Rationalists: The Beacon of Hope for the Humanity 

Jahed Ahmed

For the second time Mukto-Mona is celebrating 1st March as a �Rationalist Day�. Our readers�/writers� responses to our call for the articles have been overwhelmingly delighting and we feel proud about that. It also shows that rationalist movement is gaining a significant momentum across the globe, probably, more than ever before. Nothing could be a more soothing sign than this given the extent of bigotry, racial prejudices and the fanaticism that have been prevailing in politics, religion and other aspects of people�s every day lives. Yes, together, we, the rationalists, can make a difference.


     Unlike the believer of a certain religious or non-religious dogma, a rationalist is guided by his/her own conscience, collective human experience, good will and justice. A rationalist is always open to experimenting new ideas because the search for wisdom and knowledge never cease to exist for a rationalist. The moment one starts believing- his/her ideals are the most immaculate, or �divinely ordained�, the progress of the mind comes to a halt. However, that doesn�t make the rationalist a confused person. A rationalist is steadfast in his/her conviction that human problems must be solved using science, human reasoning, and NOT by using words of any GOD or, GOD�s representative. Are all rationalists atheists by definition?  To answer this question, a rationalist may feel tempted to quote the stand of American National Academy of Science on the question of God. Academy clearly maintains, �Science is completely neutral on the question of God�s existence.� Science is not �neutral� about anatomy, physiology, cosmology, chemistry, etc; why about God? That�s because in science myths, or beliefs have no place. If one claims, he/she has found a �miraculous cure� for cancer--for example, it doesn�t become science unless he/she is able to demonstrate the efficacy of the method/discovery by maintaining such universal scientific criteria as observational and experimental data, reproducibility of the results, etc.


     How does one become a rationalist? What association a rationalist should belong to? What books a rationalist should read?  Since �cult culture� has no place in the mind of a rationalist, a leader, or a �guru� is absolutely unnecessary to become a rationalist. Of course, a leader may be necessary to organize a rationalist movement, but not to become a rationalist. Similarly, rationalists have no scriptures. Reading different kind of books certainly is conductive to the nourishment of mind; however, to a rationalist, nothing qualifies as instruction unless and until it passes through the scrutiny of reason, love and the possibility of being of a greater benefit for the humanity. Not all academically trained people are rationalists. A skilled doctor, a brilliant attorney, a famous writer may not be a rationalist just by the virtue of their academic credentials. Academic education is a kind of training and may not always bring about the real enlightenment of mind.


     I don�t know when exactly the word �rationalist� was coined; however, I do know- it�s the rationalists who have brought about all the revolutionary changes during the course of human civilizations. Why should we care whether they were born to Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, or something else since they themselves didn�t? Isn�t it true that an Einstein belongs to whole humanity? It was just a coincidence that he was born to Judaism.


      Charity begins at home. Rationalist movement could start right at your home by instilling the lesson of love and reason above all everything else in the minds of your kids. Nothing could be a better service to humanity than enlightening our new generations with such lessons. Why not paving the way for a better world?  Greetings to you on this day, my rationalist friends and soul mates all over the world!!


New York



Jahed Ahmed is a moderator at www.mukto-mona.com


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