|IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST BENEFICENT, THE MOST MERCIFUL|
In order to analyze this principle logically and rationally, we first must determine what Bahais mean by reason, and science?
The Meaning of Science
Depending on the situation, Baha段's change the meaning of science. In some places it means modern empirical science, while in others, it is used to refer to the true, divine sciences. If the Baha段 creed is being preached in a university environment, science is presented as that which has been empirically determined by modern research, observations, and experiments and it is claimed that the Baha段 creed holds a special value and importance for the sciences that universities are acquiring, and if a religion is at odds with these sciences, it is not a valid religion. Let us take a look at two examples:
Science, is the greatest virtue of the human world. Science, is eternal dignity. Science, is everlasting life . . . all of the people are dead and scholars are alive . . . thus I have utmost delight that I am present in this university . . . for science is light and ignorance is darkness.
The highest virtue of the human world is science for it is the discovery of the truth of things. I have utmost delight today that we see ourselves in this center of knowledge, in this college whose fame has reached the horizons. For the best of the groups that gather in the world are the group of the scholars and the best of the centers in the human world are the centers of science and technology.
When critics criticize the necessity of the conformity of religion with human science by pointing out the fact that science is always in a state of change, it is claimed that what is meant by science is the true, divine science.
This problem is much bigger in the sphere of the social sciences and humanities. The scientists of these sciences have rarely reached a consensus on any matter. In this domain, different movements and schools exists that are completely opposed to one another. Now the question is which one of these movements is the Baha段 faith in accordance with?
Is the Baha段 creed in accordance with whatever mankind contemplates in this era? Is whatever that occurs to the mind of 21st century man in accordance to the Baha段 creed?
When these criticisms are made, Baha段's turn back from their claims that their religion is up to date. They say that if at a time there is disagreement between science and religion, in that matter religion is definitely correct and the inconsistency is due to our error.
Furthermore, in universities and colleges, Bahais never refer to the fact that they believe all people are ignorant but Bahais and no non-Baha段 is to be regarded as knowledgeable.
The Meaning of Reason
He also iterates that what is meant by reason is the complete Divine Reason: What is meant by knowledge, is Divine Knowledge, and what is meant by reason is the perfect Divine Reason that religion must be in accord to.
One would wonder, what is the use of the perfect Divine Reason when humankind does not possess it and what humans possess - according to Abdul Baha - are apparently some kind of inferior reasons that are susceptible to error? Abdul Baha too asks this question:
Every religion which is not in accordance with established science is superstition. Religion must be reasonable. If it does not square with reason, it is superstition and without foundation. It is like a mirage, which deceives man by leading him to think it is a body of water. God has endowed man with reason that he may perceive what is true. If we insist that such and such a subject is not to be reasoned out and tested according to the established logical modes of the intellect, what is the use of the reason which God has given man?
The contradiction in these sentences is clear: In one place it is claimed God has endowed man with reason so he may perceive what is true, but when that same reason that is the tool for perceiving the truth, finds a contradiction in Baha段 beliefs, then reason is no longer a tool in the hands of men but a Divine apparatus that men lack: If religious belief and doctrine is at variance with reason, it proceeds from the limited mind of man and not from God.
It can be summarized that: Bahais claim that Bahaism is a unique faith and is consistent with the modern age, and in accordance with science and reason. When it is asked how the Baha段 creed can be in conformity to human sciences while these sciences are constantly changing and different scientific theories invalidate each other as time passes by, they respond that what they mean by this principle is the conformity of religion with Divine Sciences. When scientific contradictions in their religion are pointed to, the same answer is given and it is claimed that science will soon catch up with our teachings. When unreasonable texts and orders are pointed to in the Baha段 scripture, the response given is that these orders are in conformity with Divine Reason not the limited human reason. So then what is all this proselytizing and evangelization for? What religion is there that does not claim to be in accordance to Divine Science and Reason? If science and reason are the criterion for finding the truth, then what use is this criterion when man lacks it and its true form is only in the hands of God?
It is up to you to draw your own conclusions!
The articles have been based on the book "Avaze Dohol" - the Beating of the Drum by Masoud Basiti, Zahra Moradi.
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