“I call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion, the one great instinct revenge, for which no means are too venomous, too underhand, too underground and too petty—I call it the one immoral blemish of mankind…. The only excuse for God is that he doesn’t exist.” God is dead! Friedrich Nietzsche
“Men believed god to rule the world. This belief limited their responsibility. The new belief that they had to rule it themselves created for many a well high intolerable burden of responsibility.” Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies
Man invented his god so that he did not have to confront the unknown and to feel comfortable with ambiguity ad uncertainty; it is in the circumstances of high ambiguity that man tends to gravitate towards perceived support and protection from a “higher level,” The omnipotent and omniscient deity! Man’s presentation of god was triggered by his perception of order and control in the world. According to Freud in “The Future of an Illusion” religion is nothing more than a self-deception in which man engages to deny his own loneliness and fear. God is nothing more than a projection of the infant’s loved, feared, all-potent father.
From the time of High God and Sky God to about 750 BCE the start of transformation toward gods of classical theism not much time has passed, but the nature and attributes of gods has changed! Islamic god Allah, different from god in Judaism and Christianity, is invented and introduced by Mohammad about 1500 years ago in deserts of Arabia. There was no god before these gods; all are man’s new invention, god came to the world not long ago, he has a brief history of only about 4000 years! Man has shaped his gods from a cruel personal god, to abstract gods both mystical and rational, to monotheistic gods, and finally perhaps to there is no god, god is dead!
Ignorance and the fear of the unknown, unexplored, and unexplained pushed man to relief himself of his responsibility for seeking truth, explore, invent, and take charge of his own destiny. Nietzsche said, “Truth will have no gods before it. The belief in truth begins with the doubt of all truths in which one has previously believed.” Is there anything outside of the physical universe, another dimension beyond the physical? If there is then by definition it can’t be measured. If it can’t be measured, then all we can do is to speculate or have faith that there is.
What is the duty of man to himself? Bertrand Russell says, “My conclusion is that there is no reason to believe any of the dogma of traditional theology and, there is no reason to wish that they were true. Man, in so far as he is not subject to natural forces, is free to work out his own destiny. The responsibility is his, and so is the opportunity.”
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason, judgment, conscious, and thoughtful process. When mind is free to deconstruct myths there is no need for temples, churches, mosque, and Synagogue. Has anyone been able to locate Allah in a mosque? Fellowship among men need not have to have a leader and to be instructed, man is his own god. A free human mind and heart is capable of replacing all gods, his artifacts and its keepers. Free thinking is fundamental principle of living. Man is born free and can never be enslaved. Nietzsche talked about the idea of “Godless Freedom”.
Can a free man be good and do good without god, is god a requirement for man’s moral system? Self-actualization and reaching your potential is not bounded nor should it be taken hostage by deity. Can man do without god and avoid dogma and theology? Can man excel, invent, innovate, be creative, and improve his life without religion and a god? Can Allah improve your health? Can Allah make you wealthy and rich? Is believing in gods actually harmful and hazardous to your life, liberty and happiness?!
Can science and scientific discovery flourish when Allah and Quran decide what man can or cannot do, when god of Islam decides the destiny of the Muslim child even before he is born? Did Allah kill the science in his Kingdome? What the “Golden Age” of Islamic scientific and cultural achievement was really all about? The architectural design of the Dome of the Rock is shaped after the design of churches in Byzantine and built by Byzantine craftsmen in the seventh-century. What world altering scientific and technological achievement Islamic Iran has produced in nearly past 1500 years? What did Safavid Dynasty offered Iran and the world except a dazzling show case of the orgy of mosque building to symbolize their power and the new cult of Shia as the official religion of state.
Is god really good for man? Is he capable to bring happiness, prosperity, peace and tranquility to his earthly worshipers? Do his orders and directives undermine free will? Do they retard development of man’s own moral compass? Do religion and the god which it represents alienate some of the man’s potential and self-actualization? Can you be your-self in the presence of a perceived god with supper natural power? Can Allah be questioned? In the words of Baruch Spinoza, “Nothing exists from whose nature some effect does not follow. Freedom is absolutely necessary for the progress in science and the liberal arts. The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free,”
In Islam the word of Allah is absolute and perfect; his absolute sovereignty cannot be bind. Humble submission to His Will, Divine Ordinances and Commandments is the pivot of the Muslim faith. Such enslaved mind of a true Moslem is not allowed and does not question the source; cannot explore, discover, and be creative. He just must obey and follow. The core elements of Islamic belief are against scientific and philosophical inquiry. Those who have dared to question Allah and his so called revelations to his messenger have seen the wrath of Islamic justice. Allah and his earthly enforcers would never allow free thinking, unrestrained inquiry. Certainly in the kingdom of Allah and Islamic Iran art and letters, music, poetry and song is dead. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Donatello, or Botticelli is not welcomed.
Why almost 1500 years of Islamic culture and ideology has not produced an Iranian Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Mark Zukerman or Leonardo da Vinci? Did Einstein write E=MC2, and Oppenheimer created the Atomic Bomb as a benevolent act to make Moses happy? Did Edward Teller design the Hydrogen Bomb to receive blessing from the Church? Nolan Bushnell and Shigeru Miyamoto invented the modern video game industry so that they go to heaven? You don’t think that Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin and Forest Dodrill invented the first artificial heart to show their obedience to Jesus?
And so it goes on. Thomas Edison—Electricity, Isaac Newton—Classical mechanics, Charles Babbage—Computing, Max Plank—Quantum Mechanics, G. Mendel—Genetics, Willis carrier—Air Conditioning, Igor Sikorsky—Helicopter, Clude Shannon—Information Theory, Cerf and Kahn—Internet, John Blankenbaker—Personal Computer, Martin Cooper—Mobile Phone, Guglielmo Marconi—radio, John Blankenbaker—Personal Computer, John Bachus— Fortran Programming language, Ray Tomlinson—E-mail, Ernest Rutherford—Nuclear Physics, Bardeen and Brattain—Transistor. The list continues, Jonas Salk—Polio Vaccine, Pierre and Marie Curie—Radiation. Certainly a short list of the more significant inventions of just past few centuries.
Islam and religion had nothing to do with the invention of Paper, Printing, Gunpowder, Compass, Banknotes/Money, Belt Drive, Cast iron Bomb, Negative Numbers, Geometry, and a lot of other things in modern and ancient times. Khwarizmi, Omar Khayyam, Farabi, Abu-Rayhan Biruni, Khajeh Nassiredin Tusi, Zakaria Razi, Ibn Sina (Avicenna) contribution to science, music, medicine has had its global influence throughout the time, how much of their discovery, creativity, and geniuses has to do with religion and Islam is another question. Khayyam is considered as an apostate and heretic by Muslim clergy.
What school of thought or world dominating philosophy and ideology is inspired by Islam and religion, what globally recognized and followed ideology is attributed to Islamic Iran. Karl Marx “invented” Socialism, Adam Smith—Capitalism, Baruch Spinoza—Liberalism, Mikhail Bakunin—Anarchism, Mary Wollstonecraft—Feminism, Charles Darwin—Evolution. In the list of the inventors of major “isms” in the world you hardly find anyone who can be argued that they were inspired by faith and religion.
Start from Gita and Zarathustra, go through all known scriptures and holly books up to the last one and show me how any religion, particularly Islam, has fueled scientific discovery and been directly instrumental in discovery, inventions, prosperity, and welfare of human beings.
“There is no gate, no lock, and no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” Virginia Woolf, Unlock your mind and follow the path.
This article was originally posted at www.1001harf.com