In search for answers to BIG questions
Science can not answer meta-physical questions like “Why are we created?”, and “What is the purpose of life?”. I would be happy if science confesses its limitations and continue to make progress in the area its excels: the physical world, leaving aside metaphysical world to its experts.
However, I get pissed-off when proponents of science start to force themselves into “meta-physics” and pretend to answer such BIG questions with ignorance, leading the masses to confusion and astray.
Those who seek answer to such BIG questions and rush to scientists (especially atheists among them) is like a patient running to a plumber for medicine.
I can quote many people on this topic, but I prefer to bring Plato hoping that he might find respect among a bigger audience.
In “The Story of Philosophy” Will Durant explains Plato’s opinion on politics and who should be the hero.
Plato complains that whereas in simpler matters — like shoe-making- we think only a specially-trained person will serve our purpose, in politics we presume that every one who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill we call for a trained physician, whose degree is a guarantee of specific preparation and technical competence — we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one; well then, when the whole state is ill should we not look for the service and guidance of the wisest and the best?
If our sick friend was successful to avoid seeking advice on health (read metaphysics) from the plumber (read atheist scientists), then you might think his best option would be to end-up in the counter of a pharmacist (read philosopher).
But pharmacist only dispense whatever medicine doctors write. Philosophy might have sharpened our minds and exposed us to a structured method of thinking and solving problems of our life, but seldom did they provide satisfying answer to those BIG questions.
The biggest impediment in the journey to finding answer to these metaphysical questions is the inaccessibility of the unseen world. Our inherent weaknesses make us confined within limited time and space. Hence, we need somehow to be connected with the Divine and seek answers from Him.
Plato like many other philosophers might have used their reason to reach to the fact that a Supreme being living “up there” need to be consulted for such difficult questions. Others, out of arrogance -like Plato’s student Aristotle- might have hoped to stay without God and find solutions on Earth and its materials. How beautifully Raphael captured this big contrast in philosophy between Plato the teacher (pointing Up) and Aristotle the student (insisting to stay on Earth).
So, our hero is this entire story is not Plato (read pharmacist) nor Aristotle (read plumber). I would give Socrates — the teacher of Plato- even better score and higher rank (maybe like chief pharmacist), but Socrates is postponed for another day. Our real hero and real doctor for our poor patient are PROPHETS.
Prophets are those whom God favored with revelation and hence they had answers “straight from the horse’s mouth”. God would never choose a loose person for this role, hence, they (i.e., the prophets) were the best as human being — in terms of intellect, moral, lineage and eloquence- in their community. What would you expect if the best and the noblest person started a mission with the best and most trustworthy message and knowledge? No wonder then that they were often accused of being magicians, because their satisfying answers to BIG metaphysical questions were so appealing to the simple mind and heart of the masses, and at the same time so sophisticated and bullet-proof that rendered philosopher’s — often abstract- answers to the same questions childish.
What a shame then on the elites of the 21st century that they were successful to land on moon, yet could not turn to the nearest Mosque and picked a Quran to discover its grandeur, majesty and answers to BIG questions.