3 thoughts on “Islam and Science

  1. Hello friends. Long time no post for me.
    Thanks for the link to Hoodbhoy’s article. An excellent summary of the intellectual travails facing traditionalist Muslims. For a stark example of the challenge, see
    Can I say out loud what I think Hoodbhoy — for good reason, I’m sure — only hints at? Secularism. I say again — secularism, the only avenue of which I’m aware that can make space for religion and science, and in which reason prevails over revelation at least when it comes to (most) public policy and science (in spite of the vigorous efforts of the religious right in our own country). As Hoodbhoy says,
    “Science finds every soil barren in which miracles are taken literally and seriously and revelation is considered to provide authentic knowledge of the physical world”
    I assume he does not exclude the Muslim miracle of the uncreated Quran from that comment. I certainly don’t. Hoodbhoy goes further,
    “The latter [intense social work habits] are not easily reconcilable with religious demands made on a fully observant Muslim’s time, energy,and mental concentration: The faithful must participate in five daily congregational prayers, endure a month of fasting that taxes the body, recite daily from the Qur’an and more. Although such duties orient believers admirably well toward success in the life hereafter, they make worldly success less likely. A more balanced approach will be needed”
    He could have gone on about a major culprit in the hobbling mindset of traditionalist Islam by pointing out the need to abandon (forget reform) much of Islamic “law” or fiqh as well.
    Of course, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

  2. Sorry, I sold Hoodbhoy short. He does say the bad word, “secularism.” Third sentence from the end of the piece, he says
    “This leaves secular humanism, based on common sense and the principles of logic and reason, as our only reasonable choice for governance and progress.”
    I just missed it, and it was easy to miss. If this were a speech in Pakistan, I’m guessing that he delivers the coup de grace at the very end probably because he’s heading for the exits running for his life.

  3. Tony, nice to see you again. I really like Hoodbhoy’s article. I’ll read the discover article later.
    My one exception is actually his emphasis that ritual is onerous. I think the discipline is helpful and only becomes an obstacle if you see the day in only one way.

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