Category Archives: Philosophy

Would you look down upon such brothers and sisters?

When we lived in Nauroji Nagar (it is a small government-servants colony between Safdarjang Enclave and Sarojini Nagar, New Delhi) there used to live a family of one brother and three sisters. The last time when I saw them (more than 12 years ago) all three of them were in their early 50s. Something I was reading today reminded me of them. None of them got married. I don’t know what was their story or why they chose to live together like this.

Today I was just wondering what if they had sexual needs? Of course they could easily have had sexual relationships with other people and continued living with each other, but what if they had a physical relationship with each other? I am not talking in terms of having kids because that could lead to genetic problems in the kids. What if they indulged in sexual activities making sure that none of the sisters conceived?

Our society has moral problems with brothers and sisters having sex but more than moral it is a medical problem. If this problem is taken care of is it alright for brothers and sisters in such conditions to have sex with each other? I remember all three of them lived very isolated lives (but I’m not sure about that, maybe they were very happy and my social condition made me think that they were not) and if they were really isolated and lonely wouldn’t it be okay to find comfort in sex (sex can definitely provide lots of comfort) with each other if they made sure no kids would be born? When I talk of making sure that no kids would be born I mean that all the medical conditions are removed that give rise to conception. I know this is a taboo subject and very few would like to discuss it.

Would you stand naked in front of a stranger just going to die?

Would you? I mean, assume there’s a person — a stranger — in the room who you know is going to die soon and before dying there is a 100% chance he or she is not going to see anybody else or talk to anybody. I don’t mean you specifically shed your clothes in front of that person…you just don’t mind entering the room after bath with nothing on, or changing your clothes or simply taking your clothes off on a very hot and humid summer day.

This is a hypothetical question and of course you may come up with oh this can’t happen or that can’t happen or why would I be in a room with a stranger who is about to die, etc. Valid questions, but I’m just interested in the part: would you feel OK to be naked in front of a person who will die without telling anybody that he or she saw you naked?

How will we be after 5000 years?

Here’s an interesting take on how the earth will look after 5000 years, but the article actually talks about what will we become after 5000 year if we don’t destroy ourselves by then.

In 5000 years we won’t require our bodies to live. If mortality and immortality are biological concepts, does this mean we’ll become an immortal race? But why no body?

With advances in technology we’ll be using our bodies less and less. See this video for example:

And this is a very small example of how very rapidly we’re reducing the amount of work our bodies have to do. If we can do this in say, 100 years, imagine what we can do in another 300 years. Although evolution takes its own time, in 500-600 years, and even earlier, we’ll figure out how to live without depending upon body, and even without depending upon machines. The above article says that there will come a stage when we’ll derive energy from the nearby galaxies and control the surrounding solar systems. I don’t think by that time we’ll need to get energy. Our consciousness will produce (I know it defies the first law of thermodynamics but I’m not talking in that sense) on its own.

So what about sensory experiences? Two partners can already enjoy sex with each other (remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie?) by simply wiring their brains together even while sitting (or lying, or standing, on in the padmasan position) half way across the globe. So if sex can be enjoyed this way, I’m sure other sensations can be experienced too.

Does it matter to you what people think of you…

…when you are dead? Suppose you have lots of respect when you are alive. People idealize you, your family and friends love you and there are lots of people who aspire to be like you. Then after your death people realize that you were a big asshole. You cheated on your wife (you probably had a harem running somewhere), you never loved your children, you left your family penniless, you sold your country secrets to other countries, you murdered all your close friends and you went on holidays with Osama Bin Laden.

Since we talk a lot about leaving a legacy I’m wondering does it actually matter to you how people think of you when you are dead? You are dead, your body has been burned or buried or fed to the birds so how does it matter to you whether people adore you or abhore you?

Feelings and emotions are related to life. When you are alive it does matter to you how people think of you. You don’t want the person sitting next to you cringing at the mere idea of looking at you. But if people hate you after your death, you are never going to experience that hatred.

I think it has got much to do with the family. We try to create a good name for ourselves because we want the world to look at us in a positive way while we are alive, and look at our family in a positive way when we are dead.

I’m excluding people who are good just because they are good. Some people live virtuous lives because that’s the only way they know or are comfortable with it. I’m also excluding people who do it for the sake of going to Heaven (and avoid the fires of Hell) or for “serving the Lord”. I’m talking about people who want to be remembered as good people even when they’re dead. How does it matter?

About every sinner having a future

I’m seeing these days lots of literature coming up about the old saying that every sinner has a future and every saint has a past. In theory I totally agree. In fact in India, Valmiki, the author of the epic “Ramayana” was a bandit before he turned into a saint. But this statement, the way it is being thrown around on Twitter and Facebook, needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

It’s the sin we need to get rid of, not the sinner. It’s a higher state of mind actually, and human mind is very complex. Raj Kapoor’s Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai inspired many decoits to give up their guns and surrender, but this is voluntary. You can never be sure how many of them lived civilian lives for the rest of their lives. You can never say that OK, this person has reformed. Sure, in the same vein you can never say that a perfectly saintly person is never going to commit a crime, but if you want to bet on odds you’ll bet on the saintly person in case you need to trust somebody, not a former swindler or a rapist. You will be putting your kid to a great danger if you leave him or her alone in the company of a proven, but reformed child molester, even if nothing happens. But what about leaving your child alone with a known saintly person? Although you can never be sure of anybody, you’ll feel safer with a saintly person.

The thing is, the statements like every sinner has a future and every saint has a past sound noble and esoteric when they’re just thrown around to sound…whatever. It’s very hard to apply them personally when the safety and security of your loved ones is involved.