Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Death of Reason

It amazes me to see people follow a plethora of beliefs that have no logical base whatsoever. Surprisingly, it is not just the uneducated but people like me who have received 22 years or more of the best education available in the world who give into believing in baseless superstitions. If, after having learnt the complex equations of statistics and probability and having applied Einstein’s theories to even more complex problems, you would still believe that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, I believe you might as well renounce whatever degrees and certificates you have obtained after slogging it out for all these years.
Think about it, what kind of an idiot gives into believing such weird notions that a back cat crossing your path brings you bad luck? Its just an animal whose colour happens to be black, which in the first place was not its fault. It is plain genetics at work. It is not rocket science that you need to apply here. Simple logic after twelve years of education will tell you that.
So, does this write up warrant the title of “The Death of Reason” only on the basis of having stated a few superstitions? No. I am afraid the issue runs much deeper. The very fact that people would give into believing a notion without reasoning or justification is a worrisome prospect. Imagine a world full of such non-thinking humans. Do you think that education would rub off on such buffoons? What is the probability that such people would be able to apply all that they have learnt in their own lives? Zilch. They have wasted their lives by obtaining education and the condition gets even worse in a country like India where the education is subsidized and the government pumps in huge amounts of money to educate its youth generation after generation.
Still do not believe me? Ok. Lets take this a notch higher. What is the single most important issue that is troubling the youth of our nation? Reservations. Why did this issue crop up? Is it something that has appeared all of a sudden? Of course not. The great men who drafted the constitution of India had debated it. It was to be scrapped after 50 years of independence to achieve a level of equality and create a society where everyone could afford to dream. To have a society where the only thing that could stop you, was you. Did we not achieve that?
Sadly, no. The system was not at fault but the men and women at the helm of the ship were. How can you have progress in a society where people are ruled by the vote bank? I do not detract the democratic system, it is brilliant. It represents the majority but fails to represent the minority. Then again, what is the minority? Life is governed by survival of the fittest so how can you handicap the capable by imposing reservations and taking away the opportunity to learn? Do you expect people proven to be of lesser capacity to be able to perform at the same levels as those better equipped to imply the same?
In all fairness to the sections of the weaker classes who are not as well off as their counterparts, I agree that you deserve an opportunity to be gauged on the same platform as the others. Sadly though, genetics would define you as the weaker link and hence not as capable as your counterparts who have inherited a richer genetic pool. Why the need for reservations then? It is because of the psyche of like-beget-like. The very people who refuse to follow logic, when in power, feel threatened by those more capable than them and hence employ measures to ensure that they are surrounded by their own kind. So, the issue of reservations crops up. Politicians then feel the need to implement measures that ensure their return the next term to suck the life out of the very people who elect them.
It is not their fault. It is ours. How many of us feel the need to actively participate in the machinery responsible for the propulsion of the nation? None in the educated clan. We would rather live our own lives and let someone else do the donkeywork. We like to sit on the sidelines, debate amongst ourselves, criticize the people who are doing the work and then show dissent of the fact that the machine is not performing as efficiently as it should. How could it be performing effectively if the capable people are so adamantly ignorant that they refuse to even participate in the electoral process and do not bother to caste their votes leave alone contest an election. You let losers lead you so do not expect miracles to bloom for you.
Another matter that came up as justification of my view was the recent closure of schools that chose to teach in English as opposed to the local lingua. That decision is plain stupid. I love local languages and they have their own unique flavour and give each individual an identity to belong to. Nevertheless, grow up. English is the language of the world. Yes, it originates from one of the tinier countries in the world but after 400 years would you rather have a study conducted to search for the language best suited to be a universal lingua and then spend the next 400 years implementing it? Of course not. They were smart enough to exploit the major population of the world and so were able to spread their language the furthest. Accept it and move on. Stop criticizing the language and instead work on refining it! It would help a lot more to assimilate it in your way of living than to oppose and fall behind. By forcing schools to impart education in a local language you are only ensuring that the students pass out without an essential skill- that of communication. How do you expect them to learn to communicate with their peers when the pool gets bigger and the crowd is mixed at a later stage in life? Is not such a stand only justifying the death of reason?
This article could go on and on stating practices of apartheid, caste discrimination and so much more. I will leave it to you though to reason for yourself. After all, I wish to re-awaken reasoning by forcing you to think. I cannot stand this slow death of reason that I see around me. So, think…


Saurabh said...

Hmm ...
I agree completely with you on the voting issue. But alas, what we all want - i.e people to actively participate in the governing of the country - that will never happen - and I have made my peace with it.
In my small company of 50 people, except a few people (the number you can count on your fingers), we find it difficult to get people to even "attend" a party with free food and stuff.

Yes. You got it right. “Attend”
Leave aside taking the initiative to organise one - even attending seems such a chore to people that they wish they'd be fed with a spoon!
Most of the people will always be like that.
It’s after all your choice, to be the cattle or the cow herd :)

As for your superstition post, c'mon - just believing in a little superstition does not make you uneducated.
Hmm .. probably giving superstition more prominence than logic is totally absurd ... but there is no harm in wishing upon a shooting star is there? ;)
(Yeah .. as long as you don’t plan the rest of your life depending on that particular wish being granted that is :p)

Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

you seem to underestimate the superstitions... heck you yourself are superstitious... now tell me- why is friday the 13th unlucky? why do you touch wood??? no logical explanation, no belief... that is what i want to prove... think about it, these are instilled in your mind only because someone else has told you so... you are welcome to adopt them if you can convince yourself of the same on the same scietific grounds that your technical education should warrant from you...