Faith and reason can go side by side

Family of the Heart - DIALOGUE & DISCUSSIONS 

Dear Dr. James,
I am pleased to know your ideas about the oneness of humankind and exercise of scientific and rational approach to tackle with the day to day problems confronting all nations at global level. You have written that I am a rationalist and naturalist and the only living philosopher in the Muslim world. I thank you for kind word used for me. I don't have any claims. Actually, the Greek word philosophy means the love for wisdom. In my opinion every one is a philosopher as every one by nature loves wisdom and hates ignorance. But the problem is that people in dogmatic and autocratic societies are not permitted to express their ideas freely. This is the reason in all undemocratic societies, people are always under the stone wall of stereotype ideas and culture. This culture promotes superstitions, obscurantism and whimsicalities. The Europe has progressed in science and wisdom only because of the free contest of ideas through democracy.

In olden societies the Jewish rabbis did not permit any common Jew to touch the Torah or read it. The rabbis were the sole custodians of the divine message considering themselves the special creature of God. They were the vendors of the name of God. Similarly the Hindu pundits, the Christian priests and the Muslim mullahs had been exploiting the name of God and still are the self appointed custodians of God. The theologians and the philosophers had always been at loggers' head. They could never reconcile on different intellectual matters as they have different approach towards the issues. The philosophers are rational while the theologians are anti rationalism and stubborn.

In my opinion there are two reasons of ignorance. First; the monarchs never permit free thinking. Free thinking is against the political interest of the kings and autocrats. In history we have so many examples when even in Europe the philosophers and the scientists were imprisoned, tortured and hanged for their liberal and rational ideas. Galileo is one of them. Second; the clergy has been always antagonistic to free thinking. The clergy wants mental stagnancy and blind following. This is the treason the people who blindly follow the faith through clergy have profusely shed the blood of the people of other faiths in the name of religion. They never fell hesitant or ashamed in cutting the throats of others and feel proud of such heinous deeds. They are brain washed and to attain the favor of God they kill the people of other faiths. This is an irrational, inhuman and irreligious act promoted by irrational clergy. If we eliminate the institution of monarchy and priesthood, we can liberate the humankind from the fetters of mental slavery, political subjugation and social injustices. Prophet Abraham revolted against the tyranny of Nimrod and the idol worship. Prophet Moses was a political and social reformer. He raised the standard of revolt against the fascist and autocratic state of Pharaoh. He stood for the emancipation of the Israelis from the bondage of the tormentors and aggressors on the command of God. It means God is against human slavery and wants to see people free from bondage. Jesus Christ stood against the financial corruption of the Roman rulers and the spiritual exploitation of the arrogant rabbis. The rulers and the rabbis connived to get him crucified. Prophet Mohammad also raised his voice against the capitalist class of the Mecca and the custodians of the Kaabah who worshipped the idols and exploited the common man in the name of God. Hence, we come to the conclusion that the prophets along with their spiritual and divine mission had the serious agenda for freedom and justice for all humankind. Why our clergy ignores the real mission of the prophets that was political freedom and social justice?

Here, I feel incumbent to announce that mostly the philosophers in the reaction of clergy become faithless. The examples of Nietzche, Hume, Karl Marx and Bertrand Russell can be presented. But on the other hand, we have philosophers like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle who were not atheists. They promoted rationality and morality. Faith and reason can go side by side. We need rational faith. What we believe in should not be based on superstitions or myths. Religion is not a mythology. It is a divine message for the protection and progress of all humans on the bases of virtue, truth, love, justice, rationality and humanity. Any interpretation of religion rejecting the rational , human and natural propensities, trends and values must be shunned. We need the people of faith promoting rational norms. We need the philosophers of faith who can guide the misguided faithless thinkers and free the humankind from the so called spiritual yoke of the radical, dogmatic, sectarian and irrational clergy.
With best regards,
Dr.Maqsood Jafri
New York
Dated: August 19, 2010

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