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Posts Tagged ‘reason’

We are familiar with the adage ‘Best laid plans of man and mice often go awry’ and science can tell how to sequence genome of man and mouse but cannot answer a simple thing as why their best laid plans go awry. Here we see knowledge laid up on two legs one of which unfortunately is so short so much so all their theories,- despite being formulated with greatest care come crashing down. I shall cite an example to the danger of leaving science to decide any outcome in the world.
When we consider the discipline of Science no name greater than Einstein can be found. He wrote a letter to the President of the USA that led to the Manhattan Project. (The Einstein–Szilárd letter was a letter written by Leó Szilárd and signed by Albert Einstein that was sent to the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 2, 1939. Written by Szilárd in consultation with fellow Hungarian physicists Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner, the letter warned that Germany might develop atomic bombs and suggested that the United States should start its own nuclear program. It prompted action by Roosevelt, which eventually resulted in the Manhattan Project developing the first atomic bombs-Ack:wikipedia)
Need we consider a more unwise step than this? Granted that at the time the idea was logically sound (in order to bring the war to a speedier conclusion) but none had an inkling that would lead to. But consider the world in future being held to ransom by a mad man with his finger on the button? Think of the spent fuel rods and nuclear waste leaching into the soil and into food chain: higher incidence of cancer across the globe owe partly to it. Man’s haste for solving a problem on hand is like putting out a lit matchstick but if it should in the process, throw the entire woods in flames what shall we say? Man’s foresight does not match with what is observable by hindsight. We are still living in the plethora of problems still needing a solution. While plastic littered everywhere on land the marine life is showing strain of chocking on plastic debris finding their way into ocean gyre. By reasons allied to man’s indiscriminate land use climate is showing weird patterns and as a result the coral life is bleached or dying.
Logic and rational approach to any problem is sound but fraught with danger where the problem is merely a tip of the iceberg of imponderables. Scientists speak of a cosmological inflation (It is a theory of exponential expansion of space in the early universe. The inflationary epoch lasted from 10−36 seconds after the conjectured Big Bang singularity to sometime between 10−33 and 10−32 seconds after the singularity) So between Cause and effect when repeated along the line causes a no man’s land to form, where what you do to right a wrong loses its meaning. Think of Israeli-Palestine problem. Israel shoots to stop an intifada but stone throwing resistance escalates into molotov cocktails and rockets from across the border. There are no winners or losers but the whole region being sucked into an all drawn out war of annihilation. Science has no clue despite their claim of proven data and sequence of tests and revising experiments all over again and into whose hands they are playing?
Theoretical Physics by itself is as harmless as a drudge who passes his time digging up names in order to set up a family tree. Pure Science must serve man. But their pursuits are funded by those who can make fat profits. So Technology comes in to their help.
Technology is all about dollars and cents It shall be thus Science has blundered into fields no one has ever gone before. But for every kill the pride of lions casts shadow, and hyenas will know they can have their fill when the lions turn their attention to other things. Between Science and Technology it is no different than this symbiotic relationship. Science makes a breakthrough and it causes some other concern which needs to be reworked. Of the Hubble Constant I had discussed elsewhere the bug that stymies effort is in the human mind itself. Plastic was a wonder material touted once as man’s ingenuity and harbinger of progress.

Moral aspect of man is not some formula and its source is not proved in an aseptic lab but in intra-personal relationships: happiness of living in harmony is natural and morality is sum total arrived for which no mathematical equation exists. When man has done wrong (for war is a wrong perpetuated by might over right) any solution that sound logical and timely must negotiate with changed circumstances following the war. The problem with Manhattan project did not take into account North Korea to cite an example. Science knows nothing of moral clause in the Why of living. Science is an exact discipline, so says the man who may be a moral being who never tell a lie knowingly.
(To be concluded)

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It is said religion is the opium for the masses. In Lotos-eaters Tennyson writes the effect of the lotos:

” Eating the Lotos day by day,

To watch the crisping ripples on the beach,

And tender curving lines of creamy spray;

To lend our hearts and spirits wholly

To the influence of mild-minded melancholy;

To muse and brood and live again in memory,…”

 

Poetic fancy of the poet however does not connect with reality as we know today. This is not how religion is practised.

The Scripture teaches us God is Love; good moslems similarly declare their Allah is compassionate. In that case what is the problem? Somewhere along the line prophets and their sayings are interpreted to mean entirely false. Whether God of the Jews or Allah of moslems religion has become synonymous with hate. In short religion has become the Achilles heel of mankind.

Through human understanding what can we know of love of God; or what is mercy? At least reason ought to teach us to try our best as human beings to demonstrate what love and compassion would mean. Would it not? In what way we can show holiness by some rituals? In India those who practice Jainism cover their mouth lest they swallow some little flies by mistake while yawning. However little do they see the millions of bacteria that float in the water they drink. It is impossible to match holiness of divine Being or be perfect in observing injunctions of prophets with regards to our cleanliness and diet. For the simple reason in a world of acid rain and tainted earth with various chemicals all our idea of cleanliness come with margin of error.

In Jonathan Swift’s immortal tale the central character Gulliver is brought to the land of Brobdingnag. It is written that he was repelled by the women of that land. They were monstrous in size compared to him. Their faces when magnified so much skin pores seemed to his scrutiny as moon craters! Matter of size brought about this change naturally. If we were to see as an eagle our eyes would require the size of an orange. To sum view of our world is limited by our human-ness. As a result our sense of beauty is affected; so must our understanding. How noble or mean is your God?

When Prophet Moses gave the Children of Israel the law, was it his understanding or that of God at fault?

Under the Law it was an eye for eye, a tooth for tooth. Shall we say under the Old Covenant the law represented a certain values but it was codified according to human understanding? It is of this St Paul writes to the Hebrews thus: ‘For the law made nothing perfect…(He.7:19) Instead It erected a screen between God and them. For instance during the Feast the Jews mistook the voice from heaven as thunder. (Jn.12:29) The Jewish nation lived by the law for a millennia or so and yet when God spoke, ‘I have both glorified it (name) and will glorify it again (vs.28)’ they understood it altogether in another sense.

Moses gave the law but with Jesus came the New Covenant. For Christians this New order supercedes the Old. Jesus brought grace and truth(Jn.1:17). When Jesus came to save the world he had a clear mandate. It went thus: turn the other cheek if one smites on your right cheek. He showed it in practice as well. Luke 9:51-56

Before he was to be crucified he wanted to visit Samaria. He sent an advance party to make arrangements and the people of Samaria refused them. When they told Jesus of their refusal John and James were furious and would have brought fire from heaven as Elias did. Jesus rebuked them saying, ‘they did not know what manner spirit they were of’. He did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. Jesus quietly led them to another village.

When I hear fellows casually use ‘Jihad’ to justify their criminal actions and mask foolish notion of global domination I can only say, their understanding is far off the mark. If they are misled, how much more foolish are their imams who preach hatred and violence as though it were a religious duty?

benny

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A material universe that we know holds four dimensions. Length, breadth, height and time must be equally brought into play in order to make sense. Our cosmos has no center as such but in order to fix a star we use triangulation method. But is that all there is to Cosmos? Dogs make sense of the world by their smell, and it enables them to grasp essentials. Their acute sense touches on different dimensions than that we are qualified to know. Elephants communicate at a wave length that our ear cannot grasp.(However we can make precise equipments to catch it and decipher for us.) Dogs and horses can sense far in advance of earthquake or some other danger, which when it occurs cause damage to us. But then it was not our priority since these quakes are few and far in between.
For us abstract thinking held more importance since we are social animals. We gave up certain advantages other animals have in order to fine tune our rational thinking. Thus when one speaks of God or Truth in absolute terms reason keeps its antenna up. ‘Oho, hold your horses! My carriage can only go by rails of reason and not gallop over the dales and hills.’

Thus man works with four dimensions, and reason can yield much sharper focus on his material universe. Rather than mastering so many dimensions we gave them up in order to get a sharp snapshot of our world. It is like projecting the physical map of the earth on two dimensions. You get all the geographical details, continents, oceans, archipelagos rivers etc. If one wants to map the ocean floor ridges trenches etc. it will be quite something else. This is a trade off. According to our specific needs we have interpreted the earth differently.
benny

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A Quote

On freedom ©
How do I measure my freedom?
I do in the restraints I place on it so reason and my goals do not short change each other. Having come to a man’s estate all things are possible but not all things serve my purpose; nor does it justify my sense.
benny

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A miracle to a modern mind is inconvenient since he cannot break its hard exterior to reach what kernel it may carry within. Where he seeks order and assurance what his senses tell are all within reason anything that does not fit this rule is disconcerting. Miracle is one such.
There is another difficulty and it rather indicates how shallow man’s reliance on reason is. Miracles in popular mind is connected to the Scriptures. Having rejected religion as not consonant with his rational belief he is more likely to reject miracles. Such rejection from a preconceived standpoint does not make his necessity of reason any more than an attitude. He is a modern man with a mindset of some centuries backwards.
Let us for a moment speak of miracles without including God or of the scriptures. There are galaxies moving and it is very likely these moving galaxies may criss cross one another. These billions of stars do not collide. Is it not a marvel?
Think of the Big Bang. Hypothesis of inflation states that all of the observable universe originated in a small casually connected region. I am not an authority in cosmology but I understand there are vast regions that are void,-where matter is thin and there are some regions where matter clusters. Background radiation preceding from the first moment( some 14.5 billion years ago) reaches us still. What has created such deserts in Cosmos? We have not really understood the nature of our universe or the scaffolding that is already set in it. Whether universe expanding or contracting to a Big Crunch we have to accept exception to a general rule is the norm. Such anomaly of matter being evident in the atom (so quantum mechanics could be built on its own rules of probability) can we say miracles are impossible?
Matter has its opposite anti-matter. Naturally annihilation must be a certainty when matter collides with antimatter. But universe is not annihilated because conditions that govern such destruction seldom occurs. It is as though a safety clause is built into the very heart of an atom. Anomalies of matter is a clause to keep the superstructure from falling under its very weight. (In the matter of voids and regions where matter clusters, are the voids some kind of nurseries for debris or to absorb all such shocks since cosmos is a field where stars die violently and give birth to new stars?)
As it seems to me such a safety clause is a positive aspect and an Absolute number to safeguard the infinite numbers (events,ideas, people or being) from completely overturning the few. Thus Hitler who had vowed to annihilate an entire race will be thrown down by causes that have no bearing on the few. Some may assume the few stands for the Jews. It is as correct as the Poles who would say their long cherished dream of sovereignty was preserved by ‘historical imperative’ and it is anomalous nature of matter.
Nature holds tricks that defies reason and confuses who impute God as an intervening deity to further their narrow ends. The Jews after the formation of Israel defends unlawful claim on Palestininan land on God’s promise to Abraham. Only events shall prove who is right. When Hitler was in full control there were so many who truly believed he represented the wave of future. Hitler claimed a 1000 year Reich but could only do damage for 13 years. In terms of yawning history running in millennia his reign was only a sneeze!

Miracles in nature exist and works for each of us; only that we are inadequate to explain why.

Benny

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