Who Needs Philosophy

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blasphemy is a victimless crime

We have heard many stories from the past of blasphemy, and what happened to the blasphemer. In almost all religions or believe systems, blasphemi is regarded as the pinacle of crime a man can commit towards the god or deity of such religion. Death, in many cases, is a given for the blasphemer.
Many argue that blasphemi is intollerable, it is an act of disgracing the ultimate being whom mankind must show their utmost respect. It is often compared to disgracing your parents, but this time, imagine disgracing the creator of your parents, the "parent" of life itself. That reasoning is somehow acceptable, only and until, the main difference between god or deity and your parents is unraveled, that god is omnipotent. Are your parents omnipotent? I would be thrilled to have such parents. Yet, none of us have. Thus, it is only logical to defend your parents, who are otherwise defenceless, or unable to defend properly, or someting like that.
But god? Should he/she be the being he, or his followers claim him to be, he should not have the slightest of worry when an insignificant creature, incomparable to his might, disgraces him. Worry must he not, let alone be infuriated.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Extraterrestrial Life, Higly Probable

Life arose more than once on Earth. In fact, ever since life begun, it never stopped. No matter what happened, life has proven its unnerving resilience. Evidence suggests that life on Earth has existed for about 3.7 billion years ( "History of life through time". University of California Museum of Paleontology). Humans however, have only been around for 40,000 years.
The universe is 12 to 15 billion years old. Therefore, between the "birth" of humans and the birth of universe, there is almost a 12 to 15 billion years of difference. To put this into perspective; to years of difference. Given such a vast time frame, it is highly unlikely that nothing else evolved in this universe.
Speaking of universe, based on observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, there are at least 125 billion galaxies in the universe. It is estimated that at least ten percent of all sun-like stars have a system of planets (Marcy, G.; Butler, R.; Fischer, D.; et al. (2005). "Observed Properties of Exoplanets: Masses, Orbits and Metallicities"), thus there are 6.25×1018 stars with planets orbiting them in the universe. If even a billionth of these stars have planets supporting life, there are some 6.25 billion life-supporting planetary systems in the universe.
Given such astonishing vastness, it is just somewhat illogical to assume that planet Earth is the only planet amongst the other planets capable of supporting life forms. Further, allow me to point an equation proposed by University of California, Santa Cruz astronomer and astrophysicist Dr. Frank Drake dubbed the Drake equation. Drake used the equation to estimate that there are approximately 10,000 planets in the Milky Way galaxy containing intelligent life with the possible capability of communicating with Earth. (Boyd, Padi. "The Drake Equation". http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/970924.html. Retrieved 2010-20-04).
With the resilient characteristics of life, and given evidences of how life on Earth itself has evolved and prospered in conditions unimaginable, it is highly probable that life forms may have flourished elsewhere. It may not be life as we know it is, but still, a life form.
Therefore, the question is not whether there are other life forms outside planet Earth, rather, when will we encounter those life forms. It may take years if not more for it to happen though. After all, we are practically the new kids on the block, highly unattractive to meddle with. Too primitive perhaps.

UI Runner Up in International Moot Court Competition

DEPOK, KOMPAS.com - The faculty of law of the University of Indonesia (FHUI) joined the International Law Moot Court Society (ILMS) and won the second prize in the 2009 International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot (IMLAM) Competition which was held in Brisbane, Australia.

"The success was thanks to various parties’ contributions such as the Ali Budiardjo Nugroho Reksodiputra Law Firm and the Soemadipraja and Taher Law Firm," said Devie, the deputy director of the UI’s communications office here on Sunday.

The FHUI team was represented by Titis Lintang Andari (2005), Camelia Simbolon (2005), Bintang Taufiq Hidayanto (2006), Sasha Izni (2007), and Muhammad Subarkah 2008, with Miranda Anwar, S.H as the coach. The FHUI team advanced to the grand final after beating the University of Queensland (the host), and the National University of Singapore (NUS) in the semifinals.

The competition was participated in by 12 teams from 12 Universities in the Asia Pacific region and used the Common Law system, which is applied by the Commonwealth countries such as Britain, the United States, Australia, and Malaysia. Indonesia applies the Civil Law system. "With the different legal systems, the FHUI team has demonstrated its extraordinary capability of mastering the materials so that it could advance to the to grand final," she said.

The five-day competition was participated by Queensland University of Technology, Gujarat National Law University, the National University of Singapore, Padjadjaran University (Indonesia), the University of Hong Kong, the University of Indonesia (UI), the University of Queensland, and Murdoch University. The FHUI also won three more awards, namely the 2nd best memorandum for the claimant, the 4th best speaker for the general round, and the 3rd best speaker for the final round.

Earlier this year, the FHUI team also came out as the first winner in the International Humanitarian Law Moot Court Competition which was held in Hong Kong. "This is not only the success of the FHUI team, but the success of Indonesia in the international arena," Devie said.

History of God, oversimplified

Humans are social beings. We are political as well. Such said, we need to live socially to survive. We need to be in a society, to have hierarchy. Why? Our ancestors discovered that their chance of survival greatly increased if they stay in groups. Not only it as simple as safety in numbers, but they can actually support each other, creating a self sufficient organization where everyone in the group relies on each other for their survival. Automatically, and in time, specific roles were created. Some of the members became hunters, some kept their nest safe or safer and in order, some became a sort of baby sitter- tending for the offspring, some became the voice of solace and the leader of the group, and so on. Thus, a hierarchy was born, and it lasted, for it worked, and they form tribes.
This hierarchy lasted for quite sometime, until the day the members of the group encountered problems way beyond their abilities to comprehend or to solve. Things like draught, flood, famine, diseases, and so on. For a group of early humans, these natural events would have seemed terrifying. They just don't know what to do about it. Perhaps some of them tried many things, none of it worked. And precisely at that moment of persistent failure, baam, they began to question things. How the heck it happened? How to stop it? How to control it? No matter how hard they tried and how hard they put their minds to it, nothing worked. Our ancestors may have failed to solve those problems, yet they have succeeded in planting the most important seeds of humanity; affinity and ability to question things, to ponder.
Being a tool-making species, they inadvertently came to a conclusion that somebody, or at least, something, must have created it. They know for a fact that nothing can come to existence without some sort of creation. Therefore, it would only be logical if those dreadful events came about as a result of some form of creation. Hence, assuming that floods and famine etc are created, so should trees, mountains, sun, moon, day-night cycle, etc, even humans.
At this grandeur moment of revelation, humans have created a new role in their group/society/tribe, a new hierarchy, god. And believe it or not, we, humans of the space age, still share a similar thinking pattern like our ancestors, at least the majority. Thus, the concept of god endured, even though not immune to changes, the concept remained; god, something or someone (in some cases) is (are) the creator(s) of certain things, things we cannot explain, things we can't understand. Though the list of things has gone considerably complex,(no more wondering how the heck rain falls, and sun sets), we still find certain solace and comfort to place the burden of our inability to understand to the highest member of the tribe, the one on top of all hierarchy, god. And I suppose, no matter the ages, humans would still share this same pattern of thinking, for we are social beings, in need of hierarchy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book of Eli

Some movies are to be enjoyed,some to be puked on (th..wilight), some to be loved,and very few to be understood. Book of Eli is one of those rare breed of movies that exemplifies how a movie can be an object of literary interpretation and analysis. Do this,and you'd get chills running down your spine, like what happened to me. Watch it with ignorance, I guarantee you would leave the theater asking questions like: what,like duh,like he is,like, so strange.. Well, duh for you then,sorry.
I won't talk much about the movie, (i wont spoil it for those who havent watch) other than it is flooded with symbolisms. The main character himself is a symbolism. His name, his physical disability, his faith, his quest, the people he met, his friends, his enemies, his book, his weapon (or choice of weapon to be more precise), his world, and himself. It was very interesting to see how plots of the movie unfold. There were enough actions and twists and turns of the plot which entertained me. But, there were more events which forced me to understand; not the movie itself,but the story behind it, the history, the "why's", the "what's".
Eventhough not without flaws, twas too minor to distract me from relentlesly trying to figure out meanings behind every single thing I see or hear. Not only that, more often than not, I found many resemblances to actual historical events. Awesome..
I highly recommend this movie. Especially to those who can and is willing to understand the true meaning of it and the message it tries to convey.. A message that will ultimately save us from the impending doom, and one that we have failed to grasp for the past 4 thousand years or so. Enjoy


I love to question. Well,not that I love questions. I just love asking them. I ask everything,if not, anything. Why? I don't know why. Maybe because.... I have brain? Yet, many other species inhibiting this realm have brain, and I don't suppose they do love to question. I mean, birds don't question why they fly. Snakes don't question why they crawl. Cats don't question why they meow (forgive me if meowing is not a verb), but I do. I question why I walk, upright. I question why we talk, in languages. I question why I ask questions.

Yet, my affinity towards asking questions is not something I enjoy. I love asking questions, but I do not enjoy asking. Heck, am I contradicting myself here? I don't think so. See, if I ask a question, I have to go through the painful stage(s) of trying to figure out the answer. Or answers. Many times,the question remain unanswered, actually,all the time. And it hurts. It hurts not to be able to answer a question. That's why, I don't particularly enjoy it. Yet, I still love to question. Therefore, I stand here (or sit, actually) and proclaim, that the fact that I love to question and at the same time find little,if not none, enjoyment, is not a contradictory.

Enough talks, lets begin, and ask, for I love to question.