Of Reason and Knowledge

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
My views on reason and knowledge. Just start the online bashing and commentaries.

Submitted: May 19, 2017

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Submitted: May 19, 2017

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We use reason and knowledge everyday. In fact, every minute and every second of our lives, we use reason and knowledge to connect things, events and possible scenarios together. Without reason or knowledge, we would not be able to see how things fall into place. It has been said that the best or most distinctive thing that Man has against other beings is the use of reason and knowledge. Socrates has said that a life has to be lead by reason and he advocates the use of reason for everything that he does or say. However, what if reason and knowledge are the very things that makes us miserable, that makes us go into conflicts, that makes us selfish and divide everyone of us. What if reason and knowledge has no place in this universe, it has no answers or rather it does not answer the real things that needs answering.

  Let's start from the beginning from a Christian point of view, in which the Bible talks about the Garden of Eden. In the beginning, Man lived with God and all was fine and happy, till the snake tempted Eve to eat the apple from the tree, who then tempted Adam to eat from it later. The both of them then gained knowledge and infuriated God, and thus were banished forever from the Garden. From my limited resources and perspectives, I have talked to some friends about this and they mentioned that the reason that Adam and Eve were banished was because they defied God's order of not eating from the tree. Some non-Christians have said that they find it hard to understand why we are denied of knowledge from God and this has always been a debating point among some of my Christians and non-Christians (here i refer to people of different religions, not denominations of the Christian church.) What if we could see it in another way? To see that Man was denied the knowledge due to Man's limited perspective of things. God could see everything and know everything and so could be impartial to all. Yet Man, who now knew what was good and bad, just saw things in a way that it is, either good or bad. This narrowed down the viewpoints of Man into two archetypes, good or bad and we have since then missed the big picture which God could see. God was angry with Adam and Eve because they disobeyed him, and banished them because he knew that Adam and Eve would start to see the things in the Garden of Eden and start to classify them as either good or bad and thus not able to enjoy the full Garden anymore. 

  While it may be said by some that it is just a story and not reliable or not even true, we shall come to the next point that I want to make. There is no such thing as karma. This is the mainstream idea of what karma is -what comes around goes around- and has little to do with the Buddhist teachings of Karma (this requires a much larger understanding of Buddhist texts and meaning and based on my limited understanding of it, at least I know it is not the simplified version most people know today.) It justifies that bad people will have bad things happening to them and good people will have good things happening to them. How often how we wondered why do good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people? I believe it will be quite often. As often as bad things happen to bad people, good things happen to good people and we say they deserve it. What if there is no such thing as karma, that we are all rewarded the same way regardless of the way we act. Some just happen to be in the right place at the right time and some just are at the wrong place at the wrong time. There is no previous actions that determine what we get today. It is tempting to think so, it is very easy to fall into this thought link where because we did this that is why this happens. What if the universe does not see it this way? Why is it that two people who did the same thing can result in something so different. If reason and knowledge were to prevail, can they explain to us the unfairness in this world? No it cannot, there is nothing that reason and knowledge can do to help you explain why it is like that. Maybe just maybe there are too many reasons and we do not have enough time and energy to chase after everyone of them. What I am trying to point out here is that the universe is just a series of random events, a non-judging place where anything can happen to anyone. Reason and knowledge is something that we as humans have developed to make sense in a world where everything is random and chaotic, which leads us to misery and despair for we will never be able to make sense of something so vast and random. 

  This misery and despair comes mainly from the fact that we only know why something happened but not the actual why. Imagine someone you love got involved in a car accident, someone who has been kind to others and someone who is generally good in the sense. The why may be due to the other party is a drunk driver, or that the road is too slippery and he could not brake in time. The actual why which we will ask is 'why him?' and this actual why, has no answer. Reason and knowledge in the end only brings you so far to tell you why the person died and where and the leading causes, but they do not specifically tell you why is your loved one instead of someone else. Here we fill in the gaps ourselves, many use religion as a form of answer, to say that God has taken him to a better place etc. Misery and despair has not left us as we have no real form of closure, we remain in question and we only find relieve when we acknowledge that we do not know why. Misery and despair comes from the lack of answers that reason and knowledge can give us, but it can come in the form of what reason and knowledge provides us as well. With knowledge and reason, we see things in a myopic manner. We instantly judge people, events, situations as good or bad we do not see anything else. With the more knowledge one has, the more judgmental one becomes, one then becomes so narrow minded thinking that he is always right, thinking that because of this knowledge he is above the rest and has the power to determine who is wrong or right. Reasoning plays a part as well, once we have established a reason for why certain people behave in a certain way or why certain events happen, we immediately become stuck in this constrictive mindset and see it only as such. We become smaller in our minds and when things happen out of what we feel is the norm, which usually does, as the universe is just a vast of randomness, misery and despair sets in. Views we have held on to for so long can be refuted in an instant and people who we think we know can turn out to be so different from what we thought. We divide things into good and bad and worse, people into categories because we know, because of reasons that we are given. If only we did not possess this preconceived notions that was given to us by reason and knowledge. 

  The message that I want to bring across is that reason and knowledge may be the most powerful things that humans have. It can also be the worst that humans have. They bring about misery and despair and some religions have even forbade us to have this thing we treasure so much called knowledge. For non-religious people out there, the universe is just a big random place and the actions we make to a certain extent has an impact on the future results, but do not expect reason and knowledge to come true for all the time. Contrarily, reason and knowledge has proven in most times, to fail us when it comes to the real questions, when it comes to answering the real 'why'. Lastly the use of reason and knowledge has brought us further apart than if we did not know good and bad, we would accept all. We would not see something as good or bad anymore and become a divided world as we are now.  


© Copyright 2017 W.K. All rights reserved.

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