The following post is a critique of an article written by Imran Khan (ex-Cricketer of Pakistan) called, “Why the West craves materialism & why the East sticks to religion.” The article can be accessed through this link: http://www.buzzvines.com/why-west-craves-materialism-why-east-sticks-religion-imran-khan
Although Imran Khan may have written a considerably decent article on this topic, I, personally, find lots of holes and contradictions in it. Hence, I find nothing intelligent about his arguments, simply because they’re nothing new and have already been heavily contended by many so-called moderate and liberal Muslims.
To start off, I find it rather crass for a man who has no knowledge whatsoever about evolution to go around saying that Darwin’s theories (which have now proven to be facts, in the recent book, by famous Evolutionary Biologist, Richard Dawkins, called The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution) are “half-baked.” And this is coming from a man who admits that he, himself, used to pick and choose from a religion that he had no prior knowledge of to begin with (and probably still IS doing the same thing without realizing it); and was further considering becoming an atheist. Hence, for him to say that Darwin’s theories are “half-baked” is a great insult to science, and to the many great intellectuals (unlike Khan), who have spent decades and decades researching this material and written numerous published books and theses, explaining and proving how evolution and natural selection occurred.
Moreover, science admits flaws and tries to find ways to rectify them. Science never claimed that whatever research or findings discovered are the *only* truth out there; no, that’s not what science is all about. It doesn’t need to prove to the masses about who is right and who is wrong. Otherwise, not only is that incredibly obtuse, but it completely undermines the purpose of scientific truth in the first place! Admitting flaws and coming up with new theories as facts is what science is aiming for, and guess what? They are doing a marvelous job with it! If it weren’t for science, we’d still be living in caves, forever stuck in the stone ages! Besides, so what if Darwin’s theory isn’t 100% accurate? Does that imply that evolution is a fallacy all together? Who are we to say that when we aren’t evolutionary biologists or scientists ourselves? Just because we don’t agree with something (or that it contradicts our religious beliefs), doesn’t mean that it’s not right!
I also do not, at all, agree with Khan’s reasoning that ALL morality has its roots in religion. Um, no, I’m sorry but that is a very incorrect assumption. While I agree that morality is one of the facets of religion, it is not necessarily rooted in it. Rather, morality is innate and has absolutely nothing to do with religion! And, although it’s true that *some* of it is influenced by religion, “religious morality” in itself is a very common misconception, because one can indeed live a perfectly moral life without religion. Hence, for Khan to find the roots of all morality in religion is highly erroneous for he is completely ignoring (or is oblivious) of the fact that morality predates religion, especially as he is describing it, is a very recent phenomenon in history. Humankind’s presence on the planet dates back millions of years! And it was only in the relatively very recent past that humans have now begun organizing their beliefs into formal religious rituals and practices. Thus, most of these morals are in fact evolutionary, and it’s not necessarily something that is or has to be taught. However, what religion does is that it *emphasizes* morals, and does not necessarily teach them. And besides, it is possible – very possible, actually – to be moral without religion. How this morality is achieved is simply through reason, which observes that human nature demands that we live not simply through random urges or through animal instincts, but by the faculty that distinguishes us from animals and on which our existence fundamentally depends upon: RATIONALITY. Take a look at Japan for example; that country has one of the lowest percentages (only 30% or perhaps even less) of the population that is religious. And yet, this is the most moral country in the whole world! They have the lowest crime rates, the lowest percentage of teenage pregnancies, and the lowest rate of pretty much any “immoral” thing you could possibly think of.
Hence, in his article, Khan is being very biased in that he only picks on the West, while completely ignoring a plethora of other countries that are far less religious but essentially moral. So, for Khan to go around saying that countries in the West, such as the US or UK are immoral, is not only extremely narrow-minded and uninformed, but it further proves that like every typical “religious” Muslim, he accuses the West of being the “land of infidelity,” knowing very well that despite being secular, the US still is a very, very Christian country. Thus, his very superficial analysis ends here. He fails to mention (or does not know) that it was, in fact, the development of the scientific method (which he maligns repeatedly), which eventually broke the hold of the clergy on public life and allowed for the Renaissance, the Christian Reformation, and the Enlightenment to lay the foundation of modern Western society as it exists today. It is also a little known fact that with the descent of Europe into the dark ages, following the decline and fall of the Roman Empire around the 5th century CE, it was the still young and dynamic new religion from Arabia whose rulers heavily encouraged their philosophers, intellectuals, scientists, and physicians to collect all known knowledge around the world at the time in their libraries and places of learning, critique it, analyze it, and develop new ideas. As a result, this kindled the light for knowledge and enlightenment during Europe’s dark ages and further allowed the beginning of the renaissance in the 13th century.
Nevertheless, the ironic thing is that before even picking on the West, perhaps Khan needs to first look at the country where he hails from and see just how immoral it is! Creating obtuse excuses and saying things like, “Oh Muslims are being selective, and are not following the real Islam” is sheer idiocy. Because the questions I then ask are: What is the REAL Islam? Can he safely say that he is following this “real” mysterious Islam that no one else in the world is following, because they’d rather be selective instead? Besides, saying that people only choose to follow selective parts of Islam doesn’t justify the mistreatment and murder of so many innocent lives!
Moving along, in his article Khan writes the following:
While science always tries to prove the inequality of man (recent survey showing the American Black to be genetically less intelligent than whites) it is only religion that preaches the equality of man.
It’s an inaccurate assumption that science always “tries” to prove the inequality of man. Science doesn’t need to try and prove anything; all it does is provide us with facts and evidence, in order for people to decide for themselves whether they’d want to agree with the evidence or not. Science is already proof itself, so it doesn’t need to “try.”
Lastly, Khan seems to contradict himself when he wrote that a society which obeys the fundamentals of Islam has to be a liberal one. The reason being is because the word “fundamentalism” is often associated with extremism, and extremism greatly contradicts moderates and liberals. Hence, a society that follows fundamental teachings of Islam can never be a liberal one, for in order for one to be liberal, they will have to be selective, which then implies that that person cannot be a “real” Muslim.
Anyway, to conclude, I just feel that it’s high time we stop with all these brainless excuses and try to find ways to put an end to such misery and suffering. Talk is cheap, when people don’t take any action to bring positive changes to a country that is crumbling right before our very eyes. I’m really sick and tired of people having to constantly play the blame game. No one is interested in knowing how one struggled with their beliefs, and that they were either selective or lacked the knowledge because they were lost/confused. If they think that they will get my pity for their pathetic personal stories, they can save it for the media whom, I think, would be way more interested in such futile drama.
And, so, I repeat again, it’s about time that people STOPPED making asinine excuses and started accepting things for what they are, rather than for what they ought to be! People need to wake up and start taking some action. The last thing we want is to be pulled further and deeper into this chimera of darkness.