Thursday, June 12, 2008

Death...that great equaliser of all men. The permanence, the finality of it - I don't think anything comes to much when confronted with its totality. Not the weakness of the flesh, not the riches of the world, not the adulation of all those who love you. In Islam, three things go with a man to his grave: his wealth (on display), his family (carrying him) and his deeds. Only the deeds remain. Man is a sum of his deeds, of the actions and decisions he has made, of the knowledge he has accumulated. When stripped away of his shell, I think all that remains is that consciousness, cast adrift somewhere...it's enough to drive one insane just thinking about it. Are we just flesh, just senses which experience things that our memory then helps feed into our understanding? The more you look inwards, the more you realise you can't find yourself, but then what am I? A thinking thing as Descartes says? One thing I've realised after finishing my first year of Philosophy is that the arrogance with which we carry science as the new religion for the era is as flimsy under the lense of skepticism as any previous one. We know why things happen, we know how they act under certain circumstances but where do the rules come from? Why are these rules there and not possible in any other way. We don't really know anything, we just keep finding more questions. I used to laugh when somebody, faced with such questions, just says Subhan Allah (Praise be to He) or whatever else they'd say for their religion. The earth is carried by an elephant which is on a bigger elephant which is on a bigger elephant which is on a bulls back which is on a turtle. It ends with the turtle. It must end with the turtle, how on earth can we comprehend the infinite when we are so finite? When we are trapped in time and space? 'Modernity' can offer us no better answers than those of a shaman in sub-saharan Africa or India.

4 comments:

Displaced Levantine said...

Perhaps empirical observation can only carry you so far, given the limitations of sensory perception and the unproved assumptions of the modern era of the infallibility (whether admitted or not) of this mode of observation, namely that all there is in the universe can be observed by our senses and the devices we create to extend those perceptions (i.e. if something exists, then one can create a machine which can measure an aspect of it)

julius said...

no surprise here. you sound just like a first year philosophy student. you want to know about the "rules?" take a physics course.

poshlemon said...

wassim,

nice thoughts. And I agree with you on science. It is held so high and so responsible for all the answers in the world. However, I think religion cant be either. But that's my point of view. Religion is just an excuse or just a temporary solution to unsolved issues or questions, that maybe science couldn't answer.

Lirun said...

modernity can offer no better answers? ok then switch off your pc sherlock.. put your keyboard where your mouth is..

of course you wont..