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Monday, November 9, 2009

Why ?

It has been my observation that no matter what the topic, it is always useful to understand something from different perspectives and point of views. This helps us build our opinion and understand our subject in more depth. But in order to achieve this understanding one needs to surround oneself with people who have their own individual thoughts and ideas and don’t go on repeating the popular notions without giving it a second thought.

However, when u do surround urself with such wide variety of point of view it is almost impossible to avoid fights and clashes due to diff of opinions and it is at such moments that the word “why” comes into use. You see, no matter how much u deny it, the fact remains that in this world there are no right or wrongs. Only opinions and ideas of wat is right or wrong. Now some of u may argue that there some which are always wrong like say for example rape or stealing. These things are wrong according to u and since a majority of people (including me off course) agree with this, it is been made into a law. But there still people who don’t consider in wrong. It’s a different thing if u disagree with them but my point is that there is nothing in this world the whole of human race considers right or wrong. There are exceptions and objections for everything.

So instead of trying to convince others and making them agree with u , its more fruitful (in my experience) to try to understand “why do they have such an opinion?” ”why do they think this is right/wrong?” That, at least to me, is more interesting than arguing on who is right and who is wrong. Not only will this help u build a better understanding and thought process of other people, it will also make u more tolerant towards things that might otherwise bother u or offend u even though it was never intended by the other person.

“Why?” not only helps us understand others better it is also a great tool for self- discovery. Even when u watch or hear something and react to it, try asking this question. Many times we laugh at things which others might not find so funny. So we need to ask ourselves why did I laugh at that? What makes it so funny? This might seem stupid or unnecessary to do but trust me; if u do it right you’ll be surprised how much u can know about ur own self!

Understandably u cannot go on asking urself “why ?” for every little thing happening around u. Even if u do so,it probably drive u crazy. Just do this once in a while, when u feel like or ur bored ….. anytime….whenever u want to. Also be prepared to accept uncertainty cause u’ll not get the answers for ur question all the time. Don’t worry or strain ur brains about it too much.

One last thing, don’t just get stuck to this question for everything u do. Not everything u do is suppose to have perfect logic or meaning, sometimes we do things just because we feel like it. Don’t let this word stop u from it, who knows, the relevance of ur acts might occur to u in the future . This word should be means of expanding ur understanding of things not to restrict u into a mechanical logically correct world cause sometimes instead of “Why ?” we need to ask ourselves - “Why not ?”.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wager War

I came across something very interesting on the Internet recently; the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal’s Wager. Pascal's Wager is a suggestion that if you have to choose between believing in god or not, a person should “wager”(assume) as though God exists, because so living has everything to gain, and nothing to lose. This is because if at some point in the course of human race, if it is proven that god does exist then we all will have an eternal life. Eternal life not in the sense that we shall remain immortal till the end of time rather it is our soul which shall forever remain immortal and at peace in heaven even after leaving body in the event of death for we have spend our life assuming god exists and thus have not committed the sin of not believing in him. But if by any chance it does come to be proven that there is no such thing as god, we have nothing to lose for we have to face death just like the people who choose not to believe in god, thus making it the best option.

However there are many anomalies in this perception as pointed out by the famous biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins in his book “The God Delusion”. Firstly if god does exists would he really be pleased to find out that we choose to believe in him just so as to get a easy entry in heaven rather than out of respect and love? It seems like we are deceiving god just for our own benefits. Another point of view which Dawkins presents in the book is of a “Anti–Pascal Wager” in which he suggests the exact opposite of Pascal i.e. if we were to choose between believing in god or not, the best and most advantageous option would actually be of not believing in god because if at some point its proven that god does exists then god might perhaps like the people who choose not to believe in him for they did not find enough proof for it. God would probably respect a man who made an effort to search for the truth rather just giving in to what everyone else said and if it is proven that god does not exist then we would have spend a life without wasting time worshipping him, doing unnecessary rituals or getting involved in fights often caused between religious groups, hence proving to be a win-win situation.

Now although it seems that the obvious choice at this point will be to not believe in god’s existence I have to point that while god might respect a man who made an effort to search for the truth and did not just blindly believe in him, not believing in god is still a sin for which u cannot be allowed in heaven.

Some of the other criticism which Pascal’s wager has faced over the years if of people who thought that although assuming the existence of god might seem advantageous it still does not in any way prove that god exists. While this is true it cannot be really be considered as criticism for Pascal’s Wager because he never set out to prove the existence of god. He merely suggested a better option of assumption which might help us. Which brings us to the all important question of why do we have to make an assumption in the first place?

Pascal found the life to be full of uncertainty. Everywhere you look there is uncertainty, be it nature, religion or science. Till date we have not been able to go farther than mars then how are we supposed to find out about the almighty who presumably is the creator of the entire universe! We can never prove/disprove the existence of god for god’s essence is “infinitely incomprehensible” and thus, according to Pascal, we are left with choice but to assume and the only question now is which one to assume. But what I can’t understand is - Why is assumption our only option? Cant we simply state that “We don’t know”. Since there is no way one can find out weather or not god exists doesn’t it make more sense to admit the fact rather than live your life believing in something which cannot be proven just because it seems to be more profitable to you??