Avoid absolutism

From: Majid A. Faani faani@eng.umd.edu

In response to "what's all the fuss about":

It is a long story! Briefly, it is about one of the best features of human soul, which is "search for truth". We Iranians (those of us who have some extra time to spend thinking on issues besides our busy daily work) have had a struggle to identify ourselves culturally, and make a plan for a meaningful life.

In the recent 100 years history of Iranian intellectual thinkers we have had a spectrum of far right to far left thinkers (Western (or Westoxicated), anti-Western, Eastern, anti-Eastern, Islamic, anti-Islamic,..). Anyhow, now facing an evolving world, searching for answers to questions of meaningful living, we have now Soroush, an Islamic thinker, familiar with traditional Islamic thinking as well as western thinking; critical of traditional Iranian-Islamic and Western thoughts. It's worth hearing his mind when most of the Iranian intellectual minds are almost frozen.

We should welcome a thinker at his stature who may have a global importance at this age of shrinking world and cultural inter-civilizational dialog. We should pass beyond things like he was a member of this or that council (Stop practicing guilty by association). We should open up ourselves to diverse views, otherwise we will be a prisoner of a small world which is a creation of our own minds. Closing of ourselves does not hurt the truth, but ourselves.

We should avoid absolutism, i.e. assuming any person associated with any power establishment is talking nonsense, or at the other extreme, assuming that whatever a thinker like Soroush says is the truth and nothing but the truth! In brief, critical thinking: FA-BASH-SHER EBAD, AL-LAZINA YASTAMEOO-NAL GHOAL, FA-YAT-TABEOONA AHSANAH (Holly Qur'an) =And give the glad tidings to those worshipers/obedients (of God), who listen to (different) talks, and then follow the best of them.

Happy new year to all and have a prosperous life!

Majid A. Faani faani@eng.umd.edu

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