Monday, December 1, 2008

The (ir)Rationality of Reason

Dear Blog,

William Cowper once said: “The absence of proof is not the proof of absence.”

I just saw a documentary by Richard Dawkins, "The Enemies of Reason". While I completely agree with the fact that the world has been gripped by superstition, I don’t believe everything needs reason. Let us try to understand why people believe in superstition and why to a certain extent, we should allow them to.

Why did people believe in God in the first place? Did the human race start with a belief in God? Why did it happen that so many people had different so many different views about “God”? I believe humans, by nature, need a reason. And attributing everything that happens to a “God” is a reason...!!!

Astrology may completely be a science of coincidences... but then, so are the expert opinions on finance and economy. If finance and economy are completely scientific, why are we facing the meltdown...!!! No, I’m not comparing the two to “unscientific” astrology... but then, all are subject to uncertainties that can’t be explained by any theories.

What is the harm in consulting a psychic if it gives me a good feel? Why do “rationalists” not take it as equal to any other activity that a man can feel satisfied by... something as simple as say, having a smoke...!!! Marketers dupe people about characteristics of products, the government dupes people of policies... what’s wrong with these new age “gurus” duping people!!!

As long as personal beliefs do not interfere with and harm self or others, I believe individual beliefs should be allowed to exist. False positives provide the comforting illusion of meaning. We desperately want to feel there is an organising force at work in our bewilderingly complex world. We want someone to blame when we are stuck by misfortunes and someone to share our fortune with.

Thus, to summarise, I believe, believing in supernatural is wrong but what is more wrong is not letting the believers believe the truth behind their belief.


P.S. I’m an ATHIEST. I don’t believe someone can govern what I do. But I have utmost respect for those who do. And this is a belief that I do not wish to debate on...


priya said...

actually, astrology is not all that pseudoscience. nor is palmistry.
it's a branch of science that deserves attention and research. IMO, folks who call it superstition are akin to those who thought it was heresy to say the earth revolved around the sun.
for every ten fake gurus who dupe the public, there is one genuine guy who knows all about you just by looking at your face, but chooses to shut up just because he does not want to alarm you.

MMM said...

Very much possible...
And thus, my belief of letting the believers believe!!
But yeah, astrology is not considered science just coz of those ten fake 'gurus'.. actually, if it is studied as a science, prob the fake gurus would face a meltdown automatically...!!

skhajone said...

"As long as personal beliefs do not interfere with and harm self or others, I believe individual beliefs should be allowed to exist."
Thank you for giving me words :)

MMM said...

I'm not so sure I got wat u meant by giving you words??