The Scientific Point Of View. J B S Haldane Essay. Reintroduced By P S Remesh Chandran

061. The Scientific Point Of View. J B S Haldane Essay. Reintroduced By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 14th Sep 2014. Short URL http://nut.bz/1ds8_4tt/ Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Adopting a scientific point of view is useful in many ways, whether for solving the Negro problem or for solving the problem of diseases. J.B.S.Haldane was a famous British scientist and author who later took Indian citizenship. His writings on biological subjects made scientific ideas clear and popular among people. The author argues that adopting a scientific point of view is essential and beneficial for man, rather than adopting an emotional point of view.

Scientific point of view is God’s eye-view. A good scientist, like God, will view and examine things impartially and truthfully, and will not have emotional considerations and pass judgments.

Science influences the average man in two ways- its practical applications are useful to man and it affects his opinions also. One of science’s main contributions to common man was its presenting man with a scientific point of view. Science continuously tells us we should give up smoking and consumption of liquor, and adopt walking and swimming daily activities to remain healthy. Once we viewed these warnings skeptically, but we now have begun to understand that there is sense and logic in these warnings. That is science’s contribution, creating this awareness and consciousness of health. The average man is attracted by the emotional and ethical aspects of a problem, not by the facts, whereas a scientist considers only the facts. A scientific point of view places everything and everyone on the same emotional level which is impartial and truthful. Because of this equalization in emotional levels, scientific point of view can be called the God’s eye-view. A good scientist will, like God, view and examine things impartially and truthfully, and will not have emotional considerations and pass judgments. Even though the enemies of science wish science to do both, and abuse scientists for being deaf to moral considerations, a scientist will remain such impartial that Mr. John, Mr. Chang, Mr. Smith, the Tape Worm and the Solar System will be equal to him. A scientific point of view enables people also to adopt the same view of an impartial scientist, in analyzing things of importance to him.

When Negros enjoyed friendship of whites during the American Civil War, the new Democratic Negro became a heavy drinker and died in thousands, more in numbers than were killed in the actual war.

Haldane is of the opinion that the Negro problem, i.e., the problem of Negros becoming a problem for the whites, and the problem of diseases can be solved by adopting scientific point of view. He uses these two examples to illustrate that adopting scientific point of view in solving social, human problems is feasible and useful. Though there have of course been strong oppositions to his this point of view, let us examine his observations on the living conditions of Negros in America, most of which are things of past in America now. Negros was considered inferior to white men. In the Southern states of America where slavery existed, the Negros were pulled out of cars and driven to cotton plantations to work hard in harsh sun light. Openness to nature favoured them and there they prospered and multiplied, creating thus the so-called Negro problem for whites. But had they been extended consideration and fellowship, they would have become softened and died of American diseases. This is the question J B S Haldane rises- whether emotional or scientific attitude is to be adopted in solving social, human problems, which is beneficial and useful? During the American Civil War, the Negros enjoyed friendship of the whites, as a result of which the new democratic Negro became a heavy drinker and died in thousands. The number of Negros killed that way was far greater than the number of Negros killed in the actual war. Once we shed the emotional point of view, adopt scientific point of view, we allow Negros to return to nature and live in their natural habitats, and there is and will be no problem from the Negros.

Scientific point of view is the moral equivalent of war; they are equally fast in teaching peoples lessons.

Adopting the scientific point of view helps solve the problem of diseases also. For ages, and even now, common people think that diseases are caused by the Sin of man. But now, thanks to science, more people know that diseases are caused by the attack of foreign organisms known as microbes. By studying microbes with a scientific point of view, preventive medicines can be developed against diseases. The moral use of war is its teaching people lessons fast. Scientific point of view also teaches people lessons equally fast. That is why J.B.S.Haldane theorizes that scientific point of view is the moral equivalent of war. It teaches people lessons as fast as war. Knowledge of biological facts helps people prevent diseases. Diseases are manifestations of nature’s laws. By knowing about these laws, people can cure or prevent these diseases. The only problem remains is, people not being punctual and regular in administration of their prescribed medicines. Attitudes like this are such common that discovery of insulin has not helped reduce the death rate of diabetic patients in England and elsewhere, for medicines and their usage do not still have a scientific basis among people. It is a paradox that ‘the study of medicine, apart from its scientific basis, has created more neurotics than scientists,’ Haldane observes.

In spite of scientists and science reigning in this world for so many long years and teaching, many people still think that diseases are products of our sin.

Scientists and science have reigned in this world for so many long years but in spite of their teaching that diseases are manifestation of natural laws caused by microbial attacks, a considerable number of people still think that they are products of our sin. When Jesus Christ was asked why a man became blind, he answered: ‘Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents; but the works of God should be made manifest in him.” He considered it an opportunity to prove God’s manifestations and cured the blind by his simple touch. The scientists cure people with diseases, instead of accusing not only them but their ancestors through generations also of sinning. In this respect, a scientist’s view of diseases is not unlike the view held by Jesus Christ. Many of his followers but still hold to views which Jesus Christ opposed. They are not scientific but emotional in viewing many social and human issues such as remarriage and abortion. When diseases affect, some of them do not treat it scientifically but pray. Many more people hold to the view that diseases can be cured by returning to nature which is just another fallacy- we will die before we begin to get rectifying restoratives from nature. To live according to nature to escape from diseases also is quite meaningless because civilization, savagery, health and sickness are all part of nature.

[Prepared In 1990]

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If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
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PSRemeshChandra
Author profileEditor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Kerala. Unmarried and single. Also edits Bloom Books Channel.

 

Life Without Fear. Bertrand Russell Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

049.

Life Without Fear. Bertrand Russell. Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 8th Oct 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/s6rjyi46/
Posted in Wikinut>Essays

Fear is an ancient feeling of human beings, the right application of which saved mankind from taking too many risks and helped facilitate the continued existence of mankind. Actually fear is the essential pre-requisite to courage. But in the modern day world which is not as danger-prone as the ancient primitive world had been, man fears to even release his breath. World famous philosopher Bertrand Russell analyzes the operation of fear.

Fear can be avoided through the right kind of education.

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Principia Mathematica, History Of Western Philosophy, and Marriage And Morals are a few of his famous writings. ‘Life Without Fear’ is an extract from his book ‘New Hopes For A Changing World.’ He is discussing how human life is ruled by fear and how fear can be got rid of. He says, fear prevails over man’s dealings with nature, with other men and with himself. Russell is of the opinion that fear can be avoided in human life through the right kind of education.

Fear is entirely different from the rational apprehension of danger.

Fear of danger, fear of no food, fear of death, fear of destitution and fear of other human beings are natural to all men. Fear is a natural basic reaction which is common to all men and animals. But, Russell says, it has no ground. Fear is a kind of foolishness which makes man unwise in his dealings with nature, with other men and with his self. Fear has no rational basis. Fear and the feeling of danger are different. Feeling of danger is logical when a danger really exists. It enables man to think out what kind of action can be taken against the possible danger. Therefore, feeling of danger is desirable. But unreasonable fear prevents people from admitting danger and taking wise precaution against it. A pre-knowledge of danger enables man to adopt different kinds of treatment for different kinds of dangers.

The limitations imposed by nature on man causing fear also can be bypassed.

Nature imposes certain limitations on man which also cause fear. Short supply of food and raw materials and the unavoidable death are fearsome limitations imposed on man by nature. Even Arch Bishops someday thought that drought and excessive rain could be prayed against. People were urged to gather to pray against Plague which only helped to spread the disease. But the days of superstitions are gone. The limitations imposed by nature on man also can be bypassed which are what history is made with. Mankind did not end with recurring floods or the ice age. It continued its march onward, conquering natural obstacles on the way. Discovery of fire and fur and fat helped harness the ice ages. Inventing row-boats helped survive floods. Even natural limitations can be effectively dealt with by science. By more labour, more food can be produced. By better methods, the use of raw materials can be economized. By wise living, death can be postponed. The scientific attitude has the two-fold merit of helping not only understanding the evil but also providing the intelligence to eradicate it.

A man’s fear of other human beings is logical and reasonable.

Fear of other human beings is reasonable and somewhat logical. Aggressiveness has only increased in this world. We all fear, someone will do things harmful to us. We bark at our neighbour for fear that he will attack us, and he barks at us back for the same reason. In such situations, a display of friendliness will do wonders and oil the wheels of life to make them run smoothly.

‘Saying thank you here and there
Saves a lot of strife,
Saying thank you as you go on
Oils the wheels of life.’

There, non-resistance diminishes the aggressive impulses in the other. But in some other circumstances it would be showing courage that would be wiser for the occasion. We cannot flee from facing real dangers. When they come one after another, we conquer them one after the other.

[First prepared in 2004]

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If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
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Basic Reactions, Bertrand Russell, Bloom Books Trivandrum, British Philosophers, Curing Aggressiveness, Fear Of Man, Fear Of Nature, Feeling Of Danger, Life Without Fear, Limitations Of Man, Merits Of Scientific Attitude, Oiling The Wheels Of Life, P S Remesh Chandran, Reasonable Fears, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, The Forewarning Of Fear, The Rule Of Fear

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PSRemeshChandra

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. 

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rama devi nina
1st Jan 2013 (#)

Interesting exploration of fear …

PSRemeshChandra
8th Jan 2013 (#)

Fear not, dear Rama Devi Nina,
Fear isn’t going any where,
It is one ancient primitive bird
Flitting across man’s mortal sky.

Non-Violence. Aldous Huxley. Essay. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran.

048.

Non-Violence. Aldous Huxley. Essay. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 21st Aug 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/238onx5a/
Posted in Wikinut>Essays

When national policies conflict, there is war. It always has been so, in spite of the world’s nations’ attempts to settle things amicably. Violence is the sister of war and mighty nations are not shameful to unleash violence on their next door neighbours, next day brothers. Non-violence has been the cherished dream of mankind since the first sunrise after the dawn of civilization. Even then the realization of this dream is remaining far distant due to psychological settings of the world’s mind.

A row of successful non-violent struggles before us to imitate; still we are reluctant to adopt this proven principle.

Thomas Arnold Teacher, great grand uncle of Aldous

Here and there a few humanitarians and philosophers have occasionally looked into the prospect of moulding a new world order based on the lines of non-violence. Novelists like Tolstoy, essayists like George Orwell, H.G.Wells, Arnold Toynbee, Aldous Huxley and many others have inculcated the principles of non-violence which is fit to be adopted in international crises management. We have the fine political examples of many mighty empires having been brought down by non-violent revolutions carried out by peasants and agricultural labourers as those led by Gandhi and his contemporaries in India. Still we are reluctant to accept the principles of non-violence as our political problems solving policy. It is due to the devious and treacherous basic traits latent in man as an animal that nations still resort to violence when they have to address a problem, social, political, economical or ethnical.

Aldous Huxley was born into a family of generations of great intellectuals.

Thomas Huxley, senior brother of Aldous Huxley.

Aldous Huxley was a British essayist, novelist and critic. He belonged to a family of distinguished scientists and thinkers. The celebrated scientist Thomas Huxley was his great grand-father and the famous educationalist Thomas Arnold was his great grand-uncle. Poet Matthew Arnold was his grand uncle. His mother was a distinguished educationalist and his father Leonard Huxley was a writer. The famous biologist Sir. Julian Huxley was his elder brother. The Burning Wheel , Chrome Yellow, Brave New World , Proper Studies and Music At Night are a few of his major works. Aldous Huxley was one of the chief intellectual driving forces of his times. His essays are gentle and imaginative. The present essay discusses how non-violence is applicable to individuals, groups, nations and the people of the new industrial age.

Non-violence comes to prisons and asylums in the nineteenth century in England.

Bethlehem Mental Hospital in London in 1896.

Non-violence is the policy of passive resistance. Resistance indeed is there, only that it is not active. It has the power to overcome evil, anger and hatred. The principles of non-violence have been applied systematically in solving social and medical problems which were considered to be completely insoluble. In the past, violence prevailed over the handling of the insane, the criminal and the savage. It made the victim only incurable. Asylums and prisons were places where inmates were treated with cruelty and violence. Asylums were filthy places with dungeons, chains and torture chambers. The insane were subjected to violence as if they were criminals. In 1815 a committee of the British M.P.s investigated the state of Bethlehem Hospital in London and found it appalling. Sine then, non-violent treatment has been adopted, showing kindness and sympathy. Similarly, in prisons, torture made the innocents demoralized and the criminals more criminal. When John Howard began his investigations on prison life in the 18th century, the only decent prisons in Europe were those in Amsterdam, Holland being a country with lesser crimes. Since then, there have been many prison reforms. Thus Huxley adeptly proves that non-violence is applicable in relations of individuals with other individuals.

Missionary gossip and the role of anthropologists in the practice of non-violence.

Torture chamber in Spis Castle. By Dariusz Wozniak

Anthropologists study the origin, development and social behaviour of mankind. In the past they depended on baseless news given by travelling missionaries, i.e. ‘missionary gossip’ to form their theories. Missionaries returning from foreign lands after failed missions won’t attribute reasons for their failure to their wrong policies but would portray people of those lands as brutal intolerant savages holding pagan beliefs who brought down the missionaries’ works. As a result, colonial administrations remained violent and cruel to their subjects in the conquered lands. But later, the anthropologists practically began living with the objects of their study and learned the realities in those lands. They discovered that intelligent and sympathetic non-violence is the best and most practical policy to be adopted on subjects by an administration. Thus the colonial rule of the Belgian, Dutch, English and French became more humane, non-violent and efficient. Only the Italian Fascist Mussolini remained aggressive. His hideous methods of bombs and poison gas employed in the conquest of Abyssinia were brought to light and condemned by all.

Non-violent non-cooperation successfully prevented in England a war with Russia in 1920.

Torture rack in Spis Castle Slovakia. By Podzemnik

Non-violence is applicable in the relations of populations with governments. Gandhi’s non-violent mass movements in South Africa and India were brilliant successes. He effectively trained very large groups of people in non-violent non-cooperation and boycott, who courageously responded to brutal treatment. This impressed all and gained him favour of public opinion and support of the entire world. In England, in 1920, non-violent non-cooperation successfully prevented a war. Labour Movement declared War Boycott and refused to transport men and materials to war front. Faced with this ultimatum, the Lloyd George government abandoned its plans of war on Russia.

Man leads a dual life as a private individual and as representative of a social group.

Spanish boot in Spis castle Slovakia By Podzemnik.

In relations of governments with other governments, non-violence is often considered impractical. Examples of genuine non-violent behaviour between governments are rare. This is because of the dual nature and behaviour of man as a private individual and as member of a group. He has two systems of morality. In private life, man is honest, humane and considerate. But as citizens of a nation, he thinks his nation can go to any extreme. We all do. The nation is personified in our imagination as a being, superhuman in power and glory, but sub human in morality.

___________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
___________________________

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
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To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.

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Active ResistanceAldous HuxleyBloom Books Trivandrum,British AuthorsBritish WritersDual Nature Of ManEnglish EssaysGandhis Mass MovementsHuxley FamilyIncurable VictimsInter Governmental RelationsJohn Howard Prison ReformsMissionary GossipNational CitizensNon Violence,Non Violence In Industrial AgeP S Remesh ChandranPassive ResistanceReintroduced LiteratureResisting Brutality,Sahyadri Books TrivandrumTorture ChambersWorld Citizens

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’.Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley.

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Sivaramakrishnan A
21st Aug 2012 (#)

Thought provoking post that is more relevant now. There are no victors in violence; even those who live to tell the tale of success carry heavy scars in their psyches – siva

PSRemeshChandra
21st Aug 2012 (#)

Standing on a land that is India where the first known poet and philosopher Valmiki wrote Ma Nishada, or You Never Kill, we can certainly speak to the world the gospel of non-violence and human love. The Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was, along with Rabindranath Tagore and Count Leo Tolstoy, and also George Bernard Shaw, was the greatest proclaimer of the gospel of human love to the world since the time of Jesus Christ. India through the ages disseminated the message of Gods’ affection and consideration for man. Even though somewhat diminished in the rush for prospects and physical pleasures, the tendency to sacrifice one’s life for the welfare of others is still prominent and dominant in Indian lives, especially in the lives of the poor people of India. Gandhi also sacrificed his life for his ideal of embracing the divided Indians and the Pakistanis at the same time. When India spends billions on account of preparing a war and defense machinery against the nation of Pakistan and Pakistan diverts precious national revenue for purchasing missiles and war machines against sister India, Pakistanis think how natural the Indian film stars act and the Indians think how majestic and enchanting the Pakistani Ghazal singers sing. Governments in the modern day world no more reflect the will of their people. Objectives of people which could easily and quickly have been realized through art, literature, music, cinema, cricket and football are objected to by governments, for they wish there shall be two governments to rule, two parliaments to spend time in and two judiciaries to pronounce the same universal human law in two conflicting ways. Unification of the divided German nations is their lesson for the future. Why waste precious people’s money for running two governments? The world is changing, and eliminating the evils of the ill famous Second World War one by one. Aldous Huxley’s thoughts are more important than ever in the present times, as you pointed out, dear Sivaramakrishnan A. Thank you for your valuable comment, which supplements Aldous Huxley’s observations well.

Sivaramakrishnan A
22nd Aug 2012 (#)

Thank you indeed, RC! War is waged by selfish politicians and they use common citizens as their pawns. It is so easy to rouse emotions now, like it was from primeval times! We are easily used by all types of leaders for their ends! Modern technology has made us realise – we are one and the same, but we still go at each other’ s throats at the drop of a hat! siva

A K Rao 21st Aug 2012 (#)

Simply Superb Article Dear Ramesh Chandran Sir!

PSRemeshChandra
21st Aug 2012 (#)

When we read the articles written by many philosophers like Bertrand Russell, Arnold Toynbee, Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley and H.G.Wells, we think how fortunate the world is for having tones of beautiful pages written by learned and tasty geniuses for us all to read without stop. We also will feel lonely at the thought of living at a time, with the total absence of such eminent thinkers and writers continuously conversing to us all around us in our society. It is our solace and luck they wrote profusely before they passed away, so that the intellectually impoverished we can read something refreshing, till the end our days. Unfortunately I cannot convey your appreciation to Huxley. Thank you for your comment, dear A.K.Rao.

Madan
22nd Aug 2012 (#)

Excellent post. Deserved star page

PSRemeshChandra
22nd Aug 2012 (#)

Writers like Arnold Toynbee, Robert Lynd, Aldous Huxley and Bertrand Russell produced excellent literature which captivated generations including mine. But the world now does not read them as frequently and regularly as before. I pay them respect in my simple way of reintroducing them in layman’s terms, for the sole reason they inspired me, so that they will be continued to be read and read and read. No one shall have to leave them unread. The praise goes to those excellent authors who are now gone from among us. We can only keep the world’s interest in them live. Thank you dear Madan for the comment.

Buzz
23rd Aug 2012 (#)

Simply outstanding!

PSRemeshChandra
23rd Aug 2012 (#)

Praise goes to Aldous Huxley really.

Md Rezaul Karim
3rd Sep 2012 (#)

Interestingly when you are equal, the concept of non-violence works. But if the competency or strengths and weaknesses are significant then coercion takes place and the ethics and morality wither away!

PSRemeshChandra
3rd Sep 2012 (#)

The concept of non-violence works when the concerned opponent is somewhat equal or sophisticated. It did work with the British in India when the British became convinced that India would become the country where the greatest number of dead British are burried if violence in India reached its full manifestation. The Irish Republican Army tried non-violence in British prisons by turning to non-eating fasts but found that they were only weakening their body. After the death of seven of their comrades in a days-long relay fast in Maize prison, they returned to guerrilla warfare and violence. Thank you dear Md Rezaul Karim for reading and the comment.

Belief In God. Dr. A.J.Cronin Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran, Trivandrum.

046.

Belief In God. Dr. A.J.Cronin. Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 18th Feb 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/2nh_co2x/

Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Whether God exists is a question people have been trying to answer through the ages. At least once in our life we are asked this question and have to answer. One interesting fellow once observed that if we are asked this question it is always safe to answer that He does exist, because if he does not exist we have nothing to fear but if He does exist, then we will have to fear his wrath and retaliation for denying him. It is interesting to note here what a famous doctor wrote in this regard.

Citadel, the first attack on the evils and corruption in the medical profession by a lone doctor.

Decades back a novel written by a doctor shook the conscience of the world and shattered the misconceptions about the infallibility and judgment of doctors. The novel was ‘The Citadel’ and its author was ‘Doctor A. J. Cronin’. He was literally attacking the fort of medical profession which was considered invincible and impregnable till that time. How a young doctor suffers to establish his practice, how and by whom the first patients are brought to his little consultancy, how misjudging and mean the health authorities are, how wicked a few among them are to sacrifice human lives for riches and personal gains, how prosperity, academic brilliance and recognition in the medical world affects a good doctor’s view points- everything that were considered as a taboo and something unspeakable in human speech and writing- was dissected and made open by this doctor in this famous novel. If someone wishes to read this novel to learn what is in it, it is also good to know in advance about the only drawback of this novel. It will have a very good and optimistic ending if we simply tear away the last chapter. This doctor later in his life had a turning point in his career, of undergoing treatment for a disease and recuperation during which period he wrote a novel to escape from the boredom of leading an uneventful life in a quiet village. The novel became a great success. Then the world saw him settling himself as a writer. All his literary creations are simple, lucid and thought-provoking. This essay is a chapter from his book ‘Adventures In Two Worlds’.

Western science and eastern philosophy meet in closed quarters, to discuss the existence of God.

 

From a time when doctors were gods. 1942.

In the past century, when the individual achievements of science found its peak in the personality of Albert Einstein, after establishing the theory of relativity and gravity, this great scientist startled the world by hinting about the probability of the existence of a God as a Force of Super Intelligence. He once met the famous Indian philosopher and poet Rabindranath Tagore with whom, it is believed, he made a long and deep discussion in this matter in closed quarters, the details of which both these dignitaries kept private till the end of their lives. The world would have very much thrilled to read what this world scientist Einstein discussed with the world philosopher Tagore in the matter of the existence and properties of God. The matter of this discussion is still unknown to the world.

Searching for a soul inside the human body in the coal districts of England.

 

Human body is a wonder but who created this wonder and what intelligence went into the making of it is still a thing of speculation. Like all medical students, Cronin was a non-believer in the Super Intelligence. The human body seemed to him only a complex machine. As he dissected the formalin-impregnated bodies in the anatomy room of his medical college, he searched for the existence of a soul inside the bodies but could not find any. Therefore he used to deny the existence of God. He says that this might have been due to the various distractions and diversions of his mind in the young age. After graduation, when he went out into the world to work in the Coal Districts of England, he saw very poor people suffering hard, but at the same time believing in God. New spiritual values were made apparent to him through slow but regular experiences in his life. He realized that the compass of existence held more than what his medical text- books revealed. The shortness and brevity of his younger outlook was lost with time. He lost his feeling of superiority and became a humble human being, which was his first step towards finding God.

Rich significance of the lowly life of a nurse and the emptiness in the life of a dignified physician.

 

Many things to learn from nurses. A 1942 picture.

Dr.Cronin’s working with the District Nurse Madame Olwen Davies brought him many theological experiences. She was dedicated to serve the poor but was a low-paid employee. Cronin once pointed out this to her and said she actually deserved an increased salary and that God knew she was worthy of it. Then with a smile she replied that if God knew she was worthy of it, then she was satisfied. This revelation made Cronin nearer to God. The rich but humble significance of the District Nurse’s life was revealed to him. And he sensed the emptiness in his life also.

One word of challenge from a simple-minded school boy, and the ignorance of a distinguished zoologist is shattered.

 

An invisible hand behind every creation of beauty.

One half of the world believes in God whereas the other half is peopled by non-believers. No one is certain whether God exists or not. Man denies God in the light of science, but the beauty of the starlit night skies underlines the existence of a primary creator who is very intelligent, imaginative and aesthetic. A Latin tag says ‘Ex nihilo nihil’ which means ‘nothing can come of nothing.’ Dr.Cronin illustrates this in a fine example from his experience. In London, he had once organized a Working Boys’ Club where a distinguished zoologist was invited to give a lecture. ‘The Beginning Of Our World’ was the subject of his speech. In brilliant oration he explained to the boys how the first protoplasmic cell took form from the pounding pre-historic seas Aeons and Aeons ago. The lecture ended in applause. Then one innocent boy asked him how the first sea came there. Nothing can come out of nothing. This suggests that there might have been a primary creator. The orator could find nothing in answer. The logic of this test-tube scientist was crumbled by one word of challenge from a simple-minded boy.

I see my cherry trees in bud, and then in flower, and then in fruit, and then I believe in God.

 

Cherry trees in full blossom.

We often see many good people suffer in this world. This makes us doubt the existence of a God. There has to be an explanation for this injustice. Cronin says that evil and pain in life in this world is justifiable. It is part of the plan of the primary creator. He asks us to refer to the Book of Job in the Bible. Life is not a pleasure-hunt but a preparation for the other world, whether it would be life or anything else for us there in the next existence. Cronin’s meeting with an old man in an Italian church near Fiesole clarified this. Cronin asked the poor old peasant whether he believed in God. His answer was: “I see my cherry trees in bud, and then in flower, and then in fruit, and then I believe in God.”

Note:

‘When we talk with God, it is prayer. When God talks with us, it is schizophrenia.’

Mankind has the companionship of God alone in his long voyages through agonies, sufferings and miseries. He stands just behind those who pine in their hearts and those who sing in their mirth. The designer and creator of this universe certainly was a very imaginative person, a being whose mind was given to supreme conceptions of beauty and harmony.

[Prepared in September 1990]

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
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For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.

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PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Ranges.

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The Emerging World Society. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. Essay Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran. Sahyadri Books.

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The Emerging World Society. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. Essay. Reintroduced By P. S. Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 11th Feb 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/2tge_ko-/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

 

A few recent leaders of India, who are neither writers nor philosophers, are fast bringing about laws to curb the use of international social media by the people of India. They are furious over the speed and completeness with which their clandestine favouritism and corruption are brought to daylight each day. It is really the Internet which brought the world people together. It is time these fools read what the famous philosopher and former President of India wrote on The Emerging World Society.

At one time the national leaders of India were noted writers, poets and philosophers.

India once had great philosophers, scholars and writers functioning as her national leaders. During those times no one betrayed the nation for money, personal gains or prosperity. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was a great visionary and a great writer whose Letters To A Daughter, Glimpses Of World History and The Discovery Of India still remain classics in the world literature. He was the first person who started great industries under government ownership and wished to make them remain so forever as state possessions. President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan also was a great writer, academician and philosopher who was the first academician in the world who boldly said, ‘we are faced with the paradoxical fact that educators have become one of the obstacles to education.’ The famous poets Rabindranath Tagore and Sarojini Naidu remained as pillars of national conscience and active participants in politics. India’s Father of the Nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a very truthful and frank person, the follies and wantonness of whom we came to know not from other people’s writings but from his own books. His famous autobiography ‘My Experiments With Truth’ remains unparalleled in world literature.

Top most authorities now shamelessly sell prestigious national institutions, industries and other properties to the private sector, and bark about principles of democracy and socialism.

Now things have changed unbelievably. Many among the national leaders, parliamentarians and ministers of India are jailed for corruption. Top most authorities shamelessly sell prestigious national institutions, enterprises, industries and other properties to private sector, and bark about principles of democracy and socialism. National reserves of even petroleum and gas are allocated to rich privates at throw-away prices and the huge commissions amassed from these deals are stashed away by them in foreign banks for their future enjoyment, just as the many presidents and prime ministers in the African continent and elsewhere do. The people of the world have begun to think that all Indian leaders have always been such cut-throats, cheaters and mother-sellers. That is why the philosophic writings of the former President of India Dr. S. Radhakrishnan are reintroduced here, just to show that many ingredients go into the making of a decent national leader, literary loftiness, social commitment and perfect education being just a few of them.

The gravity and pungency of his remarks on the state of affairs in the field of education and administration in India made his name conveniently not remembered.

Dr. Sarveppally Radhakrishnan was a great scholar, philosopher and statesman of India. He served as a Professor of Philosophy at the Mysore, Calcutta and Oxford Universities. He also was the Vice President and the President of India. Recovery of Faith, Our Heritage, The Present Crisis and Towards a New World are a few of his famous books. The Emerging World Society is an essay from his book The Emerging World in which he discusses how a world society is being born out of world’s unity and oneness. He shows how narrow our feelings of nationalism are and how dangerous militarism is to the world. Contributions of this great philosopher in the field of education are such admirable that his birth day is celebrated as the National Teachers’ Day in India. Because of the gravity and pungency of his remarks on the state of affairs in the field of education and administration in India, when authorities sometimes have to think about the world’s philosophers, his name is conveniently not remembered. In the content and style of his writings, he is in line with such great writers as H.G.Wells, George Orwell, Arnold Toynbee and Aldous Huxley. But many prefer him to be compared with Bertrand Russell.

There is no isolated existence of a single human group. Nations are interconnected by the world economy.

A world society grows in the hearts and minds of men. The present excitement, anger and violence are just the birth-pains of a new world order. The world already is one. The oneness of humanity is a historic fact. Man’s physical structure and mental-make up are the same all over the world. Birth, growth, old age, sickness and death are felt by all. We share a common origin and a common destiny. Thus the human race is already one. The world has already become a unit. We are standing on the door step of a single society. There is no isolated existence of a single human group. Nations are interconnected by the world economy. Industrialization and modernization are common practices. The language of science and the tools of industrial development are the same everywhere. Art, culture and science are common possessions. As a result of radio, television and the press, the most distant nations have become near neighbours and a world community has become possible.

Militarism is outdated in the modern world. Either we live together or we die together. It is either one society or no society.

Narrow nationalism and dangerous militarism do not fit a modern world outlook. They are oppositions to an emerging world society. The ancient Greeks spoke of war as the father of all changes but, in truth, war has only wiped out whole civilizations and destroyed entire peoples. That was the only change war brought. And new weapons have completely changed the nature of warfare. Each nation wants to become the world’s strongest military power. So they build nuclear weapons and Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles. They may some day wipe out the whole human race from the face of this Earth. No one will survive a nuclear war. Those who use them too would be destroyed. It is a dangerous illusion to think that those who possess them will win a war. There is no such thing as military invincibility. Either we live together or we die together. It is either one society or no society.

Nationalism has no relevance. Nation States are too narrow for the modern world where we have conquered space and move faster than sound.

Narrow nationalism is an old-fashioned thing. In India no one can admire publicly the fine music and literature of Pakistan. In Pakistan people cannot admire publicly the fine literature and cinema of India. If someone utters a word about the ancientness of Tibet or the independence of Burma, the Chinese government will put them in prison and silence them one way or the other. The British citizens who speak of Ireland’s rights for freedom are considered as traitors and put under surveillance. Everywhere nationalistic feelings are narrow and are obstacles to a progressive world outlook. Nationalism is a collective form of selfishness. Each race and nation thinks that they are the chosen people of God and the elect of the future. So the Greeks and the Spartans, the French and the Spaniards and the English and the French fought each other and just ruined themselves. Like Gandhi said, ‘it is in self-surrender that we fortify ourselves.’ Let the world society emerge and come into being. Nation States are too narrow for the modern world where we have conquered space and move faster than sound.

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.

Tags

Banning Peoples Communications, Brotherhood Of Nations, Control Of Corruption, Control Over Social Media Sites, Curbing Internet Usage, Dr S Radhakrishnan, English Essays, Forces Against World Unity, Former Presidents Of India, Good Inter Country Communications, Internet, Irrelevance Of Nationalism, Live Together Or Die Together, Loving The Neighbour Nation, Narrow Nationalism, Nationalism And Militarism Versus World Unity, Obstacles To The Unification Of The World, Oneness Of Mankind, Oneness Of The World People, Outdated Militarism, Oxford Professors From India, Philosophers Of India, Selling Public Institutions, The Emerging World Society, The Statesmen Of India, Writers Of India

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley.

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Knowledge And Wisdom. Bertrand Russell Essay. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran. Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum.

044.

Knowledge And Wisdom. Bertrand Russell Essay. Reintroduced By P. S. Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 10th Feb 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/1kqrxzyw/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

 

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Roads To Freedom, Principia Mathematica, Marriage And Morals, The Conquest Of Happiness, etc, are a few of his famous writings. Here he distinguishes between and defines knowledge and wisdom. Life experiences of a person process his knowledge into wisdom. Knowledge, comprehensive vision, pursuit of purpose, emancipation or freedom and impartiality in opinions and views are what constitute wisdom.

Wisdom evolves from comprehensive vision and sense of proportion. Knowledge may sometimes lead to unwisdom.

Knowledge and wisdom are different things. Wisdom does not come immediately with knowledge. As Tennyson observed, ‘Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers.’ Knowledge may sometimes even lead to unwisdom to illustrate which Russell cites two excellent examples. When man attained enough knowledge to lower the death rate among infants, population increased, food supplies became short and standard of living declined. Thus lowering the death rate of children, in his opinion, was a mistake on the part of medical specialists. Military specialists also have landed in many such follies. When man invented the technique of splitting atom, everyone began to think that mountains could now be moved and the course of rivers and that of history could be changed. But instead of using this new gained knowledge for useful and beneficial purposes, man began to manufacture nuclear weapons. Even after witnessing the horrible mass genocides caused by them, even the advanced as well as the barbarian countries of the world still go on manufacturing them. One day they will wipe out the human race from the face of the earth. Wisdom does not come with knowledge. These are the evil effects of specialization in singular subjects. It is from a comprehensive vision and sense of proportion that wisdom evolves.

It is a distorted history that tells nothing about Mao’s deflowering dozens of girls each week and termination of revolutionaries in Lenin’s time.

A proper knowledge of human history also is needed to gain wisdom. Some history writings we see are distorted ones, fabricated with a view to inculcate some particular feelings or passions among people. People who wrote about Lenin were totally blind to the cruel political assassinations of his times, which gave rise to the ‘theory of revolutions eating out its own children’ evidenced by the death of Trotsky. Worshippers of Mao Tse Tung remained silent about the innocent peasant girls the chairman deflowered each week, as was revealed by the repentant personal physician. Had these acts also were recorded accurately by his historians along with the bold and unending marches of this revolutionary through the incessant rains, we sometimes may have even respected the man, out of the knowledge that he was not a god but only a man. It should be noted here that the greatest sins committed by Gandhi came to the world’s attention not by his opponents mentioning them but from his own autobiography which was rightly titled My Experiments With Truth. Gandhi never hesitated to tell the story of his stealing the gold bangle of his house servant to purchase liquor in his boyhood years. We only respect this people’s leader for the frankness and truthfulness with which he recorded his own follies. That is his greatness and India’s example. That is how and why it came to be written in India’s official seal ‘Truth Alone Will Triumph’ when India became independent. Great men were always truthful in recording their follies. Along with English economics and French socialism, German philosophy served as one of the three origins of Marxism. Hegel was the most followed in the field of German philosophy. Hegel wrote history to prove that the Germans were a master race from the time memorable. Such distorted recordings of history lead to unwisdom and destruction.

To set apart two quarrelling friends would be an act of wisdom. Fill your private life with such small acts of wisdom.

Wisdom has a key role to play in the private life of a man. Man except on rare occasions fails to see his future in advance. He seldom knows what the future has in store for him. He has to live beneficial to the world. Since mankind is a collective reality, animosity among its members cannot help it achieve the benefits of living. By practicing universal brotherhood alone can man gain wisdom and live beneficial to the world and its inhabitants. So, to set apart two quarrelling friends would be an act of wisdom. ‘If you can do this, you will have instilled some fragment of wisdom’, writes Russell. Our private life should be filled with such little acts of wisdom. But millions of men, instead of going after this well defined objective in their lives, have searched for the philosophers’ stone and wasted their lives. No doubt, if they could have found them they would have conferred great benefits on mankind, but it was their lives that were wasted. Russell warns us that we should not waste our lives on such impossible philosophical feats; we should instead fill it with small acts of wisdom. As we grow older we will gain more impartiality. Our horizon will widen. Our thoughts and feelings will become less personal and more detached from our own physical state. It is that stage in human life, which Shakespeare in his poem The Seven Stages Of Man’s Life described as the stage in which man begins to think and act like a judge. Thus we gradually become freed of all selfish motives but begin to think more for the society than for ourselves. According to Russell, this emancipation or freedom from selfishness is the essence of wisdom.

Sunday schools cannot supply wisdom. They can only supplement wisdom if we already have some.

Wisdom can be taught like any other virtue. Even though we are born unwise which we cannot help, we can cultivate wisdom. Sunday schools are not supposed to supply wisdom; they can only supplement wisdom if we already have some. They can only make wise men wiser. Thus, moral instruction and the teaching of wisdom differ much. Wisdom should be planted and nursed in one’s own mind. We are living in a war-stricken world which needs wisdom as it never has needed before. Therefore wisdom should be taught by any means. We cannot al be good Samaritans to our neighbours, but we can certainly reduce our hatred to others. It should be noted here that even nations are now unable to reduce their hatred to other nations. The Russian communists find they are unable to remain good Samaritans to the American anti-communists. But in the midst of all this mayhem and national hatred, a single man can remain wise when the whole world goes unwise.

It is the music lovers and film goers that keep the nations going and standing, not short-living intolerant governments.

So, ‘Hate Hatred’ should be our slogan. It is indecent for a government to show hatred to other nations or to its people because this world and the humanity in it is built up based on the principles and forces of harmony. But the short-sighted puny little minds that are the governments in many countries cannot understand this as they are nowhere near the much dreamt about concept of Plato’s Philosopher Kings. In many sister nations, even if the people like each other in their hearts, their governments cultivate animosity and hatred. We can point out dozens of modern day examples. The governments of India and Pakistan shout at each other and conduct war rehearsals but the Indian music lovers worship Habib Wali Muhammed, Mirza Ghalib, Fareeda Khanum, Gul Bahar Bano, Iqbal Bano, Munni Begum, Roshan Ara Begum and Salman Alvi who are the luminaries among the Pakistani Ghazal singers, many of them the stars of the undivided India. And Indian film stars like Devanand, Sunil Dutt, Narghese, Raj Kapoor and Amitab Batchan are the favourites of Pakistani film goers. Both governments view these admirers and fans suspiciously, but in the long run, it is not these short-living governments but these admirers and fans of music, literature and films who keep these nations going and standing. That is the importance and relevance of a single man’s stand in the midst of national lunacy. It is when such singular wisdom happened to fuse uniquely with vigour of action that the world was saved several times from near peril.

Powerful personalities in history who combined vigour of action and wisdom and saved the world.

In history we see many examples of active vigour in fusion with wisdom, forming powerful personalities, saving the world. We see Moses in The Bible, professing the Ten Commandments before a people too seduced to be saved. Queen Elizabeth the First in England, King Henry the Fourth in France and Abraham Lincoln in America were very impressive personalities who fused vigour with wisdom and fought the evil. The world has had the luck to have many such personalities in among her people. Abraham Lincoln even conducted a civil war without ever departing from wisdom. It was his vigour of action and wisdom which helped him abolish slavery and prevent the Northern and the Southern states of America from separating in that civil war.

[Originally Prepared in 1995]

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.

Tags

Bertrand Russell, Boyhood Days Of Gandhi, British Philosophers, British Writers, Distorted History, English Essays, Falsified History, Frankness Of Leaders, Knowledge, Knowledge And Wisdom, P S Remesh Chandran, People Of India And Pakistan, Philosophical Writings, Political Killings In Lenins Time, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, The Death Of Trotsky, Threat Of Nuclear Weapons, Truth Alone Will Triumph, Truthfulness Of World Leaders, Virtues And Vices Of Mao, Wisdom

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Ranges.

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