Imran Hosein on Christianity & the Scientific Revolution [audio]

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October 15th, 2015 – 

Fort Russ – Exclusive – 

A conversation with Sheikh Imran Hosein on Christianity & the Scientific Revolution 

This is part I in a series of talks which Joaquin Flores had with
Sheikh Imran Hosein over a two day period in Belgrade on the 7th and 9th of
October, 2015.  The aim of these talks
were to explore some questions which went a little deeper than  what is normally presented by the Sheikh.  The Sheikh and Flores in this part discuss
the relationship between the industrial and scientific revolutions,
modernization in western capitalism vs. socialism, and the ultimate effect of
these processes on values or morality as understood religiously. 

Flores:  I want to talk
about the effect of the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions on the ethics and
values in western secular society.  I
want to ask about the two Christian worlds, of east and west, in connection
with the technological or modern society. Specifically in the context of
secularization and modernization in the western market or individualist driven
model vs. the eastern Christian world which went through a type of Socialism as
‘secularization’.

It  seems that a
materialist view is rooted in the scientific and industrial revolutions.  The scientific revolution was used to develop
technological capacity, and was put towards the production of goods and
services.  This changed the material
foundations of society, and with them so too were changed the ethical and moral
system.  

In the west, in modernity and
post-modernity, the educated view is premised on certain assumptions.  These are almost the same as in the old
Socialist bloc.  Among these are that
first there was religion, and evolving from this later was secular society.  

Religion is what we start with, and it either
began as or soon became a tool for oppression, that hypocrisy is inherent in
this religious system.  We are taught
that as society progresses and develops, that it becomes liberated from the
tethers or the yoke of religion – and that the coming of age of man comes with
the dispensing of religion and other superstitions to the dustbin of history.  

At one time, both east and west Christian worlds came to the
view that because religion is based in mysticism and ignorance, and that
because societies change and everything is changing, then so too values and
morals change as society changes.

But eastern Christianity under socialism was not attacked by
hyper-consumerism. It seems that there was a secular shell, within which
religious ethics and norms continued to survive but couched in other words and
ideas. I would like very much for you to help me explore these concepts as they
exist or in the correct framing in relation to religious or Islamic knowledge.

Sheikh Imran Hosein:  Western civilization should not be studied from only one
perspective, and cannot be understood if you use this perspective of the
relationship with religion.  You have to
get the big picture.  And when you get
the big picture, you will then be able to better understand the little one, the
part, which is the relationship with religion.

It cannot be accident that all of these things have happened
in only one part of the world, Europe, of the west.  Europe of the west is a breakaway faction
from the Christian Church in Constantinople. 
It broke away and it went to Rome, and then that broke away in the
protestant movement emerged, and so on. So the original break up is located
there.  

And, after the breakup this part
of Christianity underwent monumental change, which was not experienced by the
other part of Christianity — the process of secularization of society.  And that secularization of the society it is
what has ultimately led to the essentially Godless society that you now
have.  

This side of Christianity gives
the external form of religion but internally it is an empty shell. And once you
have only the external form of religion you don’t have religion anymore.  Religion which does not reside in the heart
is not religion. It is potentially religion. 

So the process of secularization
of society led to this essentially Godless society.  Secularization led to essentially decadent
society, because values are – in order for them to be recognized morally as
values – they must be values which are universal, and must be unchanging,
eternal: like honesty, like chastity – they must be universal in nature, and
eternal; not subject to change.

When you secularize a society the moral values had to give
way, and secular values replaced them which meant that the society would now
make its own values, like for example – we don’t mind, you can break anybody
else’s law, just don’t break ours.  

Bring
any amount of money you want and bring it in a Swiss bank, we’ll take it.  It can be as blood stained as ever, it
doesn’t matter to us. But if we have rules don’t break our rules. This is a
concept of morality, of a values, which is absolutely foreign to the religious
way of life. But yes this .. {in arabic}

Secular values cannot be universalized, they are particular,
they belong to one people, and they cannot be eternal because society is
constantly changing, in fact it’s not just changing – it’s collapsing.  

And as societies collapse they unravel, the
values constantly change.  So you end up
with a society with ever changing values, and what you consider to be right, is
right for you. 

Flores:   Thank
you. This very much helps to connect the origins of secular society to its
place in history, and the deviations of the Church and the development of Protestantism
out of Catholicism and the relationship of that to political-economy.  

I can see better situated the relationship
between changing vs. unchanging values, between relativistic and
universal.  Can we still explore this in
connection to industrialization, modernization, and the scientific revolution?  

What is the relationship between how the west
based its definition of knowledge as science, and in particular an epistemic
view of scientific knowledge as empirical – based in the five senses and
limiting cognition to a reflection on these sense perceptions?  

How can we compare this to a religious view?  Eastern Christianity in the socialist bloc
survived; it was exposed to the scientific and industrial revolution, and
mirrored it.  In the eastern Christian
world, was knowledge itself secularized? In the west, things went
differently.  Why did this happen?

Sheikh Imran Hosein:   The industrialization and modernization of society, in this
part of the Christian world, the western side, had its most telling impact in
the secularization of knowledge. Then came political secularization and
secularization of the economy, and secularization of these things.  

But secularization of knowledge; and the
secularization of knowledge could not have been achieved if you did not have a
scientific and technological revolution on which you could piggy-back.  

The scientific and technological revolution
gave to the world gave what is known as the scientific method.  The scientific method is woefully deceptive
and inadequate, the way its presented.  

Very few can recognize it.  

The
scientific method led us to the conclusion that the only valid knowledge is
knowledge which comes from external observation and inquiry, and
experimentation: things that can be (had by) perception and rationality.

If something resided beyond human observation, it could
never be known. Therefore it could never qualify as knowledge. 

Once it is
beyond human observation.  And from
there, through a process of deception, if it can never be known, it does not
exist.  See?  

So, this material universe is a universe that
can be observed.  And hence it exists.
Whatever lies beyond material universe what cannot be observed, cannot be
admitted into the world of knowledge.  

And so a world existing beyond this world, is a world we can never
know.  And then came the last piece – a
world that does not exist.  And so came
from secularism the passage to materialism, materialism is not attachment to
material things. 

Materialism is the philosophical belief that there is no
reality beyond material reality.  If
there is no reality beyond material reality, then there is no place for
religion.  

And hence, automatically,
eventually, you discard religion the way you discard old clothes and you become
atheist.  This is the passage that took
place in this part of the Christian world. 
And so today they have the marriage of a man with another man, and you
get a marriage certificate, and many Christian churches endorsing it?  Yes.

The other part of the Christian world was never a part of
the scientific and technological revolution. 
The other part of the Christian world never suffered from this secularization
of knowledge.  

And so the other part of
the Christian world never lost the spiritual heart of the religious way of
life.  So long as you continue to believe
in, and hold on to the spiritual heart of the religious way of life, you cannot
lose values.  You might make a mistake,
but you’ll accept that you made a mistake. But honesty is still honesty, is my
view.  

This time, over here, they changed the value – but over
there it remains, see?  

So that is what
has happened in the Christian world.  Why
and how did this mysterious change take place?  In stages.

First stage is to break up, break away from the mother
Church. 

Second stage, the mysterious scientific and technological revolution,
the secularization of knowledge, and all of these things.  Who is responsible for this?  

And why has it happened?

Before we go to eschatology, who is responsible for this and
why did it happen?  

You can sometimes
catch a thief with footprints and fingerprints.  So to catch this thief, you can see its
footprints. That this part of the Christian world now exonerates the Jews from
the crucifixion, they are not to be blamed, at the Vatican.  

This part of the Christian world now has an
obsession with the Holy Land.  This part
of the Christian World launches something called ‘Crusades’. And when they
launched their Crusades they are not Christian Crusades at all. 

Because they
are attacking their own Christian brothers This part of the Christian world
eventually liberates Jerusalem and the Holy Land. This part of the Christian
world eventually establishes a state of Israel. 

This part of the Christian
world depends on the State of Israel. This part of the Christian world arms the
state of Israel until becomes a super-power. This part of the Christian world
is prepared to wage world war, nuclear war, to self destruct, for Israel.  

All of these things could not be happening by
accident. No.  If these things are
happening by accident, then a cow can jump over the moon. Yes.  

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