Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Science and Scientific Thinking in Human History

-- Nasir Khan

“Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.”

― Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)

When did the 'science' start in human history? And when did the 'scientific thinking' start? These seemingly simple questions can only be answered by a historian of science who has acquaintance with historical data relating to the issues. In other words, to find an answer we need the expertise of specialists.

However, we should keep in mind that science is not any static body of knowledge but rather an active process through the ages. Man's use of his near environment and his attempts to understand the phenomenon around him goes back to the times when he started to use his hands and much later in the history of his social evolution he started to use stones and flint, for instance, to hunt and skin off the animals for food and clothing. That is the time when man started to affect his near environment intentionally that was primarily to meet his practical needs for his survival. These can be called man's first steps towards 'science' in a general sense.

But the question of scientific thinking has a dialectical relationship with man's relationship with nature as he started to form some ideas about how things work. These were his early steps towards understanding how things worked. That process has gone on in history for long.

What we associate with scientific thinking' in contrast to idealistic, speculative and mythical thing (eventually becoming religious thinking) belongs to the period after the Renaissance period. But to a historian of ideas and science any such periodization is only for our convenience, not for its historical accuracy.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Jeremy Corbyn visits the Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan

 Nasir Khan, June 23, 2018

 Mr Jeremy Corbyn! Like many other anti-Zionist and anti-Fascist people, I am deeply elated that you visited the Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. 

All right-wing parties and reactionary forces are allied with Israel, and very few leaders of the political parties in Europe dare to speak for or side with the victims of Israel. But in this struggle, you have spoken and stood with them, even though the Zionists have done everything to malign you. But their false charges and obnoxious lies have failed to deter you from your principled stand for a people under the occupation of a brutal colonial power. 

The Zionist leaders of Israel may even use their alliance with the King of Jordan to attack you if they choose to do so, or give a signal to the Israeli lobby in Britain to spread their misleading propaganda to discredit you. I am sure you know how Zionists operate in most countries of Europe, in the United States and Canada.
 Jeremy Corbyn wrote on June 23, 2018

Today in Jordan, I visited one of the largest Palestinian refugee camps.
I talked to children and heard what they want to do with their education and with their lives.
The United Nations body that supports Palestinian refugees, UNWRA, is in the most serious financial crisis in its history after President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold millions of dollars of funding this year.
It is shameful that the UK Government has not already stepped up and pledged more funding to UNWRA.
Instead of reducing funds to life-saving refugee agencies, the UK must increase its funding, as the Labour Party pledges to do.

 Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting, table and outdoor

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Natural Beauty of Pakistan

-- Nasir Khan, June 21, 2018

The following comment is my reply to a pleasant view of the beauty of Pakistan by Mr. Hans-Petter Bekeng, a Norwegian, who may have got such information by reading or hearing others speak about it:

Hans-Petter Bekeng, thank you for your pleasant comment! My post was about some other matter, as you have rightly said so. But what you say how the ordinary people of India and Pakistan hate each other's countries and people is largely correct. I cannot go into any details here, but it will suffice to say that it has more to do with the political background when India was divided into two states in 1947 by the British rulers. That was their parting 'gift' to the people of the two countries when they ended their colonial rule over the Indian subcontinent! Since then, India and Pakistan have been each other's sworn enemies.

But the people from these two countries who live in European countries or in other parts of the world have also developed a lot more accommodating attitudes towards each other. That can also be seen in Norway. Indians and Pakistanis easily mingle with each other in Norway.

Now I will say a few words about the natural beauty of Pakistan: Pakistan is a large country. For example, while its southern parts in the summer may have temperatures well over over 45 Celsius, it may be snowing at that time in some high mountains of northern Pakistan!

Some of the most beautiful places you can imagine in the world are also found in northern areas of Pakistan and Pakistani-part of Kashmir, commonly called Azad Kashmir. By the way, the second highest and one of the most dangerous mountain in the world for the professional mountaineers to climb is K-2, and it is situated in the northern areas of Pakistan.

Chitral, Pakistan

Image may contain: mountain, outdoor and nature

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Jews are not a race

--Nasir Khan
Jews identify themselves with a religion - Judaism. That does not mean Jews are a race, or belong to one race. The only race they belong to is the human race. Just for a moment look at the present Jewish population in Israel, and see there are people from Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, etc. They are brown, black and white. 

Just take a look at the present Israeli prime minister, Netanyahu. He is a European in his looks. He is of Polish origin. Can he
be differentiated from other Polish people? Obviously, not. Some in his cabinet are from different ethnic backgrounds. But Zionists have used the Jewish race deception to deceive the world for a political ideology that is racist, supremacist, discriminatory, expansionist and destructive.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

What Che Guevara Stood For

-- Nasir Khan, June 14, 2018

Today is the birthday anniversary of Che Guevara (June 14, 1928 - October 9, 1967).

Che Guevara was and is an inspiration to all those who fight against and oppose imperialists and their lackeys throughout the world. The center of that power was and still is the United States, the 'leader' of the warmongers, war criminals, weapon industries and its allies who further the cause of American hegemony and perpetuate the power of colonial powers like Israel. 

Che Guevara and Fidel Castro stood against the gangster policies of the United States and its wars of aggression. For instance, the ethnic cleansing in Palestine that is still going on is because of the power Zionists wield in America and direct the course of US foreign policies.

In Iran, America and Britain toppled the democratic government of Dr Mossadegh in 1953 and reinstated the pliant regime of the Shah. The Washington rulers did the same with the socialist-democratic government of Allende in Chile. America had been the patron of all the right-wing dictatorships in Latin America. 

The people who stood up against the American domination in the western hemisphere were Fidel Castro and his comrades like Che. They were the people who liberated Cuba from the Batista dictatorship and heroically upheld the cause of freedom and independence of the island nation despite all the efforts of the US to destroy the Cuban revolution and the CIA’s hundreds of secret plans to kill Fidel Castro.

"Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms."
---Che Guevara

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Modern democratic states have no business with religion

-- Nasir Khan

“If I were a dictator, religion and state would be separate. I swear by my religion. I will die for it. But it is my personal affair. The state has nothing to do with it. The state would look after your secular welfare, health, communications, foreign relations, currency and so on, but not your or my religion. That is everybody's personal concern!”

― Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

These are the words of a wise leader of Indian freedom movement, who was an inspiration to millions of people in the world for his message of non-violence and love for truth.
It is important for us to remember that Gandhi was not an atheist or agnostic. He was a devoted Hindu and a believer in God like Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian, Baha’i, Sikh and Jewish believers. However, for him the religion of an individual was a personal matter. No one should impose a religion or a belief on others. It was not for the State to tell people which religion to follow or which god to believe in (there are different views about god in many religions and his attributes, etc.). In the middle ages, State and Church in European countries were united. But that changed. The secularization process became the norm and new ways of looking at the roles of state and religions became widely accepted.

Secularism is rooted in the political idea that state and religion have two different spheres and roles. They should remain separate and we should not allow anyone to mix them. People should follow whatever religions they want to follow without the interference of the state. As a result, there is no more religious coercion from the state or public bodies/institutions of the people. People have freedom of religion, freedom to practise any religion, freedom to convert to any other religion if any choose to do so, freedom to leave or reject religion and accept agnosticism, atheism, humanism or any other viewpoint. In democratic countries and their civil societies, these freedoms are essential ingredients of a civilized existence.

Unluckily, such views have had much opposition in traditional, conservative societies. For example, in my country of origin, Pakistan ('Land of the Pure'!), Muslim clerics and political manipulators have distorted the meaning of secularism. According to their version, which most Pakistanis accept, it means rejection of Islam and Allah! It is anti-Islam and a threat to Islam and Pakistan!

Briefly, to attribute such things to secularism is totally wrong and pernicious. But the vested interests that played with the religious susceptibilities of the people for so long, and so successfully, will continue their exploitation. As I see it, our hope is that only progressive and democratic people can combat the reactionary forces and their toxic indoctrination. No doubt, the task is difficult. But our friends and comrades are doing what they can, both within and outside Pakistan.