To Be or Not To Be
A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!
~A Wise Man Said~
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
~When in Lancaster~
Life as PhD Student
Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Read the Da Vinci Code recently. I quite liked the book, but more than the story, I was caught up by the ideas on religion and faith interweaved within it and would like to share some thoughts that were triggered in the process of reading it.
I have never been able to figure out why people consider the Bible (or any holy book for that matter; but here I speak only of what is personally familiar to me) as God's word. It does have events chronicled in it that refer to God, but who is to say they have been written by people keen on reporting nothing but the truth and if what has been written is the way it all really happened? This same thought was expressed in the book and I couldn't have agreed more. The author says something to the effect that, why do people think the bible dropped from the heavens? Indeed, as strange as it may sound, even though people never analyse it, the reverence with which they hold the Bible is no less than if it had actually dropped from the heavens than written by the hand of man. The author mentions a quote in this context, "What is history but a fable agreed upon?". Truly.
Another question that intrigued me was that of "faith". If such truth that had the power to shake people's Faith were found, should it be made public? The author's answer, as was made evident by the conclusion of the book, was "no". But I am not so sure. On the one hand, I do realise that for some people, it is far better to live in a world of belief in better things to come, than to know for sure that there is no such guarantee of better things. On the other hand, there are people who "cannot" just believe, without a scrap of fact to support this belief. They would rather know that rain is not a miracle of the Gods, but a complex natural process. When seen from a certain perspective, we might feel that maybe it is better that the world live happily ever after with faith. But when we look at all the events that we have been through in our entire history on this earth, is all that we are today, a product of faith/blind belief or a product of a desire for truth, a desire to find out facts as they are? Would we have been happier in worshipping the sun today or in harnessing it for energy? ...I am definitely not against the idea of God, I am also among those who silently pray to God when all my energies seem to fail me...but what I am very much against, is to hold "faith" above "truth". I feel that those with a strong faith, those who believe strongly in what they do believe in, should not be averse to testing their faith against the rigor of truth.... for if truth emerged successor, they would know that their faith was false (but why even fear this outcome?) ...and if it didn't...they would know what they have always known and now have the ultimate seal of truth on it.