• Anthropology

    Human Choice and Responsibility

    Anthropology is the study of what it means to be human. Some of the factors that have been offered as distinguishing characteristics of humans include language, religion, and social laws. Evolutionists, such as Charles Darwin, believed that humans are similar to animals, although incrementally more intelligent due to their state of evolution. But claiming such incrementalism is not enough to prove it, and finding the genes responsible for language, art, music, politics, literature, economics, religion, taxation, and mathematics—just some of the things uniquely found among humans—will prove to be daunting. However, I will not make the question that complicated, because there are indeed humans who do not exhibit some or…

  • Law,  Religion

    The Four Legs of Dharma

    The word ‘dharma’ means duty. In the Śrimad Bhāgavatam, dharma is described as a ‘bull’ who stands on four ‘legs’—austerity, cleanliness, truthfulness, and kindness. These principles are common to all aspects of human life, including that which is not directly associated with a ‘religion’. Indeed, ‘religion’ in the Vedic context is simply one’s duties associated with one’s role. The roles, however, are hierarchical and a person is simultaneously in multiple roles. The duties associated with the highest role—in relation to God—are called ‘religion’. Other duties, which are lower in the hierarchy, include one’s social duties such as ‘father’, ‘employee’, ‘student’, etc. The four legs of dutifulness are associated with both…