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April 26, 2003

Seeing the world

I am seeing the world differently than I did most of my life.

World and Life is nothing more to me these days than "an intellectual exercise". I tend to see everything, the living and non-living, and myself as some "objects", to which some laws apply.

However, there is still a strong emotional component inside me - something that has not gone away because of its strong roots.


April 22, 2003

Choosing Happiness or Laughter

Given a choice between two mental/emotional states - happiness and laughter - which one will you choose?

UPDATE(from reply to a comment):
You say that laughter is "often" an "expression" of happiness.

But I think that the relationship is more complex. And the differences between them are subtle and interesting.

Laughter is more appropriately a physical activity expressing acknowledgement of the emotion of humor.

However, the tendency to laugh increases when you are happy. So the tendency to sense humor is more when you are happy.

However, humor can also be a cause for happiness. For example, if you are in a sad mood, then suddenly a good joke and you are back laughing, and tend to loose sadness.

The origin of happiness can also be more easily explained by evolution by correlating with biological factors such as survival/reproduction (and also some facts related to consciousness which then goes on to desires and their satisfaction), however the laughter has evolution based on less biological factors but more social factors, like the conveyance of the fact that "I am happy", "I am not going to harm you", "You are doing a stupid activity", "You do not belong to our group", etc.

People often resort to means of humor/laughter to become happy.


April 6, 2003


The following is a copy of an email I had sent out recently.

your and his views demonstrate different views of looking at life and the world, both equally valid, which points to a strong sense of nihilism.

As soon as you "EVALUATE" any Objective Fact as right, wrong, good, or bad, YOU HAVE MADE A MISTAKE.

You are generalizing a lot (you hardly know anything) and making a huge number of assumptions.

The whole base of ethics is built on "life is good", and that is a big assumption, since this is not your intelligence that is saying this, this is what your genes and physical body is saying.

About the article, I would say that approach presented there is closer to the fundamental Life-is-Good ethics principle: the approach taken is very pro-life, and is based on the hypothesis that the needs of survival and reproduction of all living beings are more pro-life, than satisfaction of other desires (like comfort, luxury, emotional satisfactions based on non-living things, something I call the least-effort principle where man tries to fulfill all his other desires in the minimum effort possible giving rise to desire for money [Update: now that I search, this least-effort principle may have its origins from here ], etc) of some.

XYZ wrote,
> ha ha ha!
> how can people be so stupid...
> Gaurang Khetan wrote
> > This In Context article is a must read on peace, spirituality, etc.
> > http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC17/Kumar.htm
> >


This is a mail I recently sent.

> your reasonings may well justify common human behaviour as u see around u, but is that all?

is there more?

> can u blow it up to explain or rather speculate the reality?
> can u explain all there is in this world? this remarkable creation, with all its diversity, the laws that govern it etc?

"remarkable" is evaluative. "Remarkable" means nothing. If I create a world which is just one square including a little creature and nothing else, then if that creature thinks that the square is really a remarkable creation, then it hardly matters. Its completely subjective.

Even if it is remarkable, so what? Do simple non-remarkable worlds not require a creator and only complex ones do? Then, how do you draw the line between simple and complex?

The "remarkable" and "diversity" subjective evaluations are unnecessary parts of your argument.

> law implies a lawmaker just like any product un this world implies a maker.

then for exactly the same reasons, a lawmaker implies a lawmaker-maker. If you define the lawmaker to be without any creator, then we can also define this world as being without a creator.

> the consumeristic attitude that u advocate for is a direct result of denying the existence of god.
> it simply promotes hedonistic selfcentered sense gratificatory attitude that u may see around u there.
> is it good to continue with that? sleeping with our own enemies?
> rather u must strive to get freed from this selfishness and other vices. rise above all this. don't be a miser!

to state that that consumerism and hedonistic self-centered sense gratificatory attitudes are vices you need to make some big assumptions. [Update:See the above post for the assumption.]

If human behavior can be explained and understood, then everything becomes swallowed by it, since everything you think of, believe, find out, can be behaviorally explained.

For example your following of ISKCON can be explained by:
1. You like the company that fellow ISKCONites give. Just like the same way an al-qaeda member likes the company the other al-qaeda members give.
2. You like the ISKCON way of doing things - go in a temple, feel loved, eat prasadam, etc. In other words, you like the emotions like love etc.
3. You like the philosophy propounded by ISKCON.

The origins of these can further be explored like this:
1. As a human being, you like the emotion of love, since the emotion of love correlates well with survival and reproduction instincts of the human being. Emotion of love promotes mutual help for better survival for all beings involved, and leads to sex, which is necessary for reproduction and survival of the species.
2. The philosophy of ISKCON works on similar levels - it incites more into you a feeling of "good", you feel good if you assume ISKCON is good, it is all emotional correlating well with love, and joy. Your body is designed to like some patterns in the sense data and try as best as possible to get those patterns to repeat. Since we all have evolved from the same ancestors, the patterns that all our bodies like is similar, and we have named those patterns "good".

Imagine a planet, where a species like us lives, and the reproduction mechanism is somehow through "separation of individuals" rather their coming together and copulating. And imagine the survival chances of the individuals are better if they stay away from each other - if they come near each other then - some sort of chemical reaction kills them. In this case, the feeling of hate and separation would be considered "good", and the friendship and togetherness would be "bad". They would be more feeling better if they believe in "Nihilism" and feel bad if they believe in God and what ISKCON says, etc.

One's whole behavior is just simply the result of training that you got socially after you were born by looking at others and the world; and the training that our genes got from long periods of survival and reproduction where they learnt which forms of sense patterns are more correlated with their survival and reproduction and learnt to like them.


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