Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hamza Tzortzis and Pervez Hoodbhoy on Religion & Rationality- A Discussion @ LUMS

*grinning from ear to ear*

This was SOME debate. I started out a little apprehensively - I mean, look at that duration! I didn't watch it in one go. But was pretty much hooked throughout the talk. It was enlightening. I highly recommend everybody to watch it. And if the 1 hour 57 minutes seem too daunting, break it down into 15 minutes/day and watch it over the next week. It's worth it.

What I found disappointing here:

1. I, as a Muslim and a Pakistani, hate to admit that we're mostly all hollow people. We have hints of directions, but no concrete sets of ideas, values and principles. If something looks/sounds fascinating, we follow it. We do NO reading on our own and hence, we have no concrete arguments for anything anyway.

Hamza Tzortzis found that weakness in us, and I'm guessing he was disappointed in the overall student mindset of the so called Muslim country!

2. None of Hamza's arguments were properly addressed! Professor Hoodbhoy kept saying that religion should be kept separate and science should be separate - and science does not deal with questions like "Who created the Big Bang?" or "What was before time t = 0?"
I mean, then, according to the Professor, there is no argument here. To each his/her own!

3. The 'drop' scene :D. Awesome. I have yet to see a debate as, let's say - entertaining - as this one. Amazing, I tell you.
But there was something very disappointing about the drop scene. And that was that this debate ended on THIS note. It could have been better. Both academics could have talked their differences out, agreed to disagree and then courteously walked off. Instead, the (spoiler alert) Professor stormed out, saying 'Shut up!' [Uni, stop grinning!)

Point is, the Professor completely misunderstood Hamza, and based on mistaken assumptions, he got angry. Hamza, too, was angry, but his anger was justified because he was facing an argument which refused to be an argument! No wonder he said at the very end, "None of my debates in Britain have ever been like this."

4. At a point in the debate, Hamza started off 'Baa Baa Black Sheep, have you any??' and the audience replied 'Wool!' .. and he said, "Good! You've been colonized!'


Finally, it was refreshing to see something like this happening in LUMS. I so hope more debates and discussions like these are held and people throng to attend them, like they throng the Mausummery Lawn sale.

Again, highly highly recommended!


NA said...

Tempted beyond limits to download and listen to it asap :)

Uni said...

It's worth it :)

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thanks for dropping by!

Umair said...

I ve started to download it.. Would try to listen to it for sure. (keeping in view the way u ve highly recommended it).

Umair said...

Listen this when u have time,

peace mission said...


salmanZQ said...

Please read this explanation.
The Quran doesn't really state the big bang theory. Let's not get carried away. Hamza is known to make up things and is considered a liar and charlatan by most people, including muslims, in the west. We don't need to rely on the likes of him. He only makes us look foolish.

Anonymous said...

salman, that article is not a good reference. It's an evaluation of third class sources, neither does it contain tafseer or arabic language analysis, just comparison between translations and conjecture. It doesn't even contain an arabic word-for-word analysis!

If you knew that the term Moose'oon (royal plural) is a verbal adjective for the active participle = "doer" (of the derivate form no. 4) that is used for present and future, maybe you would reevaluate. Erpenius even states that this word class is for "all times"!

For example, you do not say "أنا ضارب زيدا" if you already have hit him. It means you are, or are going to, hit him.

Allah created the (first?) heaven, and he is expanding it. There is really no room for your articles' conjectures.

Uni, about Quantum Computing; Quantum processors are simply put "random numbers generators" and are not useful for other than statistical computing regarding large combinations of numbers.