Freedom and progress is born from the womb of 'science' not 'dogma'


Freedom and progress is born from the womb of 'science' not 'dogma'
by Iqbal Latif

History of freedom is a linked phenomenon, I see hands of science behind this waft of freedom all across Middle East. The remnant of the last ideological pillars faces their ultimate nemeses the new invented connectivity of the world challenging the established norms and traditions of desert.

The revolt against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, inspired by uprisings which toppled three Arab leaders in 2011, has taken a sectarian slant as most of the protesters trying to topple the president are Sunnis. Progress and freedom from the bazaars of the world cannot be bought over hate shelf, it is a way of life and a way of thinking that needs maturity and toleration, the prerequisites of such a maturity is the dumping of ideological fixations for the good of man.

Conundrum of Syrian action jolts the conscience of man, the callousness of Assad Jr. action shames Gaddafi obduracy and callousness; but little changes in the part of the world where 1400 years old schism between Islam is now being fought by the proxies of Iran like Alawites of Syria backed by secular Russians and Chinese as a part of the great game of protecting their soft bellies of 'Strait' oils from influence of Western alliance. The clannishness, secrecy and tenacity of Syria's power elite around Assad have deepened Sunni Muslim suspicions about the enigmatic Alawite faith. Iranians support of Assad is based on ideological proximity and Iranian last bastion and land connection to Middle Eastern trouble makers the Hezbollah's of Lebanon. An oppressed minority for most of their history, Alawites suddenly cemented their control in Syria in 1970 when Assad's father Hafez staged a coup that sidelined the Sunnis. He built a ferocious security apparatus based on fellow Alawite officers.

Assad is from Syria's minority Alawite sect and critics say the president has filled senior political and military posts with Alawites to impose his rule through sectarian loyalty. Sunnis Muslims make up 74 percent of Syria's 22 million population, Alawites 12 percent, Christians 10 percent and Druze 3 percent. Ismailis, Yezidis and a few Jews make up the rest. Alawites are an offshoot of Shi'ites. Some other Muslims, particularly in Syria and Lebanon, accept them as Muslims, but others consider themheretics (ghali). Nations with no respect for science ,logic and reason will have no toleration and freedom either.

Religious fervour and inclinations of any state will lead to more complications. Man’s affair with God is his private matter; the states that sponsor the 'link' with man and god through enterprise of state ensures discrimination of attitudes to those who fail to ascribe to the version of the mullahcracy or clergy. Until papal bulls ran the affairs of Europe, no renaissance was plausible. It was only after papacy was bundled to Rome that renaissance appeared. Let's witness how science helped progress the freedom of mind! Thinkers and scientists like Galileo and Newton are fathers of Enlightenment.

The greatest mind Archimedes and Newton are amongst the greatest minds, they are the real prophets who have helped changed the trajectory of human progress. The ability of man to think freely helped Newton in Cambridge to write 'Principia Mathematica.' The Principia states Newton's laws of motion, forming the foundation of classical mechanics, also Newton's law of universal gravitation, and a derivation of Kepler's laws of planetary motion which Kepler first obtained empirically. The Principia is "justly regarded as one of the most important works in the history of science”.

It was Archimedes, Galileo's and Newton's conception of the Universe based upon Natural and rationally understandable laws that became one of the seeds for Enlightenment ideology. Locke and Voltaire applied concepts of Natural Law to political systems advocating intrinsic rights; the physiocrats and Adam Smith applied Natural conceptions of psychology and self-interest to economic systems.

For the greatest genius ever, one has to go with Archimedes. In Archimedes time only mathematical notation that existed was Euclid’s geometry. Euclid's book on mathematics was the text book for mathematics for most of the world thousands of years with no changes or additions until Newton when calculus was added. Archimedes was 1500 years ahead of his time no one during his time could decipher the mysteries of nature and maths. Archimedes was probably the greatest mathematician that has ever lived. His work was not fully understood by the mathematicians over 1000 years after he was dead. Archimedes was working on Limits and started to develop Calculus.

The Roman soldier who killed Archimedes in reality delayed science by at least 1500 years. Archimedean Calculus 1500 years before Newton invented may have helped develop internal combustions engine far earlier. Albert Einstein benefited a lot from work of Riemann and Maxwell’s. Riemann tried to develop a gravitational theory with curved space, that helped Einstein realize to look at space-time not space. Maxwell’ sans Einstein would not have developed special relativity. Einstein was a great genius, but not amongst greatest of the other two.

Still 1500 years later Newton is credited as one of the two greatest as he developed physics and calculus, during a time when most people during his time were still burning witches and thought plagues was punishment from God. When Newton didn’t have the mathematics required to his work in physics, he invented calculus. Once man had Calculus man mastered the rates of change and Newton's Physics changed the world.

The language of calculus as we know it was largely absent from the Principia; Newton gave many of his proofs in a geometric form of infinitesimal calculus, based on limits of ratios of vanishing small geometric quantities was properly defined, man was able to design internal combustion engines, the harnessing of forces of nature in designed environment through our intelligence produced the productivity boost that helped human population and productivity stagnated since last two millennia to jump exponentially. Human population was 210m in around 100 AD and until 1000 AD increased to 270m from 1000 AD to 1800 AD the population increased to 900 m but after that in 200 years we are 7 billion and much better off.

People ask why we question instituted truth. Legitimacy of so-called 'established truth' is the cause of intellectual self-indulgence and degeneracy of ideas. What is fossilisation of mind? It is the worst ailment that affects most of us, but we rarely go to any specialist to seek help. Our clergy and soothsayers become our authority to seek remedies from malady of thoughts; they straitjacket us into thousands of years-old hold of incoherent fables and ask us to follow those for eternal nirvana; we create our own divisions of man based on antiquated ideas from scriptures, though it is just a matter of time we all as humans shall be one.

It is stagnation of mind that destroys balance of humanity. It is the established wisdom that needs to be questioned; any thought that abhors free enquiry based on rationalism and reason does not deserve to survive. Hierarchy of deceit that is imposed by the orthodoxy of established clergy is first to be challenged on all occasions. When someone talks about progress of a society I will ask them where their philosophers, thinkers and writers are; why are they not questioning; where is enquiry sitting on the list of their priorities. If one doesn't openly question the root of ills of our society, he becomes part of the ill. Anyone who is liked by everyone has to question this universal likeness. Once someone showed me how universally he is liked and I saw a coward right in front of me; idol smashers are not conformists but iconoclasts.

Today we need to talk about precise, surgical operations that are needed to cleanse this rampant puritanical streak of self- righteousness. It is not Islam-phobia to question cause and effects of delay in the emergence of renaissance and actions to overhaul antediluvian thinking processes; it is only through volte-face and restructuring that we will be able to eradicate from the organic body of 'political Islam' tentacles of its enormous fanatic infrastructure. We need our unwavering resolve to question and condemn the ills of lunatics and fringe killers who have taken upon themselves to make this earth heaven by making it hell for everyone.

Reform and revolution bring a change of direction and thinking does not multiply ignorance, debauchery, depravity and transgression. Revolution of 'Protestantism' owes its birth to corrupt Papal practices. Indulgence credits of the old days are like the Carbon credits of today: In the dark ages, when Papacy held control of men's consciences and few dared to think, one method which she practiced to supply herself with money was the sale of indulgences. The indulgence was a permission to sin and yet be free from its consequences. It is recorded that Pope John XII granted "ninety thousand years of pardons for deadly sins" for the devout repetition of three prayers written in a chapel in Rome. It was the sale of these future indulgences for money which awakened and aroused a few such honest souls as Luther and gave rise to the Reformation movement, called Protestant, because of their protests and objections to this and other evils recognized in Papacy.

The slide of nations in the 21st cradle of revolutions in the Middle East cannot be arrested by half measures of 'lesser dose of religion' rather an eradication campaign aimed at revolution to be democratic and freedom akin to the passage of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen! And any revolution led by reactionaries who perpetrate continuity of 'doctrine and faith' that has lost all significance will just fade away or result in Robespierre and the Jacobinians’ anarchy.


more from Iqbal Latif

As the great American physicist and Nobel Laureate..

by Sassan1 on

As the great American physicist and Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg has said, "With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

Iqbal Latif

Thanks a lot Maryam..

by Iqbal Latif on

Our thoughts are prisoners of our mindset, we should be grateful to be born with the gift of free thinking.

Iqbal Latif

You use too many latin terms, have you published this somewhere

by Iqbal Latif on

1. Take the example of EtTu, Allah... few words can encapsulate history of man. 

2. No, I write as a hobby only. I write for my self-education to learn events the way I see them, fortunately most of the time my ideas do not have a popular mileage. I do revisit my earlier articles to see if I was right or wrong. Like this one in 2004..

Islam has become a hostage to insane lunatics, out for revenge on their losing battles through the blood of innocent people. In the name of "Allah" all kinds of inhuman atrocities are being carried out. How come "Muslim blood" is being targeted, becoming collateral damage in the jihad against infidels? The present set of attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan are aimed at maiming terrorists own ideological next of kin; Muslims, killed by their own Muslim brothers in name of Jihad! What kind of Jihad is this? The moderate Islamists lament with pain, " Et Tu Allah?." EtTu, Allah... 


Maryam Hojjat

Mr. Latif, Great blog of enlightenment

by Maryam Hojjat on

Thanks for writing regularly great article for our enlightenment.


Amazing Essay

by radius-of-the-persian-cat on

Dear Mr. Latif,  you wrote a great essay. I think your family name "Latif" has seen many educated and tought members (Professor Mojib Latif is director of a German institute of climate research).

I very much enjoyed your thoughts about the power of science, the long struggle for enlightment and against religious dogmatism. But to be honest, you used too many latin terms (I had to look up most of them in my Brittanica). But it was worth it.


PS: Have you published this somewhere ?