Sunday, May 16, 2010

Does Honesty Pay?

A few weeks ago you had participated in a survey on “honesty” and had chosen one from the four possible answers. 25% of you picked the response: Honesty has no consequence on success or failure in the material world.


I commend you for your vision and insight, and append that I could not agree with you more. Today, I would endeavor to support your opinion with facts from the world of science.

There is no cause and effect principle that control the worldly affairs in an orderly manner, I submit. Even Karma, the alluring hypothesis of crime and punishment and rewards for service, is only make belief. The “rule of jungle” is the true law of the universe, and it is called Uncertainty Principle.

In 1927, Werner Heisenberg, a German physicist said that the more we know about a particle’s position, the less we know about its speed and the direction it is traveling (and vice versa). This notion gave birth to the revolutionary theory known as Uncertainty Principle, and the concept shattered the world of physics.

Albert Einstein furiously protested the proposition. Guess what? Einstein was wrong.

We now know that in the microscopic world, sub-atomic particles behave as if they have their own minds—they do not follow any rules. In other words the tiny particles are free to chose their actions, and they do, and their behavior cannot be prediced by laws. In the world of the extraordinarily large bodies on the other hand, it appears that the laws of physics hold good, and when they do not, we say they are in aberrations.

Similarly, our own world seems to follow the same laws of physics, and we are happy that they do, for our brains are rationalizing. The truth, nonetheless, is that all natural laws are our creations, figments of our imagination.

We observe nature, formulate laws, and go on predicting the unknown based on our derived laws; and often, we find ourselves right.

Indeed, Einstein had made all his predictions based on mathematical calculations, and he was accurate in most of his mind-boggling derivations. But brilliant as he was, some of his predictions were wrong as well—why so? How could such a luminous mind make such rudimentary mistakes?

In the world of the small particles things happen in microseconds, therefore, we can study their life cycles more accurately. In the world of the stars and heavenly bodies, nevertheless, we do not have the time to study their complete life cycles; therefore we must rely on assumptions, hypothesis, and mathematics. Math is merely a tool invented by us and has its own limitations. Lest, we would have known that the Uncertainty Principle is the only truth in the universe.

That is the reason why honesty has no consequence on success or failure in life. The cause-and-effect principle, so believable in our small world, is merely an illusion in the larger perspective. Therefore, honesty may or may not pay.

Can we just be honest for honesty's sake, regardless? There is an inherent beauty in honesty, and next time we shall contemplate on that.