Dr A M Choudhury
In Bangladesh we have come across these words after a long time. In my student days, especially when I was studying at London University, one used to find students often discussing them. I remember while I was studying at Dhaka University in the early sixties, I attended a lecture by famous philosopher late Dr. Dewan Muhammed Azraf on the proof on the existence of God.
I listened to the lecture with great enthusiasm but was greatly disappointed as the philosopher could not provide any proof. He argued quoting philosopher Kant about his argument in proving the existence of God. By using the argument that everything has a cause, starting from the very bottom of things. So the Universe whose existence we see and feel every moment must have a cause also and we call that cause God.
But the argument fails there because we started from the causation theory and we fail at the last moment when we do not have an answer to the question of who created God. Belief in God does not come from philosophy, but from holy scriptures like the Holy Quran and other such books .In Bangladesh almost every individual whether literate or illiterate believes in God. They do not ask Dewan Azraf or Kant. They learn it from birth.
I therefore wonder about branding some people as atheists by some groups. One feels at one&’s heart about the existence of God. Even the most modern discovery in science points towards the existence of God. We know that recently genes of all living beings have been mapped. The gene are responsible for heredity. It has been found that there are a group of genes responsible for faith in God and they are termed as God genes. So science is not Godless. Recently at CERN laboratory at Geneva under a massively expensive experiment called Supercollider, a massive particle has been discovered. This particle is responsible for providing masses to other smaller particles and was termed as God Particle. So recent scientific discoveries all point to the existence of God.
Thousands of examples can be given about the existence of God from recent scientific discoveries. I give another example which we all face. This is about life and death. The process of life is so complicated that it does not resemble any complicated machine including a super-computer.
Let me recall some of my intellectual activities while I was studying in London for a Ph.D degree. I could find some time in spite of my heavy pressure of study of Mathematics and Physics for my degree. I became especially interested in communism because they used to claim it scientific. Usually there is a difference between natural and social sciences. A scientific theory is subject to experimental verification. If theory and experiment do not agree, it is not science. But in the case of communism where is the science? They had devised a mechanism called Dialectical Materialism which consists of dividing a proposition into thesis, antithesis and synthesis. For example a pre-capitalist society and a capitalist society form thesis and antithesis and they will resolve into a socialist society. There is no numerical quantity involved in this mechanism. How much of the antithesis will lead to synthesis?
The antithesis can co-exist with thesis without being resolved into synthesis. Again antithesis and thesis may naturally resolve without going through a revolutionary process.
But Marxists insist that thesis and antithesis are resolved through a process of revolution. This is in brief what is called Marxism. Actually, Hegel first proposed this dialectic theory and Marx claimed that he has put it upside down and made it materialistic. But in practice this is not usually observed with some exception like Russian Revolution.
So in Bangladesh are there Marxists or atheists? There is a communist party in Bangladesh and I have observed behaviour of its members as they perform almost all the religious rights like those of a religious person. Then are they really atheists? As for young individuals who have written in the blogs claiming to be atheists, they may have been joking. Such sensitive material should not be put in the blog.
So there is no case for further grouping of our people into atheists and theists. Our society is already divided too much and there is no room for further division.
There are more than thirty political parties working in Bangladesh which look very strange. We should not aggravate this strangeness.
The Daily Star/ANN