Friday, 9 January 2015

What is truth anyway ?

I agree with Dr Hassain that the pen can be used for the good of humanity and also to ruin it. However mistaken ideas won't harm you if you recognize their error. It can actually be quite amusing to look back at the earlier ideas in science and religion which are now shown to be wildly wide of the mark.
People round the world need to spend their time reading through the whole spectrum of ideas instead of doing physical or verbal violence to others.
I like the riddle in Matt 5v43 "You have heard it said 'Love your neighbour and hate your enemy' but I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"
Sometimes it is difficult to know who is your friend and who is your enemy. Can a friend sometimes give advice that isn't in your best interests and can an enemy sometimes give advice which would be good for you? Is truth always our friend, do lies always harm ? What is a lie anyway, something not quite true ? How can we work out what is true ? Maybe we experience a mixture of love and hate towards those around us depending on what they have just done. We agree with somethings our spouse says and disagree with other things they say.
By the scientific method which has evolved over the last few hundred years our knowledge of the world about us has advanced greatly. We have discovered millions of bits of information about the natural world which the Koran could have predicted but didn't. Neither the Bible nor the Koran predicted the industrial revolution nor any of the technology essential to 21st century civilization. The scriptures did not advise how to make optical lenses for correcting eyesight nor did they describe how to build microscopes or telescope in order to discover things like germ theory or stellar parallax.
Religion tried to gain healing through prayer but modern medicine uses a system of repeatable experiments: Make the medicine, administer and hey presto the person gets well, if the medicine does not work then try altering the drug or make another one..
It is quite interesting to read through the Koran. This can be done at skepticsannotatedbible/quran website. I just looked up Surah 68 and I see that in verse 2 Mohammed tries to assert that he is not mad but everyone else who rejects his message is:
"68:2 Thou art not, for thy Lord's favour unto thee, a madman.
68:5 And thou wilt see and they will see
68:6 Which of you is the demented.
68:15 That, when Our revelations are recited to him, he saith: mere fables of the men of old. 
68:16 We shall brand him on the nose.
68:51 And lo! those who disbelieve would fain disconcert thee with their eyes when they hear the Reminder, and they say: Lo! he is indeed mad;"
In fact I think the term "mad" is not helpful because the advances in human knowledge have been hard won by careful observation and sometimes lucky breaks. For many things there is no clear answer but just many possibilities. Isn't each of us a mix of brilliant & mistaken ideas. How can we escape the worst ideas which would ruin us ?
See website,"Scientific Errors in the Qur'an"

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