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Why is Why?

 Since time immemorial, society has had problems with those who asked questions that were dangerous to our precariously balanced ideas. From the Inquisitions of France, Spain and many other kingdoms during the Middle Ages to the Mihna of the 9th century in the Middle East. Even today, in our presumably more free society, asking questions about many matters is looked down upon. Whether asking about someone’s change in gender to the most trivial reason - why they eat so much cheese, for instance - is seen on a scale of socially unacceptable. In the beginning, there was one answer to every question. ‘God’. Soon, however, that began to fall apart. You couldn’t blame God for the lack of corn which you didn’t sow, or tell yourself God made the stone tool which you just finished carving. As humanity began to properly come to terms with philosophy and causal manipulation, we came to understand that God was not the answer to every question. Thus, we began asking and trying to answer questions.
Recent posts

Actions vs Intentions: The Eternal Moral Conflict

Ever since the vague origins of human morality, a categorically unanswered question has always been raised: is it ethical to do wrong for the right reasons and vice versa. Many philosophers have pondered over this question – Plato to Bentham, the Rigveda to Metaphysics of Morality. Many have professed their own perspectives, and yet human society has never rigidly followed any. At different points of time, in different situations, in different places, we have followed a wholly diverse set of morals. However, most philosophers have placed forth their theories believing, like theoretical physicists, in the vacuum-isolated perfection of the world. For example, how can a person be expected to perform a felicific calculation, as suggested by Bentham, for every action they take, the variables themselves being open to a great level of personal discretion and manipulation? In lieu of these facts, to develop the moral answer to this question, one must compare these theories with the empirical b

The End of Poverty

  ‘The world’s hunger is getting ridiculous. There’s more fruit in a rich man’s shampoo than on a poor man’s plate.’ The world lies in shambles. Hunger, poverty and disease threaten to rip apart the fabric that is humanity. Fed on a diet of elitism, with a side of abject hunger, how do we save the world? There is no silver bullet of a cure, no panacea for poverty: but one feasible solution exists. Universal Basic Income (UBI). With a perfect track record in trials and no lack of supporting evidence, we have found the needle to stitch back the fabric of humanity. All we need to do is use it. What is UBI? Universal Basic Income is a social security and welfare programme that aims to provide every person within a nation a certain preordained inflation-adjusted amount periodically with no contingencies attached regardless of their social status, gender, creed, race, sexuality, etc. This scheme is often called a negative income tax (although the terms have different meanings) or minimum inc

The Demerits of Merit

Adam Weishaupt once said, ‘Meritocracy is not a pass/fail system, but rather a system that allows each person to find their own highest attainment.’ Every word in that sentence was wrong. Meritocracy is precisely a pass/fail system. Meritocracy is exactly what prevents a person from finding their own highest attainment. Meritocracy provides us with the difference between what we get and what we deserve. A supposedly unbiased characteristic, determined solely by the ‘innate’ qualities of a person, their education and experience, merit has been the long-standing basis for capitalism. However omnipotent this golden ideal sounds, the idea of merit is explicitly the cause for inequality across the world. It only makes the rich richer, and the poor poorer. What is merit? Merit is a quality of every person based not on their wealth, social standing, race, gender, caste, creed, sexuality, political position, nationality, et cetera, rather on their innate talents, acquired skills, earned achiev

The Dawn of Isratin

  ‘The metaphor for Palestine is stronger than the Palestine of reality’ – Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian Poet. Dark plumes of smoke rose in the air, heralding a doom of unendurable potency. Widow and Widower, Orphan and Vilomah, all formed in an instant – as a missile crashes into their building. They are the unwilling victims of a war they are not part of. As children cry for their dead fathers, and vice versa, who really cares about the idea of Palestine if it comes at a cost which cannot and should not be borne. Except there is no alternative. Palestinians would not hesitate to live in Israel, but they are not allowed. Persecution, oppression, execution: that is the only fate which meets those who try to cross those imaginary lines which mark Israel from Palestine. And for those imaginary lines, wars are fought, homes are ravaged and people, precious people who are born with one and only life, are killed, mercilessly, causelessly, and inhumanely.  Although many people mark this con

Math: Invention or Discovery?

  Why is one plus one two? Why is anything into zero zero? Why is two to the power zero one? Any mathematician would categorically reply to you, sighing deeply, that these are axioms in math; that they’re obvious . But are they really that obvious? And what really are axioms? Most significantly, what even is math, using certainties in a world where only uncertainty is certain? Is the universe really just math, or are we being presumptuous of our talents? Was math invented, or discovered? What are axioms? Merriam-Webster defines an axiom as ‘a statement accepted as true as the basis for argument or inference/an established rule or principle or a self-evident truth/a maxim widely accepted on its intrinsic merit’. A common feature of any mathematics textbook, they are those statements which we commit to our memory without question and utilise for the rest of our lives. If you are reading this, it’s almost guaranteed that you have studied some level of mathematics (as you are literate). He

Beyond Paradise on Earth: Kashmir

On a quintessentially frosty midwinter morning, a lone conifer stands tall, cursed with eternal greenery, looking onto the icy virgin snow by the glacial river while basking in the glory of the icy peaks behind it. This is Kashmir. Paradise on Earth. When the winter clears, the land will coruscate with its verdant scenery all around, completed by the frolicking of animals, birds, and children. Or rather, if winter clears. For the wintry dark hands of indifference, deceit, manipulation, hatred, and jealousy control Kashmir now. Where there used to be nature and villages, forming the milk of human kindness, there are now ugly machinated military camps and their soldiers, forming the dung of inhumanity. Where there once was heaven, there now is hell. Kashmir is a land that has been long embroiled in the Indian subcontinent’s gratuitous power struggles. These struggles and their subsequent pyrrhic and temporary victories have extracted a heavy toll from Kashmir. Who can we possibly blame f