Religion is a privilege, not a mandate!

As the title suggests, to me religion is something obtainable piece by piece analogous to getting an academic degree (such as a PhD), that is, it requires a lot of thinking and reading on a daily basis. Of course, religion and academic degree have different values and purposes. Similar to academic degree, religion needs some physical and mental abilities; otherwise, it is open for everyone. The bottom line is that being religious requires a lot of efforts, knowledge, and courage. If you do not have enough of those, you may not be qualified to be one. As, not everyone in the world needs to or can hold a doctorate.

I believe, one thing that has downgraded religion over the course of history is the fact that it has changed from something obtainable to something mandatory or given. It is now proven to me that people don’t care much for the things which are assumed granted, such as health, fresh water, environment, and many other things that they don’t even know they exist; no matter how vital they are for our existence. Over the years, people took religion for granted, or sometimes even worse, they are enforced to acquire one. Hence, people gradually started to ignore and forget, and then, finally, ruin it.

To be able to picture the extension of the disaster, imagine a country or an era where people are enforced to inherit a degree from their parents, so you can easily see what would be the future of that particular field. To be more practical, imagine you are entitled to be a medical doctor only because your parents were ones. Then you could just imagine, as a “born doctor”, what type of medicine you would prescribe for yourself and the others, and what horrible consequences are awaiting for you and the others. At no time, you will not only corrupt medicine as a field, but also you start to harm yourself and the people around you in the worst possible ways.

It is not hard to imagine that the same thing has happened to religions over the years. People born with a particular religion, without knowing much about its foundations, started to harm themselves and the others. More importantly, they ruined the whole religion itself, whatever religion they are entitled to. Without further ado, let me finish this post with stating that: neither religion is inheritable, nor everyone deserves to be affiliated with one unconditionally, but it is like an academic degree, we should obtain it for making a better life.

List of 100 best hollywood’s movies ranked by professionals.

As you can see most of movies are pretty ancient (of course to my age), although I had enjoyed watching some of them such as Rear window or Dr. Zhivago. For the movies after 1990, my own list matches to this list to some extent. There are some exceptions, for example, I like Shutter Island better than Inception. I am also surprised that “the 6th sense” is not in the list. I may also release my own list of favourite movies sometime soon. By then stay tuned.

از طبیعه تا ماوراء الطبیعه

چندی پیش یکی‌ از دوستان داشت اشاره میکرد که اونهایی که دوست دارند روی  فلسفه وجودی و الهیات کار کنند، باید از فیزیک شروع کنند. این موضوع من رو وا داشت که این پست رو بنویسم. هر کسی‌ که بخشهایی از این بلاگ رو خوانده باشد و یا اینکه من را بشناسد، برایش مبرهن است که من دلبستگی خاصی‌ به علم، دانش، و فلسفه وجودی دارم. البته من اینجا بین “علم” و “دانش” یه فرق فلسفی‌ قائل هستم. هدف “دانش” کسب، توصیف، و استفاده از جهان مادی از طریق تجربی‌ است، در حالیکه هدف “علم” (یا الهیات) پی‌ بردن به راز هستی‌ از روشهای عقلی و نقلی است. پس “علم” و “دانش” هم در هدف هم روش متفاوت هستند. بطور مصداقی، من اخلاق و دین رو ماحصل “علم” و تکنولوژی رو ماحصل “دانش” می‌دونم. البته بدون شک، این موضوع یکی‌ از مباحثی است که خیلی‌ جای بحث داره.

همیشه چرایی پیشرفت علم و دانش در کنار هم در سال‌های قدیم و جدایی روز افزون این دو در سال‌های اخیر مورد سوال من بوده. اگر به کتب فلسفه اسلامی در قرون اولیه در ایران دقت کنیم، درموارد زیادی القابی مثل فیزیکدان، ریاضیدان، و فیلسوف رو در کنار هم برای افرادی که در عرفان و یا در دین هم شناخته شده هستند میبینیم. در حالیکه چه در اون زمان، و چه در این زمان, اینها از هم متمایز بوده اند. و این تفاوت در دو کتاب “شفا” و “قانون” ابن سینا کاملا مشهود است.

در عین حال، به نظر من جدایی این دو شاخه از هم موجب اضمحلال هردوی آنها هم شده. در واقع, این جدایی موجب تولید دانش بدون اخلاق، و پیدایش اخلاقی که با دانش فاصله زیادی داره شده است. به طور خلاصه، تعریف من از دانش بدون اخلاق، دانشی است که در حین تولید و استفادش, اخلاق هیچ جایگاهی نداشته باشه. البته در سال‌های اخیر، سعی‌ شده است که تا اندازه ای حقوق حیوانات و غیره به دانش و دانشگری اضافه بشن، ولی‌ چون همهٔ اینها جنبه بیرونی و افزودنی دارند، اون تأثیری که باید, قطعا نگذشته اند.

در مجموع, من هم اعتقاد دارم که مسیر تحقیق در ماوراء الطبیعه از شناخت طبیعت می‌گذره. در واقع شرط لازمه ولی‌ کافی‌ نیست. و شاید اگر بخواهیم که دوباره به دوران طلائی علم و دانش برگردیم باید این دو شاخه رو باز باهم همگام کنیم. و شاید این تنها راه جلوگیری از انحرافات علم و دانش باشه. شاهد این مدعا در عصر حاضر هم، دکتر حسین نصرهستند که دانش را از فیزیک شروع کرده، و هم اکنون یکی‌ از بزرگان علم فلسفه اسلامی هستند و کارهای ارزنده و به دور از خرافات و اختلافاتی بجای گذشته اند.

pseudo-science under the cover of the general science!

Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me the following article  in which the author criticizes the new series of the general science authors. Just to briefly summarize, the article compares the attitude of the early scientists of 20th centuries with the recent ones toward the general public. Through some examples, the author explains how scientists  previously kept their yet unproven ideas limited to the scientific communities until they are proven experimentally. Whereas the current scientists write general science books in which they mumble a list of unproven ideas and hypothesis under the name of science.

I read the article and the commentary by the viewers, and I felt that the main message of the article was missed. Although I believe in free speech, particularly in the realm of science, I agree with the author of the article that what distinguishes science from psuedo-science is experimentation. Thus, the physical theories before they are proven experimentally have no scientific value. Hence, writing something which is far from any experimental proof under the name of “general science” is not only wrong, but also dangerous, as it was the main emphasis of the article.

Being a theoretical physicist myself, what I see from the general public is that they are more exposed to the psuedo-physics, or hollywood physics rather than the real physics. I feel that the “general science” writers, such as those mentioned in the main article, are trying to be more user-friendly rather than scientific at all. This is very similar to what politicians are doing, and I would call such behaviour as a scientific populism. In short, it is expected that the general science materials convey the (experimentally proven) scientific ideas in a way that is understandable to the non-scientists.