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Demand for Proof

In our ardent fervour to be rational, we refuse to accept things without sufficient proof. It is a welcome attitude that outgrows the superstition that readily swallows any statement.

There was a belief among the sailors of Europe that the world ended at Cape Bojador, midway down the Western coast of Africa, and the ship that crossed that point would tumble into the abyss.

Before Science came to be accepted widely, it was believed that God created the world in seven days. To those who believe in the existence of hell and heaven, Dr S Radhakrishnan said heaven and hell are conditions of mind and are not places of resort.

When an unbeliever told a priest that he would believe in God only when God was physically produced, the priest retorted that he would believe that he had brains only when it was physically produced.

In the film 'Contact', the heroine Dr Ellie Arroway constantly demands proof for everything. Her frustrated father says, ‘‘This is my scientist''. Her priest friend asks her if she could prove her affection for her father.

Proof is in the physical plane. It is valid there. To demand proof for events is rational. But life is not all physical. There is emotional life, mental life, spiritual life.

Each plane has its own laws. The law of one plane is invalid in another plane. Ellie is a scientist and a very eminent scientist at that. All her life she demanded proof.

Life takes her through many ups and downs. She receives messages from outer space and after trials and tribulations she travels into outer space, has the most magnificent experience and returns.

She explains her experience to others which is fully valid to her. The audience demands proof.

She has no way of offering proof unless they take her words to be true on the strength of what she says. She never imagined that life would come back to her in that fashion.

Unable to offer proof, she seeks consolation in smiling children. When we push logic beyond a permissible limit, it has a way of coming back at us to reveal our illogical thinking.

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