The whole Truth and nothing but

So we finally watched Inception today.

You know what is really ironic? The fact that I’ve waited many weekends to watch this, and when we finally got the tickets to the movie, we got the movie start time wrong and missed the first 10 minutes of the movie.

The really ironic thing is, we arrived at 1Utama about 40 minutes early, so we’ve been waiting outside the cinema while the show started.

. . .

Anyhoo. I’ve had at least 10-15 friends on Facebook raving about the movie in their statuses, and I have to say, it lived up to all the hype.

One thing though, it seriously makes me think a lot of what we talked about in my Introduction to Philosophy class (my second favorite class in my entire life. Number one favorite is Intro to Sociology, of course!)

So I brought it up in the car, because I honestly thought it was interesting to think about, but then I made a huuuuuge mistake. I brought up moral values. (Very lazy explain how I got there.)

A lesson I should’ve learned since coming home is that I should never, never discuss something like morals with my brother.

You would think that we ought to have sort-of similar values, seeing that we were brought up in the same household, by the same parents, who instilled the same principles in us.

But we are so different. SO SO different.

He’s a devout mormon, so he’s from a Christian denomination that seems more strict than the conventional Christian church. (Don’t quote me on this though!)

In stark contrast, I am an agnostic (believe that presence of a god is unknowable), studying in an extremely liberal, broad-minded college in one of the most liberal, broad-minded countries in the world.

The first time we talked about morals, we were in a Vietnamese restaurant in 1Utama. We were discussing whether homosexuality is “right” or “wrong”. To him, it is undoubtedly wrong. To me, it is not “wrong”, but it’s not “right” either. It just has got nothing to do with morals.

And then this time, I was talking about how we cannot be sure about many things, (actually, anything) in life. Actually it’s a damn long explanation la, it’s not as simple as that. Anyhoo, somehow I decided to bring in morals as an example. Like, what a stupid move kan. I said that morals are not objective truths, rather they are subjective judgements.

So then I brought up things like sex before marriage, and drug abuse, and…. I forgot what else. To me, I accept that those are improper, but I also accept that they are only a reflection of my judgement. They are not objective truths. For example, saying that my shirt is black, that is an objective truth, because the definition of “black” dictates that it HAS to be this color, that if it were a different color then it would be called red, or green, or whatever. Whereas sex before marriage, there’s no definition or anything like that to say that it is objectively wrong. (I hope you get my drift!)

My brother, however, believes that it is “objectively wrong” because if everyone were to do it, then it would lead to degeneration of society.

Okay the discussion went on for a lot longer than I am willing to type out now, but the point is, the fact that our religion (or non-religion?) differs SO MUCH makes it impossible for us to agree on something like morals, which is largely affected by your religious beliefs.

I think he is so worried that I will start to question laws and moral values so much that I will one day, I dunno, start wandering down the wrong track. But I was trying, trying to show that it is NOT that I am rejecting the morals agreed upon by our society, I still adhere to them, it’s just that I believe they are exactly that — judgements agreed upon by our society. They are not objective, not black-and-white. (You really only have to look at how different cultures have different values to see my point.)

Anyway. It is like, 3:20 AM, and I cannot think of better ways to prove my point. Maybe another day, when I am more clear in the head.

You know, some people (like Moth erhemm) might not understand just WHY in the world we have to ask these seemingly unnecessary questions, why we have to question aspects of life that seem to already make sense. But as Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Think of what people “knew” that they “knew” many, many years ago. Like how they “knew” the earth was flat, that the universe revolved around the earth. They used to “know” these things, like how we “know” things now. It took a philosopher to question these beliefs, to seek the truth that may seem utterly unthinkable at the time, to really KNOW the truth.

So maybe when we ask questions now, about seemingly ordinary stuff that makes sense and that we all “know” about, it might be just for fun, like an exciting discussion. But it could very well be us pushing ourselves one step closer to really, really KNOWING the truth. The objective truth.

(Right now I cannot tell if all these don’t make sense LOL. Maybe when I re-read this later, when it is not 3:41 AM, I can edit a bit lah.)

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