Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The value of faith

I really like the stuff that Dawkins has to say. Though I sometimes wonder if being that curt is really necessary, I sort of understand the reasons why being aggressive is important. I have been watching him talk to many people and I found his interview with Fr. George Coyne.
Now, this was quite interesting. Interesting because I have wondered, like many others, how would it be possible for someone who works in Science to have a religious faith? How can someone be a good scientist, a person who feels the philosophy of science agreeable if he absolutely believes in something that can't be tested?
Seems like it's possible if he just lets those beliefs be without considering the ensuing inconsistencies as thorns in the flesh! If he can make peace with the inconsistencies by accepting that they are such and they have to be so, he can probably continue being good at doing science and believing whatever he believes.
But what is the value of such a difficult exercise? Why should someone hold on to faith with so much trouble? Why I'm saying this is, faith might have a tiny bit of value for someone who uses it as a source of comfort. Or for someone who is yet to understand clearly why faith is not really the way to fill gaps in our understanding of things around us. But for someone like Coyne who can think so spectacularly clearly about things, what is his need to hold on to a faith? Is it because he finds a secret comfort that he is not entirely denying his traditions and god and thus is not disowned by a fellowship that he wants to associate himself with? Is it because he doesn't want to be a person who is arrogant and is audacious to disregard all the ancient seekers who were sincere in their quest to find answers to life's questions? Is it just a sense of humility? (If it's humility, why faith? Why an absolute belief? He's not evaluating his belief, he is convinced (perhaps not in a scientific sense) that whatever he believes is absolutely true) Is it because of a sense of gratitude to his traditions that has made him the person he is, overall? Or is he still confused and not entirely clear about why faith is not of so much value to him? Or is his belief not as absolute as he really wants it to be?
Or is it just because of a thought that he has had all his life and is very difficult to change so drastically? If that is the case, I'm so happy that I don't have the so-called "gift of faith". It is such a scary gift!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Where do you draw the line?

So I have been seeing and reading stuff about so many wars that happened in the 20th century. I like that history is getting all the more fascinating for me. I have wondered whether studying history has any value at all. Surely we don't learn from our mistakes and we always find avenues to make similar (though outwardly new) mistakes. But that's perhaps a wrong way to look at it. Utility is perhaps overrated.
History is simply fascinating because there are just so many stories in there. And we will never get to know what truly was! Half-possibly wrong- knowledge is exciting. It sometimes drives me nuts.
Yeah, as I was seeing all these war stories, this question came to me. I know this is talked about and all that. But I had never considered it seriously enough. The question is about drawing a line between a terrorist and a freedom fighter. Anyone who makes use of violence to induce terror can be called a terrorist, right? Now if he is fighting to separate a particular group from some other group can he be called more of a freedom fighter and less of a terrorist? A freedom fighter can be a terrorist. He would be a terrorist freedom fighter. Just because he is fighting for freedom (so-called freedom. I totally think freedom is a misnomer, though I don't have competitive alternatives at the moment) he won't stop being a terrorist. But my question is, when does he start becoming a freedom fighter? After a certain number of people start supporting his cause? (Who decides this number anyway) Isn't the title 'freedom fighter' more because of a result that follows? That is, if he is successful in pursuing his cause, then he gets called a fighter for freedom. But if he failed, he would still remain a terrorist? So, does success alone bring validity to the cause? Perhaps I'm being biased about the 'label' of a 'freedom fighter' as something good. But that is indeed the general opinion, right? Freedom fighters are respected. They are seen as heroes. As people who stood for a greater cause. But terrorists are bad examples, they are detested and feared.
So, yeah, when does a revolt(an act of terrorism) become a struggle for freedom? Is it when there are a lot people who support it? Or when there are people who are already successful vouch for it? Or if it happens for a long period of time and causes substantial loss and thereby prove that it's with a consistent reason?
I wonder if rationality is perhaps somewhere in the bottom of the list of reasons for something to be seen as 'right' and 'good'.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

To find out!

As frivolous as it may sound, I think I have re-discovered the 'why' for my life. It is to find out. To find out more about the things that interest me. Not to get anywhere in the material sense. (I don't mean spirituality or something) But just to understand more clearly those phenomena that I find inspiring, funny, enlightening or plain absurd and thus intriguing. This is still such a free way to live, isn't it? The pleasure of finding things out is worldly. And true.
It's never enough said about Feynman!
Also it's time to have that sticky note up, again - "never stop being curious!"

Friday, September 17, 2010


About this I guess I'm sufficiently clear - there's no universal purpose. My actions don't really contribute to anything to fulfill a grander purpose. The universe as such might not have a purpose at all. It might but I guess it's not very easy to decipher it to a granularity where my drinking coffee should be affected by it somehow. So yeah, this I think I'm okay with.
But this need not stop me from having purposes for my life alone, right? I don't know whether it should/can stop, but every single day I wake up because I do realize there's something that I want to live for. I might not be aware of it every second of the day, but I know it implicitly I guess. This way of life is so , what shall I say, weightless? I still have to figure out in clear words what would my own purpose be. But I think I have a fair idea. It's perhaps to consistently have a way where I can pursue whatever interests me without having to trouble myself too much. Hah! that was simpler than I thought.
Or why watching "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life" is a very good idea.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why don't you do what you do..

A: The story of my life - inspiration problem.
B: You don't like what you're doing?
A: Not one bit.
B: Then do something that you like the most. There must be something I'm sure.
A: So much for the motivation-talk. The problem is the difference doing something and doing something for living.
B: I've heard too many people say that. It's all about taking risks. Following your heart. If you want to do something, just go for it.
A: Hah hah!
B: What's so funny? Come on, tell me what's it that you like the most? Let's see what makes it so tough to earn a living through that.
A: Sex.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

No more apologies.

I have decided thus. There isn't going to be undue politeness. No pretend-goodness. I shall speak what I want without bothering about what immaterial existences have to think about. I want to use this to move myself to a point where nothing but only clear and honest self-expression matters. No more sorry. No more disclaimers. Finally I have gathered up guts to call a spade a spade.

picture from mikepaulblog, edited.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


I wish I had infinite time in this world. Everything would be just so slow then. Or would it be?

Friday, September 03, 2010


A lot of people who think that they are crazy and random are really not. They just wish they were.