Tag Archives: Richard Dawkins

The Epidemic of Willful Ignorance

Mehran Banaei

It is reported that once a group of specialized promotional consultants from an advertising agency had just finished their presentation of a market survey to the board of governors of a client firm. The findings have appeared to be so conclusive, showing that the prior policies which were followed by the firm would only lead to unproductive and disappointment outcome. Despite the clear facts given during the presentation, the CEO of the client company had no desire to change the business strategy which had been previously implemented by him. At the meeting, he adamantly replied: “My mind is already made up, don’t confuse me with the facts.” This is a classic textbook example of willful ignorance, when one is fully aware of existing facts or lack of them, yet refuses to accept the apparent conclusion. It is ignorance of the highest level, when a reckless wishful thinker assumes that facts start to vanish because they are ignored, or speculations and theories are true because one likes them to be.

This precarious attitude of ignoring facts and blind devotion to a cherished belief is notoriously prevailing in our society. Existing facts or lack of them seem to have no implications to many. Selfishness and vested interests often impair one’s judgments. Veteran journalist Ted Koppel during a recent interview with Fox News brought our attention to this predicament. He confronts his opinionated host that adherence to an ideology should not outweigh facts:

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Koppel was short of reminding his conniving host that one’s political convictions ought to be based on facts, otherwise why should any rational person adopt and be loyal to a baseless and fictitious ideology.

On the political scene, the United States political establishment prefers putting the blame for their socio-economic misfortune on Mexicans, Muslims and bogymen than ruthless capitalism, as though, over a century of U.S. imperial domination of the world has nothing to do with the subjugating nations resisting the U.S. military hegemony. “Make America great again!” is a myopic and flawed sloganistic ideology, arrogantly propagated to divert a nation’s attention from hideously insane and inane policies under the hidden agenda of the global elite.

In scientific discourse, evolutionary biologist: Richard Dawkins, the founder of Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science launched a national campaign to promote atheism, an ideology which has nothing to do with science or reason. Dawkins abandons scientific objectivity and evidence-based ruling in favor of a preferred ideology. For months, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” appeared on UK buses.

Note “probably”. Indeed, since when has science started to operate on probability as the basis of its foundational principles? When did ever science or any other school of thought establish that the belief in a caused universe is sadomasochistic, inconvenient and at odds with the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of life? On the other hand, on what grounds has atheism foisted itself as being synonymous with the joy of life? The campaign makes it seem like one may perhaps win a lottery and live happily ever after, if one disbelieves in a caused universe. The Dawkins’ campaign aims to give the impression that an uncaused or self-created universe is a scientific fact. Anything otherwise is unscientific, resulting in unhappy life.

However, a closer analysis shows that a group of determined atheist academics are masquerading their personal opinion as science, and pretend that there are facts to support their assertions.

Society has become biased, unaccustomed to critical thinking, more fascinated by ambiguous ideologies than clarities, and less compliant to objective facts. This is certainly a disturbing trend, and it is clear to all those who are truly rational, and rely on evidence. But “probably” few will realize this.

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The Fallacy of “Supernatural”

Mehran Banaei

How many times have neo-atheists like Lawrence Krauss vociferously stated: “We [the scientists] don’t believe in any supernatural shenanigans?” In an attempt to refute the notion of the First Cause, Krauss ubiquitously refers to the Big Bang Originator as a “supernatural shenanigan”, hoping to convince his audience that it is science which leads to disbelief in a caused universe.

Krauss is not the only atheist scientist who appeals to gimmicks to score his point. Like Richard Dawkins, he claims not to believe in “supernatural shenanigans” because he is a man of science. I suppose a man with a hidden agenda has no choice but to appeal to deceitful tricks, when he tries to promote an unscientific personal opinion disguised as a research based academic exposition. Indeed, it boggles the mind as to why would a scientist, if he were truly objective, inordinately adopt unscientific language to brag about what he does not believe?

The term “supernatural”, particularly when paired with “shenanigans” unconsciously conjures up the image of a mystical fairytale, magic or superstition. Whatever is labeled “supernatural”, connotes it being a relic of the past, an outdated pre-scientific thinking, sitting right next to the paranormal. A “supernatural being” sounds like a fictitious mythological character that does not exist, i.e. Zeus, Vishnu or Superman. By using such a term the neo-atheists are trying to make their opponents look like idiots before even the debate begins. Krauss is trying to shape the reader’s attitudes towards what caused the universe before he even presents his case, by implying that belief in “God” for lack of a better word is stupid, and the one who adopts such a belief is at the zenith of stupidity.

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An example of genuine supernatural shenanigan: the claim that one can levitate by meditation. Belief in the First Cause is put in the same category and then debunked by erroneous association.

Psychologically, people have a great aversion to being branded with terms that have a negative import. No one would wish to be stigmatized as having an antiquated belief. No one wants to have a negative title bestowed upon one, especially when it is often closely associated with some outlooks which indeed are primitive, superstitious, irrational or fanatical. This insidious attempt is deliberately used to disadvantage the other side at the very outset, by placing a negative label on them. This is nothing short of straw man labelization.

The strategy implies that whoever adopts a belief in “supernatural” is dogmatic. However, this type of stigmatization in essence, is a typical textbook case of cheap ad hominem attack and name calling, devoid of any substantiative arguments.

But, is the Entity which caused the universe supernatural? It all depends on the definition and our point of reference. Nothing is universally natural across the board. For instance, is it natural to be able to fly? For reptiles is not, for birds it certainly is. Is it natural to swim under water? For fish it is, for the cockroach it is not. Is it natural, to be uncaused, to be immortal outside of time and space dimensions, and not to have a face or physical body? For earthy beings it is not, but for the Big Bang Originator, the Creator of time and space it is. Who said that the Creator of the laws of physics must be subject to the laws of physics, and ought to be empirically verifiable? In fact, the Creator of the laws physics cannot be subject to them. That should be perfectly obvious to anyone with a modicum of logic. The Creator and creation cannot be of the same essence, not even close. One must be totally different than the other! How absurd to determine what is natural, unnatural or supernatural from a reductionistic self-centered point of view. Krauss ignores the limits of conceptualization of human understanding, and acts like he knows it all. For him what is universally natural, is what he perceives to be natural, anything outside of the limited realm of human perception is considered unnatural; therefore anything of such a unique attribute is categorized as nonsense. However, I guess revealing all of that information to the readers would have undercut Krauss’ attempt to dogmatize monotheistic theism.

Furthermore, note how Krauss subtly uses his academic status and the like-minded scientists to bolster the claim that God does not exist, even though the existence or non-existence of God falls completely outside the jurisdiction of science, the way modern scientists define science. This is a fallacy known as “Appeal to Authority” – we are supposed to believe the proposition just because someone who is supposedly an expert says so. However, it is Krauss the atheist, not Krauss the physicist who is stating his own opinion, and his personal opinion on God carries no more weight than the opinion of a hairstylist. Just as cutting hair in a barbershop does not lead to atheism, likewise working in a science lab does not lead to atheism. Surely, the opinion of another scientist could be diametrically at odds with his. Therefore, the appropriate thing for Kruss to say is that “We the atheists don’t believe in any supernatural shenanigans”, to which a thoughtful theist could rightly reply: Big Deal! We, who acknowledge the universe is caused, don’t believe in any supernatural shenanigans either.

But why should we be listening to Krauss? Do we know if he is trustworthy? Is he stating a fact, or merely his own slanted atheistic opinion? Indeed, why would a truly objective scientist assume that the universe is causeless, and degrade the theistic position as a “supernatural shenanigans”? If one is truly a man of science, then he does not need to appeal to these kind of cheap tricks. Atheists repeatedly use these tricks because they know well it is effective. The inappropriate usage of the term supernatural is now frequently picked up by the believers themselves to describe their faith.

If Krauss says that we the scientists don’t believe in the Uncaused cause, we believe that the universe is self-created, he would then have a hard time defending his position without looking dim-witted. For one, he is in no position to speak for all scientists. Prominent scientists, past and present like Isaac Newton, and all the Muslim scientists of the Golden Age who introduced science and scientific investigations to the Europeans, emphatically believed in the Uncaused cause. They openly believed in the existence of a Grand Designer.

Does Krauss the scientist believe in a rudimentary deductive logic and a priori reasoning? He should if he is truly objective. We now know that the universe had a beginning. Time, space, matter and energy suddenly came into existence from oblivious nonexistence. An Entity, call it God or what have you, must have triggered the creation of the universe. This God far from being “supernatural” the way it is suggested, is the Necessary Being, which is impossible not to exist. By Its nature, such a Being ought to be uncaused, singular, intelligent and powerful. His “Godly” nature is natural for what this Being is – as natural as water being wet.

What Krauss does not wish to acknowledge is that the alternative so-called “scientific” theories posed to refute the Uncaused cause seem more shenaniganic than any pre-historic religious dogma. For example, the multiverse theory operating on unguided automated natural selection, Dawkins’ postulation that complex organisms in nature are not designed, but have the illusion of design. Or Stephen Hawking’s assertion of chance hypothesis that the creation of the universe was “the ultimate free lunch”. All these are implausible loopy theories nicely packaged as scientific facts. The truth is the atheist scientists indeed believe in the ultimate supernatural shenanigan, they believe that out of “Nowhere”, for no reason, “Nothing” caused a massive explosion. Out of this explosion, everything somehow arranged itself in an orderly fashion, and then without any purpose a complex interrelated self-supporting web of life with an astonishing degree of diversity spontaneously came into existence. I suppose, atheist apologists feel they can believe and promote sheer nonsense, if it is labeled “science”.

Neo-atheists have hijacked science, turned it into a right-wing industry for manipulating public opinion, rather than appealing to objective rational judgments, and the sincere and noble pursuit of the truth. The industry’s whole aim is to market a peculiar Godless religion in order to make a fast buck. These atheist evangelists have made a lucrative career ironically revolving around the “nonsense” of what they themselves purport they could not have cared less about.

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Naturalism: A Fishy Perspective on Causality

Mehran Banaei

There is a famous Persian proverb about a curious little fish who confronted his father with a burning question: “Dad, what is this thing called water?” The young fish asked inquisitively. His father helplessly replied, “Son, I heard about it too, but to tell you the truth, I have absolutely no idea, no one has ever encountered water.”

The intended message behind this proverb is that while any question may seem valid to pose, one ought to be equipped with sufficient brainpower to comprehend the answer. Reality has to be accessible to the observer’s intellect and conceptualization is the key to understanding. While our brain can absorb many things, it certainly cannot conceptualize and absorb everything, simply because it does not have the capacity to comprehend the nature of all that exists.

One of the most frequent questions posed by atheists is that, if everything has a beginning and cause, then who caused the First Cause; that is to say where did the Originator of the Big Bang come from, and who created Him.

As a theist, I find this ubiquitous reductionistic approach unworthy of analysis, merely fitting for tabloids and gossip magazines. The question posed is irrelevant and totally unnecessary to put forth. For one, the Creator’s “personal life” does not really interest me, nor do I think I am equipped with enough cognitive capacity to understand His infinite uncaused nature. For mortal beings like us, trapped in a finite universe of cause and effect, it may seem difficult to envision that there could be an uncaused cause outside time and space dimensions who is not bounded by the laws of cause and effect. However, what I can easily grasp which matters most, is that I am here, did not need to be here, was not here at one point, and will not be here further down in time. While I am busy to make sense of my own existence, I have no interest to dwell on the nature of the First Cause, the Uncaused Cause. Deductive logic and inductive extrapolative evidence sufficiently attest to existence of an intelligent conscious Being outside of this universe; indeed, without Him the universe could not have existed. What is known to our intellect is enough to establish His existence; thus what do we need to know His “biography” for, which is inaccessible to our cognitive apparatus?

Atheists believe that nothing exists beyond the natural world. They make an incorrect assumption that outside of this caused universe, there could not be an Uncaused Entity, and that the Causer of the universe must also be caused, subject to His own laws. For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that the First Cause of the universe was caused by a bigger cause than Himself, if so, then who caused the “First Cause”, and so on. This erroneous approach would obviously lead to an infinite regression and unsettled conclusion, thus dismissible at the outset, yet it is continuously brought up by likes of Richard Dawkins. These atheists fail to understand that the cause of the universe cannot be within this universe, subject of the very laws of physics within the universe. That which creates cause and effect cannot be the subject of cause and effect. That which creates time and space cannot be the subject of time and space. That which creates time must be timeless. That which is timeless and eternal must be Uncaused.

It is now well established that the universe and time have had a beginning some 14 billion years ago. In discussing the origin of this created universe, what becomes inescapable is that causality has to be attributed to something, i.e. to mythological gods, a cosmic luck, blind processes of cosmic natural selection, a self-created universe aimlessly fashioned out of nothing, extraterrestrial more advanced than us, or to A Singular Uncaused Cause. It is our task to explore all explanations and determine which explanation is rational and makes more sense.

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By way of analogy, while fish do not have the capacity to deductively or inductively comprehend the existence of water, the existence of fish alone is a sufficient proof for the existence of water, whether the fish comprehends water and its dependence on it, or blatantly denies the existence of water. Yet atheists feel content with attributing the existence of 28,000 different stunning species of fish, each playing a role in the intricate balance of ecosystem to a keeper of an aquarium. The keeper being natural selection, laws of physics, mindlessness, etc. without articulating where did they come from. Thereby, blatantly committing the notorious fallacy of passing the buck.

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Proper Perception and Appropriate Intervention: Both In and Out of Uniform

Mehran Banaei

Law enforcement officers around the world are required to successfully complete an intense use of force training. The objectives of the training are to enable officers to optimally react in real life situations, where an officer ought to physically control, disarm, or arrest a hostile aggressor, or a high risk assaultive criminal. The intent of the course is to be able to diligently keep the assailant restrained in compliance with the law, keep the public safe until backup arrives. Henceforth, the subject is safely transported to a secure environment. The training is not intended to make tough sharp shooters, but rather make law enforcement officers safe, more perceptive, reactive and proactive. The mechanism by which an officer can successfully achieve the intended goal is to develop the ability to identify the threat cues, read body language, always expect the unexpected, make sound risk assessment, and in time, respond appropriately to what suddenly unfolds.

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The accurate recognition of signs, body language and threat cues can indeed distinguish a dangerous hostile subject from a cooperative subject. In so doing, one’s mind has to be always 100% alert. Officers cannot afford daydreaming on the job, or be impaired. One wrong move could be unforgiving. The failure to be vigilant could be lethal to the officer, his/her partner(s), innocent bystanders or the subject.

Officers are provided with essential tools required for the task: a pair of handcuffs, defensive baton, OC spray, handgun and a communication device for which they are duly accountable for to use, or not to use. Prior to completion of the training, officers are given scenarios where they enter into a hypothetical situation, ought to successfully assess the situation and demonstrate their acquired skills. To pass they must be able to accurately absorb all the threat cues, assess the risks involved and appropriately intervene to the given dynamic situation at hand. Pass or fail depends on the decision made by the officer. The decision made has to be effective, having implemented a balanced use of force. Lastly, they ought to be able to rationally articulate the rationale behind their decision, and the subsequent intervention made. Once on the job, the same requirements go for each real situation that the officer is deployed to, the articulation will be made to either a supervisor, or in a judicial tribunal.

Undoubtedly, the most crucial part of the training is the recognition of the signs and act accordingly. In the above clip, the dispatched officer to the scene made an initial poor risk assessment by entering into subject’s house without his partner. Furthermore, he failed to recognize that subject’s right hand in his pocket could mean that he is holding a weapon. Tragically, such a mistake costed him his life.

The hypothetical scenarios and real life situations are indeed miniature models of reality of our existence on this planet. In a lifetime of dancing on earth, every observer is like an officer, witnessing countless signs and indicators, where each sign would indubitably display a message. At our disposal, we are equipped with the necessary tools, such as our senses to collect information, and a complex brain to process the collected data for intervention. We have learned that universe did not exist 13.7 billion years ago, prior to the Big Bang, that suddenly, matter, energy, time and space were brought into existence from oblivious non-existence. What would this fact alone indicate? According to Roger Penrose, the odds against such an occurrence by accident were on the order of 10 to the power of 10 to the 123 to 1. This means 1 followed by 10 to 123 zeros. After the Big Bang, if the rate of the expansion of the universe were as different as 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000, life on earth would not have evolved the way it is. What would this cue lead us to conclude? When we study the enormous complexity of the DNA Double Helix structure, we learn that each human DNA molecule is comprised of chemical bases arranged in approximately 3 billion precise sequences without which life would not be possible. What would this fact alone dictate?

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Amazing fractal pattern of Romanesco broccoli, rich in vitamins and dietary fiber: Is this a sign of chance creation or intelligent design?

All signs indicate that the universe is remarkably created to host life, not just a life, but a life to be probed and enjoyed. Life is to be enjoyed whether one is having a meal, hearing symphonies played by birds and insects, seeing marvelous colours combination displayed in nature, in the starry night, smell of a rose, holding a loved one in one’s arms; all have a profound message to each participant. The ubiquitous message is that the universe is caused intelligently and is pursuing an intention. Indeed, what all these decisive cues that we process during our lifetime are telling us? Having observed such signs, what is the proper intervention to take? How is it possible for one to miss all these indicators one after another, and yet articulate one’s decision for no intervention?

An officer thinking like Richard Dawkins would be dead on his first day of the job if he assumes that a confronted assailant with a knife in his hand is only an illusion of a dangerous assailant. And the knife is not a real knife, but has only the appearance of a knife designed to kill. The assailant’s attacking posture and verbal assaults are only an illusion of hostility. In his articulation, a Dawkinsist would like to assert that now, when science can explain how the knife is manufactured and got in there, we would then need not to worry about its implications.

Officer Peter Atkins would assume that only a man with a lazy mind would interpret that an assailant charging at one with an aimed knife is an indication of hostility. According to him there are no compelling cues worthy of consideration for intervention.

Officer Sigmund Freud would interpret a pointed knife as wishful thinking, man’s oldest desire for emotional comfort. The appropriate course of action according to him would be an inhibited sexual freedom from childhood.

Officer Karl Marx would interpret a pointed knife as opium of the mind, his intervention would be creation of a classless society governed by social justice loving working class.

Officer David Hume would state, in his articulation, spout that a career criminal with extensive criminal convictions of armed robbery entering a bank with a shotgun, face mask and a getaway car parked in front of the bank does not necessarily entail that a bank robbery is in process. Hume’s intervention according to his philosophy, is to walk away from the crime scene as we are only psychologically conditioned to expect a felony that the armed man will run out of the bank with bags of cash in his hands.

Like Hume, Officer Stephen Fry walks away from the crime scene with no intervention made. Fry articulates that he sees no threat cues because there are children on hospital beds suffering from cancer.

On the other hand, there are others who would go to the opposite extreme and wrongfully interpret circumstantial cues often displayed inadvertently as a sign of hostility and react inappropriately with excessive use of force. For example, Abubakr Al-Baghdadi of the so-called ISIS may pull out his machine gun and shoot several times at a passive resisting social activist with no criminal history or intent, giving a horrible name to the agency that he claims to represent. Like Dawkins, Al-Baghdadi is guilty of misreading the cues. Other extremists like Benjamin Netanyahu would deliberately bomb a country and annihilate an entire defenseless population for a non-existing threat. In his articulation, Netanyahu proudly asserts that his actions are only result of self-defense.

Do we have a ground to stand on for any wrong intervention or rather total lack of it? In a universe engulfed with zillions improbable order and harmony, can we articulate that it is self-created, accidental or purposeless? What happens if at the end of life’s journey, we do have to articulate our decisions made to the Entity that caused the universe, be that Natural Selection or what have you. Indeed, it will be too late to make an optimal reaction to the omnipresent cues of the cosmos when the scenario is over.

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Dawkins and Tzu: Different Sides of the Same Coin

Mehran Banaei

The famous Chinese Taoist Master Chuang Tzu once dreamed that he was a butterfly fluttering around colourful flowers. While dreaming, his dream appeared so real to him, void of any awareness of his humanhood and his own individuality. In the dream, the entire world was just a garden and he was a tiny butterfly in that garden. In the middle of the dream, Tzu suddenly woke up and found himself laying in bed, being once again a human. Tzu was perplexed by this dream and questioned his own existence: “Was I before a man who dreamed about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?”

This anecdote is the naissance of philosophical skepticism spread from ancient time to modern era, advocated by Western thinkers like David Hume further giving rise to radical skepticism in philosophy and science where it is legitimate to pathologically doubt the most obvious notions.

For an honest thinking individual, the possibility of anyone actually being a butterfly, dreaming to be a human being is so ridiculously absurd, not worthy of serious discussion, let alone up for philosophical analysis. While between a man and a butterfly indisputably, there is a necessary and well-defined distinction, surprisingly for some, between reality and illusion there seems to be no distinction.

Consider skepticism offered by atheists against arguments for the Caused universe and fine-tuning. Lawrence Krauss postulates that the universe was created on its own from “nothing”. Richard Dawkins, argues that in this self-created universe what appears to be complex biological design is only an illusion of design. For ardent Darwinian atheists, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, flies like a duck, and even tastes like a duck, one cannot still accept that that it is a duck. Over three millennium have passed and these two distinguished scientists are so engulfed in pathological skepticism, that are seemingly like Tzu paralyzed to discern between dream and reality. Dawkins severely suffers from Tzu syndrome unable to tell apart an intelligently designed organism with its sustaining orderly system from mere illusion, in determination of which one is really which.

The two have managed to influence a great number of people. Yet, they do not realize, that firstly an explanation of an alternative theory is not a proof to validate the theory. Secondly, pathological skepticism is not a rational argument and cannot refute what it intends to refute. Such proposals are result of a deliberate effort to create confusion and cast doubt on the obvious and self-evident Truth. Radical skeptics in science often promote the existence of farfetched possibilities that are usually hard to define and impossible to verify by observation or empirical experimentation, where the mere postulation of such theories is socio-politically motivated, planned to cast doubt on concrete and ubiquitous facts that have undesirable implications. Multiverse theory and self-directed evolution by natural selection are a few typical cases in point.

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Furthermore, pathological skepticism is an exercise in sheer futility. It is a self-refuting proposition, for it can equally be used against pathological skepticism. If one wants to doubt and question everything, one should also be doubtful of doubting, and be skeptical of ones own skeptical initiatives and cognition. Thus, where and how does one begin to walk on a solid path? Seemingly, the whole intention of pathological skeptics along with their relativists counterpart is to undermine the solidity of Reality.

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True Crime: The Prevelance of Perjury in Science and Theology

Mehran Banaei

To testify in a court of law, the witness is obligated to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. To arrive objectively at the truth, it is essential that all these three components go together hand in hand. One has to first tell the truth, not concocted fabrications. While disclosing the truth, one has to tell the whole truth, not just half of the truth and be selective to bits and pieces of what is desirable and what is not. Often, while much has been said, is there anything, which has been left unsaid? If so, the concealed information once revealed may force completely a different conclusion. In this respect, half of the truth is as effective as half a parachute. Lastly, in the process of telling the truth, the witness ought not to contaminate the truth with added impurities. Only through the employment of such a fact-finding process can a valid judgement be made.

This is how things are in a court of law, but how should things be in the trial of life? What could one testify with certainty in a lifetime of interactions in this universe? Can we ever ascertain if the universe is created by an external Agent, or is the universe the creator itself?

In analyzing popular discourse between atheists and theists from a Judeo-Christian background, it could be noticed that both sides do not follow this basic tribunal requirement. Both sides vigorously engage in only telling the truth. Yet, both sides with the intention to be triumphant in the debate deliberately ignore the two other concomitant requirements, that is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as if there is such a thing as half reality. Thus, committing the notorious crime of perjury. Both groups need to be reminded that those who jump with half a parachute are not going to have a safe landing.

What is the truth that both sides constantly broadcast? The truth is the outright flaws in their opponent’s view, hoping by embarrassing their opponent, they would score a point to rest their own case. What is left out to say, is the lack of evidence in their own view presented in form of faith, or presented in the name of science having nothing to do with reality.

For example, Christian apologetics like C.S. Lewis, John Lennox, Richard Swinburne, John Polkinghorne and Alvin Plantinga are a few among many theists who confront the atheist camp with the weapon of scientific truth, the truth about the inescapable implications of fine-tuning. They well demonstrate that the universe must have a cause and the cause of the universe is not within the universe. Yet, they never mention that there are blatant scientific errors in the Bible, the countless inconsistencies and historical blunders in that which is claimed to be a perfect divine revelation. What is further added to the truth is the baseless claim that the cause of the universe is an anthropomorphic Entity. Is there a shred of evidence in this universe to attest to this claim? While there are compelling reasons to believe in the First Cause, there are no compelling reasons to believe that the entire Bible is word by word dictated by the First Cause.

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On the other hand, atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens rightly argue that religious teachings have been used by the elite to control the masses. Organized religion discourages free inquiry and stands at odds with scientific facts. What they do not say is that, this dreadful state of affair is utterly contrary to the teachings of Moses, Jesus and Mohammed, neither one had any interest in wealth or power. It is a historical fact that all these three men went head on with the atrocious regime of their time to liberate their community from mental and physical slavery. It is a historical fact that all these three men taught mankind to use reason and expand their knowledge. What Dawkins and Hitchens do not say, is abuses and crimes committed in the name of religion do not disprove the Divine causality. In fact, when a crime is committed, it is irrelevant in what name it is committed, be that in the name of “religion”, “western values”, “self-defense”, etc. What they do go ahead to falsely add is that science has buried the idea of a created universe, and what science discovers about the origin and functioning of the universe would have no implications beyond science.

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Such a misleading presentation offered by the two sides often causes confusion among unwary audiences, leading many to agnosticism that the truth cannot be knowable, or it is relative. Thus, one can never be certain about the nature of reality. When it comes to causality, the state of human knowledge is ever inconclusive.

In discovering the truth about the universe and human existence, one has to detach oneself from personal desire and all socio-cultural beliefs without any affinity to or pressure from the external sources. Then tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. If one abides by this simple principle of fact-finding, one can easily arrive at the ultimate reality about the origin of the universe.

The fact is, one may not be able to figure out what is beyond death, or if there is heaven and hell. One cannot know what is the nature of this Entity who caused the universe and how It came to be. But by observing the universe, there are countless assertions that one is indeed able to attest with certainty. The prime evidence of nature is before every man and woman. Nature’s immediacy and simple language are timeless and universal. Our own existence alone testifies to a cause. We know better that nothing can be spontaneously created out of nothing. There is no case in point to falsify this assertion. Everything in the universe is evidently designed and functions based on specific defined laws. From a tiny atom to the most complex celestial system, everything follows a certain order. The idea of a perfectly functioning accidental universe with no beginning or end is impossible and improbable, thus it is irrational to advocate such a position. It is so absurd as well as dishonest to argue that this incredibly complex web of life in the vast space is a result of random chance. One should know better that chance is not a cause. Even chance requires some pre-requisites. The alternative explanations such as materialist explanation are inadequate. The existence of consciousness and free-will refute the materialist position on causality. All exhibits confirm that the universe is somehow created and is pursuing a goal. The creation of the universe is not by accident, but is by intention.

Judging by the ubiquitous effects, the Causer of the universe is evidently infinitely powerful, creative and intelligent. Even most atheists do not dispute these attributes; however, they rather ascribe these attributes to “Mother Nature”, “Natural Selection” or pure chance. From this single assertion one can autonomously extrapolate that the Entity who is intelligent must necessarily be compassionate, merciful and just or He is not intelligent at all. His degree of compassion ought to be proportionate to His power and intelligence. Furthermore, the Causer of the universe must be singular, eternal and there can be nothing like Him.

To say the very least, in the trial of life, one should be able to bear witness that the universe is caused by this Entity for a purpose.

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The Anathema of Atheism and the Inescapable Glasshouse Syndrome

Mehran Banaei

Bertrand Russell, the outspoken British atheist once made the assertion that: “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” Russell ironically advocates uncertainty in human knowledge with certainty. Is the human mind not capable of achieving certainty, and if it ever does, would it then mean that once an objective freethinker is certain, he has reached the point of fanaticism? Is certainty an unobtainable task for human brain, the most complicated object in the known universe?

For Russell, in order to prevent being a fanatic, an intelligent man out to be a full-time sceptic who can never trust anything and always ought to be doubtful of everything. There can never be a universal standard to determine right and wrong. There is no such a thing as absolute Truth, everything is mere conjecture.

However, every denunciation implies an employed value judgement at work; yet one cannot have a reliable value judgement, if all propositions are doubtful, uncertain or meaningless. Russell undermines his own mind; he does not pause for a second to realise that he is on a collision course with himself. His assertion is a pseudo-philosophical claim, a pretence of significant truth, totally void of substance. It falls on its own premise and is nothing short of a self-refuting paradox.

One should ask Russell, if he is certain about his own proclaimed belief, to which, if he says yes, then according to his own statement he is nothing but a tiresome fool and an outright fanatic. Subsequently, he has committed the cardinal sin of being certain in a pluralistic world of competing ideas. If he says, “No I am not so certain about what I profess”, then he is better not to make a universal truth claim, if he is doubtful of the validity of what he is promoting. It is ridiculous to make a universal judgement and then admit that it may not be true at all. If one wants to doubt everything, then one has to doubt doubting, which is a total non-starter in a rational discourse, leading one into the state of perpetual limbo, if not outright paranoia.

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Life-long examination, contemplation and critical thinking, may lead one to conclude with absolute certainty that an Intelligent Power designed and created this universe. Subsequently, anyone engaged in such a repast would have absolutely no doubt that this universe is pursuing a meaningful intention. I suppose according to Russell that makes such an individual a fool, guilty of being certain in a world that ought to operate on relativism and uncertainty. In parallel, a life-long of examination may lead a sceptic to the conclusion of agnosticism, that is, one can never know the Truth, or the Truth is solely via humanism. Who is it to say that the former is a fanatic and the latter is open-minded? Atheists arrogantly like to attribute their own belief to objectivity and relegate theistic belief to psychological delusion and fanaticism. It was Henri Poinare the French mathematician and physicist who sharply pointed out: “To doubt everything and to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both free us from the necessity of reflection.” On this issue Poinare seems to have taken a much wiser stand than Russell.ShootingBertrand Russell further declares with certainty, that science is the only source of valid knowledge, “what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.” The existence of the First Cause cannot be established by scientific inquiry; therefore “God” hypothesis cannot be scientific and true. Once again Russell shoots himself in the foot. The question that arises is: How did Russell acquire this particular knowledge? Is this proposition which is certainly not a scientific discovery duplicable in a lab exempt from the proposed universal rule? It seems so. Thus, it contradicts itself and fails miserably to establish what it aims to establish, which is the denial of the Uncaused Cause. Atheists like Russell, Dawkins et al. hijacked science to serve their atheistic agenda. Their defense of atheism severely suffers from the classic glasshouse syndrome, where arguments used against others would equally apply to one’s own position and arguments in defence of one’s own position are also equally applicable to one’s opponent’s position. Furthermore, they tend to scientifically elucidate the incredible complexity in the universe, and how the natural world functions. They then attribute the complexity and order involved to random cosmic chance. While their elaboration of the mechanism of the laws of physics may be scientific, their concomitant conclusion that there is no external Agent involved is a matter of pure unsubstantiated opinion. The opinion expressed has nothing to do with science or logic. The atheist scientists would like us to respect their subjective opinion outside the realm of science more than our own.

Likewise, Carl Sagan addressing theists asserted that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Fine, agreed. First and foremost, this claim itself is extraordinary; thus requires extraordinary validation. Is Sagan the scientist providing any scientific evidence for his non-scientific proposition? For atheists, it seems to be an extraordinary claim that there is an Uncaused Powerful Deity who created this vast universe for a purpose. They boisterously demand: where is the evidence for such a claim? However, every counter-argument presented by the atheists seems if not more, to be an equally extraordinary claim, without even a modicum of support. For instance, where is the evidence for a self-created universe, uncaused universe, multiverse, unguided evolution by natural selection, etc.? If something in itself is astronomically improbable, do we or do we not require compelling evidence before we accept it? Is it not far more extraordinary to claim that everything there is in the universe is all a result of random products of matter, time plus blind chance? Further, what would qualify as an extraordinary claim or extraordinary evidence? Are atheists not being selective of what is extraordinary and what is not, to support their untenable position?

Perhaps Russell’s famous statement needs to be amended to: “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics always ignore the evidence, but wiser people attain certainty through it”. Further, if there is one thing that is more extraordinary than the universe, is the obtuse denial that it logically must have an Intelligent cause behind its creation.

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