The Resonableness Deficient

Reasoning is something that is really in short currency these days. Common sense and logical thought is being replaced by hysteria and arm-twisting. Couple of stories that have been playing over and over again in the media shows how the debate is polarizing the societies (in two vastly different countries) leaving the people in the middle squeezed and with no room for rapprochement.

Firstly, the gruesome murder of Pakistani Punjab's Governor. His being killed is not important now. What is of merit is the causes and the after response. The causes as flimsy as they may be shows the (Pakistani) society in general is losing grip with debate and reason, where loud talk gets the better of reasonable talk. Where external conspiracy theory is believed rather then looking at faults inside. Where tolerance is being replaced by mindless bigotry. And where the killer is being showered rose petals by the lawyers who must uphold justice and law of the land. Where the so called educated and facebook generation is opening approving the actions of the killer and the political class is condoning it. The debate over blasphemy has been needlessly played out in the media as if this is the only issue confronting the nation. Any talk of reason is shouted down as being anti-religious and atheist.

Secondly, the fatal shooting in Tucson which has dominated the American media and consciousness. Here the shooting unlike in Pakistan has united the nation in grief. No one is condoning the psychotic shooter's action. But the vast swath of the nation and its political class is an accessory to murder by not limiting access to guns. The whole debate over guns is something that is beyond my logic and reason. Any talk of gun control is met with such derision as if people have been asked to surrender there right to speech or privacy. In fact, it is easier to pass legislation to pry on people's phone than to control society's access to such high powered guns. Why does anyone need a pistol that can shoot 31 rounds without reload? Can any reasonable person answer this. Why would anyone need an AR-15 military assault rifle? Why? Why is there such a fear of government trampling over citizens rights? Aren't innocent law-abiding citizens rights being trampled by senseless killing in schools, churches and malls because some psychotic had access to such high powered gun due to lack of control and verification? Why such concern for people having access to these guns but none for over thousands killed in gun related violence. Here again the debate has not been over logic and reason but instead has been hijacked by rhetoric and name-calling by the 24 hour news media (as is the case in both countries).

In both the case we are not even going into the causes for these tragic events, and in any case there can be no justification for violence however 'aggrieved' the killer is. The real issues in my view is why is it so hard to talk and reason on issues where course of action is clear and logical without being branded Nazis or atheist. Back home, the lesser said the better. We are maybe getting more developed (economically), but in reality our brains are shriveling in same proportion. Last week a person died in Delhi unforgiving roads due to a (now common) case of road rage. This short fuse, this me.. my car.. my road craziness is insane. People are getting killed because nobody wants to reason, or even stop for a moment to ponder. There is no scope for middle ground. It is either my way or the highway.

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