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.
-- Aristotle

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I guess it’s been a looo…oooong time. When I was living alone here, my emotional outlet was writing. Now that my mom is with me for a few months, can you blame me if I want to spend precious moments with her? J Of course, work keeps me quite busy and I don’t have as much time to just sit and moon around as I would like to. Hmm… I think sitting and mooning around is what I have spent the most time in my life on. Wasn’t it Aristotle who said “The unexamined life is not worth living”? Sometimes I do wonder, why is it not? The liver clearly doesn’t know or care and is as happy and maybe a lot more than someone examining it, I dare say.
Anyway… now that I have warmed up to the blog again… sharing a post I wrote a little while ago but for some reason did not put out.

I have always avoided talking shop on this blog. Or talking work stuff. But I guess I am in that happy position now where my work and personal thoughts are all in the same zone… that is, philosophical J Out of habit though I tend not to talk about things that are closely related to what I am thinking about from a work (now research) perspective, but I guess it’s much harder and probably a bit pointless to maintain that distinction any more.
Out of a number of ideas that have occupied my mind in the past many months, an important one is objectivity vs. subjectivity. As a lay person, I thought of objectivity almost as a virtue. It meant justice, fairness, rationality, detachedness… and not allowing my personal feeling to cloud my judgement. But, now I realise, objectivity could have another meaning. It could mean defining an absolute view. It could mean establishing your version of the truth as ‘the truth’. It could mean not allowing that there could be various ways to look at the same problem and all of them equally admissible. It could mean being intolerant of non-mainstream positions.

To give an example, is history as we are told an objective account? The account serves the interest of some or the other side, usually those on the dominant side …could it be objective? What would objective mean? Objective from whose perspective? If one has to ask that question, it ceases to be objective. Take for example any religion. The religious members within the faction have no doubt that what is written in the Bible or the Koran is objective knowledge or that it is the truth. If one were to contest this fact, the objective would become intolerant because the whole notion of objectivity is founded on the fact that there cannot be another way of looking at the matter. And this needn’t be said only of religion. I personally feel that science fanatics are probably as culpable as the religious ones because just as religion does a bad job of establishing if the earth is round or square, science may be unable to tell why humans behave as they do…because human behaviour is derived as much from culture (which is variable) as from nature (which is fixed). Yet, science fanatics, at least the dogmatic ones, will cry heresy as much as the religious folks simply because they are so wedded to objectivity; they do not realise that sometimes it is more objective to be subjective. Because one supposedly objective view may drown many subjective views but many subjective views may represent a diverse universe better. And in my opinion, may also be a more tolerant universe.