Corona Virus has affected millions of people and killed hundreds and thousands of people already in more than 200 countries and territories of the world. Almost all routines of life have been affected. Our tremendous journey in scientific, technological, industrial and economic advances has come to a pause for a while in the last few months. As we ponder over origin of Corona Virus, it is high time to also reflect and think over origin of everything. This short book engages and invites readers to together seek answers from science, philosophy, and spirituality.
In the Godless worldview, the battle of survival ends with destruction eventually for Corona Virus, bacteria, unicellular organisms, animals and humans the same way. Humans having consciousness and conscience may define their personal meaning of life by themselves as to how best to spend few million breaths under the sun in maximizing self-pleasure. But, the life ends without due justice for many people who are killed, robbed and discriminated against and it ends without due punishment for many people who cause these crimes. Some are lucky and some are unlucky in the mortal game of survival of the fittest.
A reflective human mind would look at the pandemic and will be reminded that this life will end one day for him from one or the other material cause. A reflective mind will keep in mind the scientific and historical evidence that death is as much a fact as is life.
Mainstream economics treats altruism as ‘impure’. It looks at altruism in the paradigm of pursuing self-interest. Economists like Andreoni reason that altruism can be explained through the ‘warm glow’ effect. People feel good to help others as they gain personal and private comfort. They might be doing it because of social pressure, to gain fame, to improve social image, to exhibit status or to avoid the guilt of saying no to a cause in public. The paradigm of self-interest is neutral between a person’s decision to help others or to not help others.
The doctors and nurses who have risked their lives to treat patients have defied these explanations and proved that altruism can be genuine. The idea of selfish self-interest needs revision. John Nash gave the idea that everybody does what’s best for him and the group. Referring to humans as a group, Dawkins think that Selfish Gene has no inherent morals and only has survival instincts. Morality is then just an instrument to achieve survival of the fittest.
As far as understanding the properties of matter is concerned with the objective of making our lives useful, religion does not oppose science at all. There is no inherent conflict between science and religion if the scope of both science and faith are duly understood and acknowledged. Islamic worldview does not oppose the use of various tools for obtaining useful knowledge and then using that knowledge for material ends both at an individual and at the societal level.
Our outlook to the universe will be different based on the meaning we attach to our relationship with the universe. From Physics perspective, extinction is merely a rearrangement of atoms, even if it happens to millions of humans via nuclear weapons.
It is pertinent to ask what Stephen Hawking also finds perplexing: “We find ourselves in a bewildering world. We want to make sense of what we see around us and to ask: What is the nature of the universe? What is our place in it and where did it and we come from? Why is it the way it is?”
Stephen Hawking has recently died after living a difficult life physically, but one which was highly productive in terms of intellectual journey and contributions. While acknowledging the tremendous value of the contribution of Stephen Hawking in Cosmological Physics, an attempt is made to clarify the limitations of science in exploring the meaning of life.