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All my Books and all my Hubs

Sometimes I wonder , how is that each one of my friends happens to be so memorable a character? One among them, who is also a little more ...

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Book Review: THEISM OR ATHEISM: WHICH IS THE MORE REASONABLE?

THEISM OR ATHEISM: WHICH IS THE MORE REASONABLE?
This book depicts a public debate between Christian Evidence Society (WT LEE) and National Secular Society (GW FOOTE). The debate seeks to prove that the Theistic doctrine of the universe is essentially reasonable, because it can be vindicated by lines of argument and processes of reasoning admittedly trustworthy in other fields of inquiry. It also seeks to assert that Atheism, as a doctrine of the universe, is utterly unsatisfactory.
In the opening argument by the theist begins with a set of questions. Like, how could an ordered universe arise from a non ordered state of physical units? How could an intelligible universe arise out of a mindless physical condition? How could an universe manifesting law have arisen from a condition where no law can be found? How could an universe without a moral nature produce beings with a moral nature? How could a number of elementary substances called atoms have produced the unity everywhere manifested in nature? How could life, the power which moulds and builds up organisms, and preserves them from the disintegrating influences which act on mere matter, have been produced from the non-living? 
The opposing side also is ready with quite a number of questions.
The atheist also, like opponent, puts forward a flurry of arguements.  Atheism per se does not deny the existence of God; it only affirms the eternity of matter. The issue with theism is that the theist's mind is not large enough to comprehend the universe.  Morality is a part of natural evolution, without anything supernatural in it. If God imposes morality upon us, why is it not the same in all parts of the world?
Thereafter both of them take turns to show the weak points in others' propositions. The debate comes to an end with observations from the chair: That the topic was discussed with a due regard for the sensibility of the listener. And that it was an enlightening debate with a good deal of useful information. 
But for the archaic language, and the abstract arguments that seemed to perpetually veer around ideas of God, this is an informative book. This book also, like most others dealing with this topic, does not forward any testable ideas for morality, though it propounds it as an essential part of the human. I specially chose this book to read, since I wanted to know what was the idea of the past generations as far as  moral behavior was concerned. (Mine is a rather different idea, which is the theme of my book, The Unsure Male.) 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fake news, another excuse


Of late there is much discussion about the ease with which news can be manipulated using modern technology. And about how, this can be used to influence the free expression of our choice, an important feature of democracy. 
Should there be such an alarm about fake news? Aren’t we all free to choose the news to be influenced by?
I agree. Modern, especially digital technology offers convenience, ease and the opportunity to influence outcomes. So also are the facilities available as part of the same technology or that can be instituted at short notice, to check for such interference. In such a case, I feel the society need not worry much about this issue. A ‘digital war’ may go on between the ones who would like to influence, and the ones who would oppose or would like to influence in a different way.
In fact there is nothing great in this. Our propensity, to blame something else for all the faults on our part, has been in existence since the dawn of history. It is well known. After every crime, especially those involving injury to people, a standard headline to read is: “The accused was under the influence of alcohol”. The more I thought about this, the greater, my conviction became. That such an excuse is being freely accepted by society to prevent us from blaming abjectly, a fellow human. Else, we might have to admit to the prevalence of people among us, who are naturally blameworthy. Read: https://soapboxie.com/social-issues/Why-arent-we-Sober-about-Alcohol
Now, luckily we have one more excuse to protect our brethren from the ill effects of whatever they do – FAKE NEWS
https://hubpages.com/politics/What-do-Fake-news-Do

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Is it natural to be spiritual?


Is spirituality natural? That the early humans were enamored by light, fire, rain, thunder, etc., and founded the origins of spirituality in it, is the observation I encountered the most. I find no reason to think so.
I think the discovery of lenses with the property of magnification, initiated our journey into the spiritual world. Because that is when humans would have come to realize that there is something more than what we can see, everywhere. And spirituality is all about transposing that into something which is more in sync with our life. As humans succeed in bringing more and more abstract ideas into the realm of the real, the person of god continues to change its appearance. From fire, earth, and water, to faraway places, planets, and space, and to more abstract propositions of each, the concept of god fluctuates, keeping a safe distance with, or moving in the shadow of, the current umbrella of knowledge.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What makes human society Different from others'?

 How did we acquire human-ness? I mean erect posture and bipedal locomotion; manual dexterity and increased tool use compared to other animals; and a general trend toward larger, more complex brains and societies.  What enabled our ancestor species to create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, like families, kinship networks, and political states? Why did our ancestors start social interactions between themselves, or establish an extremely wide variety of values, social norms, and rituals, which together have come to form the basis of human society?
Most common answers pointed to changes in living circumstances. Like access to food surplus, domestication of animals, and the use of metal tools, leading to the formation of permanent human settlements.  
Our forefathers seem to have continued to live in settlements. Perhaps, domestication of wild lfe would have been better when our forefathers lived thus. Over a period of time we lost our ability to confront life on our own, unlike all other species. And we had to continue living as a settlement to enjoy domesticating ourselves, and many other forms of life. And whatever we see today as human-ness is the result. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Peace, and No peace

What is the true reason behind the absence of peace in human societies? Is it desire? So says many. From time immemorial to these days, this is an excuse which has the support of most people, especially religious leaders.
But, I think facts speak otherwise. What has desire done? Nothing but leading mankind to a path of progress. All our inventions and discoveries owe a lot to this. It made man do, all that he did.
What else could be the cause?
We are always under the influence of four variables that affects peace. The desire to progress, Progress itself, The desire to go back to the past, and, Past itself. In one look itself, one can say: progress is natural, linked with the arrow of time. And progress cannot cause any disturbance, as it is nothing but moving in sync with times. Whereas regress certainly can, as every step we take will be against the forces of time.
Then. that is the cause. We show an ardent desire to travel back.
But, why we long to go back to our past? I think we are just choosing an easy option, since it is difficult to travel forward. You see, the desire for progress calls for greater intellectual involvement, which all people cannot.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Review: 'The Myths and Realities of Teamwork'

'The Myths and Realities of Teamwork' by David Wright.
This is a very interesting take on something I thought I knew too well. In the beginning itself, the myths are introduced - that teams are made of harmonious people, team conflict is to be avoided, most people like to work in teams, it is an essential need of success, and that the management encourage teams. Thereafter, each of these myths are explored critically, telling us how all these in fact have many other facets, some of which, not known to me. And how we can put those to our benefit. Like how, 'the passion for a common goal can be allow conflict, if it helps in achieving goals'. Or how to go forward, when one third of every team likes team work, another one third remain neutral to it, and the remaining one third oppose teamwork.
Next chapter deals with the basic skills for teamwork including meeting skills, which play a significant part in a team’s success. This is then is followed by a discussion about the skills that should be nurtured to achieve high results. Skills like idea formation, good feedback, effective critique, assertiveness, etc are analyzed here. Next chapter discusses various techniques with practical suggestions for bringing creativity in to teamwork. How to have an effective mechanism of feedback is described here. A formal method of feedback, titled BIF feedback, is introduced in this book. Lastly the book examines the question of ledadership, offering a new thought in the direction of 'leadership to all'.
This is a novel approach to a much discussed topic. Both the myths, some of which I thought were facts, and the realities, most of which were outside my view, added immensely to my ideas about teamwork. I never knew some of the angles, the author has chosen to observe the vast area of productivity, ever existed.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Review: Free Will - An Examination of Human Freedom

What should a discussion about free will focus on? I think Magnus Vinding, through this book 'Free Will - An Examination of Human Freedom' has chosen few important features.
 We must go beyond framing this entire subject in terms of: “Do we have free will, yes or no?” Because no one-word answer to this question tells us anything of relevance.
In fact our own freedom in view, for instance that our intentions, motivations, choices and actions do have an impact and do make a difference in the world, while at the same time keeping moral anarchy and fatalism at bay.
I liked this book. The book draws some final conclusions about what is true about human freedom, including what is true about what we ought to believe about it, while focusing directly on this question itself, rather than the contemporary style of debating on the finer, abstract, philosophical aspects of free will.

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