Buridan’s Ass, named after 14th century French philosopher Jean Buridan, is both hungry and thirsty. It is placed midway between a stack of hay and a pail of water. If the ass decides to exercise its free will, it will starve to death. When it turns to the haystack, it can exercise its freedom to choose water first instead. And when it turns to the water, its free will can interfere again. Thus it can go on exercising its freedom of choice until it dies of starvation amid food and water.
The current theme of Indispire, Love vs Freedom - what would you choose? ( If you land in a situation where you can get true love but not freedom of expression) #freedom, reminded me of Buridan’s Ass.
Let’s take the example of Kashmir. Indian patriots are supposedly in love with that piece of land. Their love denies freedom to the people of the land to choose their own destiny. Hence the civil war kind of situation in the state.
The question is whether the Indian patriots are really motivated by love. Or by greed for the land. Or by nationalist pride. Or plain greed, hatred or sheer perversion.
Love does not create the kind of situation that prevails in Kashmir. Love liberates. It does not enslave. It cannot go about shooting unarmed people (unless stones are counted as arms) with machine guns.
The people of Kashmir are caught between freedom and love. They love their homeland and they want freedom to live in that homeland. Freedom from gau rakshaks, for example. Freedom from people who impose themselves in the name of culture, religion, gods that include cows.
What’s the consequence? Strife.
The ass needs both food and water. Buridan’s Ass will not die of starvation except in philosophical discourses because the ass will choose one or the other and get on with life. It needs both the hay and the water.
We need both freedom and love. Existence without one is a hypothetical conjecture fit for blogging discourses. Denial of any will lead to destruction of the individual. Or to strife.