When our senses are designed by God and they are defective, doesn’t that make God’s design defective?
Then what is the big difference between human designs and God’s design? Can human design equal God’s design in future?
Transcription by: Visvambhara dasa
Question: When the design made by nature, or by God ..(not clear) isn’t it a little better than what man can make and given the best possible , not long enough timeline
Answer: So there are 3 parts to your question. The first part is that if God has designed, if there is amazing design in the world, but then we also see that our senses are imperfect. That means that the design is not all that great . Second is, that whatever design we have done , human beings have done . Human beings have also done some amount of design . Then is there any qualitative difference between the design made by God and the design made by humans. And third is can humans equal the design that is made in nature through God ultimately.
Let’s look at each of these one by one. The first question is that is the design perfect , when the design all that great when our senses are imperfect . Imperfection and perfection are relative to context. If I decide to write my new book using a cellphone. I start typing. “What stupid design. It is so difficult to type words in this. Whoever designed the cellphone is such a dumb person!”. If I say that, then I’ll be the dumb person. The cellphone is not designed for typing a book. It’s designed for typing an SMS. If I want to type a book, I should use a laptop. So whenever you want to evaluate any design, the design always has to be evaluated in the context of the purpose. If I divorce the purpose from the design, then any design can be faulted. I may take a laptop and I may say it has only 5GB of memory , I want 5TB memory, but I cannot get 5 TB memory in a laptop. For that I need a desktop , I need bigger space. If I want portability then I cannot have huge amount of memory, if I want portability, I cannot have a huge amount of memory. So a laptop is designed primarily for portability, it’s not designed for data storage in a huge quantity. So any design is always to be evaluated in the context of purpose. So with respect to our design of ourselves, or nature’s design of us, or God’s design of us, we are designed not for omniscience, we are designed in such a way that we can acquire a certain amount of knowledge , and as Ralph Waldo Emerson has said “ all that I’ve seen, increases my faith in Him, whom I have not seen”. “All that I’ve seen, increases my faith in Him, whom I have not seen”. What it means is that we can, if we observe with our intelligence , the world around us , we can see enough evidences of the super-intelligence of God, and by that we can put faith in Him. By that we can take His super-intelligence guidance which is available in scripture and thereby complement our defective intelligence. Our intelligence is not so much defective, it is incomplete. Our intelligence which is incomplete, that is by design. It is meant to serve a particular purpose, so it is not a defect in the design, it is part of the design. A mobile not being able to type, is not a defect in the design, it is part of the design. Similarly we are parts of God, we are not designed for omniscience, and for our purpose, whatever we’ve been given is adequate. So it is not a defect, it is a part of the design. That’s the first point.
Now secondly, regarding we being able to do, what is being done in nature, certainly we are parts of God, and mama jive loke.Krishna says.we are parts of Him, so naturally whatever He can do, we can do it in a fragmental way. So at one level, human capacity, to do what is done in nature points also points towards spirituality. Not necessarily towards God, but towards spirituality. Why? Because what we can do after great labour – we are using our intelligence, we are using our consciousness to do that – that means what has been done in nature, that also requires consciousness, that also requires intelligence. So at the very least, the existence of complex design in nature, and the capacity of human beings to do that, we human beings surely have consciousness. There are some fanatical materialists who say that we don’t have consciousness. But then the very denial is the proof. The table cannot say I don’t have consciousness, because to say I don’t have consciousness I need consciousness. To say I don’t have consciousness, is like somebody saying I don’t exist. To say I don’t exist I have to exist. So let’s put that dogmatic idea that we don’t have consciousness aside. So if we have consciousness, then what it means is, that there is consciousness which is required for complex design. And with the human capacity, human consciousness, to replicate what has happened in nature, indicate that whatever happened in nature also requires consciousness. So in that way we can point towards an original consciousness. And because nature does things on a scale far bigger and greater than what human beings are doing, we can say that consciousness also has to be far greater and bigger than human. In that way it can point towards a divine consciousness also. So the progressive science and technology does not necessarily disprove God. It is Pascal who said that a little of science takes man away from God, but emersion in science brings him back to God. A little of science may say, why do I need God , I can do whatever I want, but if you go deeper in science you get closer to God by that.
Now thirdly, can by scientific progress can we do whatever has been done in nature ? It depends. As far as the scales are concerned we have been able to do much as you rightly pointed out in the last 100 years which has not been done before. At least not done in the recorded human history as far as mainstream historians are concerned. From the Vedic history there was xxxx (not clear) there was technology also, but let’s put that aside for the time being. Even if we accept the currently mainstream version of history we say in the recent 100 or 200 years we’ve been able to do what has not been done in the past. But along with that we have to recognise that there have been significant problems. The technology we have produced has also had serious what scientists call “unintended consequences”. Side effects. For example we have locomotives, but they cause pollution. We had agricultural revolution, but that led to soil infertility. So there are many scientists , not renegade scientists, but mainstream scientists, who are seriously calling for a rethink of the way human, or modern society is going. Whether we need to go and try and control nature like this, saying the future paradigm for human society to survive is not the control of nature but co-operation with nature. So that means that we human beings , we may be able to control nature and if we want, we can go ahead in this direction, but whether that is desirable, whether that is sustainable , that is a serious issue. When India became free from British rule, British asked Gandhi, that will India progress the way Britain has progressed. So Gandhi replied that for one Britain to progress the way it progressed, it required resources from all over the world. To exploit and to colonise. If India has to progress, it will need several earths for that. We have only one earth, so India is not going to progress like Britain. So the point is that this is not necessarily sustainable way . so one of the main problems which people feel when they talk about spirituality, is that spirituality denies the glory of human intelligence. Now we may say that science is the testimony of human intelligence. We have discovered so many things, we have invented so many things, so now there may be certain schools of religions which say just forget your intelligence, just do this so the now certain religions say, pay, obey, pray. Pay donation , obey what we are doing and come and pray. That’s all. But this is not Vedic spirituality. If we see what is Bhagavad Gita saying at the end. 18.63 it says …think deeply about what I’m saying. The whole Bhagavad Gita is full of questions and answers. The Bhagavad Gita reveals a God who respects human intelligence. Arjuna is asking questions, Krishna is not saying : Just have faith in Me!”. He does says have faith. But when does He say this? After He’s given philosophical explanations. Arjuna is asking rational questions and Krishna is giving rational answers to them. Krishna is not just referring to “have faith, have faith!”. Faith is not an excuse to avoid rational enquiry. At least not in the Bhagavad Gita is talking about it. So the Bhagavad Gita respects human intelligence, and directs the human intelligence towards the spiritual realm. So we do not have to necessarily deny or denigrate the role of human intelligence or the accomplishments of human intelligence when it happens to spirituality, rather we could go the other way and say materialism, which denies the reality of the spiritual realm , that actually denigrates human intelligence. Because animals do not have capacity for spirituality. We human beings have that capacity. And that which is a unique human capacity, if we deny that , isn’t that itself denying human intelligence? So yes, human intelligence has led to a lot of advancement, and unfortunately in the last 100, 200 years that advancement has been unidimensional. It has only been in the material realm. So if there is a balanced progress – Srila Prabhupada wanted a balanced progress, we talk about a East West synthesis, eastern spiritualty and Western technology- if both can come together then we can have a new era in the world’s history. So that is what are talking about. We are not denying the role of human intelligence and the accomplishments of human intelligence through science and technology but we are talking about a holistic use of human intelligence to bring about a balanced progress, both material and spiritual.
I don’t think the senses designed by God are in any ways defective. They are the perfect creation to experience the real outer world. Their main task is to receive and transmit stimuli to the mind which compels us to act. I believe behind every sense there is a hidden sense (astral may be) which enables us to reach out to our inner worlds. The important factor is to be aware and consious of our senses so that we remain unaffected by the constant outside information being bombarded to our mind. The alertness will itself reveal us the illusory nature of the external world and thus bring us closer to our inner self.
Important point that needs clarification. Addressed here: