Enlightened freethinkers admit
that logic has its limitation and that there are realities that cannot
be scrutinized solely by logic. They also recognize the spiritual
dimension of this universe and of human existence. This article
acknowledges the limitations of logic and values the mystical
approach as well as upholds the
spiritual dimension of human beings. However, it distinguishes between
what is unreasonable and what is beyond reason. Those who cannot differentiate between what is “unreasonable” and
what is “beyond reason”, take this admission as the pretext to force
their irrational thinking into the arena of acceptability.
They confuse what can be termed as “arational” with what is
The difference between the
two is obvious. What is “arational” or above the reason is what
reason and science cannot define. It cannot be proven nor can it be
disproved. Take the example of the survival of the soul after the death.
There is no hard evidence to this belief, but no scientific fact has disproved
On the other hand there are things
that are absolutely illogical, like the notion of God as a “being”
that meddles in the affairs of this world and sends messengers of
questionable moral and ethical values, providing us with a collection of
obtuse gibberish that go against every fiber of our intelligence,
science and logic, calling it a “miracle” and demanding us to submit
our intelligence. And if we fail, the same god who claims to be merciful
and compassionate threatens to roast us for eternity. This is illogical.
The Quran is a book of errors. It is full
of scientific heresies, historical incongruencies, mathematical mistakes
grammatical blunders and logical absurdities. The same can be said about
the Bible. Muslims and Christians are, simply put, fooling themselves in
believing that since freethinkers admit that logic has its limitations
and there are realities beyond logic, then religion falls into that
category. That is confusing between “arational” and irrational,
between what is beyond logic and what is contrary to logic. It is like
saying, since science admits its limitation and acknowledges that there
are many mysteries about the Earth that we still don’t know, then we
should not dismiss the possibility that the Earth is flat.
There are many things that we don’t
know. But there are things that we have come to know and can reject them
with certainty. Admission of our ignorance of the things we don't
know does not invalidate our knowledge of the things we know.
Some time ago I wrote a message in
response to a Muslim friend that I would like to share it with you. It
clarifies my views on logic and faith.
Your first argument was in favor of the existence of a
"reality" "whether it is God, logic, set of laws or some
other foundation for existence". You presented your case flawlessly
and I do agree with you wholeheartedly. I always believed in the
existence of a reality above this material world. I have repeatedly
quoted Tielhard de Chardin who said we are spiritual beings having a
physical experience. I applauded Plato for saying, this word is but a
shadow of a higher reality, I agreed with Einstein who said, "God
does not play dice" and like Buddha, I believe that there's a
reality beyond the material world; which is uncreated. It pervades
everything, but remains beyond the reach of human knowledge and
Your second argument was about the rationality of the existence of law.
You proved beyond a shadow of doubt that, "an explanation of some
phenomenon in terms of physics presupposes the validity of the laws of
physics which are taken as given"
Again I agree with you one hundred percent. Time and again I have made
references to the Single Principle underlying the creation.
I believe that this universe is governed by a set of laws that are
omnipresent, eternal and unchanging.
Then you made a mention of the
incapacity of science and rational thinking to explain many mysteries of
life like the purpose of creation. You clarified superbly that science,
might provide answers to "how" but is not fit to provide
answers to "why".
I am compelled again to agree with you
that the path to knowledge and to enlightenment must be
tread by two feet of reason and mysticism. Human beings would be lame
without one or the other. True understanding can be achieved by
discovering the world without and by contemplating on the world
within. The former is attained by scientific observation of the physical
world and the latter is gained by meditation on spiritual world. Meditation is not the same as prayers. The concept of meditation does
not exist in Islam and is not taught in the Quran. Although Sufism, inspired
by Hinduism, developed a mystical approach to understanding the reality,
this concept is alien to Muhammad's version of Islam. No wonder the Sufis
were viewed as heretics by mainstream Muslims.
I do not and cannot deny the mystical experience of enlightenment since
I personally had such experience. A few years ago, I went through great
sufferings. At first I felt angry and saddened but then I resigned and
accepted all my troubles as valuable lessons. I stopped struggling
against the currents and peacefully looked forward to see where they
take me. I came to be at peace with myself, with the world, with God and
with all my problems. That was when, one day when I was taking a shower,
suddenly the gates of all knowledge opened in front of me and I could
see things I could not see with my eyes and learned realities beyond
what I could ever have dreamed of. I found answers to questions I had
never asked and gained insight into realities I never knew. In a moment
that perhaps lasted for few seconds I was immersed into an ocean of
understanding and experienced enlightenment. I heard no voices and
saw nothing, but my inner reality was connected to a higher reality. That
experience lasted only for few seconds, but the effect of that changed
my thoughts and my life forever. Later I learned many people, have had
spiritual experiences like mine. Some seers have even developed a method
to achieve this kind of enlightenment at will. That method is
meditation. Meditation is quieting the chatter of the mind so that the
higher reality can reflect in our consciousness, the same way the sky is
reflected in a pond when the waters are still and the ripples are no
Rudy Rucker expressed eloquently the experience that I cannot find words
to explain. He wrote: "The central teaching of mysticism is
this: 'Reality is ONE'. The practice of mysticism consists in
finding ways to experience this unity directly. The One has variously
been called the Good, the Cosmos, God, the Mind, the Void or the
Absolute. No door in the labyrinthine castle of science opens directly
onto the Absolute. But if one understands the maze well enough, it is
possible to jump out of the system and experience the Absolute for
oneself....But, ultimately, mystical knowledge is attained all at once
or not at all. There is no gradual path....."
As you see I do believe in "ONE Reality". I call it "The
Single Principle". It is just another name. But the Single
Principle, as I see it, is not a being. It is a Non-Being. The
non-being is the mother of all beings. The Single Principle is not
a thing; but that, dose not mean that It is nothing! The Principle is
"HOW". How things happen, how they become. The creation is
"WHAT". That is all there is; HOW and WHAT; the Principle and
As you see there are more things that unite us and we can
agree upon. Now let us talk about things that we do not agree on.
You wrote: "I had broken the
bonds of fear, tradition, guilt and blind following long ago along with
breaking many "Laws". Set to find my One, and trying to
comprehend the "why", through the maze of intellect, I found
myself coming to conclusions in line with a book recited 1400 years ago,
the Quran. Had I not known the Quran well as a child, I would've never
tied the two together."
Can you please explain what did you find in the Quran that I failed to
see? I read the Quran in Arabic and English (together) and
found nothing of value, inspiring or enlightening. Through that book I
came to know a confused man and a primitive deity unworthy to rule over
the enlightened humanity. You may think that the Quran answered
the " why" of creation, but is this answer correct? If you are
satisfied by that answer, does it mean that it is true? Or is it because
it corresponds to your understanding of "why," which has been formed by your
Let me clarify this point. We are
raised by different cultures and influenced by certain notions of right
and wrong based on our upbringing. When we hear a new idea, we compare
it with our pre-cast mental mold. If it falls into our mental mold, we
accept it as right otherwise we reject it. Since you were
raised as a Muslim you have a preconception of right and wrong. When you analyze Islam, you compare it with your expectation of
what truth should look like and naturally everything falls into place
and you accept it as logical.
Let us see what is this mental mold that Islam has carved into our
sub-conscience. I quote your own words.
"I have accepted that this Universe (and God knows what else is
beyond) has a designer -Allah-.
I also accept that he created 'conscious' organisms (us, and God knows
what else). Conscious of their existence (I think, therefore I am), and
yet more importantly of their maker.
I have accepted that Allah establishes contact with us through many
means including 'inspiration' of people worthy of such a task such as
prophets including Muhammad PBUH.
I have accepted that the Quran is Allah's word.
Having accepted the above, I'm in no position to question anymore the
actions or dictates of the 'Divine' communicated through his messengers
(in our case Muhammad)"
Here you have given a list of the
things that you have accepted without giving any reason why did you
Why did you accept that this Universe has a designer? Can you prove it
logically or you simply have chosen to believe it because it fits into
your mental mold and upbringing? I do not agree that this universe has
a designer. I see no proof for that. On the contrary the evidence
point to the fact that the Universe is the product of natural laws.
Few weeks ago I received a message from a friend who argued, “How is
it possible that this world has come to be without any intervention
while one knows there has been a person walking on the snow when one
sees his footprints?”
It is true that footprints on the snow
do not happen by themselves. There must be someone who made them. But
who made the snow? Perhaps 1400 years ago, the less educated people
would have taught that God makes the snow. But now we know that snow
is the product of natural phenomena. It is formed by the effect of the
Sun on the oceans, the winds, the temperature, etc. Snow has no creator. It is formed by natural laws. So are the mountains! Who made the
mountains? Mountains are formed by earthquakes, winds, rains, eruptions,
erosions and other natural factors. Who made the rivers? Did god design
the course of the rivers, or are they shaped by the topography of the
land they pass through? The same happens in other planets. Also the
planets themselves, the Sun and the stars, the galaxies and the entire
universe are products of natural laws. The same can be said about the
living beings. Creatures evolve, in harmony with their environment. As
Darwin found out, a single species would evolve into two distinct sub
species that would eventually become completely different species when
separated from each other for a long period of time by some geographic
barrier. In evolution we can witness the law or the Principle underlying
the creation but we cannot see any hand of god at work. So your original
notion of ONE REALITY is logical, but your assumption of a personal god
as the creator is not.
You also accepted that this God has created conscious organisms,
conscious of their existence and of their maker. That is
not true. If by “conscious organism” you are alluding to human
beings, not all conscious humans agree that this universe has a
“maker”. What you call “awareness” of a maker is actually
an imagination. There is nothing but our imagination that could make us
believe of the existence of a “maker”.
Many children believe in Santa Clause. This is not
called awareness but imagination.
You have also accepted to believe that
this imaginary maker makes contact with you through some inspired holy
individuals. How do you know that
these individuals were inspired and not impostors? Do you have any hard
evidence, except their own claim that they are inspired? Were these
individuals more holy than the rest of the people? Although their
followers believe that they were, the historic fact about them proves
that they were not. The history of the life of Muhammad, e.g., portray
him as a very unholy person. The prophet is shown
as a man unable to control his anger, his sexual impulses and his greed. He is
described as a ruthless and violent man who killed innocent people
simply because they wanted to have the freedom to believe in the
religion of their forefathers. As for the words of these
"inspired" individuals, they are full of errors and
inconsistencies. How one could possibly conclude that the Bible or the
Quran are inspired?
You also forgot to say that according
to Islam (and other Semitic religions) the purpose of god in sending
these messengers is to make himself known and demand to be worshiped.
As science has absolutely proven, we are not being created (in a single
act) but evolved through billions of years of evolution. We are
conscience of ourselves since we became homo sapience. That is less than
one hundred thousand years ago. And as the Bible and the Quran narrate, this
god revealed himself to humans only about 6000 years ago. There
are a few questions in respect to this hypothesis. Why God is so much in
need to be recognized that he created this entire universe and put in it
“conscious people” to know him and to worship him? Does he feel
lonely? Why He NEEDs to be worshiped? Why he wants to be known? Why this
is so important to him that he would even burn us eternally in the
blazing hell fire if we fail to recognize him and believe in his
messenger? And finally what was he doing for those billions of years
when humans were not evolved enough to know him and to worship him?
You wrote "Allah establishes contact with us through…
'inspiration' of people worthy of such a task such as prophets including
Do you have any solid evidence for this
claim? What extra proof you have for the prophethood of Muhammad that
David Koresh, e.g. did not have for his claim? Why accept Muhammad and
not hundreds and thousands of other charismatic but mentally insane
individuals who, every year, rise and claim to be messengers of God? Was
Muhammad's character an indication of his superiority over the rest of
mankind? Was he more compassionate than others? Was he more respectful
towards the women, more tolerant towards the minorities, more forgiving
of his enemies? Was he a moral man? Was he an ethical man? Both of
us know that the answer to all these questions is no. Then, why Muhammad? Why should we follow a
man whose life was anything but holy?
Finally, you wrote, "I have
accepted that the Quran is Allah's word". And again my question is
why? Isn't the Quran full of errors? Aren't enough scientific facts that
demonstrate that the Quran is mistaken in hundreds of its assertions? Is the
message of the Quran ethical? Is it a book that promotes noble and humanitarian values? Again, as you and I know, none of that is true. The
Quran is a collection of absurd and illogical jumbo mumbo. To claim that
this book is the word of God is an insult to God and to human
So tell me why Islam? Why Muhammad?
And, why the Quran? As you see, you have CHOSEN to believe in Islam, not
because it is true but because it fits into your idea of truth. You
have come to your conclusion and based your faith on something that is
illogical and inhumane simply because it fits into your mental mold and
preconceived notion of the truth. In that case you should not criticize
the members of other cults who have CHOSEN their baseless religions
entirely on emotional grounds, just as you have chosen Islam.
By Ali Sina