This is in continuation of Magnetic God entry. If you haven’t read that already, I don’t know how much sense this entry would make.
As I wrote earlier, magnetic God is nothing but magnetic field itself. And magnetic field is nothing but magnetic God itself. These are two different approximations of the same unknown and unknowable thing. Both the approximations are capable of explaining the observations regarding two metal pieces repulsing or attracting each other when brought closer. One approximation is based on reason and the other one based on faith. Yes, reason and faith, that’s where I have been leading you to.
I have been reading about history of western psychology and I noticed one very interesting thing. Church (when it was the dominant force in Europe) completely stood against Reason or enquiry as means to reaching the Truth. Philosophy was a forbidden subject and Faith was almost forced down the throat of the people. Now it doesn’t surprize me that faith doesn’t have that many buyers today. I guess, it has had an unfair share of attention and not it’s reason’s turn to get even ;)
Though it is very difficult to make such a statement about India as Hinduism was never an organized religion (if you want to call it a religion). But from whatever I have observed since my childhood, the priests have wielded unusual power. Though Hindu philsophy as such embraces both Reason (Jnana Yoga) as well as Faith (Bhakti Yoga), yet (at least lately) there has been drying up of reason and weakening of faith. And when faith is weak, reason definitely scores. Only when the faith is strong can the reason be relegated to second spot.
Anyway, this was just a digression to give you a background of what made me interested in this reason and faith debate. Let me continue with the magnetic God.
An interesting thing is that the magnetic God cannot be negated without negating magnetic field too. And if the presence of magnetic field is affirmed, the presence of magnetic God has to be affirmed. I’ll get into the reasoning behind this but before, let me share something with you. Till about one year back, I was an athiest and I would easily get into an argument with others debating the existence of God. It was very easy to win over the people whose faith was weak but those whose faith was strong always stood by rock. I would give hundred reasons but they would not budge from their position.
Anyways, let’s start with our reasoning and see if we can prove the existence of magnetic field while denying the existence of magnetic God.
R. I don’t see any God around here. Where is your magnetic God? F. I don’t see any field around here. Where is your field? R. Field is invisible. It can’t be seen. F. Ok, let me touch it then. Where should I put my hand to touch it? R. It cannot be touched. It is a field. Senses can’t reach it. F. Then how do you know it’s there? R. I know it is there because these are the observations I have made and they can be explained by the presence of this field. I have constructed a theory of what happens when these two pieces of magnets are brought close to each other and I don’t have any observations that are against the theory. How does your God theory explain it? F. Oh, magnetic God theory explains it very well. There is a magnetic God that makes these two pieces of magnet attract or repulse each other. R. That sounds absurd. Where is this God then? F. Just they way you call your field invisible, my God is invisible. Just the way your field cannot be touched, my God cannot be touched. It is beyond senses. R. But how do you explain the consistency in observations? I mean these two pieces will always attract or repulse with the same force when at a constant distance. How does your God manage it? F. You are underestimating the power of the God. It is much more powerful than you can conceive it to be. R. Ok. Let me ask you this. Will you agree that these forces do not have continuity? They appear only close to these types of metal pieces which we call magnet. How come your God is around only these objects? F. How come your field is around only these objects? Why isn’t it around other objects? R. That’s because the atoms of these objects have got such and such properties. F. In case of magnetic God, it is because the electron Gods in these objects have prayed to the magnetic God to come around here. R. Do you know something? This field follows these mathematical formulae. How can your God manage this? F. Infinite is the power of magnetic God. It can produce not only these but several other formulae.
I can go on and on. But if I have been able to make you see the direction it is taking, it is clear that it is not possible to deny one without denying the other one too. Or to affirm one without affirming the other one too. Even if we believe that it is the magnetic field that exists and not the magnetic God, it would be because our mind has developed an inclination towards accepting such theories and not because the theory of magnetic God is weak. The theory of magnetic field fits better in our world view which involves generation and usage of electricity, motors etc. But we must not lose sight of the fact that magnetic God also approximates the very thing that magnetic field approximates. Just that magnetic God looks at it in a different way. What is being approximated is unknown and unknowable.
Now the question comes which theory is really superior. Having argument for the sake of some fun is one thing but it is a very serious business whether one believes in magnetic field or magnetic God. Most of the people I happen to know would still want to reject the idea of magnetic God while retaining the idea of magnetic field because accepting it would destroy the foundations of their world view. And it is not easy to make even small adjustments to the world view unless something drastic happens in one’s life. I am also fortunate enough to know some people who would accept both the positions.
What do you think? Which one is superior? Reason or Faith? Is one of them really superior over the other? Yes? Why yes? No? Why No?