Thursday, July 24, 2008

Reason?

Since quite some time,a thought has disturbed my mind.It was
the thought of the 'absolutism' people place in their
religious texts.It is a dangerous thing,and on top of that,one
of the most widespread phenomena.In my opinion,(which in
itself is something that is prone to faults),I think over
dependence on religious texts,in the long run destroys mankind's
faculty to reason and debate.This in effect turns to
something more vicious,the stagnation of the thought process
of the whole community.Historically speaking,we are all too
familiar with what happened to Copernicus and Galileo.

India is no stranger to all this.The recent furore over the
Ram-Setu stands out as a case point.Since the 1990's,there has
been a gradual weakening of our social fabric,and I don't see
an end to this problem in the near future,thanks to our
politicians,though the blame is not entirely theirs.India,as a
society has become more reserved.This reservation,I may add,is
only for fellow communities.Western influences,with all their
merits and demerits have been generally well received.Another
community,the Arabs,who in the middle ages kept the flame of
discovery alive and kicking during those middle ages,in later
centuries gradually slipped when religious orthodoxy replaced
the spirit of inquiry.

This brings us to the bigger question,that is the conflict of
faith and reason.Contemporary thought has often placed the
latter above the former.Raja Ram Mohun Roy's 'Tuhfat-ul-
Muwahhidin' stands out as a case point.In this book,he rationalizes
religious thought and doesn't shy away from criticizing the
faulty religious practices prevalent during the day.Modern
thinkers have often said that reason should reign
supreme.Reason is viewed as something objective and faith is
something that is prejudiced with one's personal
convictions.However,if you really think about it,isn't reason
subject to the same weaknesses.Reason can also be influenced
by our biases,which may make them flawed.Also our dependence
on our 'reasons' is,in essence the 'faith' which we place in
our 'reasons'.So instead of conventional thinking which
dictates that the two are essentially different,we could say
that the two might complement each other.Our reasons in the
long run,may shape our faith in some philosophy and
conversely,our faith may shape the way we rationalize our
opinions.

You know,while writing this article I realized that my habit
of thinking too much makes me skeptical about most of my
established beliefs.This brings with it,a slight feeling of
mental unease and hampers sometimes my ability to make clear
cut decisions in philosophical matters.On the bright side,my
mind is,as the programmers call it,a beta version(akin to
Google products),always in a process of repair and
refinement,never taking a final form.It could also be compared
to Brownian motion,with all it's randomness,and an absence of
determinism.So on that note,in the words of the immortal Bugs
Bunny,"That's all folks!"

4 comments:

MOJOGURU said...

Amit this has to been one the best written articles on your blog.....
Kudos for your article...

But if I have to be critical(as always)I have to say that it is a bit two dimensional in approach to absolutism.There are many factors attached to it.Faith and reasoning just share a 'reactant - product' relationship with them.

Harshvardhan Pande said...

another gem of a post, totally different frm other crap on other blogs [including mine ;) ]
Thought provoking stuff!

shilpa said...

good goin bhai...me n vishal had a lil argument over a similar issue 2 days ago.....ur take on it is real gud!
one of the best posts but we want more!!!

AV said...

Hey bro, just read ur post.....its gr8 timing cause just this morning I had a discussion with dad on "faith vs. reasoning"....albeit on a diff topic....I found ur thoughts deep and thought provoking enuf, but do feel that there are various shades where both lose their absolute identities, and tend to share a "half-sister" relationship...more on this when we talk, which I wd love soon! Gr8 blog, and b4 i end my comment, I like what ur friend "mojoguru" has written.....it tends to blend a bit with what I wrote above.....keep up this very invigorating effort!