Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rationalism ... Contd.

There was a very interesting comment which Mr. Nanavaty posted on my post the other day. Just thought I would blog a little on that.

First of all, let me say that I agree with Mr. Nanavaty's observations. But, what I am trying to say is that while there are certain things that Science knows (or shall I say, the current state of scientific knowledge is aware of), there are yet others which we may not be aware of. As you rightly said, there are things for which we dont yet have scientific proof, one way or the other. All I am asking here, is that till such a time as we have proof, let us not debunk theories. God, to me, shall always remain about personal Faith. But, other phenomenon, while eluding proof at the moment, may not be so, in the future. So, let us not negate them just because we cannot affirm them.

To add to this, let us also understand that all that we see may or may not be. There was an article in the Guradian, about how scientists have been able to induce out of body experience in a laboratory setting. What this points to is, that what we see may not always be, and what is, we may not always be able to see. Or, take the instance of research on the bionic eye. People without sight being able to see. What this points to is that there are, at times, things which are beyond the scope of our reasoning. There was an article (I cant seem to find the link to that), about the Universe expanding from the Big Bang singularity at speed greater than the speed of light. THis, and other experiments have brought out facts which show that the constant c is not unbreakable.

Which is why, all i ask for is an open mind, both ways! Nothing more is what I request. If, by this, we can take our understanding of the world around us to the next level (to me, whether we do it using rationalistic tools, or philosophical, is not as important as developing an understanding, though I do believe that at any point, we shall never have arrived, which means that we shall probably never reach a point of knowing all, somewhat like limit x --> 0), that would be something which would be very nice.


Nanawaty said...

Dear Atul,

I agree with you on the point of keeping open mind and think rationally. But this should apply not only to rationalists or one may say followers of reason, but also to {hard core} atheists too. As a scientist if one comes across the evidence/prrof against the hypothesis, he/she will accept the proof and never insists that he/she was right and all were wrong. But this never happens with irrationalists.
Just because sceince cannot disprove the existence of God one must not accept (blindly) the exstence of God. Tommorrow one may say that there is a boiling tea pot very near the Sun. Obviously no scientist will be able to prove decisively absence of it. This does not mean we go on believing that there is a tea pot near the Sun (whose surface temp is millions and millions of degrees}. It is the responsibility of the claimer of tea pot to come up with proof which should be beyond doubt and satisfy logical reasoning. The hypothesis of God lacks all these steps.
As such let us keep this hypothesis in hybernation till some hard evidence comes up. Till such time we will stop all that nonsense which is attributed to God.
Prabhakar Nanawaty

Atul said...

Dear Mr. Nanawaty,

While I agree with your reasoning, all I would say here is that unless the presence of otherwise of God is proved, lets not make statements on this one way or the other. And, the first step would be to not be judgemental about this. Neither is this consistent with the scientific spirit, nor is it anything much more than irrational atheism.

Adding to this, the disproof of the negative is also a part of the scientific method, like we prove the irrationality of the square root of 2. Which means that this is not just a simple, straightforward debate, but has many more twists and turns than we imagine.

debbie said...

December seems to be a hectic month for you.. there has been no new post after the tea pot... waiting to read the next line of thought.. may be X-mas food in Kolkata??? :)

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