Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Universal Truth

You ask somebody whether there is something called universal truth, they will easily tell you yes there is. They will enlist a number of things like Earth is round, or It is wrong to kill or rape another human being etc.

Yeah, all of them are true, only at a superficial level of thinking! I dont believe that there is anything called universal truth. Very hard concept to grasp.... for some. I am not saying I am right(dont want to be arrogant here), I am trying to tell you why I think what I think.

It started when I was in 8th std, when one of my friends was telling my physics teacher that earth is round. Our physics teacher said, yes (The truth according to current day is that the earth is round/oblate spheroid). My friend said that my physics teacher was bullshitting and truth doesnt have another dimension(or chronology) like time associated with. If something is true, its true always or false always. My physics teacher calmly said, no, that wasnt the case and he said, before 15th century the "truth is that the earth is flat."

I thought I had better things to focus on and let it go. Even though it had piqued my curiorsity.

As I grew older and had kept my teacher's remark in mind ( I knew he was smart ) so when he had made such a statement, he must have thought it through, i realised that what he was saying is actually true!

What we learn or accept is, what is told to be true consciously or by exhibitting from people around us. There are many forms of truth scientific truth, political truth etc. Ability to make this distinction comes with age.

There was an interesting argument that ensued between, me , ashok and sandesh. Sandesh asked us if we believed in a universal truth " Such as rape is bad ". By that point the argument had taken a bitter note and I didnt want to say that I didnt believe in it, and decided to keep quiet. Ashok however put it very cleverly saying " I believe that rape in humans is bad universally" making the statement oxymoron -> Hence telling Sandesh that he doesnt believe in universal truths.
This article is a good example of how what we are made to believe may not be "truths". What we believe in life is just a consequence of the society that is around us. If we had seen people eating each other from childhood we would think there is nothing wrong with that!

The rules of what is right and what is wrong is just a consequence of what most people think at that point of time. The people who think differently are ostracised and condemned. If you think ahead, you suffer, you think backwards you suffer.

To answer sandesh's question. Scientifically there is no wrong deed by committing rape. Thinking that rape is wrong "scientifically" has no basis... its like believing in a religion. I am not saying believing in a religion is wrong. Just that both of them have no scientific basis! Just like Science has no religious basis!! Duhh :)

But from the perspective that I have today "which is a consequence of my surroundings", rape is inhuman(1990-2007). I am putting this time period, because what I believe now may not be common belief in future, like how homosexuality is accepted now and it wasn't accepted decades back!

Conclusion :
1) There is no universal/absolute truth
2) There is no 100% right
3) Nothing is sure (Zen philosophy)


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