Sunday, May 27, 2012

God save this country...

so here comes another bouncer from the IndiaAgainstCorruption..the PM of India, Manmohan Singh , has also done what the culture of India is accused of harbouring, promoting and cultivating all the time..the big C--CORRUPTION.

How much has the Vedic Civilization fallen in the pits about its own moral lesson which it other takes pride in, of disseminatingto the world..the Bhagwad Geeta's eternal lesson of Dharma.

The Dharma was born in India, and killed, too, by the Indians.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Plato's Concept Of Justice: An Analysis, by D.R. Bhandari, J.N.V. University

ABSTRACT: In his philosophy Plato gives a prominent place to the idea of justice. Plato was highly dissatisfied with the prevailing degenerating conditions in Athens. The Athenian democracy was on the verge of ruin and was ultimately responsible for Socrates's death. The amateur meddlesomeness and excessive individualism became main targets of Plato's attack. This attack came in the form of the construction of an ideal society in which justice reigned supreme, since Plato believed justice to be the remedy for curing these evils. After criticizing the conventional theories of justice presented differently by Cephalus, Polymarchus, Thrasymachus and Glaucon, Plato gives us his own theory of justice according to which, individually, justice is a 'human virtue' that makes a person self-consistent and good; socially, justice is a social consciousness that makes a society internally harmonious and good. According to Plato, justice is a sort of specialization.
Plato in his philosophy gives very important place to the idea of justice. He used the Greek word "Dikaisyne" for justice which comes very near to the work 'morality' or 'righteousness', it properly includes within it the whole duty of man. It also covers the whole field of the individual's conduct in so far as it affects others. Plato contended that justice is the quality of soul, in virtue of which men set aside the irrational desire to taste every pleasure and to get a selfish satisfaction out of every object and accommodated themselves to the discharge of a single function for the general benefit.
Plato was highly dissatisfied with the prevailing degenerating conditions in Athens. The Athenian democracy was on the verge of ruin and was ultimately responsible for secrate's death. Plato saw in justice the only remedy of saving Athens from decay and ruin, for nothing agitated him in contemporary affairs more than amateurishness, needlesomeness and political selfishness which was rampant in Athens of his day in particular and in the entire Greek world in general. In additional, Sophistic teaching of the ethics of self-satisfaction resulted in the excessive individualism also induced the citizens to capture the office of the State for their own selfish purpose and eventually divided "Athens in to two histile camps of rich and poor, opressor and opressed. "Evidently, these two factors amateur needlesomeness and excessive individualism became main targets of Plato's attack. The attack came in the form of the construction of an ideal society in which "Justice" reigned supreme, since Plato found in justice the remedy for curing these evils. Thus, we are to inquire in this study the nature of justice as prepounded by Plato as a fundamental principle of well-order society.
It is to be noted that before Plato many theories of justice were prevalent. The inquiry about justice goes from the crudest to the most refined interpretation of it. It remains therefore to inquire what were the reasons for which he rejected those views. Thus before discussing Plato's own concept of justice, it is necessary to analyze those traditional theories of justice were rejected by him.
Cephalus who was a representative of traditional morality of the ancient trading class established the traditional theory of justice . According to him 'justice consists in speaking the truth and paying one's debt. Thus Cephalus identifies justice with right conduct. Polemarchus also holds the same view of justice but with a little alteration. According to him "justice seems to consist in giving what is proper to him". The simple implication of this conception of justice may be that "justice is doing good to friends and harm to enemies." This is also a traditional maxim of Greek morality.
The views propounded by Cephalus and Polemarchus were criticized by Plato. The view point of Cephalus was criticised on the ground that there may be cases in which this formula may involve the violation of the spirit of right and his formula does not admit of being taken as a sound universal principle of life. It is not right to restore deadly weapons to a man after he has gone mad. And the contention of Polemarchus was condemned by Plato on the ground that it was only easy to speak of giving good to friend and evil to enemies. But if the friends only a friend in seeming, and an enemy in reality, then what will happen? Then under such circumstances whether we should rigidly follow the defination and do him good or we may use discretion and do him evil? But to do evil to anybody, including one's enemy was inconsistent with the most elementary conception of morality. Thus, this conception of justice regulated the relations between individuals on individualistic principles and ignores the society as a whole.
Thrasymachus who represented the new and critical view, propounded the radical theory of justice. He defines justice as "the interest of the stronger". In the other words, might is right. For while, every man acts for himself and tries to get what he can, the strongest is sure to get what he wants and as in a state the Government is the strongest, it will try to get and it will get, whatever it wants for itself. Thus, for Thrasymachus justice means personal interest of the ruling group in any state or we can further define it as "another's good". Laws are made by the ruling party in its own interest. Those who violate such laws are punished because violation of such laws is treated as violation of justice. Socrates criticises the defination of justice given by Thrasymachus and he says just as a physician studies and exercises his power not in his interest but in the interest of a patient, the Government of any kind shall do what is good for the people for whom it exercises its art. But Thrasymachus advances some more arguments in support of his concept of justice and injustice.
An unjust is superior to a just in character and intelligence.
Injustice is a source of strength.
Injustice brings happiness.
Socrates attacks these points of Thrasymachus and throws light on the nature of justice.
Justice implies superior character and intelligence while injustice means deficiency in both respects. Therefore, just men are superior in character and intelligence and are more effective in action. As injustice implies ignorance, stupidity and badness, It cannot be superior in character and intelligence. A just man is wiser because he acknowledges the principle of limit.
Unlimited self-assertion is not a source of strength for any group organized for common purpose, Unlimited desire and claims lead to conflicts.
Life of just man is better and happier. There is always some specific virtue in everything, which enables it to work well. If it is deprived of that virtue, it works badly. The soul has specific functions to perform. When it performs its specific functions, it has specific excellence or virtue. If, it is deprived of its peculiar virtue, it cannot possibly do its work well. It is agreed that the virtue of the soul is justice. The soul which is more virtuous or in other words more just is also the happier soul. Therefore, a just man lives happy. A just soul, in other words a just man, lives well; an unjust cannot.
At this juncture the new point of view is stated by Glaucon and he put Forward a form of what was later to be known as a social contract theory, arguing we are only moral because, it pays us or we have to be. Glaucon describes the historical evolution of the society where justice as a necessity had become the shield of the weaker. In the primitive stage of society without law and government, man was free to do whatever he likes. So the stronger few enjoyed the life at the sufferance of the weaker many. The weaker, however, realised that they suffered more injustice. Faced with this situation they came to an agreement and instituted law and government through a sort of social contract and preached the philosophy of just. Therefore, justice in this way something artificial and unnatural. It is the "product of convention". It is through this artificial rule of justice and law that the natural selfishness of man is chained. A dictate of the weaker many, for the interest of the weaker many, as against the natural and superior power of the stronger few.
Plato realises that all theories propounded by Cephalus, Thrasymachus and Glaucon, contained one common element. That one common element was that all the them treated justice as something external "an accomplishment, an importation, or a convention, they have, none of them carried it into the soul or considered it in the place of its habitation." Plato prove that justice does not depend upon a chance, convention or upon external force. It is the right condition of the human soul by the very nature of man when seen in the fullness of his environment. It is in this way that Plato condemned the position taken by Glaucon that justice is something which is external. According to Plato, it is internal as it resides in the human soul. "It is now regarded as an inward grace and its understanding is shown to involve a study of the inner man." It is, therefore, natural and no artificial. It is therefore, not born of fear of the weak but of the longing of the human soul to do a duty according to its nature.
Thus, after criticising the conventional ideas of justice presented differently by Cephalus, Polymarchus, Thrasymachus and Glaucon, Plato now gives us his own theory of justice. Plato strikes an analogy between the human organism on the one hand and social organism on the other. Human organism according to Plato contains three elements-Reason, Spirit and Appetite. An individual is just when each part of his or her soul performs its functions without interfering with those of other elements. For example, the reason should rule on behalf of the entire soul with wisdom and forethought. The element of spirit will sub-ordinate itself to the rule of reason. Those two elements are brought into harmony by combination of mental and bodily training. They are set in command over the appetites which form the greater part of man's soul. Therefore, the reason and spirit have to control these appetites which are likely to grow on the bodily pleasures. These appetites should not be allowed, to enslave the other elements and usurp the dominion to which they have no right. When all the three agree that among them the reason alone should rule, there is justice within the individual.
Corresponding to these three elements in human nature there are three classes in the social organism-Philosopher class or the ruling class which is the representative of reason; auxiliaries, a class of warriors and defenders of the country is the representative of spirit; and the appetite instinct of the community which consists of farmers, artisans and are the lowest rung of the ladder. Thus, weaving a web between the human organism and the social organism, Plato asserts that functional specialization demands from every social class to specialize itself in the station of life allotted to it. Justice, therefore to Plato is like a manuscript which exists in two copies, and one of these is larger than the other. It exists both in the individual and the society. But it exists on a larger scale and in more visible form in the society. Individually "justice is a 'human virtue' that makes a man self consistent and good: Socially, justice is a social consciousness that makes a society internally harmonious and good."
Justice is thus a sort of specialization. It is simply the will to fulfill the duties of one's station and not to meddle with the duties of another station, and its habitation is, therefore, in the mind of every citizen who does his duties in his appointed place. It is the original principle, laid down at the foundation of the State, "that one man should practice one thing only and that the thing to which his nature was best adopted". True justice to Plato, therefore, consists in the principle of non-interference. The State has been considered by Plato as a perfect whole in which each individual which is its element, functions not for itself but for the health of the whole. Every element fulfils its appropriate function. Justice in the platonic state would, therefore, be like that harmony of relationship where the Planets are held together in the orderly movement. Plato was convinced that a society which is so organized is fit for survival. Where man are out of their natural places, there the co-ordination of parts is destroyed, the society disintegrates and dissolves. Justice, therefore, is the citizen sense of duties.
Justice is, for Plato, at once a part of human virtue and the bond, which joins man together in society. It is the identical quality that makes good and social . Justice is an order and duty of the parts of the soul, it is to the soul as health is to the body. Plato says that justice is not mere strength, but it is a harmonious strength. Justice is not the right of the stronger but the effective harmony of the whole. All moral conceptions revolve about the good of the whole-individual as well as social.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Marketplace of Ideas: Free speech and expression

Notes from Wikipedia on 'marketplace of ideas' :

The "marketplace of ideas" is a rationale for freedom of expression based on an analogy to the economic concept of a free market. The "marketplace of ideas" belief holds that the truth or the best policy arises out of the competition of widely various ideas in free, transparent public discourse, an important part of liberal democracy.The concept also has roots in John Milton's argument for freedom of expression. Milton argued that the individual is capable of using reason and distinguishing right from wrong, good from bad. But in order to be able to exercise this reason correctly, the individual must have unlimited access to the ideas of his fellow men in "a free and open encounter." In Milton's writings can be found the idea that when people argue against each other the better argument will prevail.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A mafia in every field ...that is India

Recently I heard about a forum which has named itself - "India Against Corruption in Literature". :-P. It made me chuckle as to how there is 'corruption' in every field. Or, we are just generalising the phenomenon of Corruption?  The forum, although, was about protesting against the lobbyst, the 'powerful mafia', in the Janapeeth Awards committee. 
In my analysis of why there is a 'powerful Mafia' in every field in India, it is not because of presence of money, as, there is money in every developed nation too, but because we have defective idea of social justice. Rather we do not have a common idea of Justice. We do not make a philosophical and scientific query into what is right and what is wrong, in each of our Decision-making and judging. We judge the right and wrong of an issue by voting. Voting require support from people. To help this "support" problem, we like to be cultured and grown-up in the environment of "Boss is right'.  "Boss" become the "lobbyist"- leader. The powerful lobbyist thus have a means, by swinging of the vote-bank, to change our rights and wrongs, and thereof our social justice. The rich and powerful get different justice and the poor and weak have different justice. The lobbyist in each field are the Mafia of that field, the rich and powerful people. Social scientist say that we Indians do not believe in a common destiny for all of us. If 'A' is hit, we think 'thank god I am safe'. We don't relate how we too can get hurt tomorrow if we don't treat the cause.

We require thinktanks to come to life and do a non-partisan research of the rights and wrongs so that right justice may happen. That will set stage for elimination of corruption...from literature too..

Friday, May 18, 2012

Generalisation-- A tool for politics of love and hate

                 Television debates are nowadays often running away into low-intelligence whenever any issue of a generalized public perception is coming up. The debating factions globule into two bigger chunks , one trying to assert why the generalized perception of the issue has to be taken based on that one single incident,; and the other big globule trying to protest the generalization of the observation that all people belonging to the group are not like that. 
 The philosophical knowledge which I feel has remained elusive with both the factions is about the human need for a Generalistion. Neither of the two factions honour  and identify generalization as a human need, to take up the rules for a valid generalization and then respond to each other as to what perception should be finally held valid by the viewers. In the entire drama, the force of the main topic is lost to be wasted away into the Generalisation validation debate.

Generalisation , as I have examined earlier, is the breeding ground for Politics-- the division of vote. In its other stage of development, the Generalisation involves categorisation of people into group based on some general observation about the entire group. What the group division does is to invoke a the emotions for either loving the group or hating the group, judging on what the observation has been about the group. This is powerful stroke which can cause people to lose their reason and do the judgement in a highly emotional state. Emotions are a very strange commodity; they defy gravity and logic.  They create a force of attraction and replusion both at the same time. Public's emotions largely act in this manner. They cause people to polarise. (It is a different context to talk of emotions as the fountain of all human intellectualism which the controlled, well-balanced mixture of logic and emotions do.)
The groups formed by the categorisation behave incoherently. Nobody thinks of examining the generalisation; everybody acts up to either accept it fully or to reject it. "How you can all muslims are terrorist", "All pakistanis are not terrorist", "all bhaiyas are not illiterate, uneducated hooligans"-- these are few examples of how the hate of generalistion has caused the valid observation to be rejected in its entirety.  The Sardar jokes, and the mullu-working-in-"Gelf" are some neutral generalisation which have found good acceptance by the people through jokes and public humor. And there "rich people are smart and intelligent", "Delhi-ites are people of higher learning", "biharis are good at academic knowledge", or "the Bengalis are hi intellect people", kind of generalisation which have found public acceptance without much of critical examination of the truth in them. The picture painted by loobyiest have helped create the public's General impression about the entire group by using a few top examples.
The emotional state created by the Generalisation causes people to become emotional. Reason is lost, now. What more does a habitual politician need !?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Metaphysics of Generalisation -- How the Politics breeds and involves up the people

Generalization of an Observation is a very natural instinct of man. It is an instinctive habit perhaps because it is connected with the survival techniques out in the wilds. The moment they see the birds sitting on loft trees fly away with a pandemonium of fear, the timid animals down below immediately generalize the observation with presence of a danger which has been experienced and trained in them through hunting episodes by a lion. This is instinctive , very closely related with the need for safety by every living organism.
 But a philosopher or either a crook, both, might raise an argument on the birds-flying-away event isolating it with the past experience, and ask, "how can you say that the birds flew away because there is a lion. Maybe the birds flew because the flock leader decided to return home." The uncertainity in the co-relation of birds flying off, to the presence of a lion creates a natural climate for the occurring of politics in the issue, a vote-division situation generated by the immeasurability of abstract things such as beauty of a piece of art. The art-form over here being- the accuracy of prudence knowledge on the presence of a lion,-- there may be, there may be not. Some might even suggest to the man to wait back before jumping to any generalized conclusion before fully analysing an observation. But the need for prompt action in the positive-side presence of a lion enjoins upon the man a make a decision, a quick decision because the execution of his safety action, which more likely is about fleeing away, has to be initiated as per that decision.
But once a generalization instinct becomes a habit for critical analysis of all observations and thereof the decision-making, it is in itself capable of playing a politics by raising a false alarm. Perhaps all that is needed is to raise a safety-alarm on a issue by remotely co-relating the issue with some lapse of the past date. There will have a call for decision-making, which in course will involve a vote-division to manage the uncertainties of future prediction involved in the issue--whether the lapse co-related with the issue will happen again or whether it will not.
On a side note, one can clearly noticed that the angle of uncertainty, the Uncertainty Factor , is a must factor for occurring of Politics-- Politics over here means academic field of collective decision-making on issues which are subject to heavy opinion-making. Indeed, the subjects of Arts, such as the beauty of a painting, or estimation of a future event based on the current rate, or prudential knowledge are the most common Art-forms for growth of Politics. Fear factor is another common art-form to force people into decision-making; this kind of Politics is nowadays termed a the Politics of Fear.
Often times, in an attempt to check the instinct of Generalisation, people tend to feel repulsive towards every act of generalisation they see. This however forces on them to switch back to the higher skill of decision-making which only the Man species have developed exclusively-- the skill of Informed decision making, in contrast to the instinctive decision-making which the evolutionary inferior species make use of.
In this scenario, people like to raise questions about the Bases of Information for Generalizing an Observation - the logic of how a generalising should be held valid. The logic could be the frequency of recurrence of the content-observation--a statistical (meta-)'observation' in itself.
The alarm raising point then becomes the next angle of vote-division, a farm field of Politics. The frequency of observation may, or may not, be suited for raising the alarm. For example, an occurance of mere 4 cases of Swine Flu in a locality, say, Pune, is enough mark for raising the Alarm for spread of Swing Flu in the region of Pune. But occurance of four deaths by suicide cannot be an alarm point for raising Alarm for Psychopathic Watch on the Citizens. However,  suicide causality of , say, 40 people in 3 months in Haryana, is a justifiable ground for raising Psychopathic watch alarm on the people of Haryana.
The significant characterstics of an act of generalisation is that it soaks up a larger number of people in a single act of Generalisation. For example, all the people living in Pune will be put on watch to prevent Swine Flu, and all the people of Harayana will be put on the watch for psychopathic symptoms. A habitual practicing politician cannot ask for a better gift from God than an event of Generalistion  where larger mass may be involved up in the vote-division on an issue. Thus, if a community is subjected to a Generalisation , it is most convenient breeding ground for involving up that community to vote in favour or against that issue. The other counterpoint community, if any, will also get involved up automatically in the vote-division.
The purpose of generalization however does not stop at the idea of decision-making in the instinctive mode of brain. In the holy aspect, even the Informed Decision Making makes use of Generalization for some purposes. Generalisation, by its nature of being the most natural way of critical analysis, is the method for testing a theory given by any person. The wider-applicability of theory is one of the most natural validity-test. The questioning by the masses about the frequency of observation of an event resulting into formation of a theory are an essential method of testing it. Therefore, a newly made observation is put for Generalisation through the explanation routes given in a theory. A generalization, thus, is also a scientific process for natural test and validity.
This need for generalisation process makes the act of generalisation disguised, raising another episode of vote-division of whether the Generalisation is for creating a political vote muster-point , or , for the purpose of testing a theory. Like, as seen in the case of Birds flying off and the presence of a lion, the genuine safety needs related with an event become the Theory for putting the observation in the Generalised form.
This is how a theorist, a sort of philosopher, becomes eclipsed by a habitual politician, a crook.

What is Critical Thinking and how it involves Generalisation of Observations?
Read more at :

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Boss is right"- is an anti-nation-hood belief and culture

The axiom of "Boss is right" is not just personally repulsive, it is also an anti-nation-hood belief in a Democractic society.
You see, when the criteria of right-ness shifts away from the ethics of it being right, to the position of the speaker, the justice gets fouled. Thus, what is right and what is wrong is no more objectively decided, but by the influence of who is speaking, how many people support him. Thus if a political party leader takes a stand on an issue , differing from the stand of another political party leader , the eventual idea prevailing and governing the life and destiny of the entire social group, the nation, is no more the justice thing, but the count of fellow-ship of each of the two leaders, whose each fellow-man has been brought up and cultured with the idea of 'Boss is always right'. It is no wonder that we, therefore, have a dynastic political system, whose leaders are born from the progeny, not on the justice-based stand on issues. More issues will rise and more breakdowns will happen resulting in more leaders and more political dynasties. Such a society is likely to eventually crumble, or scrambled over and failed by a more strong society, - stronger either by terms of numbers of fellow-ship, or, stronger in its ideas of justice.