This post is in response to the discussion thread initiated by Senthil. This response is a bit long, bit more philosophical. Would urge people to read it through the end and think it over and come to whatever is their own conclusion.
Related Reads : Self, Realization, Zero, Summa Theologica
Here is what i think about it. Since i've been tagged the diplomatic guy, i will try to be sensitive to the question and emotions involved.
Bottomline : Should we need caste system. If yes, why, If no, do we need another system or how to abolish/eradicate the existing system.
Let us think about it.
1) What is religion
Religion is belief in God.
2) What is atheism
Atheism is belief in non-existence of God
3) What is Science
A Methodical way of explaining any phenomena.
4) Can Science define an absolute 'right' or 'wrong'
No. What is 'right' today - may be 'wrong' tomorrow. There is nothing that has continued to stay and has not not-changed. The only non-changed activity over the test of time is 'death'.
What was a rectangle,box is now sphere (Earth).
What had no water (ask all our lyricists) has now ice (Moon).
Like that, all things are susceptible to change. Can we even say that there exists something that is never susceptible to change. I am not sure. May be, we might even be able 'defeat' 'death'.
5) If there is no absolute 'right' or 'wrong' , is religion right
For those who adopt a religion it is right
6) If there is no absolute 'right' or 'wrong' , is atheism right
For those who adopt a atheism it is right
7) If there is no absolute 'right' or 'wrong' , is Science right
The method may always be right, but that does not imply the explanation may always be right.
8) Has Science enabled you to write this and communicate this
9) Who created science
10) Who created humans
Evolution /God ( depends on you being atheist or a believer)
11) What is the single-most-parent-origin of evolution
we don't know
12) Do Humans change
13) Does Science i.e. method of explanation change
14) What does this all mean
we are trying to work on assumptions, that are subject to change, and hence all the conclusions are themselves subject to change. Every human works towards satisfying his own good. If you feel that, your primary objective in life is to help others, you help, because you feel good if you help others or rather, you don't feel good if you dont help others :-)
Nothing is to say, that, how we now say Earth is not box and it is actually sphere, all our assumptions may be voided in future by some other school of thought.
Keeping all of the above in mind......
15) Why was caste system put in place by our ancestors
We can only go by the historical literature, which says, caste was based on the profession and people were grouped
16) Why did our ancestors feel the need for a caste based grouping system
At that time, based on what they knew as science and what they felt as rational, they put in a system, that they felt addressed a need.
17) Is caste applicable now
Wait till you get to question Q.22
18) What do you get by belonging to any caste
You get a sense of belonging. You get to have an identity outside of your name & your deeds. You get to follow a certain set of practises . You feel like you are part of community
19) Why do you need an identity outside of your name & deeds
Humans are social animals. They need to be with some other living beings.
20) Why do you need to belong to a community
Building on the answer in Q.19, humans have 'egos'. And people feel that when they are a part of community, people with similar beliefs, practises and customs are together and that gives them even more security since it vindicates what they do :-)
Their egos always would like to make them feel superior that someone else. They feel superior to animals. If there were no animals, they'd feel superior over the trees. If not trees, then soil and so on. Why ? Because we think we have the ability to 'reason'. Just because we can 'reason' are we superior ?. We are different yes, but are we superior ?.
Now, even amongst our species, we feel 'oneself' is superior than 'otherself'. These are basic/primal insticts. Think of the world where everyone/everything knows they are all equals. But they also know that each one of them gets to live different life-styles and gets to live for different life spans. They would never know why there is this discrimination. That brings to the next question
21) Why is there discrimation in the Universe. Why can't everything in the universe (all of us) be trees or all of us be animals or all of us be humans. Why is there a need for a dog, a cat, a mango, an apple, a male, a female. Why can't all of it be the same ?
If there was no difference amongst everything in the universe, can the universe exist ?
If there was no different amongst everything, everything exists and everything does not exist.
22) Do we need caste now
Question should be, do we need discrimation. We are, by nature, born discrimated. Positively or negatively. We are born into this universe along with many other living beings. There will be discrimination.
23) Do we need to discriminate
As long as we realize, being different does not mean positively different or negatively different, discrimination is a way of life same as why universe is bundle of discrimination.
24) Why should a discrimination be positive or negative
One question i dont think i have reasonable answer.
We all live, knowing fully well, we all die, but not knowing what to do while we live. We have all devised what is 'acceptable' behavior during our lives.
Think of purpose of living as follows. It is like i write a number on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. And you start saying, ok let me guess what the number is and you start writing out some numbers. Now i make sure you can never get to the envelope by destroying it and i refuse to talk about it (Mission impossible huh?)
Whatever number you write down, there is no way of saying that, it is the right number, since you will never get to know the number i wrote. For all we know, you indeed got the same number i wrote in the envelope, but
how do you know, unless i told you or you got hold of the envelope ? :-).
*1) What if i never asked you to guess the number ? You thought you just had to find the number without me doing anything
*2) What if i never wrote a number on the envelope, but just let you imagine i actually did ?
*3) What if i never existed and the envelope never existed ?
*4) What if more than one person attempts to guess the number and in the process believe their methodology to get find the number is better than others ? or their number is right and other's is wrong ?
Think Think Think, for all you can think, can only yeild what you think as answers. One other person can agree with you. Thousands can agree with you. Millions can agree with you. Entire universe can agree with you.
*5) Have you achieved anything by finding out why i wrote the number on the envelope ?. The very same envelope you are not sure that it even exists ?
Do you see a pattern between questions *1 through *5 as familiar ? Does it describe what we do in life ?
Please tell me if you did find answers to these questions *1 through *5 :-)
P.S : Ofcourse, there will always be people who do not buy these arguments or answers to the questions. They can choose to believe they are 'right' and am 'wrong'. I fully understand and appreciate their 'belief's while i still believe in what i wrote is 'reasonable' if not 'right' :p
Related Reads : Self, Realization, Zero, Summa Theologica