Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Decolonising Maths education remove Church ideology

A cocktail of practical value and religious propaganda can have obnoxious consequences. Post-colonisation, Maths teaching in India blindly apes Western practices — a pity because most of that school Maths actually originated in India. Europeans also imported it for its practical value. However, contrary to popular belief, the understanding of Maths is not universal. Indian ganita accepted empirical proofs. This differed from the European understanding of Maths as metaphysics. Hence, over centuries, the West adapted the imported Indian Maths to fit their metaphysics, which was linked to church theology. During colonisation, the West exported back this religiously coated mathematics, which is now taught globally.
"Maths was considered especially suited to arouse the eternal soul since it was believed that it contains eternal truths."
Maths was considered especially suited to arouse the eternal soul since it was believed that it contains eternal truths. The belief in eternal truths in turn led to the Western belief that Maths is “perfect.” It was further thought that this perfection could be achieved only through metaphysics and not empirically. Today, Maths is 100 per cent metaphysics.
Imperfect Maths

The belief that Maths is perfect is certainly not universal. Indian tradition accepted Maths as non-eternal and imperfect. Most practical applications of Maths today, such as sending a spacecraft to Mars, are done using computers which do Maths “imperfectly.”
Teaching Western metaphysics spreads other biases. All systems of Indian philosophy, without any exception, accept the pratyaksa, or empirically manifest, as the first means of proof. This also applies toganita. Science and engineering too prefer empirical proofs to metaphysics. So if Maths is done for its practical applications, it is better to accept empirical proofs in the subject. But present-day Maths teaches such proofs, hence all Indian philosophy, is “inferior.”
Does any of this make a difference to 2+2=4? Yes. Why is 2+2=4? Putting together two pairs of apples to show four apples is erroneous on formalism which disallows reference to the empirical. Formalism posits that 2+2=4 can be “rigorously” deduced only metaphysically from, say, Peano’s axioms. Most people don’t know how to do that or even what Peano’s axioms are. Thus, most Western educated never even properly learn 2+2=4. Since they are taught alongside that all other systems are inferior, they are compelled to rely blindly on Western authority for everything. This is by design. To put an end to this mental enslavement through indoctrination, education must be decolonised. The new government ought to focus on that.

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