Wednesday, 27 June 2012

'Go know thyself!'- Gandhi & the Bible.

In the Bible, Lot offers his daughters to the men of his City so they might sate their lust upon them rather than sodomize the two strangers to whom he had given shelter.

Gandhi, however, said  that true Non-Violence involves killing your daughter if you think she might be about to be raped, but then to cheerfully offer yourself to the rapist so he may do with you as he wishes.
To quote Ronald Terchek's book on Gandhi-
In a

How are we to reconcile the example of Lot with this teachings of Gandhi?

Lot protected strangers, not knowing they were angels, by offering up his daughters to be raped. Gandhi would kill the daughters before they could be raped and then offer himself up as a substitute
Taking the most difficult part of each we get the rule- offer your near and dear ones up for rape before killing them and then offering yourself up to the unslaked lust of the potential rapist.
However- in accordance with the maxim Vasudhaiva kutumbakam- since you must treat everybody as your own family, what you have to do is kill everybody. regardless of age and gender,  before offering yourself up as a substitute to potential rapists.

But...what if you yourself are a potential rapist? Clearly, it would be very wrong not to suspect yourself of being a potential rapist while constantly jumping to that sort of conclusion regarding your fellow human beings.

It therefore indubitably follows that you must cheerfully offer yourself to yourself to be raped after killing every potential rape victim- that is all sentient beings- with the singe exception of yourself.
This is becasue you can't compensate yourself, as rapist, for depriving yourself  of a victim if you actually slit your own throat.

To summarize, the glorious synthesis of Gandhian and Christian thought consists of admitting that true non-violence, true Religion, means killing everybody while continually raping yourself.  

So no change there then.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

you're funny but this doesnt make enough sense to run the joke. gandhi wanted to kill his daughter so that she wouldn't have to be raped.

under the ubiquitous threat of rape, especially from yourself, you must offer up one by one everyone in the world as substitute for the currently selected victim. once you reach the last victim, you then kill them, leaving the second-to-last choice. They must all be killed in reverse-order now, until you commit suicide.
now, you saved everyone from rape :)

windwheel said...

During partition, some fathers put their daughters to the sword to prevent their defilement. Gandhi's originality was to say he would not just kill the daughters but also compensate their potential rapists by offering himself up to their baffled lust. This presents a comic picture- it suggests a man who jealously kills his nubile daughters so as to himself enjoy the carnal attentions of their would be violators- which is why Gandhi's disciples pressured him to stop repeating this claim.

Gandhi could only offer his own daughters, nobody elses, because, according to the thinking of the time, sons and daughters were the property of their fathers. Under 'Vasudeva kutumbakam' Gandhi, as father of the Nation, could kill any Indian in danger of rape and this is the condition of his being able to offer up his own backside in compensation to the would be violator. To be clear, Gandhi's own backside is the only compensation he thinks fair and equitable for would be rapists. Nobody else is permitted to rudely interpose their fundament.
Your argument would go through if killing the potential victim wasn't the condition for the offer of a substitute. What happens if we relax this requirement? What happens in a one period economy which adopts the rule 'x can substitute for rape victim y, if x is prepared to kill y before the rape can occur'? Assuming perfect information. homothetic preferences and that all agents has unique rank for 'rape-attractiveness', then the third most attractive substitutes for the first to frustrate the second, the fourth substitutes for the second so as to frustrate the third and so on.
How would this story end?