Wednesday, October 20, 2010

That sinking feeling...

It started to creep into me as soon as I had got what I wanted. That mean thought that told me things won't always be this good, that they can't be- that the plans I drew in my head and smiled at in the morning each day won't be carried out to perfection. I think that's when it first started. Except... if that was the case, why did I feel so surprised when it became reality? I guess I over-estimated the strength of my optimism. I can never be sure.

All I know is that I was alive. And I was living with all the other six billion people and plants and animals and words and ideas and buildings and things and screens. But now it's just me. Or just them. The point is we're not together. I walk around feeling like a stranger in a strange place with strange people saying strange words and doing strange actions.

I surprise myself sometimes. I had no idea how important it was to me. Had I really built my life upon it? It didn't seem so to me, but if I hadn't...why do I feel like my building blocks have fallen?

Have I lost hope? I haven't. But is it worth all this mental stress? Am I wasting time?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Our Own Reliability


At any point in time, there are global standards of what's acceptable [ethically, morally...-what you are to do in order to be considered civilized] and what's not. But these standards keep changing: the laws and rules are in constant re-arrangement. Just look at the Code of Hammurabi. The first laws ever to be made involved:

"If anyone brings an accusation against a man, and the accused goes to the river and leaps into the river, if he sinks in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river proves that the accused is not guilty, and he escapes unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.

If during an unsuccessful operation a patient dies, the arm of the surgeon must be cut off."

I can't quote them all, there are around two hundred and eight two of them, but you get the drift. So if I was writing this in Babylon in the year 1790 BC, these laws would strike me as what is just and right, and people who disagree with them must be uncivilized.

Obviously, we have gone a long way from there, but sometimes all we can do is compare our current state to the past. What we view as correct at the moment might be absurd in the future. This is scary- because our perceptions are only relevant to the general consensus of mankind at the time we live. But how can we be so sure of the correctness and ethical value of our laws at the moment? After all, the people in the past responsible for making the laws we laugh at were doing the best they can in trying to identify the most just instructions at the time. They were not less intelligent nor were their brains designed in different structures than ours.

So again, how reliable are we?

This is why I believe that the guidelines we use to live our lives shouldn't be our own compositions. If we are guided by an Absolute, a Creator who does not change with time, who views everything and sees beyond the unseen, who is objective and therefore knows what must be done by humans if they are to live in peace with the universe, we wouldn't have to face any inefficiencies because our current system is a one-sided view. In the grand scheme of things, we can't expect all to work out if we design things only from our perspectives, because we are not alone in this world. There are infinite things we don't and can't have knowledge of.

I have chosen to be Muslim, accepting the Qur'an as the word of God. This is why I don't care about what people have to say concerning the laws inside of it. That it is uncivilized to stone adulterating women, to cut the hands off robbers, to allow daughters half of the share of sons. We are in no position to decide on what is civilized and what isn't- you will keep on changing your views depending on your time and place. One day it's acceptable to drown women suspected of witchcraft; the next day it's acceptable to have same-sex marriages...

There can only be one correct way of running this world.

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