Posted by khuram on August 29, 2006
Humans can make original explanations or theories of various phenomena etc. Here ‘original’ does not mean that human mind can itself create any new theory. Human mind only organizes the available information that comes from external world through the process of sense perception. Any ‘new’ or ‘original’ theory is only a ‘new’ or ‘original’ organization of the information, which was already in the notice of human beings. So a whole unique organization of information that gives entirely new meanings and thus results in entirely new outlook of the world, can be said to be ‘original’ explanation or theory about the related phenomenon.
Humans usually make original theories because their mind is capable of doing that. But in certain circumstances, human mind’s ability to form new theories may be crashed or may become ineffective. The ability of human mind, of forming new theories depends on certain objective situations.
Usually humans tend to form new theories in those societies and cultures that are characterized by (i) open and frequent discussion on various issues and (ii) where differences in opinions prevail.
Differences in opinions mean that various issues are still un-resolved. Those un-resolved (hot) issues create many outstanding questions in the minds of (progressive) people. These people, as a result, tend to look everything in their environment by keeping in view those outstanding questions. In this way many ‘new ideas’ come to their mind because they tend to interpret any new information in the light of those outstanding questions. And a proper association and combination of those new ideas result in the formation of new theories.
Whereas, on the other hand, human mind’s abilities to form new theories may become ineffective in those societies that are characterized by a single dominant ideology, similar ways of acting and similar patterns of lifestyle.
Due to the presence of only single ideology, there is no need to discuss about anything. The only need is to recite that ideology. Also there are no outstanding questions because that single dominant ideology is supposed to be a perfect solution to every possible problem/ issue. People, in such societies just forget that God never has given humans all the possible knowledge. All the possible knowledge rests only with God Himself and no human being can claim that he also has been given all the possible knowledge. The nature of human knowledge is such that (i) the elements of inaccuracy and incompleteness always shall have their presence and (ii) the chances of further ‘improvements’ and ‘expansions’ always shall exist. The result would be that the potential of the ‘growth in human knowledge’ always would have its existence. There can come no such stage when this potential shall not be the part of nature of human knowledge. If, suppose, any such stage really comes, it would have the meanings that now (i) there is no inaccuracy and incompleteness remains in the existing human knowledge and (ii) so there exist no further chances of the ‘improvements’ and ‘expansions’ in the existing human knowledge. No inaccuracy means that now human knowledge is ‘absolute accurate’ and no incompleteness means that now human knowledge is ‘absolute comprehensive’. No chances of ‘improvements’ and ‘expansions’ in knowledge means that now human knowledge is not ‘evolutionary’ but is ‘stationary’. Under these supposed conditions, there would be no difference between the nature of the knowledge of God and that of humans. So this supposed situation actually is not possible to occur because there has to be difference in the nature of God’s knowledge and that of humans. Remember that it is the knowledge of God which is ‘absolute accurate’ and ‘absolute complete’ and since there is no need of ‘improvements’ or ‘expansions’ in the knowledge of God so God’s knowledge is not evolutionary in nature but is stationary. A thing to remember at this point is that a similar issue of the Nature of God’s knowledge had been remained a bone of contention between Imam Ghazali and Rational Muslim Philosophers like Ibn-e-Sina and Ibn-e-Rushd. Ibn-e-Rushd, in his reply to the point of view of Imam Ghazali, had shown that Imam Ghazali’s objections on Rational Philosopher’s point of view were based on his misconception about the point of view of Rational Philosophers. For Imam Ghazali, the static nature of God’s knowledge would mean that God does not possess the knowledge of ‘particular’ things or events. Actually the opinion of Rational Philosophers was not like that because they believed that God posseses the knowledge of particular events also. Their point of view, which was not picked up by Imam Ghazali was that God does possess knowledge of particular events also. But God, unlike humans, does not ‘perceive’ those events as occurring on a particular point in time and space. God does not need to ‘perceive’ those events because He already knows all the possible particular occurrences, in a generalized and eternal form, which transcends the human limitations of belongingness to any particular point in time and space.
Anyhow, but since the people of such societies, mistakenly think that their prevailing ideology is the perfect solution to all the ‘possible’ problems/ issues, so they tend to view everything in their environment only as an accepted manifestation of their accepted ideology. Since there are no outstanding questions in their minds because there is no difference in opinion among them, so they do not need to get any new information from the external environment. Any new information that may automatically comes to their mind, cannot be organized in mind in the form of ‘new idea’ because process of the formation of ‘new ideas’ usually involve interaction of new information with the outstanding questions. Having no formation of ‘new ideas’ in mind, they become unable to form new theories because new theories are associations and combinations of new ideas in a well organized, descriptive, and usually in a testable form.
Usually a flood of new theories comes from those societies and cultures where some sort of emotional movement of making new and new explanations and theories is prevalent. In such societies, there is an environment of competition in this respect. People tend to look or observe everything in the environment keeping in view the objective of making their own explanation of the observed phenomenon.
So making or formation of ‘new theories’ largely depends on social or cultural factors. It is due to this fact that only some cultures in the world dominated or led other cultures of world in the formation of new theories in different times in history. In those historical times, when particular cultures were leading rest of world in the formation of new theories, there were these kinds of emotional campaigns prevalent in those particular societies.