Thursday, June 3, 2010
Opposition = Friend or Foe...?
A long time ago, a student in University of Oxford made a paper entitled "The Necessity of Atheism."
I guess we all can predict what happened to him next.
Yes, he was banished, not only from the university, but also from England.
Yet today he is widely known as one of the greatest poet in English history.
Percy Bysshe Shelley did not actually publish a writing on atheism because he was a radical atheist who believed in no God. The emphasis was basically more on the "necessity" rather than "atheism."
In a world where the dominating religion was too overpowering and the ruling class was turning into tyranny (even in behalf of religion's sake), faith in itself receded to the background into the gloom of shifting shadows.
People didn't know what faith was. They were like scattered sheep without a shepherd, without a clear understanding of what they believed in.
They called themselves Christians (for that was the label put on the entire nation) without knowing who Christ was. They were a people at complete loss of the true idea of God and His divine work.
Shelley, on the other hand, was not a devout either. But he knew that in such condition, it was necessary to put up an opposition.
It was not to defy and ruin the dominating power of the ruling religion at the time, but to redefine it.
Without opposition, power always tends to fall into the dark side. It was necessary to open people's mind to the plausibilities of other point-of-views. This was a tool to check things into balance -- and Shelley did not regret his being exiled for delivering an opposing thought in the face of tyranny.
It really isn't about winning or losing.
It's all about keeping everything in balance in our unstable world.