This is the attitude on the part of intellectuals not adequately grounded in science to see it as the ultimate arbitrer of any dispute and supposedly apply it in their amateur way to any question needing an answer. The oldest and boldest example of scientism is treating the subject of God as a legitimate scientific enquiry which it isn’t. Even some veritable scientists fall into this trap and then try to fight their way out.
The truth is that God’s existence and nature is a subjective issue and needs to be directly experienced for verification, like the sweetness of sugar or the thrills of love or the glory of loyalty to friends. Science is out of its depth as well as out of place in such fundamentally spiritual matters which for their part are more full of greater rewards than anything else for a man seeking happiness.
At the root of scientism lies a certain shallow if keen intellect’s inability to adequately recognise, experience and appreciate spiritual states of mind. We see this most graphically in the oldest and most basic spiritual state- love. Most adolescents someday somewhere fall in love with somebody and often get from it complex blissful and edifying pleasures especially enhanced by a number of pains and sorrows like bitter spices superbly enhancing the taste and flavour of a dish. Such powerful and blissful emotions may never be repeated in later life and many people, as a result , die missing those days’ bitter-sweet emotional storms. A lucky few discover religious love, may feel edified and sometimes attain beatification- the vision of the ineffable Divine, that ultimate most glorious, felicitous satisfying state of mind.
Those who are poorly equipped for either sexual or Divine love (which are interrelated) feel empty, unfulfilled and resentful and in vengeful desperation are driven to spoil the joy of the lovers by analytically taking it to pieces and discrediting it and all other spiritual values surrounding it. This is like somebody killing your most attractive lover and cutting her up like in a morgue to prove you that the thing you loved with such romantic passion and almost sacred devotion is no different than a dead lamb cut up by your local butcher for you to cook and eat. The same goes with our lovely children. They also can be exposed as meat. Mere science is this blind and brutal. If its discrediting of the value and worth of our most beloveds is justified in your opinion its discrediting God and all spiritual values by similar cut-up analysis is then justified for you. The supposedly objective (read ‘dry’ and ‘barren’) jurisdiction of science offers them an opportunity to deny and discredit what they cannot adequately experience and appreciate and they seek to change the world where all will be equally impoverished as themselves in spiritual values and their potential emotional rewards.
Their desire to change the world is not confined to discrediting spirituality. It also seeks to supposedly improve upon God’s work. To that aim, he actively seeks reasons and opportunities to modify man’s instincts and the natural modalities of man’s environment in fundamental ways. For example he resents men behaving like men and women behaving like women and persuade (if not compel) them to dress, stand, walk, talk and work in identical ways. There is an extremist version of feminism which demands that men are also be tampered with to bear children so that equality of the sexes is realized. Or that sex is altogether excluded from the equation and new generations are created by cloning and ideally not through gestation in a woman’s womb but in a laboratory incubator. This ruthless and total blindness to human nature and the potential spiritual values awaiting development in man in order to take man to peaks of overwhelming joys and bliss and fundamental, causeless and ceaseless and inalienable happiness even beyond death- this blindness and its coolly angry and satanically crafty exploitation of science to justify and possibly impose on us a world devoid of all Godly spirit and its product humane living, and giving unbridled licence to procedures for equating all men and women (if sex differences themselves can survive the scientific tamperings in the first place)- equating all in miserable subjection to in vitro as well as open air laboratory treatment and control- THIS IS SCIENTISM at its zenith.
This may only be a cosmic scare scenario never to come true but that does not mean that less extreme forms of scientism are to be tolerated. Science is only for serving its inventors the human-beings to solve their technical problems from space travel to medical treatment and not destroy our humanity. Those who eye this prospect covetously can only be regarded as madmen disguised as scientists and philosophers thanks to their high IQ’s other than which they have nothing human in them. They are the most intelliegent version of psychopaths and already have proven their evil under both Nazi and Communist systems when Nazi scientists did brutal and degrading experiments on supposedly inferior races as well as disabled people a lot of whom they also exterminated. Or the Marxist liquidation of classes outside their divine proletariat, the most horrible and grand scale being in Pol Pot’s notorious killing fields. All these mad monsters were based in scientism and their followers are not extinct.
Disrespect and contempt for God’s (Nature’s) wisdom drove many otherwise intelligent and perhaps also well-meaning people to direct scientific research into wrong directions and convert any discoveries into wrong products. A possible example of this misguided application of science may be the current industry of genetically modified crops. It stands to reason very well that instead of changing the genes in seeds and producing crops with properties like long shelf life it is equally possible and economical to modify factors like cultivation methods and geographical distribution patterns to produce natural crops and feed everybody as plentifully and cheaply as with what GM food alternatives promise. In fact we did not wait genetic techniques to wrongly tamper with the natural order of plants and animals for food. All over the world growers are racing to produce every crop out of season and for example have locally produced tomatoes all the year round in a cold country like
In fact the opposite must be true. Food crops naturally grown in a climactic zone exactly correspond to the needs of the animals living there. In a cold and soggy climate like
It is not only the climate that should be allowed to determine the diet. Season also should be allowed to supply us with its own produce. For example in a Mediterrenean country best winter fruits are the citrus kind because they are, among other winter nutrients, richest in vitamin C. As for the summer melons and grapes are most helpful because they are the fuits to replace excessive water loss in that hot and dry climate. What we see however in rich and moderately prosperous country of any climate everybody is made habituated to eat everything all year round. Most probably this causes not much harm but why this hedonism, why this expense? But there is a harm of sorts. Seasonal change in crops do not only reflect the seasonal changes in our nutritional needs; it also helps us to appreciate and enjoy each crop in its prime condition after months of not eating it. If such relatively moderate tamperings with natural (Divine) order is not without its health and economic drawbacks what about the almost deliberate early weaning of babies from mother’s milk or their entire abandonment to cow’s milk?
What about the abandonment of babies and young children to the care of other than their mothers simply because the mothers also have to return to gainful employment for the purchase of wasteful luxuries which characterise our silly modern lifestyles. In each such case we are taking exception to God’s laws to which we are inexorably adapted by our genes. Still all these examples pale into insignificance and innocence when compared to what some satanic minds plan for us: Non-sexual reproduction, erosion and ultimately disappearance of natural sexual roles and the responsibilities going with them, feeding on pellets of concentrated nutrients instead of hearty and healthy ‘square meals’, delivering almost all our social responsibilities (like child rearing or medical treatment) to robots and getting our kicks and thrills from solitary and desolate couplings with machines like video games and electrodes sex. All these coolly mad inclinations and innovations must be non-violent forms of Pol Pottish killing fields of humanity under the spell of our fascination with the profane possibilities of science. It is at these levels of playing God that one is chilled with existential horror.
In a recent newspaper feature there was a brief article it was alleged that the scientists had located an area in the brain which, when stimulated, produced a sense of total bliss and contentment. This they said corresponded to the form of happiness Buddhists create in themselves by their meditations. Therefore apply electrical stimuli to that area and presto you are a happy and content sage taking everything with equanimity and remaining peaceful at all times. What they are forgetting they were not the first to find a way to bypass the hardships and privations of a deliberately pious life for attaining enlightenment and its fruit the happy contentment. Since oldest times undeserved peaceful bliss has been engineered by the employment of alcohol, hemp, mescal buttons or opium as well as non-chemical methods like music, dance and art in all forms- and also sex. Addition of an electro-neurological method is just another technical discovery and and no new ground-braker. The mistake made by all the votaries of such non-pious paradise-mongering methods, who include many deviant religious believers and cults is that religion is about more personal titillatory pleasure from life and not a way to God’s pleasure. Therefore in the technical procurement of bliss we find another and very old way of playing God or cheating the nature.
Most playings God are about helping the players to all sorts of naturally pleasurable experiences without paying the price the nature expects in return. The last example of bliss production is one example of this as already said. By way of elucidation we may compare one holy and another profane example. A pious person is rewarded with a sense of happiness when he finds a lost and hungry child in great distress, comforts it with all possible ways of showing mercy and love and doing charity like feeding and returning it to its parents. The pious person is then as happy as the parents who got their child back. This is an earned, deserved and saving bliss.
The profane bliss-monger on the other hand accesses the bliss by simply snorting a whiff of heroin and then lying back and basking in what follows. If this is not cheating God what is? This is definitely an old way of playing God with one’s or others’ lives.
As science and technology advance more and more ways and audacious extents come on the agenda for playing God. Those who dare to play God are on the lookout to identify and grab any scientific development to challenge and if possible replace the natural with the artificial. Allah in His Holy Qur’an identifies this spirit of challenging His (natural) ways and working to replace them with their artificial alternatives with Iblis the Satan when He Almighty, All-Wise says
“(Said Iblis challenging Allah in the matter of claiming man’s overlordship) ‘I will indeed send them astray, I will indeed plague them with delusions,…. I will indeed urge them and they shall modify the creation of Allah’” (4: 119)
One may ask since technology is the chief fruit of science, does it follow that applying technology to modify our environment and enhancing our ability to cope with the problems of life like illness are satanical? If we take the above verse literally and unqualifiedly that would seem to follow. But the very first thing we teach our students when they begin studying with us is this: “EVERY STATEMENT, EXCEPT THE FEW SIMPLEST LIKE ‘LA ILAHA ILLALLAH (There is no god but Allah) is- QU-A-LI-FIED!”.
The qualifications (identifications of exceptions to the rule or scope) can be found in Qur’an’s other verses bearing on the subject, than from Hadith, then from commonsense and lastly from experience. The reasons why words, even when Allah’s revealed words must not be taken too literally, narrowly and categorically are at least two. Firstly, almost no word has a single meaning or any meaning given to it can be agreed upon by all if too much precision is sought. Let us take the word ‘water’. This supposedly simple word may mean any of the following and more; the common liquid which all living organisms need as their main ingredient; in chemistry, hydrogen oxide; less stringently, any substance whose main constituent is water, e.g. sea water ; urine as in passing water… etc. With this ambiguity at His disposal Allah says “We made very living thing from water” (21: 30). That this does not mean pure water but earthy substances mixed with water we glean from verses like “It is He Who created you from watery clay…” (6: 2). So what did He created us from, pure water as the above simplistically taken would mean, or water containing clay? As we can see one verse qualified the other- not pure water but water mixed with earthy ingredients.
If we go back to the Satan’s argument with Allah we see that his promise to send man changing Allah’s creation need not mean every change technology may effect on natural environment must be satanic. For the Satan, pre-occupied with proving Allah imperfect inspires his victims to share his view and supposedly show Allah how His creation could be bettered by somebody else. This is not the intention of a decent and reasonable man. He notes that even the simplest animals like ants have some God-given intelligence and not dwelling only in the grooves of trees they go out and build elaborate underground homes in where they even grow and reap mushrooms for food! What they and their higher brethren the reasonable men are doing is using their intelligence to improve their chances of facilitate their obtainment of their NATURAL needs by re-arranging any objects in their environment, like re-arranging pieces of rock to build a hut. Abuses like homosexuality while normal sex is perfectly enough to satisfy people’s sexual needs is not like changing nature in an example like converting separate rocks into a hut. Nor exclusively growing corn on a piece of land which was previously wild and was growing mixed plants in the wild. What is satanic is tampering with the genes of wheat or apples in order that they become more profitable as saleable products. There is no guarantee that these modified products will not in the long run do serious harm. Even simpler substances like some synthetic drugs, having supposedly past all the supposedly stringest tests for licensing are often caught red-handed ruining lives. We do not need Genetically modified crops or animals for food simply because the economies for the natural alternatives can equally be improved by other scientific methods as well as cutting the enormous waste in the food cycle.
Which means exploiting science ethically and responsibly is one thing, exploiting it arrogantly and recklessly entirely another. Even birth control can be implemented by natural means and despite any slight success rates the benefits involved in natural ways far outweighs the benefits of the higher success rate from the pill, for example. It is fully established that contraceptives can do untold harm to very many women, especially in the long run and it can be described only criminal to expose our sisters to such sordid risks in order to make them more able to engage in more indiscriminate and irresponsible sex- all to the advantage of chuckling males. As for the harms inhering in the moral and spiritual degradation the so-called free-sex imposes on both sexes we can say that it is at least a great harm as the health hazards from same free sex.
Islam, to begin with, is the most science-friendly of all religions as well as being the only religion producing great scientists as a direct result of its teachings. But its greatness equally applies to its sense of proportion and balance, sense of decency and responsibility. It is equally anxious to protect man’s and everything else’s innate potentials and promote their fulfilment without deviation or derailment. Neither Nazi experiments nor GM irresponsibily nor the psychopathic human reproduction programs like cloning or surrogate motherhood can find favour with Islam. What good can come from a child born from one woman implanted with another woman’s egg which in turn has been fertilised by frozen semen from a man none of the downstream persons involved know nothing about. At one stroke the child so produced is cut off from a real mother who can exclusively claim it, from the knowing of his father and from the special and irreplaceable happiness a couple of genuine biological parents could give him?
As for custom-made babies its simplistic justification is that the supposedly the best genes available can be brought together by that process. Then nations or interest groups may begin a race of eugenics each seeking to excel the other in the number and qualities of its new members the production of which may be industrialized, like that for farm chicken. Because economic competitive considerations will have to be taken into account any accidentally defective individuals from the product line or from among the traditionally born members of the society will be regarded as economic drain on the group (like today’s elderly) and their elimination may be attempted by unadmitted and skilful positive neglect and in desperate situations with less dishonest ways of liquidation.
All in all, if man goes down the path of increasingly playing God he will not be a God at all because God is the Universal Spirit or Mind which is full of love and compassion and generosity when all things are considered together over long term and this grand and beautiful universe and the overall and overwhelming balance of good over evil in this earth of ours testify. Yes, evil among men (and nowhere else) do exist but good always keeps it in check (i.e., wins over it in a global and long term sense), repairing the damage and renewing the favours and reinstating the benevolent, to which factor’s survival and triumph the increasing survival of mankind testify. Pharaohs and Nimrods, Nerons and Caligulas, Hitlers, Stalins ans Pol Pots came and did their mischief and went and the man is still here after such bad apples, numbering in billions most of whom are able to find bread and a spouse and breed and love and be loved and often through religious faith or philosophical enlightenment bear the vicissitudes of life with reasonable dignity and equanimity and die with enough number and amount of good memories behind him or her and making those who knew him or her to miss him until time gradually fades and rubs out his humble memory. All this is possible by God’s universe wholly cooperating to support man’s world, like the sun providing the necessary energy and its galaxy the Milky Way keeping the sun alive and healty by its gravitational adjustments.
However scientifically and technologically advanced man cannot create and maintain a universe and will have to make the best of this one in whose creation and order has had and can have no share. It is entirely God’s and so shall it remain. What the man playing God can do is dehumanising himself and others in a bestialising and not deifying direction. High intelligence is not everything in defining man and without faith and morality it is more a handicap than an asset. From the present education’s extreme prejudice in favour of academic intelligence as against moral and spiritual growth and the formation of good character to the increasing arrogant tamperings with the natural order a new breed of non-violent but creeping and pervading Naziesque attitude among the scientists seems to be emerging however slowly gradually. The doctor who enables a long post-menopausal woman to give birth to a child she cannot reasonably expect to see to maturity involve a couple of players God, namely the unscrupulous doctor and the selfish woman who is unable to accept old age gracefully and wants to revert to a period of life she should allow to pass her with dignity. Such lack of wisdom, such narcissist and infantile poverty of character indicates not the necessity of producing an offspring (for the defective genes of the graceless senile parent will survive into another silly person) but its avoidance.
We believe that in the long run nature cannot be cheated and must and will exact its terrible revenge on the rebellious cheats. Our problem is not our many hallowed traditions like marriage and love among family members and blood relations or religious faith and its ennobling sentiments and saving acts of charity or our dependence on natural order for our food and health. Our problem is our mistakes in understanding and applications of them which can be improved gradually if only partially, by better and better education. The real threat facing us is the real possibility of those who try to play God snaring us into their slavery and use us as their guinea pigs in the satisfaction of their tasteless, perverted curiosities and regimenting us to their highly dehumanising futuristic utopianism.
God forbid that the Satan wins so spectacularly- and the Satan shall not. Amen.
16. POLITICAL AND OTHER BIG CRIME
Crime has always and will always be part of human work. No doubt Divine Will has ordained it and because the Will is Divine it must have a wise reason. In fact the creation of and long lease and licence given to the Satan is another version of the same story. That this is so is stongly implied by Allah when He Almighty answers His angels’ objections to the creation of Adam as told in Surat al Baqara (Chapter 2 of the Qur’an), viz.
“Remember when your Lord had said ‘I am about to put a vicegerent on earth’ (in the form of man)’. They said ‘Are you to put there somebody who will work mischief in it and shed blood?’. He (Almighty, All-Wise) said ‘I indeed know what you know not’” (2: 30)
He then duly created Adam and allowed Adam to be tempted by the Satan as a consequence of which Adam and Satan were thrown down to earth to fight their battle of wits and wills. When Adam wins good comes to all concerned, when Satan wins then evil prevails. None of the two outcome is permanent; they shall alternate for varying periods at various localities till the end of the time.
This Divine metaphor about the war between the human good and evil explains as well as prescribes cure for all our moral problems. Its bottomline explanation is that in each and every one of us there is both a Divine and Satanic centre of influence and command which we are aware almost at all times to this degree or that. We adore the Divine and yearn after its manifestation which good is. But we are vulnerable to the Satanic as well because its promises are more immediate and more in line with our immature, lustful egos pending the ego’s potential sublimation and salvation in God. It is like a child’s committing more errors and suffering more hurts before it learns how to walk and perform other skills. Who has not bumped into many things or fallen many times before he or she learned how to ride a bike? Moral skills are like that. They also take a long time, in fact very long time, to form and stabilise in us. It is one thing for a person to sometimes cheat and sometimes not to cheat or oppress but quite another and incomparably more glorious to never cheat or oppress anybody. The latter level of moralisation is that of the saint’s and as such is the object of all great religions. In the course the Satan plays the role of a sparring partner to a boxer- without the sparring partner to threaten and pound him in a most serious and desperate manner the boxer cannot prepare well enough for his next championship fight.
That must be the wise reason, at least one of the wise reasons, behind the Satan’s creation and the licence given to it to exercise man’s moral muscles into powerful perfection of possible. From another angle we must face the inescapable fact that creation is nothing but the emergence of the opposites like light and darkness, sweet and bitter, hot and cold and good and evil. Allah created and allowed all these so that we become aware of both our environment and ourselves. If I have only equally sweet things to eat can I really be aware of sweetness let alone be able to appreciate it. A good example of a constant and unbroken supply of a good thing is a youth pampered with every pleasurable thing and never allowed to ‘put a hand in hot water and then the cold’ to see the difference. He will soon be dead bored and rebel unto death. Many youths are known to commit suicide because they have not been given a chance to mature up psychologically by being sometimes separated from their sweets and made to know hunger and heartbreak. It is as if lovers fight and fall out just in order that their bitter separation incubates into an even more loving and appreciating relationship. Contrast is the name of the game of creation, experience and maturation and eventually- salvation.
And yet and perhaps ironically as well, evil cannot be glorified or accommodated. The sparring partner is not for relaxing and retiring away but keeping fought against. The Satan is too sticky to be thrown off our backs easily if at all and needs no help from us to stick better. It must be opposed or we perish in pain and disgrace.
The greater sins with a social dimension (i.e., affecting others) the Satan lead us into are called crimes. That is the definition of crime. It is a plague which suffuse and flood all social life at all times in all localities; yet it does not follow that its inevitability confers on it the right to exist let alone respectability. It has been committed and fought against throughout history and so it will remain.