Some Thoughts

I was reading up on Hume, Kant and some empirical arguments for the existence of God, and I had some thoughts which I think is appropriate to share. Nothing religious nor anything deep, just some first hand thoughts as I read. 

To prove the existence of God, we need empirical evidence to justify it to be true. Which is to say if we cannot have direct experience of God Himself, we need to at least have an experience of the demonstration of His experience,which likely would be a display of His powers. This would not be a question of whether the parting of the Red Sea did happen or not, or if Jesus did exist; this would be questionable as human account of historical events is fallible and accounts differ. (With no offence to anyone, I believe in Jesus entirely, as I do with the other great great teachers and beings such as the Buddha)

Rather, to prove this existence today, we need God to demonstrate His powers to us in the form of a miracle. Take for example, if God raises a mountain in front of the world; this would be a good demonstration as there are no means known to mankind to raise a mountain out of nowhere in a matter of seconds. This would be an apt demonstration of God’s omnipotence (one of three omnis).

Can you imagine though, if that really happened? People will find ways to know God even more, given that God is proven to exist. Man will attempt to use Science to understand this “phenomena”, and probably go to extreme means to comprehend this. This is really where the problem starts.

A paradox will happen. If God is logically supposed to be beyond Science, and a demonstration is used to prove God’s existence, then Science cannot be used to prove this. If something happens not to be understood but is sought to be understood, then a cyclical dilemma occurs.

That is to say that if the existence of God or God Himself is not to be understood, then this existence is only logical not to be proven or revealed directly. And if God is really proven to exist, his omnipotence etc will all be thrust into the spotlight, and God’s infallibility itself will too be diminished somehow. (We will find a way to reach God physically if He shows Himself to us)

So it is perhaps the desire of man to know God that probably prevents such a knowledge, and it too is the inherent need for man to gain all possible knowledge that it is unlikely for us to know God directly. Which in itself is a complex issue since it is taken to be believed that God created Man, and thus also created this desire in us which keeps us from knowing Him.

Important In Life / Existentialism

(Greetings ladies and gentlemen, it’s a public holiday today so I hope everyone can have a hazy good time.. Ops, I mean crazy good time. For those living in Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia, do stay in doors more to avoid the haze; it is prudent to take care of your health. Here’s a short post for the morning in between the rush.)

Ask any man what he thinks is important in life:
Some will say wealth and others will say health,
While some will say happiness and others may say
Family or friends or someone he loves everyday;

Ask any guru what he thinks is important in life:
Some will say compassion and others will say love,
While some will say nirvana and others may say
There is nothing so very important in life except today;

Ask me what I think is important in life:
I say it is freedom in life within and without any strife;

Think’st thou otherwise?

Existence

(A moment of peace and quiet amidst sentry duty. Two line spacings don’t work on my mobile WordPress, so three dashes shall have to determine paragraphings and breaks.)

There are infinite number of lives all around us:

The ants hurrying about beneath our feet,

The grass that continuously grow unbeknownst to us,

The birds that chirp and the bees that buzz by;

To the ants the task of carrying it’s food around

Is everything in life that matters to them

While for the bees the job of collecting nectar

Is all that is important for them in their existence;

We watch the ants and the bees at work:

We think what they go about everyday is so minute

That their lives of carrying food and making honey

Is nothing too much to be concerned about;

Yet to them:

All that was ever worth worrying about in life

Is whether food can get safely to their nest

And if they can stay alive doing what they do;

What do you think the Universe thinks

When It sees us fretting over our next promotion

Or our academic exams and all the little things

That seem all so important to us?

If the Universe can show compassion to us,

What more to say of us to those we see as less than us?

You Know Not Yet

(This is in response to some of the things I’ve been seeing recently, things which I don’t feel too easy about. I think people should stop being so judgemental and just, live and let live.)

Holier than thou – that’s what you guys think you are
While you go around passing judgements on people
As well as gossip and spread all kinds of rumours
Based falsely upon your feeble personal opinions;

You speak of individuals with unkind words and speech
Choosing to pick out and magnify all the flaws in them
Seeking to create bad impressions and reputations
For nothing but to satisfy your uncompassionate natures;

Is it not prudent to keep silent when there is nothing good to be spoken?
Is it not unwise to pick out the speck in others with a beam in yours?
Are not those who judge here merely seeking to be judged there?

As if your opinions were even remotely right to begin with:
What gives you the right to be superior to the next so as to criticize?

You know not yet the stories of those whom you’ve spoken against:
You know not yet the power that they wield.

Love

There has to be
More love on earth between people
Where we refrain from harsh speech and actions
And love our neighbours as we love ourselves;

There has to be
More love on this planet for the animals
Where we refrain from willingly killing them or eating them
And remember that they too are living beings like us;

There has to be
More kindness and compassion in this world
Where all living creatures can co-exist peacefully together
Whether human, insect or animal;

Love transcends religion and doctrine:
It exceeds whatever man-made structure or system there is
And goes beyond all the rigidities that sometimes detract
Because love comes not from us;

It is from the universe or God or creator or however you know it
Where it is for us to share to make lives better for ourselves
As well as for all living beings around us so that
All things good can prevail and exist in this world;

Love.

(I would like to recommend a meat-free diet for everyone, because the animals deserve to live and the butchers should be spared from the cruelties of killing. Yes indeed, we eat what we eat.. but I think the animals deserve a chance too.)

Being A Friend

cool, cheery evening

Words that we utter may sometimes appear so insignificant, so unnecessary, and at times even so cumbersome. We genuinely try at times to be nice to people that we know and we tell them, ‘hey, whatever goes wrong just drop me a text, I’ll always be here for you’. Or we might say, ‘everything is okay, I’m going to be here and see you through it all’.

I’m sure we’ve all said those lines to people, be they people close to us or otherwise; I’m quite certain too that you have heard people telling you that too, that they will be there for you (as all good friends do) and that there is nothing to be afraid of or worried about.

So what’s the purpose of saying that really?

It works on two levels, or at least between two main ideas (do allow me to buy insurance here). In fact, I just discovered a third reason from my interactions with a friend as to why people say it but I would however, leave this one out until maybe just one sentence towards the end because I suspect it might not sit easy with people.

On one hand, it is to affirm the relationship between the two of you and to provide confidence. It doesn’t matter if you or your friend can be or will be there (or not), just the idea of someone being there is enough to be a great source of comfort, support and encouragement. The thought that there is a shoulder there to lean on, a sleeve to cry on, a ear ready to listen is sufficient to tide people through the toughest of times, the roughest of patches. That is the first, that people say it and use this idea as a form of support rather than actually turning to the person and using that shoulder. Those who provide this assurance and affirmation may or may not know the effect of their words, but it is definitely positive and can go a long way towards aiding others through rough rides.

The second is that people tell others this because they really can and want to be there for the people that they are telling it to. They have the capacity and ability to provide the help that is needed, whether it be either financial, physical, emotional or mental. This is a direct offer of a lifeline, a source of help that can actually be tapped on in times of need. There is something more concrete and real in this, and it does the same as per the first scenario, except that it goes beyond in that it is actually feasible.

For the final reason, it is bred out of a desire to feel like there will be someone there for you as well. It means (in simple simple words) that you say it so that you can feel that since you want (whether can or cannot) to be there for the other person, he or she will similarly also want to and can be there for you as well. It is also to keep people close to you, in that you try to make people feel that they are important to you such that you in turn can feel important and significant to that person as well. This, I am afraid, is bred out of insecurity and a sense of inadequacy of the self; that you need external support to be able to feel secure, that you need to depend on external sources to be able to feel safe and yourself. It is not the happiest of scenarios, but it happens far too often and with far too many people.

Since it’s Sunday, let’s move away from humans and talk a little bit about God. I think that’s one of the things that God, working through churches, cell groups and pastors, is trying to tell us: He is always there for all of us. Some of us, when we encounter difficulties and destabilising waves, are often clouded by the gloomy circumstances that we fail to see past the situation to see the light. It is wonderful to feel and know that God is always there for us, always ready to lend us a helping hand, always ready to direct us through ways which we sometimes are not aware of and at times miss; we do sometimes lose sight of God when we feel that our problems and circumstances overwhelm us, but I’m sure God understands that.

Here’s a verse. Isaiah 40:29 – He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

On a friendship and relationship level, I think that is what it means to being a friend – to be willing to give your love to others both in times of need and in times of plenty, in good and in bad times, in happiness and in sorrow. We very often enjoy the benefits of friendship and do not contribute back our part in supporting the other person, that while we enjoy their company in fun times, we disappear and dissociate ourselves from them during times of crisis and disaster. If you love the other person enough, you will look towards him or her even in your own testing moment of need.

Being a friend; beautiful yet never easy.

(thank you for making me realise that. It explains well why when people ask me who you are to me.. I still tend to say best friend before other things)

Choice & Chance

Cool, serene night

“Regardless what race or color you are, the blood flowing in your body is still red.”

I suppose we can’t agree more with the above sentence because that is fundamentally what makes us all human, and what makes us all the same. Equality, though it will remain more of an ideal than reality, is something very much worth striving for and towards. The world has long been working to abolish racial inequality and slavery, because such differences cause differentiation, followed after that by division and discrimination.. which are undesirable and not in line with peaceful and harmonious co-existence.

If we allocate some thought to it, no one was born having a choice as to what race, nationality or background he or she would be born in to live out. In mortal knowledge, we know that none of us on earth now had a choice before as to which country, community or family we would be conceived in to begin our life. Speaking purely of what we know, an only child couldn’t have chosen to be born into a family of many offsprings, just like how an American or Japanese didn’t choose to be American and Japanese to start. In all fairness, a white man could have been born black too.

If that is so and nobody had or has a choice as to what the first step and place in life would be, should we all not work towards the best for all humans? If you were fortunate to be born rich as maybe a German, a wealthy Spaniard or Korean, would you not do away with racial supremacy and help your fellow humans of another flesh colour? After all, if we slit open the skin of any human.. the same pain would be felt and the blood that flows out would be inevitably red.

If we can look at another person purely as another individual, looking pass his background etc, more love can be shared and spreaded in our modest world. In this way, no one will judge and be judged, and no one will discriminate or be discriminated.

This surely would prompt us to think that this idea of not having a choice of what and how to begin life applies to all living beings in this world as well. An ant might not have had the choice of being an ant or not, just like how an elephant might not have chosen to be one. In that case, should we not all practice ahimsa and show compassion and love to all beings then?

Loving The Veggie On Your Plate

overcast, likely to rain

To the general population, meat has firmly cemented its place on the dinner plate and it  is considered to be a fixed part of a well balanced  and good diet. A meal without meat on the table cannot look nor smell like a complete meal and the food suddenly becomes very much less attractive without the meaty addition. People love to eat meat and they find it to be immensely delicious and consider it a pleasure to eat meat. It is not that they dislike the greens, they just enjoy the meat. Be it on festive occasions or ordinary daily meals, meat is of great importance and it almost certainly must be served, regardless plain, with gravy, well cooked or medium rare.

Of course, there are the vegetarians on the other hand, who will not consume meat and meat is entirely absent in their diet. It is not necessarily that they dislike the taste of meat and love their vegetables so much; most of the time, abstinence from eating meat encompasses deeper reasons and intentions. No one can deny the fact that meat indeed taste good, so to give the meat a skip is not about disliking the taste, because it is factual that meat is delicious.

People turn to vegetarianism for many reasons, and the commonly heard ones would be health reasons (including weight issues), religious reasons, compassion for living beings and spiritual elevation, while not forgetting personal reasons as well.

Without any form of denial, a vegetarian diet is most certainly healthier than a meaty diet and a person is generally healthier living off a regular vegetarian diet . It is a good method to ensure good overall wellness and troubles of obesity and heart-related issues are less common among the vegetarians. This is one of the major attractive features of going green (in terms of diet) and many people consider this point to be the reason why they convert.

As for the religious portion, some religions strictly forbid their followers from consuming meat due to very specific reasons that could tide in with the concepts of karma, meditation etc. It is advised in the Buddhist religion to abstain from killing of life and abstinence from meat falls under that category as well, since it is true that the animal had to be killed in order to feed you.

Most notably, compassion for living beings is one of the most well taken and important reason for people to adopt vegetarianism. It has been an age long dispute as to whether humans are supposed to eat meat or not and many people feel strongly against eating meat. Every life is valuable and has its place and time on Earth, and thus we should not just take life in order to fulfill our hunger and desire, as straightly put across by the vegetarian advocates. This is quite subjective because people all have different views pertaining to this matter.

The choice as to whether to adopt a vegetarian diet  or not eventually lies with the individual, even though it is going against the societal norms and it could post many possible inconveniences. For health and for the compassion towards living beings, would you become a vegetarian?