Tuesday, April 11, 2006

For the want of purpose

Four centuries after a man was accused and imprisoned on charges of heresy for refuting geocentrism, the world is still afraid of science and those that believe in science.

Was chatting with a friend, and he gave me an impression that he was a theist because it gave him some purpose in life

(15:08:38) xyz: but in eternity, where does our 100 year life stand? whats the point of our meaningless struggles/happinesses
(15:08:50) Ishwar: nothing, there is no point to anything
(15:08:52) xyz: we can as well commit suicide
(15:09:06) Ishwar: yes, we might as well commit suicide
(15:09:14) xyz: if we dont believe in spirituality, thats the only hope of life
(15:09:17) Ishwar: the only point o f life is to propagate itself through one's own genes
(15:09:29) xyz: propagate itself and?
(15:09:33) Ishwar: that's it
(15:09:37) Ishwar: there is no purpose to life
(15:09:45) Ishwar: why should there be a purpose at all
(15:09:47) xyz: and? what significance does it have in eternity
(15:10:12) Ishwar: according to me "purpose" is the invention of a feeble human mind trying to come to terms with it's futile existence
(15:10:14) xyz: there should be a point man
(15:10:23) Ishwar: why should there be?
(15:10:57) Ishwar: because our parents told us so?
(15:11:25) Ishwar: our parents also told us that eclipses are caused by snakes swallowing each other
(15:11:36) Ishwar: not just parents, our mythology says so
(15:11:51) xyz: aaaahhhhh true though
(15:11:53) Ishwar: well, when they can be wrong there, why can't they be wrong about philosophy?

And so on..

Please note(Sundar, this is for you) that the argument is by no means deductive reasoning.

Of course, I can be wrong here. Probably there is a purpose to life. But seriously, when geocentrism is proved to be false, and when we know that earth is an insignificant little planet revolving around a yellow little sun in the outer reaches of the spiral arms of an unremarkable old galaxy in the middle of nowhere, the purpose somehow eludes me :)

P.S: Hope the friend doesn't mind my posting the conversation.


Zero said...

Man, after he is born, gradually awakens and discovers things around him. And soon, he gradually stops beyond a limit when he is disillusioned with this exploration of his infinitesimal identity in the "great web" and starts to feel the sense of the importance that he wants to carry on himself, starts thinking about his future, marries, has kids an so on.
In that sense, I feel geocentrism (just as a concept, not the "sun revolves around earth" thing) is just an extension of egocentrism. So, if one considers egocentrism is valid, so is geocentrism, how much ever funny it is!
According to egocentrism, one believes in his own reality, his own beliefs, his understanding of what everything is, and there is nothing else that matters to him, regardless of the number of species that surrounds him.
Similarly, though the universe is infinite, there is no bigger entity w.r.t. Earth (Sun is gonna swallow Earth, one knows; But is it Sun which has actually "decided" to swallow Earth?) that is more "signifcant" than earth, if you get what I mean.
It's like a vast collection of zeros making up the infinite universe. As much as earth has no bigger meaning, nothing else in this universe (I might be generalising things and conceptualizing scientific ideas here; but that's what my ballgame is!) has a bigger meaning either.

Nothing is more important than anything else. A philosophy that we employ for libertarianism/individualism in political/social terms. The same philosophy, or sort of, holds for earth's place in the universe.

I am reminded of this gem (a real gem that has disappeared amongst the other quirky, funny, biting wonderful lines) from "The Fiction".
Whether or not what we experienced was an According to Hoyle miracle is insignificant. What is significant is that I felt the touch of God. God got involved.

Now, that's what I am talking about. One's own truth and the universe being nothing but a collection of all such individualities.

P.S. 1: I don't believe in geocentrism per se, and am using the word for the first time, though I knew what it meant.
P.S. 2: Though I might fall under the libertarian category when a classification is forced, I am not a classical libertarian either. I have too much of an "attitude problem" to be that! :)
P.S. 3: None of what I have written above has scietific proof as a backup and is just an observation of a man with a brain which works a little weirdly.
P.S. 4: I am not proving/disproving anything here.
P.S. 5: Phew!

I said...

Cool blog!

I think the object of faith in a higher being is merely a means of external hope/motivation or a placebo, for most people. The real "purpose" of Life is self-preservance and perceived "happiness"- material & abstract. Man embraces any means that leads him to believe he'd be "happy"- short term/long term. Sex, alcohol, spirituality, charity, family, TV or whatever.

From an "eternal" perspective Life is pointless. For that matter, it's pointless wrt any meaningful external or long-term reference. People live coz death is a horrible thing to contemplate for most Men. And there is no surity that death is any better than life.

I think no one can be a "classical Libertarian", as much as it's tempting.