My good friend Avijit Roy, the founding moderator of the Internet�s Bangladeshi forum of freethinkers and rationalists  and a Research scholar of the National University of Singapore wrote to me and announced that the Bangladeshi freethinkers have decided to dedicate and celebrate the first day of March as the �Rationalist Day�.

Here is that declaration: 

He was kind enough to ask me for one of my articles on rational thinking to be published in their forum for the occasion.

I feel honored for the invitation. However since I did not have anything written specifically on this subject I wrote the following:


What it Takes to be a Rationalist

By Ali Sina

Not everyone who rejects religion can be called rationalist. To be rationalist one has to reject dogmatism. However, what is dogma is not well defined. 

The dictionary definition of dogma is:

1: a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof

2: a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative; 

Dogma is not just the domain of religion. Blind belief in the undisputed authority of any thing is considered to be dogma. For example Marxism is a dogma even though it denounces religion and claims to be based on science. 

Any authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, when it is considered to be absolutely true is dogma. Once you accept something without enough evidence or reject something despite the evidence because it contradicts your notion of reality and truth you are dogmatic. 

Is it possible for rationalists to be dogmatic too? 

Yes it is possible. Not all those who claim to be rationalist are so. For example a Marxist would vehemently deny being dogmatic. He thinks Marxism is the ultimate form of rationalism. As a matter of fact no one, not even the most close-minded religionist, thinks of himself as a dogmatic. Everyone thinks he is a freethinker and rationalist. 

So what are the parameters to define rationalism? How can we know whether we are truly rationalist or we are dogmatic? 

The answer is in the definition of dogmatism. As self-proclaimed rationalists we can easily dismiss the claim of the religionists that their belief is rational. Once you believe in something without evidence, you believe in a dogma and hence you can�t be called a rationalist. Take the example of creationism, the resurrection of Jesus, the ascension of Muhammad to the seventh heaven on the back of a winged steed, and many other religious beliefs of this kind. They are all dogma because not only there is no evidence for them; they are contrary to logic and science. It must be mentioned that the religionists' response is that their belief is not irrational but it "transcends" rationality. I have not figured out what this really means except being a save face and a feel good factor. For example is trinity an irrational dogma or does it transcend rationality. It depends whom you ask. The point is no believer would want to be labeled as irrational. 

The Marxists' belief in the dialectical materialism or the Nazis� belief in Atlantis and the Super Race are all based on improvable beliefs and although they are not religious they are equally dogmatic and as we witnessed they were equally dangerous.  

Now what about the scientists? Can scientists be dogmatic? 

Of course they can. Take the example of evolution. This is purely science. At the same time that Darwin was presenting his theory of evolution through natural selection, Jean Baptiste Lamarck was proposing a different concept of evolution. His understanding of the fundamental mechanism for evolution was that fluids move through the body to areas of activity and enlarge the most active parts of an organism. As the result children inherit the changes that occur in their parents. Now this theory is completely discredited. The Nazis however, held Lamarckism as the dogma and made it the basis of their campaign to create their utopian Superior Race, which led to tremendous atrocities, as the history is witness. 

So as you see, even the scientists can be as much dogmatic as religionists. 

Well, how can we determine whether we are dogmatic or not? There is of course an easy way to find out. Nevertheless, not everyone is able to acknowledge it. For example it is very easy to prove that the religious books are fables, irrational, unscientific and the belief in them, is dogmatism. But try to convince a religious believer that he is dogmatic. What you think would be his response? 

Likewise, I can prove that many self-declared rationalists and freethinkers are not rationalists or freethinkers but are as dogmatic as when they were religionists. All they have done is they changed their religion. Their religious attitude of denial and belief is not changed. 

Denial and belief are the two characteristics of religious people. For example a religious person would deny any thought that may be contrary to his faith and of course would believe anything that agrees with it. A Christian fundamentalist would categorically deny the evidence about evolution because it contradicts what his sacred book says about creation. He is still referring to evolution as a �theory�. This is denial. He also believes that the first humans walking on Earth were Adam and Eve who were created and molded by God in his own semblance and then kicked out of paradise. There is absolutely no evidence for this belief, yet he is not concerned about evidence. He would accept anything that is written in his sacred book with no ifs or buts. This is belief. 

Both denial and belief go hand. They are the twin pillars of dogmatism. For a believer, his sacred book is the ultimate measure of right and wrong. He would believe anything that agrees with that book and rejects anything that disagrees with it. 

Dogmatism is not what we believe; it is the attitude of denial and belief. For example, you may believe that one day there was life on Mars even though you have no proof of it. This is not dogmatism. The fact is that we don�t know. This could be true as it could not be true. I suppose the Spirit and the Opportunity; our two Mars-rovers, now safely landed on the red planet, will tell us the truth eventually. Suppose I say there was life on Mars one day but then I am proven wrong, that does not mean I am dogmatic. However, if I insist that there is life on Mars, without having any evidence to back up my claim, or deny the evidences found to the contrary, I would be dogmatic. Dogmatism is not in what we believe. It is in our attitude. 

Do some self proclaimed rationalists and scientists have dogmatic attitude? 

Yes they do. If you deny the evidence of things that you do not understand and try to dismiss them, explain them away, intellectualize and justifying them denying the evidences because they contradict your sacred belief, which in this case could be your limited understanding of science, you are, of course, dogmatic. In this case science or your limited understanding of it becomes your dogma. 

Many, or perhaps it is safe to say most, self-proclaimed rationalists and scientists fall into this category.  As a matter of fact, true rationalists and freethinkers are rarer than diamond in a coal mine. Now, of course, this is not going to sit very well with the majority of the delusional rationalist wannabes. Just as if you call a religionists, "dogmatic" he will attack you, these self proclaimed rationalists would lynch and pillory you if you dare questioning their "religion" and their sacred belief. 

What is the name of the rationalist's religion? 

Rationalists do not believe in any religion. What we are talking about are the pseudo rationalists who call themselves rationalists and skeptics. To them science is a religion. Yes, indeed, science can be a substitute to religion. These people have not renounced their religion. They simply have changed it. They are still caught in denial and belief just as when they were religionists. They are still as much dogmatic, as when they were believers.

We already saw that you do not need to believe in God to be dogmatic. The Marxists were atheists and yet were just as dogmatic as religionists. Likewise, you do not need to believe in a religion to be dogmatic. You may even renounce religions, and remain just as dogmatic as before. 

Dogmatism is an attitude not a belief. Rational Thinking also is an attitude. It is the WAY you think, not WHAT you think that determines whether you are a rationalist or a dogmatic, a freethinker or a fanatic. What you believe or not believe is irrelevant --it is your attitude. That attitude is denial and belief. If you believe in anything or deny anything with no proof and evidence, you are dogmatic. 

The requisite for rationalism is doubt. Doubt everything! Everything means everything. We all know how to doubt things that we already do not believe. That is not rationalism. To be a rationalist you have to doubt your own cherished beliefs not someone else�s. Even a Christian fundamentalist can tell you that he doubts the theory of evolution. That does not mean that he is rationalist. If you want to be a skeptic, you must be able to doubt your own beliefs not the beliefs of others that you already dismiss as untrue. 

You can�t be called skeptic or rationalist if all you can do is to dismiss the beliefs that you do not agree with already. This is not what skepticism is about. If that were the requisite for being a skeptic then everyone is skeptic of something. What entitles you to be called skeptic when a Christian fundamentalist also is skeptic of many things that you believe such as your idea in evolution?  You can only be called a skeptic if you can doubt your own beliefs. 

Do you believe that science has the answer to all the human questions? If your answer is yes then you are a dogmatic? Science is growing. The science of 100 years ago is not the same science of today. We are constantly discovering new realities that were unknown to us. The science is evolving and changing. What seemed to be science fiction yesterday is a reality today. Recently scientists have found a way to make living cells talk to computer chips. When I was a child I used to watch the six million-dollar man and think of it as fantasy. Now that fantasy can become a reality may be in my own lifetime. When I was a child I was told that meditation is hocus-pocus and psychosomatics is fairytale. Now, science is discovering new frontiers in the mind body connection and medical science is beginning to take advantage of it. 

As rationalists we should not dismiss things that we do not understand. Rationalism is not yet another religion with science as its dogma. Science is evolving and there are realities that today�s science cannot explain, but tomorrow it may. There are evidences of phenomena for which today�s science has no answer. Take the example of aurora borealis. The early science was not able to explain it. How they were created? Where ghosts playing with flashlights? It was a phenomenon that was unexplainable. But it was absurd to deny it just because that day�s science could not explain it. 

Many people have witnessed phenomena that today�s science cannot explain. There are those who claim to have seen ghosts, UFOs, big foot or big snake- like creatures in the sea. Now most likely these are all the product of human imagination. But are we sure? Is there a possibility that any one of these apparitions could be true? If not, why not? Here is what skepticism is needed. We have no proof that all these claims are false. There have been many publicity-seekers and pranksters that have forged  �evidences� that can easily be dismissed. This does not invalidate the claim of those honest and sane people who say that have seen things that can't be explained scientifically. 

What shall we do with these claims? What should be the position of a true rationalist? Should he believe in these claims? Where is the solid evidence? Should he dismiss them all? Again where is the solid evidence? Are these claims absolutely impossible? Is it impossible for a humanoid, ancient relative of man, to have survived somewhere in the woods? Is it im possible that some intelligent creatures, from a distant planet have made their way to our planet, swishing in our skies with their flying spaceships that looks like saucers? Is it im possible that there could be a parallel world to ours with different dimensions. Is it impossible that the we may have a spiritual dimension and that the ghosts apparitions are flashes of that spiritual dimensional world crossing our three dimensional world? Is it im possible that a rare creature in the depth of the seas is yet undiscovered but occasionally is spotted by some seamen? The answer is, that all these phenomena are highly improbable. But improbable does not mean impossible. Until we do not have the evidence to dismiss them altogether, we should not deny the possibility that they could be true.   

Now a cynic may say then perhaps we should not dismiss the possibility of the existence of two headed dragons, the elves and the genies. Remember, we are talking about possibilities. Fairy tales are impossible. The above examples are improbable but not impossible. 

The point is that there is nothing illogical or absurd in any of these claims even if they seem to be outlandish. The fact that today�s science has no explanation for them is no proof that they are hocus-pocus. They are improbable, but still possible. 

The closest solar system to us is four light years away. It is very unlikely that creatures from other solar systems could ever have made it to our system and our planet. Based on what we know of science today, the interstellar travels are fantasies. However, we do not know much of the science. The future science may discover ways that would make interstellar travels a reality. Improbable? Yes! Impossible? No! As rationalists we should know the difference. 

   Is it possible that we humans may have another dimension to us that could survive after we die? We have little proof for that. There is no scientific evidence for that. However, can we dismiss this possibility completely, mock those who claim to have had out of body or near death experiences, or have witnessed ghost apparitions? Can we call all these people lunatics, or accuse them of having active imagination? 

How can we be so sure? You believe in the science and nothing else when science is constantly evolving and changing. Isn�t this dogmatism?  Isn�t this denial? If you dismiss anything that is contrary to your limited understanding of science how can you blame the religionists that dismiss anything that is contrary to their sacred book? 

There are phenomena that our science cannot explain. Take the example of the crop circles. These circles have even appeared in frozen lakes with thin ice that would not allow anyone to walk on them. Some people, for the sake of publicity have made some sloppy circles and have shown how they made them. This is not proof that all these crop circles are hoax. Some of these shapes are so intricate that it is absurd to think they were made by humans, overnight and without anyone seeing them. These designs appear everywhere on the planet. The science has no explanation for them. What should we do as rationalists? Should we just dismiss them, explain them away with absurd and implausible theories? Should we attribute them to some extraterrestrials? Are they natural phenomena? The correct answer is that we do not know and therefore we should not try to pass opinions of things that we do not know. 

Not everything should fit into our mold of thought and preconceived ideas. Just as the religionists should be humble and admit that their sacred book does not have answer to everything, we, the rationalists, must humbly accept that our science is at its infancy and it does not have the answer to all the questions. 

The Soviets used to send their dissidents to the psychiatric hospitals. Anyone who disagreed with their dogma was considered to be insane and needed treatment. Today the self-proclaimed rationalists are just as arrogant as the Soviet rulers were during the cold war. They mock anyone who claims having seen something that they do not understand and their sacred book of science, does not have an answer for. 

You can�t just call yourself a rationalist if you do not know the principles of rational thinking? If you BELIEVE, you are not a rationalist. The content of your belief is irrelevant. You could believe in a religion, in a god, in many gods, in no god, in no religion or in science. As long as you are a believer you are not a freethinker and hence you are not a rationalists. 

This does not mean that you should accept things that are proven to be false. For example Muhammad certainly did not ascent to heaven riding on a pony. This is illogical. It is absurd and ridiculous. Where is that heaven? How he could get there with a winged horsy? He certainly did not split the moon. These are fables that he concocted to fool the gullible people of his time. We do not have to doubt whether a belief is true when it can easily be proven to be false.  Anything that can be proven to be false is false. End of the argument. 

What about the existence of God as a person or a being?  

This is a belief that also can be proven to be false. The belief in God as someone who listens to you, someone who answers your prayers and cares for you is not tenable logically? In a catastrophe such as in an Earth tens of thousands die, the few who survive say God saved them. Isn't this absurd? Why God did not save others? Where is God when so many innocent people, including children die of aid, famine, violence or natural disasters?  

We can easily prove that such "personal" god does not exist. Consider for example the Epicurus riddle: 

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?


This simple logic is unbeatable. 

A pseudo rationalist friend on mine tried to dismiss this logic and wrote: 

"As an atheist, even I can answer this: Muslims basically do think that their God is malevolent, since he makes disbelievers drink boiling water. If you want to change his name from God to Satan, that's fine by me. This in no way constitutes proof for the absence of a God. He may well be malevolent, or maybe he can do only one thing at a time. E.g. if you have kids, are you able to control all your grandchildren all the time? Who knows. What you CAN say is that if there is a God, there is no evidence to suggest that he interferes on the earth."

This is the typical irrational and dogmatic reasoning we can see in religionists. As you can see even the self-proclaimed rationalists are not immune to irrational thinking. 

First of all Muslims do not think that their God is malevolent even though Allah is definitely a malevolent god. Muslims think that their god is merciful and all the sadism attributed to him in the Quran are not seen as cruelties by Muslims but as divine "justice". After all Muslims are the epitome of irrationality. 

Secondly, all the believers in God think that their God is omnipotent. Therefore according to them their god is multi tasking and does not need to abandon some of his kids to attend to his other kids. So the premises presented by my "rationalist" friend to refute the above argument is baseless. This is how irrational people justify their irrational beliefs --their premises are often wrong. 

We can dismiss God as a being, logically. I don't believe in God because it just makes no sense. It is contrary to reason and logic. I do believe, however, in a principle underlying the creation. This universe must be governed by a set of laws, or perhaps a single law that is expressed in many ways. This does not imply that there must be a lawmaker per force. 

2+2 = 4. This is a natural law. Do we need a legislator to making this into a law? Suppose there was no universe, no God and nothing existed. Would in that non-existing world two plus two add up to anything else but four? Laws can exist, even if the universe and God do not. And since the laws governing the universe can exist independent of God, the existence of God becomes redundant. It is much more logical to believe in the self-subsistence of the laws of the universe than in a god making those laws. If you can�t accept the laws existing on their own without a creator, how can you accept the existence of a god without a creator?  The former is logical, the latter is a dogma.

So, �doubting everything�, does not license everyone to hold fast unto his or her spurious belief because they might one day be proven to be true? That is not rationalism at all. If something is proven to be false, then upholding it is irrational. The Earth is round. This is a fact and is proven to be true. You can�t doubt the roundness of the Earth and claim that since we have to doubt everything, then we should not dismiss the possibility that the Earth could be flat. Once something is proven to be a fact then we do not need to doubt it anymore.

The same thing can be said about the evolution. Even though the evolution, when first was presented, was just a theory, it is no more. We have ample evidence and proof that evolution is a fact. We can�t doubt evolution anymore because the evidence is overwhelming. We do not believe in evolution nor we doubt it. The evolution is now part of our knowledge. We KNOW it.

We must doubt things for which we have little evidence but once the evidence is presented, whether in support or against it, then there is no room for doubt anymore.  At that time we leave doubt and enter the domain of knowledge -- not faith, but knowledge. 

By the same token, we can�t dismiss things that can�t be proven or disproven. As long as things are not entirely illogical or impossible, there is a chance, even though that chance could be minimal, based on what we know of science today, that they could be true. 

In other words, if you disbelieve in ghosts, UFO�s, or big foot vehemently, you are just as much dogmatic as those who believe in them. When there is no evidence neither in support nor against something, the right attitude is not to hold any unwavering belief. 

The challenge facing us rationalists is not to dismiss things that we do not understand or things that do not fit into our mental mold. Our challenge is to get rid of �belief� itself and learn to doubt. Our job is not to uphold the infallibility of the holy science when we know that science is yet at its infancy and there are many things that we still do not understand. Our job is to think out of the box. Yes, even out of the box of the science and accept the fact that there may be realities that are simply out of the realm of today�s science. 

These realities, should not contradict logic or science. If they do, they must be dismissed, but if they don�t they should be considered as possibilities. Event though these possibilities are improbable, as long as they are possible they are valid as such. Science should not fall into the quagmire of dogmatism. We can�t just dismiss things that we do not understand.  

A society of some self -proclaimed skeptics has offered a million dollars to anyone who could  prove any paranormal claim "scientifically". That is ludicrous. It just shows the limited imagination of these believers in the dogma of science disguised as skeptics. They can be likened to someone challenging you to measure the temperature with a measuring tape. Science can measure the world of matters. It can't scale things that may be of immaterial substance for example feelings. This is no proof that paranormal is a reality that should be taken seriously. We have no evidence to make such claim. My purpose here is to show that the believers in science are no more rational thinkers than their religious cousins. 

Recently I was talking with one of my readers about dreams, telepathy and the fact that some psychics seem to be able to contact with dead people.  

I told him about a program I saw on CCN's Larry King show where the guest, James Van Praagh  received tens of calls during the show and he could tell them personal things about the dead person they were enquiring about that the callers could recognize. Not all his �readings� were general descriptions that could be applied to everyone. For example, he told Larry King that his father had died in a factory. Considering, in so many places a person can die, this must have been a really good guess. Larry King was of course impressed. I thought the chance of this person just guessing things about all his callers was really slim. As a non-dogmatic rational thinker, I cannot dismiss this as coincidence. My dogmatic pseudo rationalist friend was unable to admit that there could be something that could defy the conventional logic of the materialistic rationalism. He insisted that it must have been coincidence, even though the odds are extremely low. 

I told him that many police departments use the services of some good psychics to solve crimes. If they did not have any result they would not do such thing. He had no answer to that. People like him can always bring the example of a charlatan posing as a psychic to prove that psychic power does not exist.   

I told him about a strange incidence that happened to myself when I was a university student. One summer night I was reading a book while my sister was sleeping in the adjacent room. I heard noises coming from her room. She was groaning as if having a nightmare. I went to her room to wake her up. What I saw took me by surprise. I saw a globe of orange light about three feet in diameter suddenly moving away from my sister's bed and hovering in the middle of the room. I stood at the door watching this strange thing. I got the impression that this thing was also startled. This thing seemed to have a thought of its own. For a moment we both were paralyzed gazing at each other. Then the thing zoomed out of the window and disappeared in the adjacent field practically in thin air. I woke up my sister and told her what I saw. She said she was having a bad dream and in her dream a bad being wanted to hurt her while someone good had come to her rescue. Well, people have dreams and nothing is strange about that. However, what to me seemed to be strange is that I possibly saw one of the protagonists of my sister�s dream. Even if that is not the case, that thing was strange on its own.  

I have no explanation for that thing and I do not attempt to speculate or comment about things I do not understand. I know I saw something. I know it was real. But I do not know what it was. However, the explanations given by some pseudo rationalists seems to be less convincing than those given by Muslims trying to explain the absurdities of the miracles attributed to Muhammad. It is simply disappointing to see so many, otherwise intelligent people, are so dogmatic that they are genuinely unable to acknowledge that it is possible that they could not know everything. And that their notion of truth could be utterly distorted and incomplete. These people are not rationalists. They are believers in the "holy science".   

My friend�s response was: 

�Ali, there's a scientific explanation for all these things, even if you don't immediately know it.  It is for this reason that I am a skeptic, waiting for science to explain it, rather than immediately jumping on the paranormal explanation (as has been done for millenia).�  

I shook my head over the irony that this dear friend calls himself a skeptic. We know there must be an answer to all these things. The point is no one knows that answer yet. So why is it that the pseudo rationalists think they know what is the answer and try to "enlighten" everyone else with their benighted answers? Their answer is that all these things are hoax, coincidences or human imagination. I have heard that answer at nausea and I do not consider it to be a satisfactory answer. 

I wrote to him: "Yes dear P�. Certainly there is a scientific explanation to all these unexplainable phenomena and when the science evolves enough and is able to explain how the Prophet Muhammad split the moon, how the creation actually took place, how the flood filled the Earth at the time of Noah and how Jesus raised from the death, it will also find a scientific answer to all that. Meanwhile, all you have to do is to keep your faith alive. One day, you and all other believers will be vindicated by science. Just don't  lose faith. Until then, keep believing. There is a great reward for those who believe."  

People, who are unable to think beyond the box of religion, science or whatever is their doctrine, have no right to call themselves freethinkers and rationalists. They are believers no matter how you slice them.

As custodians of freethinking and rationalism, the  wannabe rationalists should not adopt a religious attitude when dealing with science. People who hold views that cannot be demonstrated with today�s science are not heretics. As long as their views are not contrary to science and logic, these �heretics� could be actually pioneers. Not all pioneers come to new discoveries. But it would be a gross mistake to dismiss them altogether. 

Think about homeopathy, acupuncture, relaxation, shiatzu, hypnosis, aromatherapy or other alternative medicines that today have gained respectability and are practiced in many reputable hospitals across the world. Only a few decades ago all these fields were considered to be quackery by the modern science. Even today, science cannot explain them completely. Yet they work and they are recognized as alternatives to the traditional medicine. 

Make not of science yet another religion. Let doubt guide our way. Our greatest challenge as rational thinkers is to fight against belief itself. The object of our belief is not important. Our beliefs are constantly changing, even though they are based on science. One day the scientists tell us caffeine is bad for you, the next day they say it is good for you. One day they tell us margarine is better that butter, the next day they say it is worse than butter. As scientists and rationalists we are constantly discovering new realities and constantly changing our views of the universe. It is the belief itself that we must fight against. Everything is possible, unless proven otherwise. 

The dangers of denial. 

All lies when blindly believed as truth and vehemently defended are potentially dangerous. As I mentioned above, the Marxist belief in dialectical materialism or the Nazi�s belief in Super Race are logically erroneous beliefs. Nevertheless the problem with these doctrines is not that they are just false but they are extremely dangerous. The belief in Islam is the cause of hate amongst people that have cost hundreds of millions of lives throughout its bloody history and still counting. The belief in Christianity brought inquisition and the fratricide between Catholics and Protestants. The fact is that any false belief is potentially dangerous. The peace of mankind can only be protected when people stop believing. 

The belief in the absolute authority of science is no less dangerous than the belief in other lies. Many people have had experiences that cannot be explained scientifically. The response of the pseudo rationalist is denial. This is the official position of these self-proclaimed custodians of rational thinking. 

However, many people have had first hand experience with what can be called as paranormal that science cannot explain. You can�t keep telling these people; oh it is just your imagination. These people are not children. They know what is real and what is imaginary. 

I heard a reputed Iranian who was a retired scientist at NASA say that once he saw himself a few meters ahead with broken leg. He said I kept going forward and right in the same spot I stumbled, fell and broke my leg. This was an anecdote from his own life experience that he said when in reality he was claiming that clairvoyance, telepathy or psychic power, are all jumbo mumbo and one should not believe in them. It was ironic that he should mention his own paranormal experience when in actuality he was dismissing these things as nonsense. If that is not dogmatism then what it is? Dealing with dogmatic people is all I do. With my line of activity I am constantly debating with dogmatic people. No matter how you look at it, this respected gentleman is a dogmatic scientist. When you deny evidences that contradict your prejudices, that is dogmatism. 

Now the danger of this denial and resistance to accept the paranormal as something that needs to be addressed and studied in its own terms is that the field is left open to charlatans and quacks to dispense advise and explanation for the bewildered masses who thirst to know and who know that the scientists are in denial and are lying to them. 

This is the danger. People who have had paranormal experiences first hand, know that �it is all in your imagination�, is not the answer. Going back to our previous example. The skeptics use the measuring tape and when they see no difference in the sizes of the objects, they deny the rise and fall of the temperature. Meanwhile people know when they get hot and when they get cold and the scientist�s insistence that �it is all in your imagination� is not cutting with them. If all science is equipped with is a measuring tape, they will keep denying the change of temperature while the question of the temperature remains unanswered. 

This opens doors of opportunities for charlatans and con artists to sell their wacky explanation and mislead the masses. That is why the market of the religionists is still bullish and that is why New Age religions are sprouting everywhere. People are willing to submit to the craziest ideas like Celestial Prophesies, A Course In Miracles and a myriad of cult and religions to get an answer. Believe it or not there is even a guy who claims to be the messenger of the extraterrestrials. 

When the scientific community is living in denial the charlatans take over and the result is chaos. When I read about these religions and cults I am amazed of the stupidity of my fellow humans. How much are we willing to compromise our intelligence to buy into these idiotic and asinine beliefs? These New Age cults are even crazier than those invented and believed by our forefathers. There is a spiritual reality out there, which we do not understand. There is a thirst to find an answer to all these enigmas of life. But why follow these stupid archaic religions and modern cults in the search of the answer? 

We are living in a mad, mad, mad world. Just take a look at the absurdity of the beliefs around you. For now put aside your own religion and take a look at what others believe. Witness the level of stupidity of these beliefs. Then understand that your belief is no different. Do not try to convince yourself that your religion is rational, logical and scientific. You�d be only fooling yourself. Beliefs are stupid; beliefs are dangerous, even if they are based on science. Your belief is just as irrational and wrong as the belief of the one whom you pity. We all need to be pitied. This is a pitiful world. 

All beliefs are spurious. It is the nature of beliefs to be spurious. Beliefs are for unenlightened people. For how long shall we remain benighted? For how long do we want to fool ourselves? 

The scientific community has failed the world as much as those whom they decry as fanatics. This is the plant of silly people, inhabited by silly people, run by silly people. 

Everything we do is wrong, because everything we do is based on faith. Everyone is a believer. Everyone pays homage to faith. And what is faith? Faith is belief in something without evidence. This is insane. That is why the world is so insane 

I hope one day, we learn to believe less and doubt more. May be then we will stop feeling self-righteous, stop disparaging others and stop these crazy wars and killings. May be doubt is the key to our salvation and our peace. 

The scientific community must pull out its head out of the sand and study the phenomena that it does not understand. These phenomena cannot be explained by science. As I said above we need to study them in their own terms. If our measuring tape is no good to scale them, we have to invent a �thermometer� to gauge them. We need a new instrument to study and unravel the spiritual realm, even though the method must remain scientific. 

The word needs spirituality because the word is a spiritual world. The denial of this fact will not make it go away. The danger of this denial is that people fall prey to the cons that promise them heaven and deliver then hell. 

It is time that we listen to this inner voice within us. May be, we are spiritual creatures? May be, we need spirituality. Why not study this scientifically? I do not mean through science but through scientific methods. As long as the scientific community keeps its head under the sand and lives in denial the prophets, the priests, the con artists and the quacks feast on us, fool us and take us for a ride.  

The objective of this essay is not to make you believe in paranormal, ghosts, exorcism, ETs or Yeties. No rational person should believe in anything unless undeniable evidence has been presented. We have no such evidence to back up the above claims. Most of them are more likely false than true.  The purpose of this essay is to highlight the flaws in the thinking of the rationalist wannabes. It is just to make you see that not everyone who calls himself a rational thinker is indeed a rational thinker. My objective in writing this essay was to jolt the self righteous self proclaimed rationalists into reality and ask them to descend form their pedestal of infallibility.  

All I wanted to say is: Do not call a kettle black if you are a pot.

Also, may be it is time that we reclaim our own morality and release it from the monopoly of religions. By attaching morality to religion, those who rejected religions have also jettisoned the morality. That is like throwing the baby with the bathwater. This mistake only gives validity to religions and justifies their survival. There is much to do and to understand and yet the rationalists prefer to deny the fact that there is more to this world than what can be seen.  

Happy Rationalist Day to all the rationalists, pseudo rationalists, wannabe rationalists, quasi rationalists and irrationalists of the world even though I see no reason to celebrate. 


P.S. This article most likely will cause the faithful pseudo scientific folk to decide to crucify me or put me in pillory. Hold your fatwas friends because I have no time to respond to anyone. If you want to oust me and declare me a heretic, do it in the forum. I have withstood the onslaught of the Muslims I think I can withstand yours better. At least you are not going to actually kill me. That is a good thing.   :-)  




Comment on the article here

[Mukto-mona] [Articles] [Recent Debate] [Special Event ] [Moderators] [Forum]