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Giving up the right to think

Posted May. 02, 2020 07:49,   

Updated May. 02, 2020 10:31


Hypatia was an astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt around A.D. 400. She was a single, who was so beautiful but absorbed herself only in seeking the truth. In the city, where polytheism, revering the Olympus gods, and Judaism coexisted, Christianity gained popularity among lower class. The city saw a massive bloodshed between polytheism and Christianity; the emperor sided with Christianity and declared polytheism to be a heresy. Many people converted to Christianity but Hypatia was not one of them. The bishop of Alexandria, Cyril, also launched a fight against Judaism. As a result, riots broke out, creating large number of casualties. When people started to voice complaints, Cyril blamed it all on Hypatia. He labeled venerable Hypatia a pagan witch, who disturbed social orders, and brutally killed her.

Watching believers jumping into a fight against other religions without hesitation at the urging of bishop, it felt like they are fighting out of hatred rather than faith. They acted out of emotion not reason. All that mattered was whose side they were on. Those who gave up their right to think are easily incited. Incitement and manipulation work because the public wants sweet lies rather than painful truths and gave up their right to think. Before we know it, TV shows are filled with subtitles. They not only provide information but tell us what to see, feel, and think. They make us carefully watch the faces of the audience and judges rather than enjoying the singers on stage. They keep us from developing subjective views and force us to have the same view. We feel diminished when our views are different from the subtitles.

We have become passive human beings, who feel comfortable only when we have the same ideas as others. We prefer the same shaped apartments, trust the standardized flavors of franchise restaurants, and wish to become a characterless plastic beauty. We feel confident that we know the ways of the world by reading the news online but that news are the ones handpicked by someone.

The word “agora” implies square and democracy. The great Library of Alexandria, which served as an agora, was burned and so many books were lost because it was the stronghold of polytheism. Later, humanity entered the Middle Ages, which were a period of a thousand years and were described as a dark age of knowledge. The beginning and the end of the film are Earth’s view from space. These scenes make those who fought for power on the false pretense of religion look like little kids playing games in front of their house. During that time, the heliocentric theory was ignored and the geocentric theory, which maintained that Earth was the center of the universe, dominated medieval science. There are times when answers cannot be found as is the case nowadays. In times like this, how about we change the exiting formula? We may have tried to find answers using the wrong formula.