Saturday, 16 July 2011

Magnaminity

To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnaminity and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.
page 9, Walden; Or, Life in The Woods, by Henry David Thoreau

I just can't get enough of Thoreau's works, as everytime I dive into them, it was as if I am living in a different world. I hear and see things differently, and I might be surrounded by many, but there is often a barrier which is invisible to all but me and the book. I reckon a wise man should be able to question everything that he can possibly see, hear or do, however subtle, small or big they might be.

Some men do believe in religion, some don't and there are even many who believe in doing everything that they want, as long as it won't be harming anybody else. Some free-thinkers believe that human, are born with common sense of good and evil, and we can think for ourselves, therefore we don't really need any extraterrestrial being to tell us the do's and don't's. Really?

Some people say religion and culture are distinguishible from each other. I then ask, are they really?

It is always the case, that we can make do without culture, but not without religion. The latter is sacred, and not to be questioned. Dawkin mentioned something about meme, a series of thoughts which travels across human minds. We exchange thoughts when we communicate with each other, and he believes that religion is one of those memes, of which their very unique characters ensure that it can survive thousands of years, of humanity.

I believe in my religion, and I do believe many others believe very much in theirs, but for me there is no totality in anything, and thus my beliefs have its consequences of doubts. When religion contradicts a culture, which one should take the precedence? If culture has been evolving over time, what about religion?

Quoting Thoreau again.

It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes in silence passes by as true today, may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields. What old people say and cannot do you try and find that you can.
page 5, Walden; Or, Life in The Woods, by Henry David Thoreau 

I like questioning things, but it is so often the case that I don't really know the answers to them. There is no way I am abandoning my religion, but I cannot also possibly differentiate the black from the white now.  Complexity has taken its toll of what I've been putting to rest up until now, sometimes I think they are just a matter of perceptions, no?

I'd rather devote myself to philosophy, a realm where ambiguity, dubiousness and obscurity is celebrated.

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