Lese-majesty is a crime (as treason) committed against a sovereign power or an offence violating the dignity of a ruler as the representative of a sovereign power.
At the time of writing, article 112 of Thailand’s criminal code says anyone who “defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent” will be punished with up to 15 years in prison.
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” – Denis Diderot
Barbarians do not mess around. They hunt the opponent’s king from the beginning to the end of the game. They are attacking players who are willing to accept lots of risk, calculating complications and dangers that make their opponents squirm. Barbarians put their heart into the game – a typical Barbarian might get upset if something goes wrong in a tournament and have a disaster, or, on the other hand, ride an unstoppable wave of success when things go right. Barbarians aren’t usually the type to offer draws, and their main goal is to create unusual and complicated situations on the board in which they can out-calculate their opponent.
“From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.”
― Denis Diderot, Essai sur le mérite et la vertu
Hikaru Nakamura (born 1987), the American grandmaster, exemplifies the typical Barbarian. Constantly seeking complications and fighting to win in every game, the former child prodigy has ranked as high as #3 in the world rankings. Nakamura is a very emotional player, as can be seen just by watching his facial expressions as he plays. He takes losses very hard, but this doesn’t prevent him from taking risks to go for the win in any position. A player with lightning-quick calculating ability and a very wide opening repertoire, his previous use of the extremely brash 1.e4 e5 2.Qh5?! solidifies his position as a chess Barbarian.
What if the Christian organised religion had successfully blocked all scientific progress and philosophical development of reason for the past 2000 years?
We would probably still think the earth was located at the centre of the solar system (this school of thought is known as geocentrism, as opposed to heliocentrism), despite what brilliant astronomers like Copernicus and Galileo have argued.
We would still think that the sun revolved around the earth. (Having said that, in 2012, 18% of Americans still believed the sun revolves around the earth.)
Mankind would probably not have tolerated any kind of modern democracy, since theocratic politics do not tolerate opposing views, let alone critical or secular ones. After all, there is a strong argument to be made that organised religion does not tolerate dissent.
Secularists, radical and experimental scientists, thinkers and philosophers – dissenters of any kind for that matter – would still be silenced. That is, regularly burned at the stake.
Homosexuals, bisexuals and people with multiple casual sexual partners would probably be in the same amount of danger as people of a similar nature are nowadays in central Africa – perhaps even more danger.
Women would still be banned from most of public life; in the same way history has shown us for the past centuries.
We would still think human beings are a special divinely created exception in biology. Facts about evolution and genetics would be unknown.
And since mankind would be considered to be above nature, animals would probably be exploited even more than today.
Since evidence based sciences would have a tough time, evidence based medicine would probably not exist in the form we know today, we would still use quacks, faith healers and prayer to combat diseases instead of vaccinations and other medications.
Nations that would identify themselves as devoutly Christian would probably still be fighting religious wars against the other faithful.
Many of the works of noteworthy intellectual figures would never have been published (perhaps because they were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum or similar black list). Notable thinkers on this list include: Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, André Gide, Emanuel Swedenborg, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, Thomas Browne, John Milton, John Locke, Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Blaise Pascal and Hugo Grotius. (Interestingly, Charles Darwin’s works were never included.)
‘Yes. To you, Baldrick, the Renaissance was just something that happened to other people, wasn’t it? […] No that’s what I think, that’s what I think, what do you think? Try to have a thought of your own, Baldrick. Thinking is so important. What do you think?’
Apatheism is defined as apathy towards belief and disbelief in gods. Apatheism (a portmanteau of ‘apathy’ and ‘theism’) is the belief that the very question of whether or not deities exist is not relevant or meaningful in life. Apatheists are not even interested in addressing any claims for or against god(s).
“It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley; but not at all so to believe or not in God.” – Denis Diderot
Apatheism sometimes goes a bit further and asserts that even if it were proven conclusively and without a doubt that some sort of god existed, then the person’s general behaviour and life would not change.
‘Theist: Believe in Jesus and reform your sinful life! God will throw you in hell!
Atheist: No, religion is a mental disease!
Apatheist: Hey guys, try apatheism. It’s very nice. You won’t have to care about this issue!’ – Urban Dictionary
According to the philosopher Kant, this indifferentism represents an extreme form of skepticism which argues that there is no rational ground for truly accepting any philosophical position.
“And so castles made of sand slip into the sea, eventually.” – Jimi Hendrix
Ephemeral was originally a medical term with the specific meaning ‘lasting only one day’, as a fever or sickness (Hemera means ‘day’ in Greek.) The word became more general, coming to mean ‘lasting a short time’, covering the life spans of plants or insects and then eventually anything that is fleeting or transitory.
“Patriotism is an ephemeral motive that scarcely ever outlasts the particular threat to society that aroused it.” – Denis Diderot