Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Righteousness of Right

There is a general (Western) trend to discard religion. It is perhaps safe to say one the reasons is, aside from the Enlightment and/or science, the fact that currently the biggest global conflict is related to (but not due to) religion. Cultural globalisation, the vehicle with which Western values arrive at our doorsteps, will, I think, give way for this sentiment to discard religion to secular countries - namely Indonesia.

When I was living in a Western society, I went through hiding my religious identity. I was ashamed to practice what I believe in because practicing your religion would potentially categorise you into the fundamental group.

Most people in Indonesia, however, wear their religion on their sleeves. Unfortunately, I would have to say that this is not due to their comprehension over the concepts taught in their religion, but more due to social confirmation. It was how they (we) were all built. Critical theorists would say that this is a false consciousness. Accepting constructed reality as objective reality, without questioning it.

It is from this tendency, I think, that relative truth (read: the truth of mankind) becomes the absolute truth. The way I deconstruct my religion, I would argue that if a person believes in God, they logically believe in the claim that absolute truth is God's alone. Therefore, any truth claimed by man could never be truism.

Therefore if a person thinks that they are right, absolutely right - then they fall into the concept of false consciousness. They perceive their reality as the absolute reality. Opposing (re/de)constructed reality will, according to their framework, be, well, wrong.

It is from this premise, I think, that conflict occurs. It is when our truth is above their truth (comparable to the concept of us/other). Difference can never be resolved if one party does not provide room to be wrong.

Following this logic, I think Marx got it right when he claimed that knowledge will free those enslaved by taken-for-granted reality. His concern was capitalism, the current concern of the contemporary world is social conflict. Perhaps to get things right, we need to allow ourselves to be wrong.

And I could be wrong.


rinaldi said...

I love the love-hate relationship between right and wrong, annoying but always remind me to be humble, he he he

Inaya Rakhmani said...

Me too :)
It's rarely either-or when it comes to human beings. Susah ya ngga post mo hehe