution.

Just because you are an atheist, it doesn't mean that you can't be a zealot. Could the term be atheist fundamentalist?

Religion is sometimes the only source of hope, their one constant in a constantly changing world. People should have something that they believe in, if they believe in a god that is their choice (to which they are entitled yes) but, my point is that people who use their affiliation or belief as their reason for perpetrating immoral acts.

As a thought (while we are on religion) to be immortal should you be immoral, around T time?

At 6:20 pm , Blogger Finnieston Crane said...

Sorry, does that include, for example, the owner's manual for a 1984 mark II Volkswagen Golf?

You're absolutely right: atheism is not free from zealotry. However, as you may have noticed my concern is that it is kept out of state affairs.

At 8:18 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could include an instruction manual on a golf - isn't that what "holy" books are anyway, an instruction manual for the life they want you to live.

I agree that states should be secular and that affairs of state are dealt with by the elected representatives of the people and not by a bishop, cardinal or any other leader of faith however, my concern is that the elected government should have due care for the culture of the people and ultimately should adopt some degree of social and environmental responsibility.

History dictates that it has always been easier to destroy a thing than to create a thing. The government need not kill the monkeys, they can either transplant the monkeys or encourage the monkeys to really want to leave.


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