Archive for June, 2010

The most difficult questions to answer – part2

June 6, 2010

I assume that you have read the part1 of this two part series of “questions that are most difficult to answer”.

Without wasting any time let me start with my 6th question:

What is good and what is bad or evil? What is moral? What is ethical? Who decides good and bad, right and wrong; and by what standard? Is there an absolute standard of good and bad beyond one’s the personal opinions? Should good and bad be determined by custom, by rational law, or by the situation? What if the decisions of others (society, authorities, laws, etc) determining good and bad are contrary to one’s personal beliefs or freedoms? ¯should you obey others or follow your own conscience? Moreover, if as an answer to FIVE, we do not have free will but are ruled by outside factors, what difference does good and bad make? ¯we have no choice. If so, we have no responsibility for doing bad.

I will make it this way. Any work\action of yours if doesn’t hurt anyone including you, then you should go ahead with your work\action. So whenever in doubt we can wait for a second and ask a simple question weather this would hurt anyone. Having said that the army personals for an example should not think this way while fighting a war on the border, he should be thinking what will happen if I let this guy go away 🙂

I think we should judge a person not by how many good qualities he\she has but by number of bad qualities, lesser the bad qualities better the person. It might be difficult to inculcate good behaviours but it is very difficult to let go the bad ones. I would rather stick to moving 2 steps forward and going 1 backward (India’s Progress) than moving two steps forward and three steps backward (Pakistan). Best option would be just moving one step forward, or just half step forward for that matter and not going back. Similarly, someone who thrashes you and then gives you a chocolate to console is definitely not better than someone who just gives you a smile. Having said, a person with absolute no good or bad qualities is also not desirable, as one of my friend had said, this would be more of a Robot than a human.

Note: This logic doesn’t apply to a situation when you act as a student. Like in the case of a strict teacher, parents, elders etc. This is the time when you learn. A parent who scolds you for your mistake is definitely better than one who just ignores all your mistakes. So here all the qualities of the parent who scolds his children on mistakes are considered good. An immature mind is bound to make mistakes, so our guardian’s work is to make them understand and show the correct path.

I don’t think religion makes us more ethical and moral in behaviour. It is us who does it. By the time we are 22-24yrs I think it is enough for us to judge what is wrong and what is not. This should come from commonsense and little bit of experience and for those who doesn’t like using their senses or wishes to have a guide book in hand can fall back to religious teaching, which I believe would provide the same sense and knowledge that you should have acquired by now. By the way, in my life the most crooked people I have seen are the most religious ones although the reverse in not true.

What if the decisions of others (society, authorities, laws etc) are not in sink with the decisions of ours? This can be possible, but then if you think you are right, you should raise voice and try to convince others, that is the max you can do. In a democracy you can definitely choose your candidate who thinks on similar lines as yours.
Why are things the way they are? How should things be ideally? What is the good life —for the individual and for the many (society)? What would a Utopian society, a heaven on earth, be like? Is it even possible to create a Utopia? If so, how? Would not a Utopia assure personal freedom? What, then, should you do with those who don’t cooperate and violate the Utopian system? If you control or punish them, is there no longer a Utopia?

Things are like the way they are because of the way we manage those things.  An ideal life in my view would be a time where there is no ego, no false pride, no envy, no hypocrisy, no violence, complete peace of mind, perfect balance between human and nature and above all, each individual be treated equally. This is why I believe those who are rich should help the poor in overcoming the life’s hurdles. Sponsoring a school, research institute, higher education, hospitals etc can be thought as the contributions that the rich could make.

Recently I read an article where they mentioned how in the name of religion people in the Arab countries were asked to contribute money for their brothers but then the money was being diverted to fund the TALIBAN. The entire infrastructure for arms and ammunitions are funded by rich individuals, who are threat to humanity. This is not limited to Taliban but is present everywhere, be it LTTE (ex), MAOISTS, etc. Really, it hurts to know that when there are people dying of poverty, others are funding money for radicalization of this world.

A utopian society would be one where all the differences are levelled out. Tolerance for other’s feelings is the greatest leveller and forcing your principals over others is the biggest crime.

What is the ideal relation between the individual and the state? Should the individual serve the state or the state serve the individual? What is the best form of government and what is the worst? When is a man justified in disobeying the dictates of the state? To what extent should the majority rule and thereby act against the freedom of the minorities? When is a man justified in rebelling against the established order and creating a new state? What are the relative merits of the different economic systems (capitalism, communism, etc.).

As M.K.Gandhi has said “Be the change you wish to see in this world”. So changing ourselves would mean changing the state. Now it is up to us if we need to change it for the good or bad. Undoubtedly the best form of government is the democratic form, especially when your people belong to various religions, ethnicity, castes etc.

As far as rebelling against the established order goes, I would like to quote a sentence from the movie “Swades” – “Jo Sadiyon se chali aa rahi hai, wo zaroori nahi hai ki sahi ho”.

For rest of the answers, Google would do great :).
He who controls education controls the future. What is education? How should the young be educated—what is important and what not? Who should control education: the parents, the student, the society or the state? Should a student be taught to think for himself or to adopt the beliefs of the society? Should man be educated to be free and live for his own interests; or to subjugate his desires to serve others or the state? ¯see Question EIGHT.

Education is the single most medium which can bring all of us to a common platform. I believe in having a common education system for all of us so that each one of us is equally competitive. The stress should be laid more on wisdom rather on knowledge. The syllabus for the education system should be decided by people best in their respective fields. Each one of us should be trained to think by themselves rather following the society blindly. Ultimately it is people like us who make or break rules of society. The day we stop thinking would be the day we stop growing. I have personally felt that the problem with today’s education system is that, by the time you know what your strengths and interests are it is already bit late and you are already running a rat race, competing with thousands of other similar people. People should be encouraged to venture into unexplored or little known fields.

Man should be educated to be free and independent. He should be on his own, and then only can he think of giving to society what the society has given him.

Today the most radical people on this earth are those who are either completely illiterate or those who are educated (sans wisdom) but haven’t seen any struggle in life, everything to them has come the easy way.

What happens at death? Is death the end of everything or is there a soul in man that continues to exist beyond death? If so, is that soul immortal or does it too eventually cease to exist? If the soul does continue to exist after death, what is the nature of that existence? If there is an existence after death, is “good” rewarded and “bad” punished? If so, how do you reconcile this with the concept of predestination? And if there is a God of INFINITE LOVE and FORGIVENESS, how to you reconcile punishment?

This is again a tricky one with lots of possible answers, so I would state what I feel the ideal answer is and thus making the answer little bit biased :). I think life is like an exam and depending on the answers we give during this course we are directed to particular set of questions, and then to other set and so on and I would like to believe that after death we all are presented with our final marks that we have scored and along with that the correct solution for all the questions we have answered or left blank!! And may be we are ultimately presented with the answers of all the mysteries in the universe, after which our souls are dissolved in the particle that we call GOD. Rather than punishment or reward, hell or heaven, it would be Realization!! It would feel like heaven when you realize that most of the time you have been taking the right course and similarly it would be hell if you come to know that most of the time you have been doing wrong in your life. There is no point punishing or rewarding a soul, which could actually happen in your lifetime itself but the realization can not.

Happy reading….and get life, cheers!!!