From the perspective of Desak Putu Mahadnyani, 21, a biotechnology student from Buleleng.

Do you believe people arrived in their present form on Earth?
I don’t think we were always like this.

Do you think a supernatural force has been guiding our evolution?
Maybe. There’ll always be a reason but I don’t think it’s supernatural because everything’s natural. We don’t know it yet, do we?

Does it trouble you that we descended from apes?
No.

What does it mean to you to be human?
We have ability to do great things and we can change.

Philosophers say that human suffering proves the existence of God, that some people must endure enormous tragedy and sadness in order to find their path to God. What do you think?
Human suffering is a way of life. What happened happens. Death is an option but there are lots of things unexplained in this world. God is inexplicable.

What about the Asian tsunami of 2004 that killed around 250,000 people? In your opinion, where is a god in such a biblical natural disaster?
As I said, everything happens for a reason. It’s still inexplicable and what you can do is fix it and move on. We can’t blame our birth, so we can’t blame disasters on anything, including God.

Do you think the chaos and trouble caused by people, including wars, is the product of a Devil-derived evil or purely free will?
It’s caused by the fight for survival. People are fighting just for basic essentials. Everyone is trying to win, to stay alive and to survive and protect themselves. It’s more of a sociological problem, not one of evil.

Why do you think the Universe is such a gigantic place, yet the only apparent intelligent life as far as we’ve been able to detect is on Earth?
The Universe is huge. It is beyond our logic. Life is still a big question. If you want to find extraterrestrials, a stone could be one. We’re not open-minded about it. Extraterrestrials don’t mean aliens.

Scientists say the Universe began life as an incomprehensibly dense dot of matter, then exploded and is expanding. In your imagination, what has the cosmos become and what do you think is our meaning within it?
We’re a part of it. It is our habitat.

Does it worry you that your presence on Earth might be something more than a chance alignment of primordial amino acids and that we are totally alone and when you die, that’s the end of your consciousness?
No. If we’re an experiment, in the end our consciousness might not die because we might have been conscious before we were even alive. It doesn’t worry me.

Atheists maintain that religion is nothing more than a fairytale and that adherents are deluding themselves. They say there’s no proof of the existence of any controlling entity or creator and that it’s foolish to believe in one. Are they deluding themselves?
No. I don’t think they are because atheists are still people who are looking for answers.

What’s the wonder of being alive?
Cells, DNA and replication.

If you could say something directly to a God and get a direct answer, what would it be?
What are you?

BT/SS
Filed under: The Big Questions

10 Responses to “”

  1. Bob Says:

    Desak is a very intelligent modern young woman capable of becoming very successful. This is an example of Indonesia’s advancement of womens rights to education, opinions and open minded individuality.I wholeheartedly agree with her answers and hope she does well in life.

    Bob from California

  2. Joeri Says:

    Why do you think the Universe is such a gigantic place, yet the only apparent intelligent life as far as we’ve been able to detect is on Earth?
    The Universe is huge. It is beyond our logic. Life is still a big question. If you want to find extraterrestrials, a stone could be one. We’re not open-minded about it. Extraterrestrials don’t mean aliens…..

    why does she talk about sticks and stones if she was asked about intelligent life forms in the universe…

  3. Bob Says:

    Desak talks about sticks and stones when asked the question because the universe is not starting at what you see looking up. When you look down for instance at a stone and zoom deep into it you see fissures, caves and mountains. Inside those places lurkes life forms that to us may not seem intelligent but try to kill them and they will change to a resistent form that survives, and possibly will kill you. That is intelligence. There are scary looking life forms living in your eyelashes and look like dinasoars. Pardon the lack of a spell check.
    Bob from California

  4. Robert Says:

    It is great to know that people like Desak exist in Indonesia. Still hard to find.

    Robert, Denpasar

  5. Bob Zingloc Says:

    Loved her article, very bright and open minded young woman

  6. Bob Zingloc Says:

    Also very beautiful woman. Bali needs inteligent people like you to keep studying and working hard to make a beautiful place more beautiful

  7. temporas Says:

    We are not descended from apes. Apes are our cousins, we have common ancestors. It’s a shame that this misconception of evolution is still spread. As per the question why we haven’t found other intelligent life: We’re damn small and very far away from almost anything in the universe. But when you look at the vast number of stars (>200 bn in just our own galaxy) it is highly unlikely that we’re the only ‘smart’ beings. Regards from Switzerland.

  8. Very Nice Says:

    Very intelligent answers… I’m actually surprised. Congrats on the smart interview.

  9. Komank Wirya Says:

    “If you could say something directly to a God and get a direct answer, what would it be?
    What are you?”

    It’s should be; what should we do for the day after tomorrow? not just for tomorrow.

  10. bruce west Says:

    I am impressed with Desak’s responses. You can see there is hope in our youth that the intellect required for our species to prosper is intact. We have come so far and I am proud. When I visited Bali recently, I found a spirit in the Balinese that I have not found elsewhere. We all should take a second look at their way of life and include their rituals and outlook on life itself.

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