Saturday, March 8, 2014

Humanity and Religion (part 7)

-But language is not just meant for cursing. Language is a diverse system for communication, and cursing is just a small part of it. Language is a tool by which we organize our thoughts and feelings and knowledge, so they become something that is coherent and workable to certain extent. But language is limited nevertheless. But this limit is necessary, for in order for something to be coherent, there has to be a rule, a scope by which it works on, and this rule necessarily limits our language.

-The limitations in our language, coming together with our limited capacity of sensing and taking information from the world around us, makes our world nothing more than perception; We do not perceive the real world, what we perceive is just a world built out of language and sense. Thus, science, being reliant on our language and sense to work, is a human undertaking; the laws of physics may not actually be really real; it is just something that has been put in order by our language and sense.

-But to say that the law of physics may not actually be real is a large, almost anti-scientific statement. For it can be used as a negation to scientific progress, and this has happened before in Islamic society; the statement saying that Allah is the mover of the world has stopped many religious person to actually examine how the world works, because the answers are already ready-made in the form of Allah. The fact that Quran mentions the incident where people tried to burn Abraham with fire, but the fire didn't burn him even whilst he was engulfed in it, makes the attitude worse; for there is a subliminal attitude expressed here that Allah bends the laws of physics to His Will, and thereby the laws of physics, being the lesser rule, is not worth researching; thus the religious shifted their focus on God instead, missing a lot of opportunity in the process, the opportunity that was taken instead by the Europeans, thus the Europeans end up surpassing Muslims in a classic 'the turtle beats the rabbit' story.

-The limitations of language also poses a problem to the idea that God gives humans guidance in the form of scriptures. We hear of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis saying that each language is unique and thereby cannot be adequately articulated into another language; if this is indeed true, than Quran in all its glory, must not have been meant for every single human being; "this Quran is in Arabic so that you may understand it." It must have been meant for only the Arab-speaking people, because the only way that a message can be adequately conveyed is by preserving the language that serves as the medium. But that would run in contrary with the insistence that every human is equal in the eyes of God, and the belief that Quran is meant for every human being. Of course this would not be the case if the Sapir-Whorf  hypothesis is not true, but if it is not true, then why is it that the Muslims are banned from treating translations of Quran as Quran, if the translation is reliable? The answer; language is limited.

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