the complete debate with materialists see this
Wrapping up the discussion on materialism and spirituality
By: Ali Sina
There are facets of science that
we do not understand. Some assume these are paranormal phenomena and
others simply dismiss them as hocus pocus.
Let me make an example. It is observed that some animals somehow know when
an earthquake is going to strike. I recall when I was ten years old and we
lived in a village. One night the hens refused to go to their nests. That
was a very strange behavior because we never had problem with them and
they used to go to their nests on their own every evening. That very night
an earthquake struck. This phenomenon has been observed worldwide and a
Japanese scientist is now studying fish to determine how animals can
predict earthquakes. You may think this is paranormal and dismiss it. As a
matter of fact there are people who utterly deny anything that they do not
understand and cannot be explained by our discovered science. But
fortunately there are those who are skeptics and study these phenomena. If
we discover how animals come to sense catastrophes like earthquake and can
use it to our advantage this would be a great discovery and advance in
By now, the stories of wild
animals fleeing the deadly tsunami before it struck Asia and Africa are
near legendary. (Source)
Some dogs are also reported to sense when their owners are approaching the
house. Some experiments have been performed and it has been determined
that in most cases this has nothing to do with the sound of the car of the
owner or his footsteps.
Some animals (cats and dogs) have managed to travel many miles and find
their owners. These animals found the new address sometimes in a different
town where they have never been before.
Homing pigeons are known to go back to their homes even if they are taken
unconscious to a place hundreds of miles away.
Many scientists believe that there is an “elastic magnetic field”,
between living creatures and their loved ones that somehow make them
communicate telepathically. These scientists are of the opinion that
humans too have this magnetic field around them. The field has not yet
been identified or observed. It is a plausible theory.
Many people will tell you that
they sense when something bad happens to their loved ones. All these
experiences prove that there is some kind of magnetic field that binds us
humans and animals together, perhaps through love.
Some people do not understand this and what they do not understand in
their opinion cannot exist. So instead of becoming curious of these
unexplainable phenomena they deny them.
Sometimes these so called paranormal experiences are internal. For
example; seeing extraterrestrials or being abducted are not
"lies" (at least not all of them). It happens to many people but
the phenomenon is mental. It has to do with temporal lobe epilepsy. That
is basically the experience that Muhammad had, only he used to see angels,
jinn and demons and was taken to the seventh heaven.
Every so called paranormal phenomenon has an explanation. Some of those
explanations we already know and some we don’t. It would be shortsighted
to deny all the phenomena that we do not understand.
Curiously the fanatical religious people are the ones how once leave the
swamp of religion fall into the quagmire of materialism. The same people
who once fell for Islam, after leaving it fall prey to materialism. The
attitude is the same… DENIAL! Whether you deny the logic or you deny the
obvious phenomena that science cannot explain, your mental conditioning is
the same. You are unable to tackle things that are beyond your
comprehension. This is what I call fanaticism. Anyone who is unwilling or
incapable to view the reality under different light because it contradicts
his mental conditioning is a fanatic. Now this does not mean we should
accept every irrational belief. On the contrary we should get rid of our
beliefs altogether and be critical and skeptics at all times. The moment
you think you have found the truth, is the moment that you have lost it.
Some friends raised the point
if the claims of paranormal are real, so what?
their use for me or for humanity
or why even discuss it in Faith Freedom International?
I am going to answer this
question and I hope this will sum up this debate and put an end to it.
of all not everything should be viewed for its utilitarian values. We
go to Mars for what? There is nothing there for us. So, why bother?
It is because it satisfies our curiosity. And that is one heck of a
It is in our nature to solve mysteries and find out the truth behind the
The main purpose of skepticism
is to understand the mysteries. Let me give you one example:
Today I watched the Discovery
Channel and there was a story about vampires. There are many legends about
vampires and many of them are documented by very honest eye witnesses. A
pseudo skeptic would dismiss it as fairy tale and would not even talk
about it. Fortunately, not every one is pseudo skeptic. We have also many
true skeptics. One of these true skeptics decided to find out the truth
behind this legend. He studied those legends and the description of the
vampires. All those legends had some similarities. The victims reported
that somebody like a ghost was sitting on their chest and making it
difficult for them to breath. The victims used to get paler and paler.
They coughed and ejected blood. When they died often other members of the
family used to be affected by the same symptoms and they too died. This
made people believe that the dead is coming back to take away other family
So they used to dig up their
cadaver to drive a stick into their heart and supposedly kill them. They
saw that after their death, their hair and finger nails had grown. This
was to them the proof that they are still alive. This is of course natural
because after we die cells keep living for few more days and hairs and
nails keep growing. They also found fresh blood in the mouth of the dead,
which to them was proof that these were vampires who had risen from their
thumb to suck the blood of the living. Of course this was the blood of the
defunct now flowing from his chest to his mouth. They found their bodies
were bloated. That was to them the indication that they had drank a lot of
blood. Of course it was gas naturally produced in the body during
decomposition. After impaling them with sticks the trapped gas was
released and goring through their throat and the vocal cords it sounded as
if they were groaning.
This skeptic did not just
dismiss all these legends as fairy tales. He exhumed the body of one
accused of being a Dracula and tested its DNA. His finding proved his
suspicion. These people accused of being vampires died of tuberculosis.
All the symptoms described in the old legends were consistent with
tuberculosis. When he tested the DNA of these poor people, he found out
At that time people did not know about contagious diseases. So if one
caught this disease, other members of the family would get it and die too.
What is the benefit of knowing
the truth behind a legend? May be just satisfying our curiosity is all
there is to it.
But what is illogical is to dismiss it and call it hocus pocus just
because we do not understand it. This is a good example why dogmatism is
wrong and why one must keep an open mind and not dismiss any claim just
because it defies our understanding. It is important that we understand
the mysteries behind all the claims of paranormal.
One may say ah but that is not
paranormal. Well it was up until now! the pseudo skeptic community derided
it, and called all those claims hallucinations. Paranormal is something
that can't be explained. Once we understand them, they will no more be
paranormal. But we can't understand anything as long as we keep
denying their existence or worse indulge in mindless mockeries.
This is not to say that all
claims of paranormal have scientific explanation. Most of them do but
things like ESP or telepathy may never be explained so easily. They
may actually point to an immaterial world that could be called as
spiritual in nature.
This example is to support the
fact that there are indeed phenomena that are unexplainable and the
stubborn denial of the materialists is nothing short of religious
Some of the occurrences of paranormal do not have any explanation yet. I
find it hypocritical and dishonest when the materialists instead of saying
we don’t know, resort to character assassinations. This dishonesty was
exposed when we read one pseudo skeptic berating the performance of a
certain psychic as “extremely unimpressive” and the other qualified
him as “master of deception”. One who is master of anything must be
also impressive. Or if he is not impressive, he certainly is not a master
but a rookie. Also one can see the same kind of dishonesty when instead of
verifying the claim of psychic power of Van Praagh one materialist
attacked this person’s ignorance on other unrelated subjects. If Van
Praagh said skeptics have done a lot of harm, this is proof of his
foolishness. But we are not here to assess Van Praagh’s intelligence or
wisdom but rather his psychic ability.
It is said that even Hitler had some psychic powers (I just heard this and
do not know the details of it). If true, this does not mean that
everything this monster did was right or conversely, his crimes against
humanity do not nullify his psychic ability.
We see a lot of intellectual dishonesty in the pseudo skeptic crowd in
berating any psychic or telepathic claim. The dishonesty of these people
is not proof that psychic power exists but it only highlights their
The fact is that these phenomena remain unexplained and the existence of
an immaterial world or thoughts projecting out of the mind and even
breaking the time barrier are plausible theories.
Here I present one theory. Of course I do not have to prove it. It is just
a theory and it could be wrong.
We know that thoughts are vibrations. These vibrations are what make
the electroencephalograph machine (lie detector) work. Vibrations are
created by particles. In quantum physics time breaks down and becomes
irrelevant. So is it possible that your thoughts work in times that have
not yet occurred? If true, this would explain how we dream things that
come to pass later, telepathy, premonition, remote viewing and other
The above theory of mine may not be true at all? But if true it answers
this question and in fact it would be a ground breaking discovery (Please
don’t forget to nominate me for Noble Prize :)). However, even if untrue
it is an honest attempt to resolve a mystery.
What is dishonest is denial that such faculty exists. We see that it
exists. We experience it our selves and these materialists lie to us in
our face claiming that it does not exist. And when they fail, they start
with their mockeries and character assassinations or rehash the tired
cliché: “we do not say it does not exist, what we say is that it is not
measurable and therefore irrelevant for science”
This is a double talk. On one hand they deny such thing exists and on the
other they claim it might exist but they can’t talk about it. These are
two different statements.
That is why I have little sympathy for this crowd. Not because they are
wrong. We all could be wrong and the one who lays claim to be right is
more wrong. I have no sympathy for them because they are deceitful,
mockers and hooligans.
Perhaps knowing the truth
will also help us use our own hidden potentials. Let us take the example
of faith healing. The pseudo skeptics deny absolutely that such thing can
exist. However we see the evidence. People go to churches, pagodas,
temples or for heaven sake even mosques and get cured of diseases that the
modern medicine has not been able to cure. Believe it or not people go to
the thumb or a thug like Khomeini and they get cured.
Denial and derision is not the
answer. Something is going on. If you are a true skeptic, you do not
listen to popular claim that Jesus, or Muhammad or Imam Hussain cured me.
The explanation that people give as to why they were cured is irrelevant
to you, but you do not deny that they got cured. You want to study this
case and find out the truth behind it.
Now we have the answer to this
phenomenon. Faith heals. People who believe they are being healed do get
healed. That is how placebo works. To test the potency of a new drug a
group is chosen, half of them receive the drug and the other half receive
the placebo which is basically made of starch and sugar packaged in the
form of the drug. Those who receive the placebo do not know it. They
think they are receiving the real thing and usually a big percentage of
them get the same benefits that those receiving the real drug get. The
efficacy of the drug is measured by comparing it to the placebo.
What is in placebo that makes
people better? Nothing! Then how is it that they get cured? It is because
they believe they are going to get better and so they do.
This proves that healing comes
from within and is triggered by our brain. In fact all healing come from
our brain. All what drugs do is, trigger the defense mechanism of the body
by stimulating the brain to release the endorphins and other chemicals
that would heal the body. This is also the way hypnosis works.
Belief is a powerful human
faculty. If we can tap into this, we can basically heal our selves at
will and overcome many other shortcomings. Despite
the dogmatic denial of the pseudo skeptics of the materialist persuasion,
today we are discovering that the body is not a biological machine made of
various independently functioning parts. More
and more scientists are realizing that our mental state can influence our
susceptibility to diseases. See
The benefit of
the discovery of mind/body connection is enormous and being able to tap
into this latent human power is exhilarating.
The pseudo skeptics with
materialistic persuasion are not after science or truth. They are
promoting a religion based on materialism. There is nothing scientific,
nothing logical and nothing rational about their belief. They are
believers in a dogma that is contrary to human reason and observable
facts. They fail in logics but excel in mockery and ad hominem.
The more we discover the world
around us the more we realize that there are realities that are not
spatial or physical. Today’s
new brand of materialism is the nonreductive materialism. It
affirms that psychological properties can be exemplified even in an
immaterial world. This is an extension of the reductive materialism that
holds every psychological property is equivalent or identical to a
conjunction of physical properties.
Appeal to Authority
An argument presented by some of these pseudo
rationalists in support of materialism is that since many scientists are
also ontologically materialists, therefore materialism is true. This is of
course a logical fallacy. The science has advanced through critical
examination of the facts which is a function of rationalism. The
materialistic doctrine of some of the scientists has no relevance in their
scientific achievements. There
are scientists who are religionists. Darwin was a religious man. It wasn't
his religious belief that led him to discover the evolution but his
critical thinking. The scientists’ belief has nothing to do with their
methodology in their study of science. If the methodology is correct,
correct scientific discoveries will be made, irrespective of the
epistemological views of the scientist.
Isaac Newton was a religious man. He was also a
genius. This is no proof of the validity of his religious beliefs. In the
same way the beliefs of the materialists has no relation to their
Science advances through a methodology that is critical and analytical. It
is not based on any belief system. One can be materialist or religionists,
communist or capitalist and if he uses the correct scientific methodology
he will come to the right conclusions.
It is a fallacy to claim that just because someone is right in one thing,
he must be right in all things or conversely if someone is wrong in some
things he is wrong in all things. .
An Appeal to Authority is a fallacy with the following form:
1. Person A is (claimed to be) an authority on
2. Person A makes claim C about subject S.
3. Therefore, C is true.
Newton was a great mathematician but that is no
proof that what he thought of religion was also true. Dawkins is also a
great biologist but his beliefs of materialism are not necessarily true.
This is the same kind of fallacy we saw being employed by pseudo skeptics
in this debate who berated Van Praagh for making a stupid statement about
skeptics to dismiss his ability as a psychic.
As we wrap up this debate on Being and Nonbeing, I
would like to answer the concern of some friends who expressed their view
that such debate has no relevance to the goal expressed by Faith Freedom
The truth is however, that it is not entirely
unrelated. At Faith Freedom we want to demonstrate the fallacy of Islam
and help Muslims leave this dangerous cult that is threatening the peace
of the world. However, Islam presents itself as a religion. This, of
course is not true. Islam is a political movement bent to govern not just
the minds of the people but also their lives and the entire world.
However, since Muslims still perceive Islam as a religion, the first thing
they would want to know is what alternatives are available if Islam is not
true. Other religions may not satisfy many Muslims who after leaving a
dogmatic and a fanatical belief may not wish to embrace yet another. So
the alternative for such people is between Islam and complete disbelief.
To make the disbelief appealing we have to present
it truthfully, logically and reasonably. If the only alternative to Islam
is materialistic dogmatism then it is difficult to convince Muslims to
leave Islam. It is easy to convince people to throw away the bathwater,
but it is not easy to make them throw also the baby along with it. Nature
hates vacuum. When we take away Islam from people, with all its lure of
the afterlife, spirituality and otherworldliness and replace it with some
patent lies of materialistic genre we have a very tough sell to make.
Basically what we are doing is replacing one lie with another. This is why
so many people resist making the plunge.
But if we are truthful to ourselves and to them, if
we show them that rationalism does not mean embracing another dogmatism,
that their inner senses do not lie to them, that if they are worried about
spirituality, they should not, because the world may have another spiritual
dimension, and we are not trying to sell another doctrine, it would be
much easier to convince them that Muhammad was a liar. It is easy to show
that Muhammad was a liar but it is not easy to convince them that their
own senses lie to them, that spirituality is hocus pocus and that mater is
all there is.
This is not just a matter of feel good factor but
rather a matter of being truthful to our own selves, our own intuition and
our own commonsense.
The best way to combat a lie is with truth, not with
another lie. This is one of the obstacles facing Muslims who may want to
leave Islam. They need alternatives. Other religions and materialism are
NOT attractive alternatives to everyone. Other religions do not satisfy
the apostate rationally and materialism does not quench his spiritual
thirst. Both spirituality and rationality are human faculties. If we want
to be whole, we have to satisfy both these needs.
Rational Spirituality is not a new doctrine. It is
the recognition of these two basic human needs. It is the acknowledgment
that we are spiritual beings but our spiritual guidance does not come from
someone else. It comes through our own rational thinking. No one can be a
guide to another person. We do not need prophets, messengers or gurus to
tell us what to do. We all have our own inner compass to find our own way.
We all have to learn to be prophets unto our own selves. All guidance we
need can be found in the interpretation of the Golden Rule.