“Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud,
Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as part of nature.”
– Carl Sagan
That’s a quote I have on the mirror in my room, to remind me everyday that even though reality is all personal and subjective, that we experience things the way we sense them, and not as they are, it is still our job to never cease learning in order to get the closest explanation our mind can come to on what, how, and why they are the way they are.
When we talk about noumena, or das Ding an sich as Kant calls it, as opposed to all the phenomena we experience through perception, it becomes requisite to put all the things together and process them within Reason to comprehend them, but whether or not noumena remain unknowable, building up from his premise, that is not the point of this writing, for it is pretty much unfathomable for us to apprehend the Critique without elaborating on the subject. And I assure you, I am not making myself a sitting duck by elaborating and taking a position in the pros and cons by saying our a priori knowledge is responsible for the explication of reality, no—god no, instead I’m going to point out the correlation between Reason itself and an issue that crosses our mind lately: freedom of religion.
In France, the idea of laïcité, that is the noninterference of religion into state affairs and vice versa, though doesn’t go undisturbed, is something we should take a look at as a paragon of state’s neutrality regarding religious affairs—one of the things that need revisions about our government. Indonesia, albeit a secular state, has the biggest Muslim-majority population in the world, and therefore has certain innuendos in its domestic and foreign policies.
Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) sets perfect, notorious examples when it comes to interference of religion into governmental affairs. It acts as if it’s given the authority to define (and take measures upon that) what is allowed and not allowed in every citizen’s every day’s lives. Their acknowledged vision is “the implementation of Islamic shariah law in Indonesia,” in other words, the establishment of Indonesia as Islamic state, notwithstanding with the Constitution clear guidelines toward such organizations displaying potential threats to NKRI (United State of Republic of Indonesia), the government, so far, has done nothing significant to secure religious freedom for others from this inane group.
But again, Indonesia requires its citizen to carry out a religion, therefore doesn’t comply with freedom of religion, and/or freedom from religion as I call it, so I guess we’re not in good accompany of people who have sufficient, let alone valid, reasoning after all.
Worse, the earlier people—FPI—don’t seem to have any reasoning at all. The best-case scenario is that they do have reason (of course, every human being is born with the ability to reason), nevertheless surrender themselves to preposterous religious doctrine. FPI and Indonesia share the same beliefs regarding this issue: they both don’t encourage reasoning to say the least, they force certain religious beliefs to others, they both hate Atheists, and therefore see science as a threat.
As someone who places themself as a ‘6’ in Dawkin’s Spectrum of Theistic Probability, I, not only put myself in a dangerous and susceptible position to being oppressed, but also hold a strong aversion to the way our government handles religion practice and freedom of religion in Indonesia. It has failed to live up to my expectations as a superior institution, which, not unlike the rest of the majority it leads, has corrupt reasoning.
The FPI and Indonesian government, both have done a great job in overlooking one of the very basic human rights that is to hold, or not to hold, a religion as well as to practice it freely and within reasonable parameter, have therefore defined themselves as a savage clan who fits better in the Middle Ages than in today’s world of science and enlightenment.
(Evitarossi Sonia B.)