Sunday, 4 May 2014

Concerning Human Knowledge

The length of a man's life has been significantly decreasing throughout the human history. According to the various religious scriptures man was once able to live well over the age of a few hundred years. The most significant example being Prophet Noah who was 948 when he died. Man is his own reason for such a decline in his lifespan. We now expect a life of 60-70 years to be a normal life. The corrupt nature of man has been the reason of such a huge downfall. But throughout this time man has also grown in terms of his understanding of the things around him. He has been able to reason with the very nature of his existence along with the existence of the whole universe. He has advanced so much technologically that he can now speak with another man a thousand miles from him  by just a few clicks on the multitouch high definition screen of his smartphone. He can travel great distances in one day that would have taken months to travel otherwise. He has built the most high skyscrapers for his living and created unlimited means for his amusement. Could a single man have achieved all this in one life time, and that too a lifetime that has been continuously growing to be shorter. Then what is man's means of knowledge. What if the whole earth is somehow wiped out and the human civilization is started anew. Will they be equally advanced like their ancestors who have ceased to exist or will they turn back to being the men of the stone age where they can barely provide for their survival. Man would become the same as he was in the starting. So what then is knowledge?


Knowledge according to me is the growth of humans as a civilization throughout their history. Without knowing these achievements of the past man is just a caveman who knows nothing more than an animal. What we know today is the grand summation of what all the men that have lived have known. Among these men were few extraordinary men who were able to use their faculty of critique and reason to negate what was thought to be correct knowledge and establish the grounds for that was acceptable to him by experience and reason. Six months back when I was inefficient of writing even the most basic of text that I am writing now I used to think to myself that what would it take for me to start thinking the way these revolutionary thinkers thought. I am still far from being able to think even vaguely similar to these great men but I have found myself a path that can be followed in order to achieve the ability to critique and reason like these men. All these great men had an obvious secret that we as normal people fail to even perceive. They all knew what humans as a civilization had achieved so far. And in the preceding line lies the answer to the most thought  of question and sought after answer  for a normal man. Only a person who has devoted his time in knowing what has been achieved in past can spend his time constructively to achieve something new in the future. Without knowing everything in the field one is searching to discover something new, one cannot find it. He may always strike at conclusions  that are already existent. He just did not know it because of the lack of his knowledge of the past. Knowledge of the future completely relies in knowledge of the past. A person who knows everything of the past will find out something which had not yet been thought of. And this will add up to the constructive knowledge in the future.


All men are not able to think alike because of their lack of kowledge of this simple and obvious secret that it barely is. Apart from this there are also definite stages of finding the right knowledge. Without knowing simple algebra a student of mathematics cannot be expected to learn derivation and integration. There is a definite road to higher knowledge. This is why sometimes in the past when there was no globalization various thinkers who were most remotely associated were able to find same solution to a problem. This was because that solution was the stage to the right knowledge that was to follow. Any thinker who was thinking in the right direction was to achieve the same solution no matter where he was.


We often hear people say that a young child learns the best or childhood is the best period of time suited for learning. We all must have come across the preceding statement dozens of time in our life. But have we ever payed attention  to whether why is this said. Most of us take the statement as it is without finding a reason in its authenticity. Let me take  a very simple example. When we buy a computer it runs very fast. But as we keep on installing applications that consume its random access memory the computer tends to become slower. This is because of the excessive use of the available memory.  Similarly when a child is young, his memory is used to the minimum. And hence his brain accepts data easily and remembers it for a long time. But as he grows older, he fills up his brain with various information which languishes its capability to process that information. So learning new things become difficult. A young child's brain can be curbed to develop a certain ideology, acquire a certain set of skills and even be directed to think in a certain way. So a child can be introduced only with the right knowledge to lead a virtuous as well as an intellectual life. It is very unfortunate to find that only the market capitalists have been able to understand this part of the brain completely and are exploiting it to their advantage. They have introduced to young men what they can cash in future, no matter if it is completely wrong. For example the capitalists provide a choice to men between good and bad and not between good and good at the sametime declaring that a man is rational by nature and he has the capability to chose what is right for him. They fail to determine that if they are providing nine bad choices and a single good choice in a total of ten choices then it becomes nine times probable for man to chose wrong over right. This is what is exploitation of human weaknesses and they have been able to achieve this through the use of various forms of marketing and taking the advantage of media. Now the biggest problem with all this is that while a computer can be easily formatted and started afresh, human perception of the world is extremely difficult to change at later stages. It  takes a generation or two to change the general perception of men.


So amidst all this I find it most important for all to realize that this wrong input of information and knowledge leads to a short term benefit but in the long run it is formulating a definite path for the destruction of the civilization as a whole. What awaits us in the technological future is the dark ages for virtues and morality. In these dark ages there will surely be scientific and economic growth but at the cost of a much greater loss. The loss of empathy and selfless deeds. What will remain of men will only be materialism. And then again shall come the age of renaissance and of enlightenment. But this time it will be in favor of religion and not against it. Man will again realize the importance of good over bad and there will flourish again what we termed in the times of Jesus as the religious zeal.


So human knowledge is also a repetitive transition between faith, moderation and ignorance.