Yesterday I wrote my initial thoughts on Kopimism being recognised as a religion, and today I see that Rick has followed up his original post on the story, stressing the serious nature of this occasion (and being kind enough to quote me). I would now like to follow up on my first impressions with some additional reflections over the antique roots of the precepts behind this new religion.
In The Republic, Plato lays down much of the basis for his Theory of Forms. Therein is described an objective cosmos of Absolute Truth only for the gods to know, with mere mortals trapped in an illusory world of flickering shadows. With our intellectual faculties, however, and through reasoned discourse, we may achieve something approaching that Absolute Truth, and experience life in a way that is closer to its true form.
It is that reasoned discourse, and its implicit quest for metaphysical verity, which is of supreme interest to the Kopimist. The cornerstone of the Socratic Method is inquiry and discussion, as they are the means by which light is shone on epistemological barricades and millstones of ignorance. Through communication, a world-view may be defined and redefined with fresh perspectives and new ideas flowing dialectically from person to person, mutating and evolving along the way, and so only by partaking in such dialogues as a project of collaboration can we hope to shed our old illusions and move closer to the nature of Truth.
Freedom of information, thereby, does not only imply the supreme value of social interaction, as I described yesterday, but is also a necessity of the hunt for Justice. Only through the free exchange of ideas can the understanding of Justice be furthered, and to infringe on that free exchange, is to impede the pursuit.
Do not here mistake ”information” for ”speech” in its literal sense, for in communication and information is implied all culture. A picture may not express an idea as unambiguously as a well-written treatise, but neither can we accuse pictures of saying less or, if you will, expressing fewer ideas. Cinema, painting, music, or interactive art which we like or dislike all speak to some part of our being – else we would treat them all with indifference – and in so doing express ideas by means no less valid than rhetoric. As a consequence, all sharing of culture must also be considered conducive to the search for Truth and Justice.
Laws which hinder communication are therefore by their very nature unjust, for through this inhibition they frustrate the very pursuit of Truth and Justice. With this, it is clear to me that kopyacting is an epistemological and religious imperative, necessary for living and acting righteously. I put it to you then, that to seek impeachment of free communication, is to make oneself an enemy of Truth, and that to restrict the distribution of culture, is obstruct Justice itself.