Thursday, April 05, 2007

On striving for a better world... -

Category: Does G-d Exist?,

It cannot be natural that the human race suffers as much as it does. It cannot be a function of biology that the human world is full of injustice and resentment. Are there any other forms of life on this earth who bask in the joy of love or who recoil at the bitterness of mistreatment? Are there any other forms of life on this earth that recognize good and evil, and truth and false? Are there any other forms of life that have moral compasses? Plants, ants, dolphins, chimpanzees?

Absolutely not, the drive that human beings have to improve is a unique drive. But not only that, the innate desire to improve life is a strong implication that we feel that suffering is unnatural. But if we feel that suffering is unnatural, it's an even stronger indication that we feel that the joy of equality and justice are actually natural states. If that is true, then it would be very, very hard to accept a view that we are mere biological forms of life, for from where does a form of life ruled by biology get the impression that equality is natural? Our bodies are bound by the dictates of nature and erosion and yet our souls visualize a more complete world.

Our current paradigms of evolution tell us that death and survival of the fittest are natural functions of living things, but when we see those things, we register them as faults of the species; how can that be? Further, how can we have such a natural drive for equality if we have never experienced it? How are our minds able to conceptualize and imagine the concept of equality if we have never been through it? It's usually true that a person cannot imagine something without first having experienced something similar to it. Yet the human drive for equality is a strong suggestion that, somehow, humanity has experienced equality before and therefore the desire for it is implanted deep within the human conscious. Yet if we fumble backwards through the pages of history, we find no equality. The Torah tells us in a rather puzzling fashion that there was a time in the history of the earth where humanity experienced complete equality, when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. If we assume that the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is just a story designed to explain existence, not very different from other creation accounts, how can we explain our yearning for equality as if it is something that we have lost? Is it really possible that some clever individual created the Garden of Eden story in order to explain the almost physical drive that we have for equality? If that's true, it's easy to imagine that there would be tons of other creation stories with similar philosophical messages, and they would make up the backbones of other societies. If it's possible that somebody invented the story, we still grapple with the question of "why do we want equality?"

Most things have a cause, but we do not know what has caused the level of consciousness we posses to call ourselves human and to realize that we are different from the animals. All of this throws a wrench into the belief that we are mere biological forms of life, and presents strong empirical evidence that a closer-to-perfect existence is indeed our natural state. Further, we are bothered when we do something wrong and are unhappy with ourselves. On the flip side, it also points to the existence of G-d, Who is Perfect, and created humanity with perfection. Therefore, our desire for perfection is not an illusion, it is a desire to return to the present state that we once experienced. It makes the story of Adam and Eve very believable, and to offer a radical concept, perhaps it is true.
Please, comments and criticisms are welcome.