Archive for the ‘Virtuous vs Modern Morality’ Category

? (Suit your Own Caption)

June 24, 2018
Image result for Pic of Nikki Haley with Indian Israeli and US flags behind?
Unconsciously Nicky Haley spoke the truth when pulling out of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at the behest of three representing;  one by birth, second by choice and the third by association/implication, SAYING:–

“The world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape its scrutiny” & “disproportionate focus and unending hostility towards Israel–In fact– Palestine”

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Scientific Elaboration of Surah At-Tin (Fig) 95, verse 4

February 3, 2018

“We have indeed created man in the best of the moulds”

Image result for pic of microtubules

Sometimes back, I came across a scientific research about the evidence of God through the existence of design in molecular cell’s formation and functioning. The link to which is available below. This research mainly deals with the human development and functioning based on molecular activities. This research explains the above verse with amazing comprehensiveness.

“It is widely known that the DNA is a sophisticated information storage device; encoding complex specified information to make proteins, and directing many highly complex processes in the cell. What is less known, is that there are several other code systems as well, namely the histone*1 binding code, transcription factor binding code, the splicing code, and the RNA secondary structure code. And there is yet another astonishing code system, called the tubuline*2 code, which is being unraveled in recent scientific research. It is known so far that amongst other things, it directs and signals Kinesin*3 and Myosin*4 motor proteins precisely where and when to disengage from nanomolecular*5 superhighways and deliver their cargo. 

 Here is the link to the site to read through.

Molecular biology of the cell

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2096-the-astonishing-language-written-on-microtubules-amazing-evidence-of-design#3669

 

“We have indeed created man in the best of the moulds.”

The term “taqweem” means to form something into an appropriate shape and in a moderate regulation. The capaciousness of the meaning refers to the fact that Allah has created malt proportionately in all respects; from physical point of view; spiritual and rational point of view, because He has settled all faculties in him and prepared him appropriately to cover a great path towards a perfect development. Although man is a ‘microcosm’, He has set the ‘macrocosm’ in him and has promoted him to such a high position that it is said: “We have honored the sons of Adam…” (17:70)

This assertion has been aptly explained in another research paper which is as follows.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project (that mapped the human DNA structure) said that one can “think of DNA as an instructional script, a software program, sitting in the nucleus of the cell.”5

Perry Marshall, an information specialist, comments on the implications of this.

“There has never existed a computer program that wasn’t designed…[whether it is] a code, or a program, or a message given through a language, there is always an intelligent mind behind it.”6

Just as former atheist Dr. Antony Flew questioned, it is legitimate to ask oneself regarding this three billion letter code instructing the cell…who wrote this script? Who placed this working code, inside the cell?

It’s like walking along the beach and you see in the sand, “Mike loves Michelle.” You know the waves rolling up on the beach didn’t form that–a person wrote that. It is a precise message. It is clear communication. In the same way, the ing in our cells?

The reason why man is given such a coveted status and endowed with unparallel qualities is because the whole universe revolves around him. He is endowed with characteristics which are like that of the God Himself, such as knowledge, power, Hearing, sight, speaking, compassion and Wisdom. This has been elucidated in Surah Al Qiyamah,# 75, V-2 saying “Lo! We Created man from a drop of thickened fluid; so we made him hearing, and understanding” means endowed him with intellect and consciousness for the test. (The word “Taqweem” signifies setting something on the best of the foundations). Word “amshaj” (thickened fluid) in this verse expresses the combination of human cardinal humors/fluids, blood, phlegm, choler and melancholy, constituents of human semen (sperm).

Human beings rank higher than the Angels. A quote from my article “Mysteries of Creation” published on 02/04/2008. “There is very distinct and subtle difference between Human and Angels. The former bear the mysterious knowledge of the Creator and His Essence, along with the tendency to transgress. Whereas Angels have, only the knowledge of the entire spectrum of the creation with absolute servitude without any free will or desires” It is aptly summarized in Surah Bani-Israel 17, V-70 “And we bestowed dignity to the children of Adam (R.A)” “Dignity” in this verse implies the widest range of attributes and characteristics. Speech (with requisite eloquence for praising his lord) is one such attribute which distinguishes man from the rest of the creations. If a man knows God for thousands of years but does not confess would be virtually an infidel. (Not undertaking the pronouncement of the Article of faith). God has bidden all believers to give thanks and praise Him, rehearse His bounties, supplicate; He would answer the supplicants.

Yet another reason, which signifies man’s special position in the Universe, is his makeup:

Man is made of 10 constituents, 5 of which belongs to the Realm of the Divine-Ordinance (Aalame-Amar) and other 5 belongs to the Realm of Divine-Creation (Aalame Khalq).

These are Heart, Soul, Mystery, Secret, Secret of Secret—-&—–Dust, Water, Air, Fire and Self (Nafs).  This special formation of man endows him with the capacity to absorb the light of Divine Guidance; hence worthy of being vice regent of his Creator to whom angels were asked to prostrate in gratitude to their Lord, who created such a marvelous being.

It can be elaborated further by quoting parts of sufic interpretation of this verse.

“Mankind is the substance and the revolving (spheres are) his incidental (qualities).9

 “O you (man) (in regard to whom) reason, deliberations, and understanding (are) your slaves, why do you sell yourself (so) cheaply as this?1
“(Since) service toward you is an indispensable duty for all existence, how should a substance seek help from an incidental quality?” “You are the ocean of knowledge hidden in a dewdrop; you are the world hidden in a body three cubits long”
13 

  1. “We have honored [the sons of Adam]’: Qur’an 17:70. Here, the One God speaks in the “royal plural” tense– a verse interpreted by the Sufis to mean honored above all creation, including the angels, who did not know the “names” [the Names of God, according to the Sufic interpretation], which Adam knew, but the angels did not (Qur’an 2: 31-33). 
  2. “Primary aim [`araz](beseeching)… incidental (qualities) [gharaz](need): Nicholson translated, “Man is the substance, and the celestial sphere is his accident.” He explained the “celestial sphere” means “the world” [Footnote]. These two terms, which rhyme, refer to the philosophical difference between the essential substance of something and its “accidental” or external aspects which happen to manifest. Here, it means that the saintly man or woman is the primary end of creation,
  3. and the planets, stars, and the rest of the creation are secondary aspects”. 
  4.  “Why do you sell yourself (so) cheaply as this: Nicholson referred to another verse of the

Mathnawi (which he translated), “Man has sold himself cheaply: he was satin, he has sewn himself on (become attached) to a tattered cloak.” (III: 1001) And he explained that “a tattered cloak means “the body and the carnal nature.”.

At another place in Qura’an, in Surah Abas (Frowning) 80, V 16, 19 God questions man “Of what material have you been made, A drop of semen?” It is reminder of his humble beginning; then He declares how he destined him with attributes, faculties, and limbs and then made his way easy from that stage till his death. It is said that during the pregnancy a child is pre-destined of 4 things, sustenance, age, life style (sinful or pious) and his state of leading a happy or sad life. (H) The word “Qaddarahu” means everything granted to him was well calculated, measured, balanced and made to suit the purpose of his existence. A child is conceived and developed under three layers of darkness:  the belly, the womb and amniotic membrane.(whole process of conception revealed has been verified by medical science). 

 One of the wonders of man’s birth is that a few moments before the time of nativity the child is so located in the mother’s womb that usually its head is right side up, its face is to the mother’s back and its feet are toward the down side of the womb; but when the time of birth comes, the child turns upside down so that its head is downwards, and this very position makes the birth (process) easier for both the child and its mother. There are, of course, exceptions where some children are born under various complications therefore, their mothers encounter many difficulties.

 After studying the research presented and the above passages there should remain no doubt in any rational being’s mind about the God’s existence, His omnipotence, and Human-being being the most high in the chain of creation; which He has described as His vice-regent on the earth. (For, Man is not what eats, drinks, and suffers decays but a Divine mystery, of which body is the vesture, situated in the interfusion of natural humors and in the union of body and spirit). 

*Definitions of scientific terms used in this piece.   

Histones:–are highly alkaline proteins found in eukaryotic cell nuclei that package and order the DNA into structural units called nucleosomes.

Tubulinin molecular biology can refer either to the tubulin protein superfamily of globular proteins, or one of the member proteins of that superfamily.

kinesinis a protein belonging to a class of motor proteins found in eukaryotic cells.

myosin. (mī’ə-sĭn) A protein found in muscle tissue as a thick filament made up of an aggregate of similar proteins.

nanomolecular(not comparable) Describing any nanoscale process that involves the manipulation of individual molecules.

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Which Morality—Modern or Virtuous–is Right?

September 1, 2017
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (by Shakir Mumtaz January 2017)

(Morality based on common sense! Can common sense be trusted? Ethical Egoism says that “One person’s common sense may be another person’s naïve platitude” It is also called “revisionist theory” for it declares that “our common sense moral views may be mistaken, therefore, need to be changed”)

Morality predicates every facet of human life. It has always been, fervently, debated by the scholars and thinkers of almost all the societies, as to what constitutes morality, what should be its source and how its parameters should be determined and so on. I have therefore embarked on this interesting but multifarious topic to explore; by consulting various perspectives and sources, and present a cogent picture for the readers; to make up their own mind, after weighing for and against reasons and arguments.

Modern morality (or moral philosophy) has a rich and fascinating history. A great many thinkers have approached the subject from a wide variety of perspectives and have produced theories that both attract and repel the thoughtful people. Almost all the classical theories developed by philosophers of undoubted genius are, however, vulnerable to crippling objections. Hence, one is left wondering what to believe?

Derek Parfit, “Reasons and Persons” 1984 put it very aptly as “Non-religious ethics (Morality) is the youngest and least advanced” Thomas Hobbs, foremost British philosopher of 17th Century tried (unsuccessfully) to provide an alternative to Divine Philosophy*1 by arguing as follow. “Suppose we take away all the props for morality. We assume, first, that there is no God to issue commands and reward virtues; and second, that there are no moral facts built into the nature of things. Moreover, we deny that there is any sort of universal altruism built into human nature—we see people as essentially motivated to pursue their own interests. If we cannot appeal to God, moral facts or natural altruism, is there anything left on which morality might be found? After all this, he suggests an alternate, in the form of “Social contract” and commonly accepted mechanism (Govt.), to enforce the terms of the contract. Then he conjectures an untenable “state of nature”, insinuating absolute chaos, to support his hypothesis. “State of nature”*2 is governed by “the Laws of Nature” and Laws of Nature not only describes “how things are” but also “how things ought to be” as well. Things are always as they “ought to be” solemnly serving their natural purposes (Theory of the law of nature). He replaced God with altruism and moral facts and His command and control by an indispensable Government. Mundane and temporal end-result suggested was— “the gain of the benefits of social living”. This outrageous endeavor could simply be classed as a “Blatant Hobbesian Intellectual Egoism”{Dishonesty/Arrogance). After close scrutiny of this hypothesis, Thomas Hobbs is also found to be guilty of defying “the minimum conception of morality”. (By the way, Islamic theology makes use of “minimum conception” with respect to the performance of basic obligatory rituals, ensuring the salvation of the believers in the hereafter).

It might be of interest for the readers to know, that morality is not an issue as such in most parts; especially in predominantly monotheistic and polytheistic societies, of the world at all. Centuries-old religious ethos shaped their cultural traditions and social practices in consonance and the life goes on smoothly. The issue of morality, for the most part, arises when an equitable and just resolution is sought in the face of conflicting interests. It is generally thought that formulation of morality started from the Greeks. This treatise, therefore, would start from there; foregoing the issue of the actual origin of morality, which according to some sources goes back to Prophet Adam. Greek philosophers such as Pluto, Aristotle and Socrates and some other eminent scholars resorted to reason in formulating the moral laws of their time; while counting on the character to establish the virtuous traits of a man. Questions were framed as “What is the good of man?”, “What traits of character make one a good man?” This was happening 400 years before the time of Jesus Christ. With the spread of Christianity however, a new idea of “Law Giver” and “Obedience to His commands” was introduced. St Augustine, the most influential and prominent thinker of 4th Century, however, “distrusted the reason” and taught that virtuous life rests in the unwavering subordination to the commandments. From here on when the Christian Scholars, philosophers discussed the issue of virtues; it was within the context of “Divine Law”, and theological virtues including “Obedience” occupying the central place. On the contrary, Greeks gave “reason” the center stage. They viewed the “reason” the source of practical wisdom. Virtuous life for them was inseparable from the life of reason.

After renaissance, however, morality took another turn and Philosophers stopped turning to the Greek way of reasoning or Christian way of obedience to “Divine Law” but to its secular equivalent called “Moral Law”. “Divine Fiat” was replaced by “Human reason” and by following its directive would decide which actions are right? The question was changed from “what traits of character make a good person” to “what is the right thing to do?” “Virtue” was replaced by secular ‘rightness of actions” & “obligations” thereby promoting the element of individualism and self-interest (selfishness). Human reason gave rise to the conception of Hubristic “ought” as a standard for most advantageous actions; petrifying the Human-reason with inconsistency; hence similar reasoning was acceptable in one situation, but not in the other. Later moral theories from the seventeenth century onward; such as “Ethical egoism”, “Utilitarianism”, “Social Contract Theory”, all were developed and promoted in the same vein of individualism and self-centeredness.

Utilitarianism, in particular, proved to be the harbinger of Religion divested morality. A theory presented by David Hume (1711-1776) formalized by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), vehemently advocated by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) and his son James Mill. After the 18th and 19th century’s series of upheavals, America was a newly developing country and traditional morality was up in the air. Bentham’s conception of Religion divested morality; in conscious opposition to Christianity; especially for those escaping the Church of England’s persecution, proved to be a boon. He argued “Morality is not a matter of pleasing God, nor is it a matter of faithfulness to abstract rules. Morality is nothing more than the attempt to bring about as much happiness as possible in this world” Bentham was also given the assignment of reforming the laws and constitution of England along utilitarian lines. Needless to say that despite huge influence utilitarianism had severe flaws. One of its more developed forms, Act-Utilitarianism, recognized it to be a “radical doctrine” “that implied that many of our moral feelings may be mistaken” Ethical Egoism, as a “revisionist theory”, also asserted the same theme.

An Australian philosopher J.J.C Smart (1961) published a monograph, challenging the common sense (morality) as it cannot be trusted. His assertion challenges us to rethink matters that we have taken for granted. To accentuate the point further, here is the opinion of a Swedish Sociologist Gunner Myrdal which he gave after his classic study—American dilemma in 1944 ”There must be still other countless errors of the same sort that no living man can yet detect, because of the fog within which our type of Western cultures envelops us…”

Bentham and Mill were leading a revolution as radical as Marx and Darwin of 19th Century. To understand the radicalness of their theory an excerpt is quoted as “Gone are all references to God or to abstract moral rules written in the heavens. Morality is no longer to be understood as faithfulness to some divinely given code or to some set of inflexible rules” The concept of individualistic worldly happiness—known as “Hedonism”– was promoted. Mills introduction of the notion “Individual is sovereign” pushed it even further.

Kantian morality although, hovers around religious lines but; he seems to have circumvented God and religion; probably to prove that besides; all- encompassing God’s commands notion; there are rational and logical grounds on which Divine Morality could be asserted with the same potency. Kant however, abjured the serpent-windings of the Utilitarian theory because, he said, the theory is incompatible with human dignity. (God confers “dignity” to human—Qua’an 17:70). His formulation of “hypothetical Imperatives” VS “Categorical Imperatives” exposes the vainness of Modern Morality. It can, therefore, safely be deduced that most of these Religion-Divested Moral theories provide only plausible answers to the difficult questions, but lack the potency and conviction of Divine Morality– providing definitive solutions built in the rigor of observance of its rules and rituals. (All classic theorists, needless to say, hold not only opposing but critical views about Divine Morality).

Recent thinking on morality is ready to take yet another turn. Philosophers are debunking the ”Moral Law” theory as bankrupt and advocating radical idea to go back to virtue based Aristotelian Morality to salvage the subject. This idea was first floated by a British Philosopher G.E.M Anscombe in 1958; suggesting that modern moral philosophy is misguided because it rests on an incoherent notion of “law” without a “Law Giver” She further elaborated that the very concepts of obligation, duty, and rightness, on which the modern philosophers have concentrated their attention, are inextricably linked to this nonsensical idea. Therefore, she argued, we should return to Aristotelian approach, and virtue should once again take the center stage.

Philosophers in this camp share the opinion, that virtue-based morality is 
superior to the other kind of (Religion divested) morality because of the 
following reasons. 

1) Moral Motivation. Virtuous Morality is appealing because it provides a natural and attractive account of moral motivation while the other kind of morality falters on this account. It can be explained in terms of an example quoted, in Journal of philosophy in 1976, where the value of merit of morality was juxtaposed duty. In this case, a patient was visited by some friend; that made patient delighted but: when he found out that the visitor was just doing his duty and did not really come for him, the visit turned cold and bereft of moral value. The desire to do the right thing for the right reason and doing it out of an abstract sense of duty is not the same. 2) Ideals of Impartiality. Virtuous morality can accommodate partialities very well since it recognizes that some virtues are partial and some are not. It also recognizes that love of family and friends is an inescapable feature of the morally good life. Ideals of Impartiality in modern moral philosophy, however, do not add up. John Stewart Mill put the point very succinctly when writing about Utilitarianism that “Utilitarianism requires (the moral Agent) to be as strictly impartial as a benevolent and disinterested spectator”. A mother loves her children and cares for them in a way that she does not care for other children. “She is partial to them through and through”. Same is the case with friends and family members.

3) Divine Morality provides a pleasing practical “fit” between; – a) Impartiality of reason. b) Adherence to set rules for life, serving everyone’s interest. c) Fulfillment of our natural inclination and moral duty to care about others. Making morally behaving a natural dispensation. 4) An Anthropocentric view of Aristotle (and of many philosophers of ancient); which modern philosophers and scientists vehemently refute, has been categorically asserted in Qura’an. This assertion, in the same vein, also refutes the accusation of the human being as “vein-species”. https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/the-anthropocentric-character-of-the-universe-special-status-of-man-and-yet-his-denial-of-god/ Conclusion A trajectory of traits of both the schools of Philosophy has been presented above, making it easy for the readers, to weigh and decide for themselves.

  • 1Divine Philosophy—means virtue/religion based philosophy.
  • 2Always serving their purpose regardless of our favorable or unfavorable understanding of their operations.
  • 3 Moral philosophy and Modern Morality are interchangeably used.

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