Sunday, June 4

Do the good and bad exist?

An earthquake or the falling of a brick is an event that certainly exists, in the sense that it occurs here and now, independently of my will. But whether their specificity as objects is constructed in terms of natural phenomena or expressions of the wrath of God depends upon the structuring of a discursive field (Laclau & Mouffe, 1985:108). Reading above took me in a natural course to something that I have often pondered over and never could find any solution, maybe because I also didn't want to think very deeply since after a while all the thoughts begin to swirl just in a circuit. Now, before anyone asks, that why I am worrying their heads off with something that I have myself not been able to determine, the answer is just that I am hoping that writing this would scratch some of the cobwebs off my mind and may elicit a response or two from aimless wanderers over the Internet, a medium that I respect highly for the scope that it provides to vagabonds. Now, what the above sentence means is something which somehow clashes with what I have held the essence of life until now. If I could determine exactly where is that "somehow," then maybe I could be nearer home, but no, not now. What the above sentence meant for me in a far-reaching manner was that there's no good or bad in this world unless there's someone to define it, or a definition somehow in any case. Otherwise, everything is just an event, having its cause and effect (I recollect David Hume here, who I think used to be on similar lines; forgive me, I don't like or read philosophy, too abstract for us fools of the earth).
Of course, traditions, rituals, and all other daily practices are given sanctimony through the definitions that are prevalent. So that if a woman in India (especially in northern India) is supposed to don a "bindi" on her forehead to indicate that she is married and the husband is living, it becomes a sort of binding rule in those parts, and no woman herself would even think that such a thing may not be done and yet her husband will continue to live. What the authors themselves have said above, that the falling of a brick may be the constructed in terms of natural phenomena or wrath of God, it is upto the society that is giving it definition. But does this hold for all the things in this world? In the Roman times, there used to be arenas where men and animals used to fight each other until one of them used to die. Not only the king but the whole population used to rejoice in these "bloodthirsty" spectacles; the collective conscience of today's world has marched a lot forward (or rather, backward) than those times. This used to be a sport. Now suppose there was no person then who saw anything condemnable in these sports. So, then, did the thing stop being despicable? Was it then the best of, the manliest of sports? Only, looking with today's eyes, was it barbarian? The question is simply how intrinsic is the good in good and the bad in bad? Is good and bad also dependent on definitions or can they exist independently? Of course, nothing can be independent in itself, but what I mean is the potential goodness of an act an object in itself with that act being the subject, or is that there has to be a definition to which the attribute of that act is subjected? Of course, if, say, there would be no man, no thinking animal, then there would be no such questions only, there would "really" be not any good or bad, for there would be no one to define them, no one for whom to define them. But, is such an abstract theory applicable to the human state of affairs? If there would be no life on earth, the sun would be wasted. So, the sun is as much dependent on the plant as the plant on the sun. But, then again, the sun being "wasted" is our conception, is our imagination. The sun itself doesn't feel that it's being wasted, and so there's no wastage. Or is there a wastage?

I think that of course there is a wastage, and that is why I say that all these are abstract theories, which actually do not fit well to the human society, the society that has evolved over time. When a revolutionary fights for his ideas, he fights for "his" ideas and he doesn't care about anyone else in this world. So, even if the whole world pronounces the opposite, he will fight for something that he thinks is right, for something that he shares in. He fights for a definition that is not there at all in the world, and so, maybe, he should not be fighting at all. For, outside of himself, there is no such definition what he has, and so according to this sort of philosophy, his definiton itself is unneeded, for the world is going on fine without him, for the world has already got the definitions of good and bad, and he doesn't fit the bill. If his theories have no existence out of himself, according to this philosophy, as I understand it, there is no concrete platform only on which he could stand. So, then, according to this philosophy, either he has to promulagate an existence outside of himself for his theories, by propagating them, by making followers of himself, by creating a large base who then begin to define the theory, or he has to die and fade out in the "natural course of action." And the world moves on. It is as simple a case of how anything is constructed; and based on the constructions, events happen, and the cycle goes on similarly. But the only answer that I don't get is how did the revolutionary got his idealism; from where? How and why does the construction of an event take a specific direction only, and not some other direction? Why is it that only some things have evolved to being classified as idealistic, while the others have not been? Is there something intrinsically good and bad to the thoughts and actions of man?

I have not taken any definite stand here. So, you can forget about me being egotistic. I hope that this would invite some cursory remarks at least.

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