Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Humanity and Religion (part 3)

-What truly defines human? Just because an infant is born of human parents, does that make him or her a human as well? What do we make of a person who is mentally defective, depriving her of the faculty of speech....what is she? Is she a human? Is she still a human when her defective mental faculty renders her unable to recognize and understand speech, let alone using speech? Is she still a human when her brain is wired that she doesn't feel empathy for others, totally self-centered and lacks patience? Is she still a human when her behavior is so erratic she can't fit into the society due to her lack of mental capacity?
-That is why I say Hegel is wrong in his conception of the world as an organic being made of parts; he assumed that societies are organic beings too, and it is made up of individuals; but certainly he did not pay heed to those who are mentally incapable of catching up with society. Mentally incapacitated individuals pose a challenge to our conception of humanity and of ethics. Paul Singer would say that such individuals are unable to attain 'happiness' whatever it may be to him, and thus it would serve them better to be off dead, for life without the attainment of happiness is considered life not worth living. 'Happiness;' that is a problematic concept. In utilitarian mindset, that would just mean someone is living his life to the fullest, by being useful in someway. Mentally incapacitated people, would by then, by the nature of them being less useful to the society, be unable to achieve happiness as well.
-But is happiness our true goal? Islam promised Heaven, where the believers enjoy the presence of God, 'Salamun qaulan min rabbi ar-rahim'; Christianity offers salvation to those who accepted Christ as their Savior; Buddhism dictates that a person who has attained enlightenment will be able to escape the circle of life, being Nirvana. All of these do not have worldly aspects to it; the world is viewed as 'evil' for it contains 'suffering'; why should religions promise its adherents the world, when the world is full of suffering? Islam said that those who enter Jannah, stays there forever. Why forever? Perpetuation of a state renders separation as something that does not exist in that plane of existence, and separation is a painful event. Think about it; when a person dies of something, be it an accident, a natural death, murder, whatever, there's almost always some sort of pain involved. The person might not himself feel the pain; but even if one does not die a painful death, with no mourners, the death of a person might affect the surroundings in a negative way. The body might get smelly; the stench of death is never pleasant. It is very rare that a death is painless; Muhammad is remarked to have said on his deathbed, 'how painful death is.'
-Thus people are afraid of death, mostly out of the fear of pain. Otherwise, we wouldn't be so scared of death; nobody is actually scared of fading away from the existence. It is impossible to be scared of non-existence; Non-existence, because it does not exist, is not something that can be feared. Fear requires an object that it can fear; but in the case of non-existence, there is no object. So how can one fear? That is why many religions advocate life after death; in the field of non-existence, there's always room to be filled. One can take a white paper, and use it to paint beautiful pictures; it is almost the same with non-existence; one can always make something out of it.
-Thus the idea that something cannot came out of nothing is nothing but a popular mistake. This idea that something that exists must have a cause has been pointed out by many philosophers to be simply the doing of our minds; the sun does not produce the light, but the relationship between the sun and the light has been epistemologically painted by our conscience. The relation between the sign and the meaning is the same too; it is our conscience that makes the relationship come into being. Cause and effect is a product of us observing the nature, and putting what we observe into knowledge. And knowledge is made up of language.
-That puts me into a problematic situation. When knowledge is said of as being made up of language, how can then an animal can be said of as having knowledge? Does a human with the inability to utilize the speech faculty totally can be said of as having knowledge? Quran said that 'allamahu al-bayan'; He taught us plain speech. Speech is knowledge. The Scripture has to be in a human speech, no matter what. But that would mean that Quran is not meant for the dumb; Quran is not meant for the animals. It has been stated that Quran is meant for the humans. Animals do not need Quran. Animals do not need God. Do humans need God? One is tempted to say so.

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