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Raji  Al  Munir

Author, Scientist, Philosopher of Science
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Table of Contents


Introduction ................................................................................................................. 1

 

Chapter 1

The Modern Scientific Method:

The Best Tool for Obtaining Objective Truth

Public Perception of Science ...................................................11

The Modern Scientific Method ...............................................14

The Nature of Modern Science ...............................................20

Modern Science vs. Science of the Past ..................................23

Modern Science vs. Pseudoscience .........................................27

Seven Important Points to Retain ............................................31

 

Chapter 2

The Universe According to Modern Science

The Natural History of Planet Earth .......................................35

What About “Before The Big Bang”? .....................................39

Evolution through Natural Selection .......................................40

Intelligent Design ....................................................................45

 

Chapter 3

The Universe According to the Koran

A Short Introduction to Islamic Theology ..............................52

Koran through the Lens of Modern Science ...........................54

A Few Words on the Methodology ..........................................56

How the World Works, According to the Koran ......................58

Creation of Earth, Plants, and Animals ...................................65

Humans ...................................................................................68

Human-Centered Mythology ..................................................73

The Three Layers of the Universe ...........................................76

Heavenly Perfection ................................................................82

Modern Technology ................................................................83

Muhammad and His Followers ...............................................86

The Truth .................................................................................87

 

Chapter 4

The “Science Supports Koran” Hypothesis

The Bible, The Qur’an and Science ........................................93

The Miracle of the Number 19 .............................................. 105

The Defenders of Belief ........................................................109

One or Two Coincidences Equal Proof of Divinity! ............. 112

A New Scientific Hypothesis ................................................ 115

From Hypothesis to Scientific Theory ..................................120

 

Chapter 5

The God Hypothesis versus Logic, Reason, and Science

The Logic of the God Hypothesis ......................................... 122

Where is the “God of the Gaps”? .......................................... 124

Science Can’t Prove That “God Does Not Exist” ................. 126

The Irrational Expectations of God....................................... 128

The “Soul”.............................................................................131

Superstition ...........................................................................134

 

Chapter 6

The Moral Values of God

Is God a Benevolent Entity? ................................................. 138

Is God an Unfair Liar? ..........................................................140

Is God an Unjust, Whimsical, Genocidal Adolescent? .........142

Is God a Psychopath? ............................................................144

Is the Judeo-Christian Version of God Any Better? .............. 146

Can God Help Enhance Human Morality? ...........................150

 

Chapter 7

The Sources of Human Moral Values

The Biological Evolutionary Sources of

Human Moral Values ............................................................. 152

The Historical Socio-Evolutionary Sources of

Human Moral Values ............................................................. 155

The Present Day Parental-Socio-Cultural Sources of

Human Moral Values .............................................................156

Why Do People Behave Morally and Immorally?

(And What Modern Science Says About This Question) ......159

 

Chapter 8

Religion, Secular Humanism and Morality

Religion—Net Negative or Net Positive? ............................. 168

Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot ......................................................171

Secular Humanism ................................................................ 176

Morality and Atheism............................................................ 181

Training the Brain to Behave Morally................................... 188

Societal Conditions and Morality ......................................... 196

 

Chapter 9

Toward A Post-Modern Human Civilization

The Obstacles to Progress .....................................................202

The Current Ideology of the U. S. Republican Party ............ 204

Tribalism/Racism/Nationalism ............................................. 209

Christianity ............................................................................ 210

Judaism.................................................................................. 213

Hinduism ............................................................................... 220

World Population Growth ...................................................... 222

Message to My Fellow Muslims ........................................... 224

Good and Evil ....................................................................... 231

The Confrontation of Evil .....................................................235

My Message to the West ....................................................... 238

 

Chapter 10

The Economic System for a Post-Modern

Human Civilization .................................................................251

What We Should Learn From History...................................253

The Economic Model ............................................................256

Fixing the Broken U.S. Healthcare System ...........................259

Can the Dual Capitalist-Socialist Economic Model

Help Improve the U.S. Economy? .........................................264

The Importance of Good Government ..................................271

Financial System for The Post-Modern Human Civilization .......274

 

Chapter 11

Trouble in Paradise

Effects of Large Scale Muslim Immigration to Sweden .......280

A Universal Moral and Ethical Values System .....................286

Moral Community .................................................................292

Goals for January 1, 2100 .....................................................294

 

Chapter 12

Eternal Questions of Humanity Answered

Where Did We Come From? .................................................302

What is the Meaning of Life? ...............................................303

Can Human Morality Survive Without God? ........................306

Is Belief Still “the Safer Bet”? ..............................................310

The Rise and Fall of Religion ...............................................314

 

Appendix 1

Recommended Further Readings

on Philosophy, Politics and Secular Humanism ....................319

 

Appendix 2

Recommended Further Readings

on Science and Evolution ........................................................321

 

Appendix 3

Writing a Scientific Paper on Religious Scriptures .............. 325

 

Bibliography ................................................................................... 329

 

Index ................................................................................................ 343




From the book:


Introduction

 

Encyclopedia Britannica describes “Enlightenment” as,

a European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries in which ideas concerning God, reason, nature, and man were synthesized into a worldview that gained wide assent and that instigated revolutionary developments in art, philosophy, and politics. Central to Enlightenment thought were the use and the celebration of reason, the power by which man understands the universe and improves his own condition. The goals of rational man were considered to be knowledge, freedom, and happiness.

(<http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/188441/Enlightenment>)

Paul Brians, professor emeritus, Washington State University, explaining “The Enlightenment” on his Web site, writes,



Certain thinkers and writers, primarily in London and Paris, believed that they were more enlightened than their compatriots and set out to enlighten them. They believed that human reason could be used to combat ignorance, superstition, and tyranny and to build a better world. Their principal targets were religion (embodied in France in the Catholic Church) and the domination of society by a hereditary aristocracy.

(<http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/hum_303/enlightenment.html>)

Many writers have described the term “The New Enlightenment” in various different ways. This book portrays the term as meaning: The enlightenment of the intellectual elite as well as a majority of the average members of society in a certain geographical area. The New Enlightenment has three equally important and complimentary components:

  1. The proper understanding and acceptance of the modern scientific worldview by the majority of a given population.

  2. The fall of religion in society. This is not the forced or superficial fall of religion that was said to have occurred in former communist countries in the twentieth century. This is organic, natural, and genuine fall of religion among both the elite and the general population.

  3. The acceptance of some form of Secular Humanism as a basis for moral and ethical conduct by most people in society and the institutions of government.

The difference between “The Enlightenment” and “The New Enlightenment” is that the former was limited to the intelligentsia, the latter is the enlightenment of the majority of the entire population.

Has any nation achieved The New Enlightenment? Yes, Sweden is the best example. Denmark, Norway and Japan are three other countries that have achieved or are close to achieving The New Enlightenment.



* * *



The purpose of this book is to introduce and spread The New Enlightenment. Once the reader understands and, in general, agrees with the concepts of this book, the reader can be considered an enlightened person. If an enlightened person is lucky enough to live in a place where most of the people are enlightened, then he or she can consider himself/herself a part of The New Enlightenment.

The first step to becoming an enlightened person is to know and understand the worldview according to Modern Science. Chapter 1 describes The Modern Scientific Method and why Modern Science can be trusted to provide objective knowledge about our world. This chapter also illuminates the differences between science, pseudoscience, and nonscience, so that readers can properly differentiate between scientific knowledge and false deceptive propaganda. Chapter 2 gives a short description of the science-based natural history of planet Earth and the evolution of life on Earth. At least some knowledge of both is essential to properly understanding the twenty-first-century Modern-Science-based worldview.

The second step is the proper understanding of the fallacies of mainstream religions. Many have written about the erroneous beliefs of Christianity and the Bible, but detailed science-based analysis of the errors in the Koran by someone from a Muslim background is still exceptionally rare. Chapters 3 and 4 concentrate on this task. Chapters 5 and 6 center on the Abrahamic God in general, which is common to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

The third step is to understand what the real basis for human morality is, how to increase morality and ethics in society, and why behaving morally and ethically is in the enlightened intelligent self-interest of every individual. Chapter 7 deciphers the real sources of human moral values (which religious theology tries to ascertain, but fails to explain accurately). Chapter 8 explains why the fall of religion will most likely result in an increase in morality and ethics; rather than a decrease, as most theists claim.

The spread of The New Enlightenment will eventually usher in a new level of human civilization at some point in the future. This book terms this new plane of human civilization as “The Post-Modern Human Civilization.” Chapters 9, 10 and 11 explain how this can be achieved within a hundred years from now, and how to tackle the roadblocks to the progress of human civilization.



* * *

 

I passionately believe that this book is a must read for everyone. It is written in simple language that does not require strenuous concentration. Concepts are explained in straightforward terms that are easy to grasp. This book gets to the point quickly; it avoids taking unnecessarily winding routes to make its case. I have tried to write this book in a way that anyone with a seventh grade education (or higher) can follow the discussions without a lot of effort on the readers’ part. This is a book that really is written for everyone, from the rocket scientist to the retail sales clerk.

I am particularly hopeful that many of my Muslim brothers and sisters will read this book and spread The New Enlightenment to the citizens of the Muslim world. It is of paramount importance that a renaissance in the Islam is achieved, so that we can finally abandon the philosophy of the Middle Ages and move on to something better and wiser.

The progress of civilization is by no means guaranteed. Continued progress requires the enlightenment of the ordinary citizen. As democracy spreads around the world, the role of every citizen is becoming more and more important. Therefore, it is vital for the advancement of human civilization that everyone become better enlightened citizens of the world. I am confident that this book will greatly help in the enlightenment of any reader who reads it from start to finish.


Note 1: The term “The Post-Modern Human Civilization” used in this book is not related to the architectural, literary, and philosophical term “Postmodernism.”

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines the term “postmodern” as,

1: of, relating to, or being an era after a modern one <postmodern times> <a postmodern metropolis>

Or,

2 a: of, relating to, or being any of various movements in reaction to modernism that are typically characterized by a return to traditional materials and forms (as in architecture) or by ironic self-reference and absurdity (as in literature)

b: of, relating to, or being a theory that involves a radical reappraisal of modern assumptions about culture, identity, history, or language <postmodern feminism>

The term “The Post-Modern Human Civilization” is consistent with the first definition and is not intended to be thought in terms of the second definition.

Note 2:Modern Science” and “The Modern Scientific Method” are not the same thing. The first is the current state of science; the second is a method for scientific inquiry. For the purposes of this book, the term “Modern Science” will mean science from 1950 to the present; the term “The Modern Scientific Method" will mean the currently used form of the scientific method, the roots of which date back to seventeenth-century Renaissance Europe.

Note 3: “CE” is short for “COMMON ERA” (modern secular replacement for A.D.) and “BCE” is short for “BEFORE COMMON ERA” (modern secular replacement for B.C.).

Note 4: Although I have tried not to use uncommon words, there may be a few terms in this book that the average person might not be familiar with. The reader should not hesitate to look up unfamiliar words in a dictionary. When learning new things, coming across new terms is often unavoidable. We should all make a habit of using a dictionary to help us understand new concepts better.

Note 5: The first two chapters of this book are based on my previously published short book, The Modern Scientific Method: Why A Modern Scientific Theory is NOT “just a theory.” Therefore, I would not recommend purchasing the earlier short book, if the reader already owns a copy of this book. (However, it makes a great gift for teens and nonscientists on your gift list, and for people who are not yet ready to encounter a direct assault on religion, but could use some much needed scientific enlightenment. Please visit www.rmunir.com for details.)

 

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