The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Binding it via justification of religion or social taboo is a sin of the most atrocious degree. The capacity of the human mind to consider virtually any course of thought in a way unique to each and every one of us is what sets apart humanity from the animals. It cannot be duplicated by the most advanced machine, or completely understood by even its human owner. It is a tool of inestimable value.
Through employing it we can develop completely original modes of thought. If this were not the case, then technology would never progress, nor philosophy, nor any other classification of science. By granting their ideas longevity through various media, a single human mind may introduce new ideas to the masses and forever change generation after generation. In this way humans are offered unlimited opportunity to expand the functioning of their minds through traversing the pathways set by their predecessors.
I am not suggesting that humans have evolved in any but a loose interpretation of the term. They have evolved their technology and existing ideas, therefore allowing the future of humanity to build upon the past. As mentioned before, the development of the mind requires the complete freedom to exercise it and explore any and every possibility. Religion is a matter of faith, and social norms are a matter of allowing regulation to enjoy the benefits of the resulting structure. Neither should ever attempt to force themselves upon a person and their mind.
Unfortunately there will always be those who are "close-minded." They fear what will happen if individuals freely exercise their minds, and therefore seek to prevent them from doing so. They do not consider the long-term effects of their hindering practices, they only seek the solace of sameness and inflict accordance upon their neighbors. They are not to be hated - they are to be pitied. They cannot understand the workings of a mind free of their taboos, and it is often a bitter waste of time to attempt any explanation that requires but the simplest logic.
True religion is not in conflict with the uninhibited utilization of the mind. Religious leaders are most effective when they appeal to humans personally through both mind and soul. Unfortunately religion is often used to justify the mass labeling of groups as enemies and resulting persecution of the same. Religions seem to prosper and remain most pure when under severe persecution themselves. Once freed of their oppressors, the oppressed quickly become the oppressors, using the same methods under which they suffered to punish all that think differently.
One can only hope for a future free of the oppression of the mind. Repeated war and civil conflict have destroyed many a civilization, causing them to return to their previous state of ignorance. History indeed repeats itself, as mankind is quick to action and emotion and slow to reflect on the deeper repercussions they will effect. If humans everywhere are able to one day use their minds to the full extent, the future may indeed be brighter. Though this will never happen in this author's opinion, due to the inherent flaws in the soul of mankind, and resulting corruption of the use of the mind.
© 2002 Robert H. Harrison