Thursday, July 21, 2011

Maths and God

I love Maths.Yes, the one which deals with numbers, symbols etc. I know many of you must be already writing me off and giving up from further reading some stupid article, written by a weird person who says she loves maths.
I have never received a nice warm response to the words “I love maths” ever in my life. Most of the people give me a weird look and call me crazy.
At the other extreme is another expression which always brings me exactly the opposite response of what I get for “I love maths”. Off course, you have guessed what the other sentence is – “I love God”. No one has ever called me freak, weird or any such names for saying that particular sentence. Though, that particular sentence could be indicator to my prejudices and underlying hatred towards those people who love God in a different way.
Today,I decided to sit down and strictly give a thought to, ‘what is the difference between Maths and God’.  This article was triggered off by a person who saw me working with a maths puzzle and said, “Why are you spending your precious time on working out a stupid puzzle? Instead, sing praises of God, which will take you to heavens”. HAH!
 I know that spirituality is important for every person. As for the famous sentence ‘Love of God’, I am not very sure about it. If we read history carefully, anyone can see that the ‘Love of God’ has brought in more violence into our world; dividing people, multiplying superstitions, creating hatred, communal riots, executions, in addition to wars like crusades which claimed thousands of lives.
 As for Maths, we cannot contribute any single act of violence committed by mathematicians just because someone loved different branch of maths, or even against those who say they hate maths. We don’t see people who love algebra fighting or ganging up on people who love geometry.
Let me see, how many of differences I can point out between God and Maths?
Maths is the least confusing thought process I have come across in my life. Those who are confused by maths have not studied it well. It is constant, and never changes. Addition, multiplication or any maths function will be same no matter which part of globe you are in.
God is confusing. No one knows for sure whether he is kind, harsh or outright cruel. The description of ‘hell’ makes me wonder whether he surpasses every cruel dictator to inhibit the earth or what? Then there is the description of him being there for us with heart full of mercy too. The mode of worshipping God changes in every nook and corner of a street.
The deeper you study maths the easier and clearer it becomes. With more and more practice you will be assured you are doing the right thing
The deeper you study God, the more you will be confused and he becomes hazier (I am not talking about the spiritual connection some people develop with God). With more and more practice you feel you are less accurate in your prayers than ever before.
No mathematicians have gone fanatic and attacked somebody who does not work out the sums they work on or for solving a problem in a different way.
Most of the religionists go fanatic with their beliefs and faiths. Always argue the way they pray or worship is the only right way, and most of the times it leads to violence when people worship or pray in a different way. Even if the God they worship is the same deity; even a slight different method in worshiping him can divide people.
Maths drives people into silence. I am yet to see a mathematician who goes about his/her work by chanting formulas, beating drums, or blasting firecrackers to commemorate birth of Euler.
I feel it is wise to keep mum on the subject of how God has been responsible for sound pollution, and mind you, I am not talking about lightning and thunders.
At times people argue that religion is important for building moral character and giving guidance to walk on the right path. Huh???  I consider this the biggest bluff man has invented, even surpassing the one which says “Man is the best creation of God”.  We have been told about the character building religions so often that we take it for granted and never question it. But, if we do, the answer is quite horrifying.  In a country like India, where people from all religions co-exist, there have been tough times which have led to communal riots. Those who did not follow any religion have been spared of being conductors of the cruelties undertaken in the name of religious differences, though, same cannot be said about their being targets.  Even those people who adored children and respected elders have resorted to killing them mercilessly. Rape, murder, looting, torture and every other crime under the sun takes place when communally driven people get into rage.  All for what?  Some kind of religious prejudice?  Is it really worth the cruelty? Remove the religious tag, and astonishingly you will find there is no difference in those people. But like the famous ‘Who will bell the cat?’ the questions of ‘Who will remove the tag?’ remains unanswered. Can you at least escape being tagged? There no way out there either.
As I say religion and God have been exact opposite of mathematics.  If a mathematician marries and has a child, the child will have a choice to be a writer, an actor or even a politician. Nothing bounds him/her to become mathematician other than his/her own interest. 
When it comes to religion though, there is no way out. If a man following religion ‘A’ marries and has a child, automatically the child is tagged to be from religion ‘A’. How unfair is this? Your school, passport and even admissions into hospital will force you to acknowledge this again and again. There is no choice. There is no escape.
The list would continue endlessly …. I need to stop and get back to my puzzle. I love maths. I don’t force you to work on maths puzzles and problems. Take the clue people! Stop pestering me for those prayers, facebook religious page likes, religious fwd mails and whatever you think is right. I think I should come up with No smoking kind of board for ‘HOLY’ nags.
One of my favorite quotes:
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
- Marcus Aurelius


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